Even though he wasn’t first- or second-team All-Big 12, Pro Football Focus named Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler as its Big 12 Player of the Year.
“Rattler may not have made the first or second All-Big 12 teams, but he was by far the best quarterback and player overall in the conference,” PFF writes.
Big 12 coaches last week named Iowa State junior Brock Purdy as their first-team All-Big 12 quarterback, and awarded Texas senior Sam Ehlinger as second-team.
Rattler was honorable mention.
Per PFF analytics, Rattler’s 92.5 grade ranks fifth-best in the entire FBS. Outside the pocket — “off-platform throws” — Rattler’s passing grade was 93.1, which edges out Baker Mayfield in 2016 for “the best we have recorded in the PFF College era.”
PFF also recorded a nation-leading seven Rattler deep throws that were dropped this season, which would have sent his grade even higher if they had been caught.
Rattler ranked second in the Big 12 in total offense (behind Ehlinger, 310 yards per game to 290) and ranked first in passing yards (ahead of West Virginia’s Jarret Doege, 278-270), first in passer efficiency (ahead of Ehlinger, 170.9-149.9) tied for first in passing touchdowns (with Ehlinger, 25 each) and second in points accounted for (behind Ehlinger, 202-182).
“Sure, there were some issues with his reads in the pocket, and we saw that on game-sealing interceptions against Kansas State and Iowa State,” PFF writes, “but don’t let a couple of throws lead you to believe he isn’t a special passer.”
The Sooners went 8-2 and won their sixth Big 12 Conference championship, as Rattler outperformed Purdy in the title game last week in Arlington, TX. Rattler was named Most Outstanding Player of the game.
Rattler also overcame a significant historical trend by beating Ehlinger head-to-head in Dallas during Oklahoma’s four-overtime victory in October. Since 1990, first-time starting quarterbacks in the Red River Rivalry were 2-14-1 against quarterbacks who had previously started in the game.
To get the latest OU posts as they happen, join the SI Sooners Community by clicking “Follow” at the top right corner of the page (mobile users can click the notifications bell icon), and follow SI Sooners on Twitter @All_Sooners.