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August 18, 2008

Robinson overlooked by pundits

Let's just be blunt here: If Zac Robinson is the seventh-best quarterback in the Big 12, then six other teams in the conference have some amazing talent on their hands.

According to two different media outlets I've seen lately, that seems to be the message. Robinson is apparently only the seventh-best QB in the Big 12.

Interesting.

Now, my job at OStateIllustrated isn't to pump up everything and everyone in orange. In fact, I've been criticized in the past for sounding too negative in matters regarding Oklahoma State.

But this time? Paint the column orange.

Before I get too far into things, let's look at the two outlets I mentioned previously.

The Austin American-Stateman's Kirk Bohls ranked the Big 12 signal-callers a few weeks ago. He had Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Colt McCoy, Todd Reesing and Josh Freeman ahead of Z-Rob.

In the Athlon Sports 2008 Big 12 Preview magazine, the QB position at OSU was rated seventh, with Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas and Texas A&M ahead of the Cowboys (in that order).

I realize and understand why Robinson isn't placed any higher than he is. He's not seen as a textbook quarterback because of his style. But with the advent of speedier defenses and cutting-edge offensive schemes, the need to just go after a pure drop-back passer isn't as important as it once was.

OSU found that out first hand last season.

Coming into 2007 as a backup quarterback, Robinson wound up starting early in the season and never looked back. At the time, the move was questioned. Looking back, most of us probably ask why it didn't happen earlier. Records set all over the place and a new leader for OSU football for the next few years.

But is he really only the seventh-best QB in the league? When you look around, there are plenty of really good to great quarterbacks in the Big 12. In my opinion, the best at this moment is Daniel. What he's done at Missouri has been pretty impressive. But after that, I think there's a huge scrum for the other spots. Harrell is amazing at what he does, but is he any different than QBs of Tech past? Reesing had KU flying higher than ever before in 2007, but can he do it again? Can Bradford keep his roll going in Norman? Will McCoy bounce back from the injury bug? As for Freeman… well, Kansas State might be in for a long season.

To argue the other side, there are some questions in connection to Robinson. Will he be as effective now that he's the clear-cut starter? Can his arm strength improve? Will a QB running as much as he does last a whole season without getting banged up? Those are just a few.

Even so, Robinson seems to have "it." To quote Mary, there's something about him. This league is definitely blessed with many very good quarterbacks, but I doubt that anyone in Orange Country wants to trade Robinson for someone else. But what about those media types and preview mags that aren't rating him higher than the bottom half of the conference? Chalk that up to no taking notice of him last year and because of what team he plays for. Playing for OSU can lead to one being overlooked in favor of someone at a glamour school. That's just how it is in the world of college football, where everything is voted on, even the champion.

That probably suits him just fine. After all, he's used to having to prove himself. He did it last year to the OSU faithful and perhaps this season he will prove it to the rest of the nation.

Justin Wilmeth is the editor of OStateIllustrated.com. He can be reached by e-mail at justin@ostate.com.


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