DALLAS - The Big 12 Conference has long been known for quarterback play and that's not going to change in 2012.
Five starters are on the Davey O'Brien Award preseason watch list and only two league teams will begin preseason practice next week with quarterback controversies.
Texas Coach Mack Brown used three QBs last year and will decide between sophomore David Ash and junior Case McCoy, the younger brother of former Longhorns star Colt McCoy. Who it will be or when it will happen is unknown.
"I've got 37 years coaching that says it will probably happen, one way or the other," Brown said. "Usually the players will choose them for you if not. You bring in key players and ask what they think.
"But usually somebody will tweak an ankle or somebody will have a sore shoulder, and it may not just be by performance that it separates. If it doesn't separate, you choose one to start the game. If he doesn't play well, you put the other one in."
Iowa State used two quarterbacks last season and each - Steele Jantz and Jared Barnett - played in nine games. Jantz, a senior, started seven while Barnett, a sophomore who helped the Cyclones beat Oklahoma State, started six.
"We most definitely need better play from the quarterback position if we're going to become a better football team, and namely in the area of accuracy," Coach Paul Rhoads said. "Our quarterbacks completed, I think, 51 percent of their passes all last year. We threw too many to the wrong-colored jersey.
"If we're going to be a better offensive football team, which is very important in this league to be a better football team, it's going to take better quarterback play."
Half of the league is set at the position, while others still are in pretty good shape. West Virginia's Geno Smith, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Kansas State's Collin Klein, Texas Tech's Seth Doege and TCU's Casey Pachall are on the O'Brien list.
Kansas has Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist, a fifth-year senior who is a captain in his first season with the Jayhawks. Oklahoma State anointed true freshman Wes Lundt as its starter in the spring. Baylor will begin with Nick Florence as it seeks to replace Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
Or as Coach Art Briles put it, "How do you adjust not having the best player football in the United States of America last year at the collegiate level?
"What we have to do is figure out ways to fill in the gaps, because Robert created a bunch of gaps," Briles said. "His ability from somebody else's is a big gap. We have to fill that in with a variety of different methods, schematically, personnel-wise and motivational-wise and inspiration-wise that will give us an opportunity to stay at the level we finished at last year."
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OPINIONS ON transfers differ throughout the conference. WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen will only address a need, as he did last year when fifth-year senior Devon Brown came to WVU as an inside receiver after graduating from Wake Forest. Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy doesn't take many transfers because his teams "have not had a lot of success with players that have transferred."