BAKER MAYFIELD QB, Oklahoma
In two seasons at OU, his TD-to-INT ratio is 76 to 15, and in 2016 he set the FBS record with a passing efficiency of 196.4. In '17, he'll be playing behind what should be the Sooners' best O-line in years. The downside: Mayfield will be without Biletnikoff Award winner Dede Westbrook.
SAM DARNOLD QB, USC
The 6'4", 225-pound sophomore has a great ability to extend plays, and he mans a glamour position at a marquee program with a rich Heisman history. But the Trojans have young (if talented) receivers and no bye week for the coaching staff to help Darnold & Co. get on the same page.
J.T. BARRETT QB, Ohio State
He finished fifth three years ago. The question now is Can this Buckeyes offense hit big pass plays downfield? Barrett, a senior, does have some promising young wideouts to work with, and the arrival of coordinator Kevin Wilson and QB coach Ryan Day bodes well.
DERRIUS GUICE RB, LSU
At 5'11" and 212 pounds the junior has a tremendous burst and the elusiveness to embarrass tacklers. Guice led the SEC in rushing last season despite sharing time with Leonard Fournette, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Can the Tigers pass well enough to take heat off him?
MASON RUDOLPH QB, Oklahoma State
He threw for 4,091 yards and 28 TDs in 2016, and his receiving corps will be even better this year, thanks to LSU transfer Tyron Johnson and Marcell Ateman, who returns from foot surgery. If the Cowboys can beat Oklahoma and win the Big 12, Rudolph has a shot.