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Power Ranking the Top 50 College Football Quarterbacks for 2012

Alex CallosCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2017

Power Ranking the Top 50 College Football Quarterbacks for 2012

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    Quarterback may be the most important position in all of sports, and this is especially true in college football.

    The 2012 season will boast some of the most talented quarterbacks we have seen in quite some time. There are multiple Heisman contenders at quarterback and some of the best players in the country.

    Here are the best 50 heading into the 2012 season.

50. Jordan Rodgers-Vanderbilt

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    Jordan Rodgers is the first name on the list, but there are a lot of quarterbacks surrounding the Vanderbilt quarterback. 

    Last season he stepped into the starting role midway through the season. He had his fair share of ups and downs.

    Rodgers threw for over 1,500 yards with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He did help lead Vanderbilt to a bowl game and should be better in 2012.

49. Colby Cameron-Louisiana Tech

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    Colby Cameron did not play at all in the first six games of the regular season and the Bulldogs went 2-4 over that span.

    He stepped into the starting role in week eight and Louisiana Tech did not lose a game the rest of the way, finishing 8-4 before eventually losing in its bowl game.

    Cameron finished the year with nearly 1,700 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

48. Sean Mannion-Oregon State

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    Not many freshmen get the opportunity to start at a big-time program. For Oregon State, quarterback Sean Mannion was able to do that last season.

    The freshman finished the year with 3,328 yards, 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

    The Beavers were bad last season, and a little talent around him would certainly help. But, those stats as a freshman are definitely a good sign of things to come.

47. Corey Robinson-Troy

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    Corey Robinson put up some decent numbers last season, despite the fact that Troy only won three games.

    He finished the year with 3,411 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

    If the Trojans can put a little more talent around him, he has a chance to throw for 30 touchdowns and close to 4,000 yards. He is that talented.

46. Kain Colter-Northwestern

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    Losing Dan Persa might seem like a big deal, but with a guy like Kain Colter stepping in, the Wildcats might just be okay.

    Colter was a receiver for part of last season and as a quarterback he threw for six touchdowns and one interception.

    He can beat opponents with his legs and his arm. The Wildcats should be fine the next few years with Colter running the show.

45. Chuckie Keeton-Utah State

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    Chuckie Keeton missed nearly half of last season, but when he was in there, he put up some pretty solid numbers during his freshman campaign. 

    Keeton threw for 1,200 yards with 11 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

    He had a five-touchdown game in a win over Wyoming and should be much improved in 2012.

44. Riley Nelson-BYU

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    Riley Nelson is another quarterback on this list who did not see much playing time at the start of last season, but when he was on the field, he did an excellent job.

    He has a chance to be one of the most improved quarterbacks in the country after throwing for 19 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.

    While he only passed for 1,717 yards, he's likely to obliterate that number in his senior season assuming he stays healthy.

43. MarQueis Gray-Minnesota

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    Not many people have less talent around them than MarQueis Gray at Minnesota. He could use a little help. He, however, does have as much athletic talent as almost any quarterback in the country.

    Last year he only threw for 1,495 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Where he is a bigger threat is with his feet. He rushed for 966 yards and six touchdowns a year ago.

42. Matt Schilz-Bowling Green

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    There are a few MAC quarterbacks on the list and among the non-BCS conferences, this league clearly has the best quarterbacks.

    Schilz threw for over 3,000 yards last season with 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

    He had a few huge games and even though the Falcons did not have a winning season, he still put up solid stats.

41. Brett Smith-Wyoming

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    As a freshman, Brett Smith established himself as the leader of Cowboys.

    He passed for 2,622 yards with 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    Look for Wyoming to be competitive with Smith running the show over the next few years.

40. Nathan Scheelhaase-Illinois

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    Even though he is no Juice Williams, Nathan Scheelhaase has a lot of potential at the quarterback position.

    Last year, as a sophomore, he passed for 2,110 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Like most other B1G quarterbacks, he also has the ability to beat teams with his feet. Last year he rushed for 624 yards and six touchdowns.

39. Munchie Legaux-Cincinnati

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    Munchie Legaux filled in admirably last season in the absence of Zach Collaros, but there are still some things he needs to work on.

    What sets him apart is his ability to buy time with his feet. In limited action last season he threw for 749 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions.

    He also rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns in only six games.

38. Dayne Crist-Kansas

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    During his three seasons at Notre Dame, Dayne Crist had one solid year in 2010, which puts him in the top 40 on this list.

    He passed for just over 2,000 yards during that year and threw for 15 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.

    Crist will have every opportunity to lead the Jayhawks out of the cellar of the Big 12. 

37. James Vandenberg-Iowa

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    Not many quarterbacks threw for more than 3,000 yards last season with less than eight interceptions, and Vandenberg was one of them, finishing the year with 3,022 yards, 25 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.

    He helped lead Iowa to a successful season and an Insight Bowl appearance.

    In 2012 he will be a senior and one of the top quarterbacks in the B1G.

36. Ryan Nassib-Syracuse

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    If Syracuse could get a little more talent around him, then Ryan Nassib may be even higher on this list.

    The senior passed for 2,685 yards last year with 22 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

    The Orange, however, lost their final five games of the season. One thing is certain, he was a model of consistency all year.

35. Tyler Tettleton-Ohio

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    Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton is another of the talented MAC quarterbacks.

    Last year he passed for 3,306 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He threw for over 150 yards in every game and had over 200 yards in 11 of Ohio's final 12 games.

    With another offseason under his belt, the junior will be even better in 2012 for the Bobcats.

34. Kiehl Frazier-Auburn

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    Kiehl Frazier is in a battle with Clint Moseley for the starting quarterback role at Auburn, and early reports indicate that he is very talented.

    He saw limited action last season as a freshman, with nothing of note coming from it.

    He has one of the best arms around, and he was a top recruit just two years ago.

33. Blaine Gautier-Louisiana Lafayette

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    Blaine Gautier came on very strong at the end of the year for the Ragin Cajuns. If he can carry that over into this season, he may be a top-25 quarterback in 2012.

    He passed for 2,958 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions, doing most of his damage at the end of the year.

    In the New Orleans Bowl, he had his best game of the year, passing for 470 yards and three touchdowns in a dramatic win over San Diego State.

32. Alex Carder-Western Michigan

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    Not many quarterbacks threw for more yards last season than Alex Carder out of Western Michigan.

    As a junior in 2011, he passed for 3,873 yards with 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has passed for over 3,300 yards in each of the past two seasons.

    Look for some more big numbers from this guy, even though his top target Jordan White is gone.

31. Tanner Price-Wake Forest

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    Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price threw for over 3,000 yards last season with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions.

    He was consistent all year long and helped lead the Demon Deacons to an appearance in the Music City Bowl.

    Price will be even better in 2012 as might the Demon Deacons.

30. Blake Bell-Oklahoma

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    Blake Bell was inserted into a limited role midway though last season in goal-line situations and became the toughest player to bring down in the entire country.

    Last year he only passed for eight yards with no touchdowns and an interception, but in the Wildcat formation he rushed for 13 touchdowns on 44 carries.

    When he comes in, teams know what is coming, and they still have trouble stopping it.

29. Terrance Owens-Toledo

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    Terrance Owens is another of the talented MAC quarterbacks. He is a little different from the others because of his ability to beat teams with his feet.

    Last year, Owens passed for 2,022 yards with 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

    With more snaps set to come his way, he could have a huge junior season in 2012.

28. Jordan Wynn-Utah

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    The talent of Jordan Wynn was on full display early last season, but an injury took away the rest of his 2011 season.

    In 2012 he will be back for his senior year and could lead the Utes to a finish in the upper echelon of the Pac-12.

    There are not many quarterbacks in the country with more raw ability than Wynn.

27. B.J. Daniels-South Florida

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    Senior B.J. Daniels will be entering his fourth season as the starter for the Bulls. He has had his fair share of ups and downs during that time.

    Last year was his best with 2,604 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

    He also rushed for 601 yards and six touchdowns last season. A good year by Daniels could have South Florida near the top of the Big East in 2012.

26. Tevin Washington-Georgia Tech

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    While the passing stats of Tevin Washington may not be eye-popping, his overall numbers are some of the best.

    Last year he passed for 1,652 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Where he dominates is on the ground.

    In 2011, he rushed for 987 yards with 14 touchdowns. Expect similar numbers in 2012 from Washington.

25. Ryan Aplin-Arkansas State

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    Many people may not know too much about Ryan Aplin, but this young man has quite an arm. If he can cut down a little bit on his interceptions he could be a top-15 quarterback in 2012. 

    Last year he passed for 3,588 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

    This will be his third year as the starter and he will be even better during his senior campaign.

24. Connor Shaw-South Carolina

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    Connor Shaw has a chance to improve dramatically next season. He was in and out of the starting role last year and was solid when on the field.

    In 2011, he passed for 1,448 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions.

    If he can have a big year, the SEC East could be South Carolina's for the taking.

23. Derek Carr-Fresno State

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    Derek Carr put up excellent numbers last season even though Fresno State did not have a good year.

    He passed for 3,544 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    Carr has a chance to pass for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2012. There are not many non-BCS quarterbacks with more talent than Carr.

22. Zac Dysert-Miami (OH)

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    Zac Dysert has been extremely consistent during his first three seasons in Oxford. He has thrown for nearly 9,000 yards already and 4,000 yards is not out of the question in 2012.

    In 2011, Dysert passed for 3,513 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    He was one of the best quarterbacks in the MAC last year.

21. Bryn Renner-North Carolina

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    North Carolina is not normally known for producing top-notch quarterbacks, but Bryn Renner could be one of them.

    Last year in his first as a starter, he passed for over 3,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

    In 2012, he will be ready to lead a North Carolina program that has been under a lot of scrutiny recently.

20. Taylor Martinez-Nebraska

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    Taylor Martinez should continue to improve his passing numbers the next two years, but when it comes to running the football, he may be the most explosive quarterback in the country.

    Last year he passed for 2,089 yards and 13 touchdowns with only eight interceptions.

    Where he makes an impact is on the ground. In 2011 he rushed for 874 yards and nine touchdowns.

19. AJ McCarron-Alabama

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    AJ McCarron was the perfect quarterback last year for the Alabama offense and should be just as good this year.

    He passed for 2,634 yards with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions a year ago.

    Expect bigger numbers this year if running back Eddie Lacy can give him support.

18. Teddy Bridgewater-Louisville

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    Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater burst onto the scene last year and showed some unique abilities.

    He passed for 2,129 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as a true freshman, but will improve dramatically next season in his sophomore campaign.

    Expect big things from Bridgewater and the Cardinals in 2012.

17. EJ Manuel-Florida State

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    EJ Manuel has a world of potential and at times lives up to it.

    Last year he threw for 2,666 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In 2012 he will be entering his senior season.

    Big things are expected out of Manuel and the Seminoles next year.

16. Seth Doege-Texas Tech

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    Even though Texas Tech struggled at the end of last season, don't tell that to quarterback Seth Doege.

    He passed for over 4,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions.

    In 2012, if the Red Raiders can stay healthy, he may even put up more touchdowns.

15. Braxton Miller-Ohio State

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    Braxton Miller will certainly improve in the Urban Meyer offense and with how much potential he has, he could be a Heisman contender as early as next season.

    Last year he only passed for 1,159 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions, but he was also productive with his feet, rushing for 715 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Playing in the B1G as a true freshman is not easy, but Miller showed enormous potential in 2011.

14. Logan Thomas-Virginia Tech

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    Stepping in for the graduated Tyrod Taylor last season, Logan Thomas had a huge year in helping to lead the Hokies to a BCS bowl game.

    He passed for over 3,000 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 picks.

    Look for even bigger things from Thomas in 2012.

13. Tyler Bray-Tennessee

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    If Tyler Bray and the rest of the Tennessee offense can stay healthy, he will be even higher on this list.

    Last year, despite missing five games, he still passed for 17 touchdowns with only six interceptions, while throwing for 1,983 yards.

    Not many quarterbacks in the country have more potential than Bray.

12. Casey Pachall-TCU

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    TCU quarterback Casey Pachall passed for 2,921 yards with 25 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2011.

    Entering the Big 12, the competition is going to be a little more difficult for Pachall and the Horned Frogs.

    Still, he will put up large numbers next season and TCU might contend for a conference title.

11. Mike Glennon-North Carolina State

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    Not much was expected out of Mike Glennon last season as he was replacing Russel Wilson.

    He turned a lot of heads, particularly toward the end of the year. Glennon threw for 3,054 yards with 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    The Wolfpack could be a sleeper in 2012, and Glennon's performance will be the key.

10. James Franklin-Missouri

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    Missouri and quarterback James Franklin will be welcomed to the SEC in 2012 and they may just be ready for it.

    Franklin passed for 2,865 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. He also has the ability to hurt teams with his feet. He rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns last year.

    He should allow Missouri to compete with nearly anybody in the SEC.

9. Denard Robinson-Michigan

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    There are not many players in the country as dynamic and explosive as Denard Robinson. If he could cut down on his turnovers he could be a top-five quarterback in 2012. 

    Last year he passed for 2,173 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

    Still, what he does best is run in space. In 2011, he rushed for 1,176 yards and 16 touchdowns.

8. Keith Price-Washington

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    If it wasn't for Matt Barkley, Washington quarterback Keith Price would be the best in the Pac-12.

    Last season he passed for 3,063 yards with 33 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. 

    Entering his junior season, expect huge things from this guy.

7. Collin Klein-Kansas State

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    Collin Klein may just be the best running quarterback in the country.

    Last year he passed for 1,918 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for 1,141 yards and 27 touchdowns.

    When the Wildcats are near the goal line, this guy will more than likely be running it in.

6. Tajh Boyd-Clemson

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    The ACC is filled with talented quarterbacks and Clemson's Tajh Boyd is the best of them all.

    Last year he threw for 3,828 yards with 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    The will have a chance to improve on those numbers with Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins once again in the fold. 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns is a strong possibility for Boyd.

5. Aaron Murray-Georgia

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    Aaron Murray seems like he has been at Georgia for a long time now, but he is only a junior and has a chance to be one of the greats if he plays four years.

    Last year he passed for 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns with 14 interceptions.

    If he can play better in the big games, he will be a Heisman contender in 2012.

4. Landry Jones-Oklahoma

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    Landry Jones could be as high as No. 2 on this list if his receivers were not all in trouble.

    He will likely lead the nation in passing yards, as he threw for 4,463 yards last year. He also passed for 29 touchdowns with 15 interceptions despite injuries all around on offense.

    Not many quarterbacks have more talent, and if not for Blake Bell, his touchdown total would be much higher.

3. Tyler Wilson-Arkansas

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    Tyler Wilson is the best quarterback in a very talented SEC and has the potential to lead the Razorbacks all the way to a national championship.

    In 2012, he passed for 3,638 yards with 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

    With Knile Davis set to come back, Wilson will have one more weapon to work with.

2. Geno Smith-West Virginia

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    Geno Smith was spectacular in all facets of the game in 2011.

    He had 4,385 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He might have more weapons on offense than anybody in the country, which aids his ranking on this list.

    While some may not think so, he is a legitimate Heisman contender, especially if West Virginia can win 10 or 11 games.

1. Matt Barkley-USC

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    Is there really any question on this one? Barkley is the front-runner for the Heisman trophy and USC is the most talented team in the country.

    Last year he threw for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and only seven picks.

    For Barkley in 2012, 4,000 yards and 45 touchdowns seems likely. If he does that and the Trojans win the Pac-12, he will be a runaway for the Heisman.

     

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