This is the first article in my series that will rank the top players at each position going into the 2009 season. Since it's said that winning begins with a great quarterback, that is where my series will start.
2008 saw some great quarterback play all over the country with records just falling by the way side. Hopefully the 2009 aerial attack doesn't disappoint. So with no further ado, here are my top 10 quarter backs for 2009:
1. Tim Tebow - Sr, University of Florida
Tebow finished the 2008 campaign as the fourth-ranked passer in the country with an efficiency rating of 172.4. He also finished the year third in Heisman voting and 2008 national champion.
Everyone knows Tebow has all the intangibles that a quarterback needs. He posesses great character, true leadership skills, and a determination to win.
Everyone also knows that Tim is a terrific runner as a quarterback. People fail to realize his true skills as a passer, however. Tim finished the year completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 2746 yds, 30 touchdowns, and ONLY four INT's. WOW, 30 TD's to four INT's is simply astounding considering the defenses he went up against.
Tebow tops my list, just like I think he should everyone's, and the next stop for Tim Tebow will be the first ever to win back-to-back BCS titles, and his third in four years.
2. Sam Bradford - Jr, University of Oklahoma
Sam finished as the highest rated passer for the second straight year in 2008. He also finished with the Heisman trophy, a Big 12 championship, and a BCS title game appearance.
Sam surprised everyone by returning for his Junior year because he likely would have been one of the first two passers taken in the upcoming draft. Sam will return only one of his top receiving threats in 2009, and only one offensive lineman.
That spells a bit of a down year for Bradford, and a bad decision to stay in school.
Nevertheless, Sam is easily one of the best quarterbacks in America, and his 2008 stats back that up.
In 2008 Sam finished with an efficiency rating of 180.8, and completed 67.91 percent of his passes for 4720 yds, 50 TD's, and eight INT's. Those numbers are astounding, and the main reason he was able to haul in the Heisman over my No. 3 quarter back for 2009.
3. Colt McCoy - Sr, University of Texas
It's no coincidence that these are my top three signal callers. These are also my top three teams for 2009, and in both cases I think that these three quarterbacks, and their teams, are head and shoulders above the rest of the country.
Colt finished the 2008 season as the third highest rated passer with a rating of 173.8. He also finished the season as Heisman runner-up, and Fiesta bowl champion, which gave McCoy a 3-0 record as a starter in bowl games.
McCoy certainly had some impressive stats of his own in 2008. He set an NCAA record for completion percentage at 76.67 percent, and threw for 3859 yds, 34 td's and only 8 int's.
McCoy had a big year breaking all kinds of records both nationally and at UT.
This next quarterback on this list will be a shocker to most everyone, but when he is done with his career, he should be quite the record holder as well.
4. Case Keenum - Jr, University of Houston
Case is probably not known by many around the country, but he did finish his sophomore season as the ninth-best passer in the country with a passer rating of 159.9 (which is the fifth highest among returners for 2009).
Case had a solid season his freshman year for the Cougars as he finished the 2007 as the 16th ranked passer. Just as he improved from freshman to sophomore, I expect a lot of improvement from sophomore to junior for Keenum.
One of the reasons you find Keenum so high on my list is the fact that he is the only returning player to have thrown for over 5000 yards last year (Harrell of Texas Tech was the only other).
To go along with his astounding 5020 yards, Case also threw 44 TD's, and completed 67.4 percent of his passes. His 11 INT's are slightly high, but not overwhelming.
Keep the name Case Keenum in your minds throughout the 2009 season because he may be breaking some records down there in Houston.
5. Zac Robinson - Sr, Oklahoma State University
Zac will definitely benefit from throwing to one of the best receivers in the country in Dez Bryant. To complement those two is one of the best running backs in the country in Kendall Hunter, who should be able to allow Robinson to have a very effective play action to get the ball in the hands of Bryant.
This will undoubtedly be a very potent offense in 2009.
Zac finished 2008 as the fifth rated quarterback, but also as an afterthought thanks to all the other stand out quarterback play in the Big 12.
Still, I feel that Robinson is due for a stellar year with all of the offensive talent surrounding him.
2008 saw Zac throw for 3064 yds while completing 64.97 percent of his passes. He also threw for 25 td's and 10 int's. Zac is also a very effective runner that helps to keep defenses honest.
6. Jevan Snead - Jr, Ole Miss
Jevan finished his 2008 season as the 21st ranked passer, but what was impressive was the way he finished off his season against his final four opponents, including his bowl performance against Texas Tech.
Snead's numbers weren't great, but success followed with him and that isn't always something you can measure with statistics.
Snead threw for 2762 yds, and completed only 56.27 percent of his passes in 2008. He garnered 26 touchdown passes, but threw 13 int's, tied for the most on my list.
Despite his relatively low numbers you really can't ignore the wins, and the way he finished the year. Snead and the Rebels seem poised to make a run at the SEC west in 2009.
7. Kellen Moore - So, Boise State University
Kellen had a breakout year for the Broncos leading them to an undefeated regular season as a freshman. He finished his freshman campaign as the 12th rated passer in the nation with a 157.1 passer rating.
Moore is losing the services of Ian Johnson at running back, but every year that he can gain experience, I believe Moore will improve greatly.
In his first year as a starter Moore tallied up 3486 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and was second in the nation with a completion percentage of 69.38.
It will be hard for Moore to duplicate, let alone improve upon his freshman performance, but I believe with the great coaching and his moxie he'll be able to pull it off.
8. Todd Reesing - Sr, Kansas
Todd will take over as the top gun slinger in the Big 12 north for 2009. Along with being the best quarterback in the north division, Kansas should also be the best team. Reesing definitely has an advantage of throwing to Dezmon Briscoe who is probably the most underrated receiver in the nation.
Reesing suffered a bit in 2008 because of the lack of a running game to keep defenses honest. That really shouldn't improve much this year as well.
I say he suffered, but Reesing still put up some very gaudy numbers. He was able to throw for 3888 yards while completing 66.46 percent of his passes. He also posted 32 touchdown passes on the year, but he threw 13 int's tying him with Snead for most on this list.
Still Reesing finished '08 with a rating of 148.5 which was good enough for 17th in the country.
9. Robert Griffin - So, Baylor
Griffin at first glance may have people scratching their heads, but he is a phenomenal talent at quarterback. Griffin has the ability to run (846 yds, and 13 td's), but he is a rather polished quarter back for someone so young.
Robert threw a minuscule THREE INT's in his FRESHMAN year. He was able to throw for 15 TD's, which is a five-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio. Add in his rushing TD's and he accounted for 28 touchdowns for the Baylor Bears.
That's right, he did that for one of the most historically incompetent teams ever. He was able to finally get the Bears out of the Big 12 south cellar, and has Bear fans hoping for a bowl game in 2009.
That is some talent to inspire hope within Baylor football fans.
10. Ryan Mallet - So, University of Arkansas
This may be another shocker to many, but I feel that Mallet is as talented as anyone else in the country.
Ryan possess what it takes to get to the next level, and Razorback fans are hoping he can take Arkansas to the next level as well.
Mallet has a big arm that will suit him well in Petrino's pass happy system that could have the Razorbacks putting up big numbers and competing for the SEC west crown in 2009.
Mallet may be a stretch to put at No. 10, but I like him, and I think he has a huge upside.
So there is my list, now let the debate begin.