Quarterbacks key indicator for Texas, Baylor

Looking for a reason that the Baylor Bears are already bowl eligible, while the Texas Longhorns sit at 4-3? Look no further than the quarterback play for both squads.

Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert has had a rough go so far as a sophomore, and is currently the 11th rated quarterback out of the 12 starters in the Big 12. Baylor signal caller Robert Griffin III is No. 1 in that category.

The difference in their ratings is tremendous. Griffin has a quarterback rating of 159.5, while Gilbert resides more than 40 points lower at 113.3. For the season, he only leads Iowa State's Austen Arnaud, and he only leads the Cyclone QB by 0.2 points.

But that difference only grows when looking at how they've performed in conference play. Griffin's play elevated once he hit the Big 12. His passer rating jumps up to 176.1 in Big 12 games, with Griffin hitting 73.4 percent of his passes with a 10-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Gilbert's rating on the other hand, went the other way in Texas's four conference games. Gilbert's passer rating dropped to 107.1, with the sophomore completing just 57.3 percent of his passes and throwing seven interceptions to four touchdowns.

To put those numbers in perspective, Gilbert has actually thrown seven more passes in conference play than Griffin. But Griffin has completed 19 more throws and has thrown for 503 more yards. He also has six more touchdowns while throwing five fewer interceptions. And not surprisingly, the Bears' offense is averaging more than twice the points — 42.8 to 21.2 — in conference play.

It's worth noting that the two comparisons are incomplete because of the schedules they've faced. Baylor's three wins have come over Big 12 North foes Kansas State, Colorado and Kansas. The Bears' loss came to Texas Tech. The Longhorns also played Tech, but beat the Red Raiders in Lubbock. Texas has also played Oklahoma and Nebraska, two teams among the best in the league. But Gilbert also struggled with turnovers against Iowa State, a team ranked last in the Big 12 in total defense.

Still, if the Longhorns had a quarterback leading the league in passer rating, it isn't a stretch to imagine an undefeated Texas team right now. And on the flip side, if Baylor had one of the league's worst-rated quarterbacks, it isn't hard to see Baylor assuming its typical spot at the bottom of the conference in the win column.


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