The Better Big Three: Oklahoma or Baylor


The term “Big Three” seems to be overused a lot nowadays. If there are three great players on a team, then without a question, they should be dubbed that team’s “Big Three.” However, in 2008 and 2011, Oklahoma and Baylor had a different type of “Big Three.” They had three student-athletes, all on different teams within the program, but dominated in their sport.

In 2008, the Sooners had the Big Three of Sam Bradford, Blake Griffin, and Courtney Paris. In 2011, the Bears trio consisted of Robert Griffin III, Perry Jones III, and Brittney Griner


. All six of these athletes helped contribute to some of the best athletic years for their schools, and it’s uncanny how similar these trios are. You’ve got two quarterbacks that lit up scoreboards on a weekly basis. You have two forwards who were dominant forces in the paint. And you have two women that made great impacts on women’s basketball. Sure Oklahoma is a traditional powerhouse and has more resources, but Baylor is an athletic department on the uprise. Looking back at OU’s trio in 2008, and Baylor’s Big Three last season, which set had a better year?

Sam Bradford vs. Robert Griffin III

Sam BradfordInfoRobert Griffin III
224 lbWeight223 lb
First overall to St. Louis RamsDraftedSecond overall to Washington Redskins
2008 Heisman Trophy winner
2008 AP Player of the Year Award
2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year
2008 Consensus All-America
2008 Davey O’Brien Award
2008 Sammy Baugh Trophy
Achievements2011 Heisman Trophy winner
2011 AP Player of the Year Award
2011 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year
2011 Consensus All-America
2011 Davey O’Brien Award
2011 Manning Award

Bradford and Griffin are two different breeds of quarterbacks, so maybe this one is unfair. Bradford is one of the best pocket-passers in college football history, and led an offense about as potent as it gets. He had plenty of targets in his receiving core and a huge offensive line. However, RGIII and the Bears were a team no one ever saw as a threat in the conference. They built up the program from mediocrity, and with Griffin’s will to win, and ability to throw and run the ball, he made for one of the most electrifying quarterbacks the sport has ever seen. Maybe Bradford gets a slight edge, because he got his team to the National Championship game that season, however, a 10-win season for the Baylor Bears? They deserve some kind of medal for that performance. This is a tough call, but I think most people would agree Griffin is the better athlete, but Bradford the better football player.

Statistical Comparison

Sam BradfordStatRobert Griffin III
12-2Team Record10-3
50Pass Touchdowns37
4,720Pass Yards4,293
328/483Completions / Attempts291/402
67.9%Completion Percentage72.4%
42Rush Attempts179
47Rush Yards699
5Rush Touchdowns10

Blake Griffin vs. Perry Jones III

Blake GriffinInfoPerry Jones III
251 lbWeight235 lb
First overall to Los Angeles ClippersDrafted28th overall to Oklahoma City Thunder
2009 AP Player of the Year
2009 Consensus All-America
2009 NABC Player of the Year
2009 Naismith Award
2009 Rupp Trophy
2009 Sporting News Player of the Year
2009 USBWA Player of the Year
2009 Wooden Award
Achievements2012 AP All-American, Honorable Mention
USBWA All-District VII
NABC All-District 8, Second Team
Big 12 All-Tournament Team
All-Big 12, Second Team (AP, ESPN.COM, KANSAS CITY STAR)
All-Big 12, Third Team (COACHES)

Maybe Perry Jones was thrown in to make this a Big Three battle, but if could have produced like he did his freshman season, maybe this is more of a contest. Blake Griffin simply was about as dominant as you can get. He took the Big 12 by storm, and no one really would have blamed him for leaving after one season. Though, he came back, and made this comparison possible. Jones missed out on five games due to a suspension, so maybe his stats would have been a bit better, but Griffin still was imposing on the court, and led an Oklahoma team that isn’t a perennial power in college basketball. Without a doubt, Oklahoma gets the edge here.

Statistical Comparison

Blake GriffinStatPerry Jones III
30-6 (played in 35)Team Record30-8 (played in 33)
Elite EightTourney FinishElite Eight
22.7Points Per Game13.5
65.4%Field Goal Pct50.0%
504 (14.4)Rebounds (Per Game)252 (7.6)

Courtney Paris vs. Brittney Griner

Courtney ParisInfoBrittney Griner
250 lbWeight208 lb
Seventh overall to Sacramento MonarchsDraftedTBA
Four-time AP All-American
Four-time USBWA All-American
First college basketball player (male or female) to reach 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds
Achievements2012 AP Player of the Year
2012 USBWA Player of the Year
2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
2012 AP All-American-1st Team
2012 Big 12 Player of the Year

Women’s basketball is the butt of many jokes, but I don’t think any OU fan had a problem bragging about Courtney Paris. The same with Sic ‘Em Nation with Brittney Griner. The two girls, like Bradford and RGIII, are different types of players. Both were centers, but Paris used her size to power by defenders and dominate on the boards. However, Griner is just flat out tall. 6-8, and she can dunk better than most guys can. She is long, and is the ultimate game-changer in basketball. Baylor, obviously, wins this one. A national championship on top of a perfect season, and possibly the best women to every play the game? No question it’s the Bears.

Statistical Comparison

Courtney ParisStatBrittney Griner
32-5 (played in 37)Team Record40-0 (played in 40)
Final FourTourney FinishChampions
15.9Points Per Game23.2
56.5&Field Goal Pct60.9%
13.6Rebounds Per Game9.5


because I’m biased

, Oklahoma wins 2-1. Despite the fact that Griner led the Lady Bears to an undefeated season, Blake Griffin’s edge over Perry Jones outweighs it by way too much. Bradford barely beats Griffin, but overall, Oklahoma has the better trio. However, if any Baylor fans would like to argue, I’d lover to hear what you have to think.