BCS Championship-Winning QBs Since 2000: Few Have Had NFL Success

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIAugust 16, 2012

BCS Championship-Winning QBs Since 2000: Few Have Had NFL Success

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    Winning a BCS National Championship in college is a big deal. It doesn't, however, always guarantee success in the National Football League, especially if you are a quarterback.

    Since 2000, there have been 12 different championship-winning quarterbacks. Only a handful of those 12 have had significant playing time in the NFL. Fewer still are currently on an NFL roster.

    This list looks at each winning quarterback from each championship game from the year 2000 on.

    Some of the players on this list started for a number of games at the next level. Some have had long careers, and some have had very short careers. A few of the players never had any type of an NFL career. A small number of players on the list are currently listed as starters for their teams.

    A few of the names may surprise you, as they have not been heard from for years. Some of these quarterbacks were only a product of the system they were playing in, and that's why they had success at the collegiate level.

    A common theme throughout the list is that most of these quarterbacks were drafted in the last few rounds of the draft. Typically, quarterbacks who are taken late are destined to become career backups in the NFL.

    As you will see, the link between collegiate championships and NFL success is pretty much non-existent.

2000: Josh Heupel (Oklahoma)

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    Josh Heupel led the Oklahoma Sooners to the 2000 national championship. He finished second in the Heisman voting that year and was voted AP Player of the Year. Heupel was also an All-American that season.

    Unfortunately for Heupel, all of that collegiate success did not lead to NFL glory. Heupel went undrafted and took his talents to the coaching ranks. He is currently the co-offensive coordinator for the Sooners.

    Heupel proves that accolades and championships at the collegiate level mean nothing when trying to start a career in the National Football League.  

2001: Ken Dorsey (Miami)

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    Ken Dorsey had a successful collegiate career at the University of Miami. He finished 38-2 as a starter for the Hurricanes. Dorsey led the 'Canes to the 2001 national championship against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Rose Bowl where he was named co-MVP.

    Dorsey was selected in the seventh round of the 2003 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He started 10 games for the 49ers from 2003-2006 before being relegated to third string.

    He was traded in 2006 to the Cleveland Browns where he was never able to become a starter again.

    Dorsey is currently a scout for the Carolina Panthers.  

2002: Craig Krenzel (Ohio State)

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    When the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes won the BCS National Championship, Craig Krenzel was their starting quarterback. Krenzel was 24-3 as a starter at Ohio State.

    His success in college did not transfer to the National Football League.

    Krenzel was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2004. He started five games that season for the Bears. He tossed three TDs, six interceptions and a amassed a measly 718 yards.

    Krenzel joined the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005 and was later released in 2006.

    Ohio State fans can now hear Krenzel's voice on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus where he calls OSU football games.

2003: Matt Mauck (LSU)

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    Matt Mauck is another example of a championship-winning quarterback who never found his game in the NFL.

    Mauck led the LSU Tigers to the 2004 title with a 21-14 Sugar Bowl victory over Oklahoma. Mauck came to LSU to play for coach Nick Saban in 2000 after spending a few years as a baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization.

    The Denver Broncos selected Mauck in the seventh round of the 2004 draft. He never saw the field in Denver and was signed by the Tennessee Titans in 2005. Mauck again saw limited action, only ever appearing in two games for the Titans.

    The championship at LSU was nice, but Mauck may wish that he had stuck with baseball.

2004: Matt Leinart (USC)

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    Matt Leinart is one of the biggest busts of all the quarterbacks on this list. His ability to win and put up huge numbers in college has never transferred to the NFL.

    Leinart had an amazing career as the leader of the USC Trojans. He left USC with 807 career completions, 10,693 yards and 99 touchdowns. Leinart was the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner and led the Trojans to the 2004 BCS National Championship.

    The Arizona Cardinals took him 10th overall in the 2006 draft.

    Leinart played a backup role for a large part of his Cardinals career. He was released in 2010 and signed with the Houston Texans. After another season as a backup, Leinart is now a member of the Oakland Raiders, where he once again will find a familiar spot on the bench.

    While Leinart is lucky enough to still be on an NFL roster, it's safe to say that he has never lived up to the hype.

2005: Vince Young (Texas)

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    Vince Young is arguably the biggest bust among all of the recent national championship-winning quarterbacks.

    Young was a great quarterback at Texas who showed amazing athletic ability. He led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship behind a phenomenal Rose Bowl game. Young totaled 467 yards and three rushing TDs in the victory over Matt Leinart and USC.

    Young still holds the University of Texas quarterback record with 3,127 rushing yards.

    Vince Young was taken third overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans.

    Young showed flashes of his greatness with the Titans, but his career can be classified as nothing except disappointing. He was relegated to a backup role at the end of his time with the Titans.

    The Philadelphia Eagles picked up Young in 2011 as an insurance policy for Michael Vick. He appeared in six games, throwing four TDs and nine interceptions.

    Young is now serving as a backup for the Buffalo Bills.

    The argument can be made that Vince Young has been one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory.

2006: Chris Leak (Florida)

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    Chris Leak was an athletic quarterback who led the Florida Gators to a championship in 2006, as they defeated Ohio State in the title game. Leak was the starting quarterback for the Gators and was named MVP of the championship game.

    Leak was signed by the Chicago Bears after the 2007 draft but never played in any regular-season NFL games.

    After an unsuccessful NFL career, he spent time in the All American Football League and the Canadian Football League.

    He is currently the quarterback for the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.

2007: Matt Flynn (LSU)

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    Matt Flynn was one of the hottest names in the NFL free-agent market this past offseason.

    Before his NFL career, he was the starting quarterback for the LSU Tigers. Flynn led the Tigers to a title in 2007 by defeating Ohio State 38-24 in the BCS National Championship game. Flynn was named the offensive MVP of the game.

    The Green Bay Packers drafted Flynn in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. He was quickly placed in the backup quarterback role behind Aaron Rodgers. Because of Rodgers' success, Flynn saw little playing time in Green Bay.

    On Jan. 1, 2012, the Packers already had their playoff spot locked up, so they chose to rest Rodgers. Flynn was given the start and took full advantage. He torched the Detroit Lions for 480 passing yards and six touchdowns.

    That performance put Flynn in line for a big payday in the offseason.

    Flynn goes into the 2012-2013 season as the starting quarterback in Seattle. Time will tell how his NFL career pans out.

    Based on the company he shares on this list, his chances seem slim.  

2008: Tim Tebow (Florida)

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    Tim Tebow became a household name during his tenure at the University of Florida. As a freshman in 2006, he scored two touchdowns during the Gators' 41-14 victory over Ohio State in the BCS National Championship.

    Tebow was a superstar at Florida and put up unreal numbers both with his legs and arm. Tebow led the Gators to a national title during the 2008-2009 season. The Gators defeated Oklahoma 24-14 in the title game. Tebow threw two touchdown passes and was named MVP of the game.

    In a questionable move, the Denver Broncos selected Tebow with the 25th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Tebow led the Broncos to an improbable playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2012 NFL playoffs.

    There is no question that Tebow is a winner. However, some argue his stats are not up to par with other starting quarterbacks in the NFL. The argument is that he would be better as a short-yardage back. At any rate, Tebow was signed in 2012 by the N.Y. Jets to be backup to Mark Sanchez.

    Love Tim Tebow or hate him, one thing's for sure: He has had more NFL success than most of the other names on this list.

2009: Greg McElroy (Alabama)

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    Greg McElroy was the starting quarterback for Alabama when the Tide defeated Texas to win the 2009 BCS National Championship. McElroy threw for on 58 yards in the game, but it was enough for his team to win.

    Like many of his counterparts on the list, he was selected in the seventh round of the NFL draft. McElroy was selected by the N.Y. Jets.

    McElroy is yet to play a regular-season NFL game due to injury. He finds himself as a third-string quarterback for the 2012 season behind Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez.

    And so the list goes on, as an NCAA championship does not mean automatic success at the next level.

2010: Cam Newton (Auburn)

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    Cam Newton is the only national championship-winning quarterback on this list to be drafted No. 1 overall in the draft. He has a chance to have the best NFL career out of all the others on this list.

    Newton was a key part to Aburn's success in 2010. He threw for 30 touchdowns and ran for 20 more. It is because of those numbers that Newton won the Heisman Trophy. He threw for two touchdowns in the championship game against the Oregon Ducks.

    The Carolina Panthers took Newton with the first pick of the 2011 NFL draft. Cam Newton has not disappointed as of yet. In his NFL regular-season debut, he threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns.

    Newton's combination of size, speed and ability make him every coach's dream. He looks to have all of the tools of a top-level pro quarterback.

    Cam Newton figures to be a starter in the NFL for many years to come. That easily puts him ahead of most quarterbacks on this list.

2011: A.J. McCarron (Alabama)

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    A.J. McCarron is the most recent championship-winning quarterback. He won the title during the 2011-2012 season with Alabama. McCarron started 12 games for the Tide, throwing 16 TDs and only five interceptions.

    McCarron threw for 234 yards and was named offensive MVP of the game.

    McCarron will return to Alabama in 2012 as the starting quarterback. He is not expected to be a high draft pick. Chances are he'll be drafted late and turned into a backup somewhere in the NFL.