Welcome to the 2024 Big Ten season, where new faces abound for the conference and many of the programs already entrenched in the league.

When it comes to this fall, the B1G will experience the perfect convergence of the transfer portal and conference realignment. Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington arrive from the Pac-12, all while rosters across the country continue to be remade with new faces through the portal.

The quarterback position bears particular attention as always. Regardless of which team you root for, the QBs are destined to play a big role in how the conference shapes up, and that goes for B1G veterans and conference newcomers alike.

So, with summer break in full swing, now is a great time to take a stab at projecting which players will be involved in the Griese-Brees QB of the Year race. Michigan’s JJ McCarthy took the honor last season, but the award was dominated by Ohio State with the Buckeyes winning 7 straight from 2016-22.

Will Ohio State reclaim that honor with a new starter this fall? Or will one of the conference newcomers produce a passer worthy of consideration? Let’s dive in.

Editor’s note: While preseason rankings impact these projections, this piece will not be a simple ranking of the QBs in the B1G. For that distinction, check out the post-spring Big Ten QB rankings compiled by my colleague Derek Peterson. Also, be sure to check out my 4 B1G QB questions that will loom large entering fall camp.

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Here are the players I am closely watching in the QB of the Year race, presented in no particular order:

Miller Moss, USC

2023 numbers (5 games): 46-for-65 passing (70.8%), 681 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 1 INT, 2 rushing TDs

Miller Moss joined USC as a top-100 prospect and 4-star QB in the 2021 recruiting class. He then watched Lincoln Riley and superstar QB Caleb Williams as they arrived at USC. Some players may have hit the road in that scenario, but Moss remained with the Trojans, and he could be lined up for a breakout season as a result. Sitting behind Williams is not a black eye on Moss’s potential, and he’ll get plenty of chances in Riley’s offense.

Status: Keep an eye on

Drew Allar, Penn State

2023 numbers (13 games): 233-for-389 (59.9%), 2,631 yards, 25 TDs, 2 INTs, 4 rushing TDs

Drew Allar had an up-and-down performance in his first season as a starter, but the former 5-star prospect did produce an elite TD-to-INT ratio. While that’s a major success, his overall efficiency left something to be desired, and Penn State’s explosive play production suffered as a result. New OC Andy Kotelnicki will try to unlock Allar’s potential, but the Nittany Lions also lost 3 of their top 6 receiving options from a year ago.

Status: In the mix but needs some help

Dillon Gabriel, Oregon

2023 numbers (12 games w/Oklahoma): 266-for-384 (69.3%), 3,660 yards, 30 TDs, 6 INTs, 12 rushing TDs

Dan Lanning needed a player to replace Bo Nix, a 1st-round draft pick and an efficient producer during his run at Oregon. The head coach found his guy with one of the best veterans available in the portal, and Lanning even found insurance with young, former 5-star recruit Dante Moore as insurance. However, the focus for 2024 is on Gabriel, and rightly so. It’s hard to find a better fit on paper than Gabriel’s skill set paired in Oregon’s offense, and his veteran knowledge takes the Ducks into the realm of true title contender.

Status: Likely frontrunner

Will Howard, Ohio State

2023 numbers (12 games w/Kansas State): 219-for-357 (61.3%), 2,643 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs, 9 rushing TDs

Ryan Day would not confirm Will Howard as the true starter coming out of the spring, likely invoking a bit of trauma for fans after last season’s QB battle and the overall performance of Kyle McCord. However, I think this year is more of a true smoke screen from Day with Howard lined up to be the guy under center. There will be more accurate passers in the B1G, and there will be more electric runners at the position. However, Day targeted Howard for a reason, and his skill set lines up with what the Buckeyes want at the position.

Status: A worthy candidate to win the award

RELATED: Will Howard’s performance will play a key role in whether Ohio State can reach its ceiling this fall. Fans can track the latest odds for the Buckeyes with Tradition’s FanDuel Ohio promo code.

Will Rogers, Washington

2023 numbers (8 games w/Mississippi State): 142-for-237 (59.9%), 1,626 yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs, 1 rushing TD

Will Rogers’ 2023 numbers do not tell the full story of his abilities after playing one season following the tragic passing of head coach Mike Leach. He threw for 71 touchdowns and over 8,700 yards across the 2021-22 seasons, and he will likely get a chance to play to his strengths with the Huskies this fall. If that happens, Rogers has a chance to make his B1G entrance with a bang, even as Washington tries to reload from a wave of NFL departures.

Status: A dark horse lurking behind the favorites

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