Power Ranking Every Projected FBS Starting QB on the Eve of a New Season

Alex CallosCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2012

Power Ranking Every Projected FBS Starting QB on the Eve of a New Season

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    The start of the college football season is only hours away, and while there are still some questions surrounding teams as to who their starting quarterback will be, most have had theirs set for quite some time now.

    There are a few quarterbacks who stand out from the rest and plenty who could be Heisman contenders by season's end.

    Along with those talented quarterbacks come some who most have never heard of. 

    Here is a list of all the college football starting quarterbacks in FBS from No. 124 all the way down to No. 1.

124. C.J. Bennett, South Alabama

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    South Alabama quarterback C.J. Bennett is the first name on the list, and he will help bring the Jaguars into the FBS level as one of the four teams moving up.

    He will have a hard time doing much considering how overwhelmed they will be talent-wise. Either way, just getting to the FBS level is a good thing for South Alabama.

123. Shaun Rutherford, Texas State

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    Similar to South Alabama, Texas State is the another team joining the FBS level. They are led by senior Shaun Rutherford.

    He is slightly undersized at 6'0" and 185 pounds, but can do a little bit of everything on the football field. However, Rutherford will have his hands full this season running the show for the Bobcats.

122. Mike Wegzyn, Massachusetts

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    After redshirting last season, Mike Wegzyn will be the starting quarterback for Massachusetts as they prepare to do battle at college football's highest level in their inaugural FBS season.

    It will be a little tougher for UMass relative to their fellow FBS newcomers, however, as they are joining a more competitive conference in the MAC.

121. Eric Soza, UT-San Antonio

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    Eric Soza is a little more talented than the previous three quarterbacks on the list and might be the most FBS-ready as well.

    Still, UT-San Antonio will inevitably have a hard time winning many games moving up a level against much tougher competition.

120. Dalton Williams, Akron

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    Akron is not only one of the worst teams in college football, but also welcoming a new quarterback in Dalton Williams.

    He has seen limited college action and has no touchdowns with three interceptions. Good luck to Williams and the Zips this season.

119. Andrew Manley, New Mexico State

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    New Mexico State has been one of the college football bottom feeders over the past few seasons, and 2012 is likely to be no different.

    Quarterback Andrew Manley saw limited action last season, passing for 892 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

    In 2012, the Aggies will be all his.

118. Graham Wilbert, Florida Atlantic

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    Graham Wilbert was the starter for most of last season for Florida Atlantic, but had one of the worst touchdown-to-interception ratios in the country.

    He passed for 1,459 yards with seven touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He will need to improve drastically on those numbers if the Owls intend on taking any meaningful steps forward.

117. Dominique Blackman, Idaho

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    Idaho has not been too impressive in recent years, and this season Dominique Blackman will take over as a starting quarterback with much work to do.

    Blackman is a large kid who stands about 6'5" and 249 pounds. He is a load to bring down, and hopefully for the Vandals, that stands true all season.

116. David Fales, San Jose State

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    David Fales takes over as the San Jose State starting quarterback, and this will be his first season running the show.

    He is a junior college transfer from Monterey Peninsula College. He impressed both in the spring game and fall camp, leading to head coach Mike MacIntyre naming him the starter.

115. Kolton Browning, Louisiana-Monroe

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    Kolton Browning has much more impressive numbers than the men previously mentioned on the list. He has been a starter for the Warhawks for the past two seasons.

    Last year, he passed for 2,483 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was much better in 2010 during his freshman campaign, when he passed for 18 touchdowns.

114. Jake Medlock, Florida International

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    Jake Medlock will be the new starter for the Florida International Golden Panthers. He saw limited action last season.

    He passed for 376 yards with a touchdown and an interception in five games. He did see considerable action in two games and was better than expected.

113. Tarean Austin, New Mexico

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    New Mexico is currently one of the worst programs in college football, and quarterback Tarean Austin will have his work cut out for him.

    He saw limited action last season, passing for 706 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. This season, the team will be all his, and it is not going to be an easy task.

112. Alex Zordich, Buffalo

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    Alex Zordich will be taking over for Chazz Anderson. Buffalo has slowly improved in recent years, but it still has a long way to go.

    Zordich only saw limited action last season, passing for 41 yards, and the Bulls will likely struggle to win more than a few games in 2012.

111. Derek Thompson, North Texas

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    Derek Thompson was the starter for most of last season, and he passed for 1,759 yards with 11 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

    He will be entering his senior season, and even though the Mean Green struggled last year, Thompson should be much improved from a season ago.

110. Ryan Griffin, Tulane

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    Ryan Griffin is entering his fourth season at Tulane. He has put up much more impressive numbers than the names on this list before him.

    He will need to cut down on his interceptions, as he threw 10 last season with only 13 touchdowns. He has, however, passed for 6,255 yards over his first three seasons running the show.

109. Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee State

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    Logan Kilgore is another quarterback who saw considerable action last season. He passed for 2,231 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    The Blue Raiders only won two games last year, but in each of those two wins, Kilgore passed for three touchdowns. He is the key to their success.

108. Jacob Karam, Memphis

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    Jacob Karam is a Texas Tech transfer who will be taking over the starting role at Memphis. The Tigers are also welcoming a new head coach and will be trying to rebound from a bad season in 2012.

    He saw some action at Texas Tech last season behind Seth Doege and has a chance to surprise some people in Conference USA this season.

107. Trent Steelman, Army

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    Trent Steelman is more of a running back than a quarterback, but he will be running the show once again for Army.

    He only passed for 424 yards last season with three touchdowns and two interceptions, but he was a threat on the ground in the triple-option offense.

106. Taylor McHargue, Rice

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    Taylor McHargue was the starting quarterback for the first half of last season and was impressive in certain games for the Owls.

    This year he will be the unquestioned starter and is looking to build on a season in which he passed for 1,072 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

105. Trey Miller, Navy

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    Trey Miller is stepping into the starting role for the Navy Midshipmen after passing for three touchdowns with 205 yards last year.

    Navy struggled for most of last year, and it is not going to be any easier this season. Miller will have a tall task ahead of him in 2012.

104. Jonathan Perry, UAB

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    Jonathan Perry stepped into the starting role midway through last season and was impressive in his limited action.

    He passed for 2,042 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had a 400-yard, four-touchdown performance against Memphis and flashed a little bit of his potential against the Tigers.

103. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State

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    Garrett Grayson saw action in the final four games last season and passed for 542 yards with only two touchdowns and six interceptions.

    He will need to improve drastically, as will the entire Rams team if they plan on winning more than the three games they did last season.

102. Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan

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    Alex Gillett has been the Eagles' starter for the better part of the past two seasons, and this will be his senior year.

    Last year, he passed for 1,504 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has improved statistically in each of his first three seasons and will look to continue that trend in 2012.

101. Chandler Whitmer, Connecticut

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    Connecticut had a few quarterback issues last season and will welcome a new starter this year in junior college transfer Chandler Whitmer.

    Last season, he passed for over 3,000 yards with 25 touchdowns at Butler Community College in Kansas. The Huskies will have trouble finishing outside of the bottom of the Big East unless Whitmer has a huge year.

100. Chris Campell, Southern Miss

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    Southern Miss will be looking completely different than they did a season ago, and taking over the starting job will be Chris Campbell.

    He did not see any action last season and was nowhere near the top of the depth chart. It will be interesting to see how he does against Nebraska the first game of the season and if Southern Miss wants to have the success they had last season, he will need to step up big.

99. Nick Sherry, UNLV

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    Caleb Herring was named the starter at the beginning of last season and really did not do too much to impress.

    This season Nick Sherry will be taking over for the Rebels. He has not seen any collegiate action and will look to get UNLV back on track this season.

98. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss

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    Ole Miss may have been the worst team from a major conference last season, as they lost every SEC game and only managed to win two overall.

    Bo Wallace is a junior college transfer who is an absolute pure passer and should help lead Ole Miss to a few more wins than the two they had last season.

97. Kawaun Jakes, Western Kentucky

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    Kawaun Jakes has played the better part of the past three seasons. Now entering his senior campaign, he will be looking to improve on marginal numbers the past three years.

    Western Kentucky was always a run-first offense with Bobby Rainey, and last year Jakes only passed for 10 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, along with 1,854 yards.

    A lot more will be expected of him this season.

96. Chris Coyer, Temple

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    Temple and starting quarterback Chris Coyer will be facing some stiffer competition in the Big East, with Coyer entering his first season as the starter.

    He was impressive in limited action last season, however, as he passed for 463 yards along with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

    Temple will need a big season out of him if they want to stay out of the bottom of the conference.

95. Connor Dietz, Air Force

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    Air Force is a team that loves to run the football and very rarely throws. When they do throw, they will be looking to senior Connor Dietz, who will be running the show.

    He saw a little bit of action last season, mostly in a backup role, but he will be called upon heavily in 2012. They will need him to step up if they plan on returning to a bowl game.

94. Rakeem Cato, Marshall

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    Rakeem Cato stepped in last season for the Marshall Thundering Herd and was very impressive. He passed for 2,059 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    Marshall won seven games last year, and in 2012 they will be counting even more heavily on Cato with a year under his belt. 

93. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois

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    Jordan Lynch has big shoes to fill, as he is stepping in for the departed Chandler Harnish and taking over a team that won 11 games last season.

    He has played sparingly the past two years and passed for 166 yards with a touchdown last year. He will need to pick up where Harnish left off for another double-digit-win season.

92. Jordan Webb, Colorado

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    Jordan Webb spent his first two collegiate seasons playing for the Kansas Jayhawks and will now be running the show for Colorado.

    He threw for 1,884 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2011 and is moving from one conference bottom feeder to another.

    The Buffaloes will need him to have a huge year if they're to win more than a few games.

91. Perry Hills, Maryland

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    It is no secret that Maryland is in bad shape when it names a freshman as its starting quarterback.

    Well, that is what head coach Randy Edsall and the Terrapins staff did, and Perry Hills is the man who will be running the show.

    He was a 3-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, with no other offers from major programs, so it will be interesting to see how he does.

90. Rio Johnson, East Carolina

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    Rio Johnson may have some big shoes to fill with Dominique Davis having departed.

    Last year he saw action in four games, passing for 157 yards with an interception. The Pirates only won five games, so winning more than that without Davis will be a huge challenge.

89. Nick Lamaison, UTEP

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    Nick Lamaison came to UTEP from Tennessee, and last season he was the starter for most of the year. 

    He passed for 1,718 yards with 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. UTEP only won five games last season, and with Lamaison likely to be improved, a bowl bid is a strong possibility for the Miners.

88. Spencer Keith, Kent State

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    Spencer Keith has played a considerable amount of time in the past three seasons, but he had a bit of a down year in 2011.

    He only passed for 1,682 yards with 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Look for bigger numbers from Keith in 2012, and the Golden Flashes should be able to put some points on the board in a high-scoring MAC.

87. Blake Bortles, Central Florida

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    Blake Bortles was the starter for most of last season and played in nine games. During that time, he passed for 958 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions.

    UCF was a bit of a disappointment, only winning five games. This year, the Knights are under probation, so things are not looking very bright.

86. Sean Schroeder, Hawaii

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    Sean Schroeder left Duke for the beautiful beaches of Hawaii and will be the starting quarterback next season for the Rainbow Warriors.

    He did not see any action at Duke, so not a lot is known about what to expect from him. Either way, the potential is there, and Hawaii loves to put points on the board.

85. Keith Wenning, Ball State

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    The MAC is filled with a lot of talent at the quarterback position, and one of those talents is Keith Wenning from Ball State.

    He passed for 2,786 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Cardinals won six games last year and should be just as good this year if everything falls into place.

84. Tre Roberson, Indiana

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    Tre Roberson stepped into the starting role last season toward the latter part of the year and showed some signs of what could be a successful campaign in 2012.

    He threw for 937 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions last year. The Hoosiers will need to surround him with a little bit of talent, however.

83. Cody Green, Tulsa

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    Cody Green is another transfer who is taking over a starting role at a new program. He came to Tulsa from Nebraska after playing in nine games in 2010 for the Cornhuskers.

    He passed for 657 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions in his time in Nebraska. The Golden Hurricanes are nowhere near the Huskers when it comes to talent, and Green will be one of the best players on the field for them.

82. Maxwell Smith, Kentucky

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    Maxwell Smith has won the Kentucky starting quarterback job after platooning for most of last season.

    He played in seven games and totaled 819 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. If he can improve like Kentucky expects him to, the Wildcats will have a shot at winning six games and qualifying for a bowl game.

81. Taylor Kelly, Arizona State

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    Arizona State will welcome a new head coach and quarterback as Todd Graham takes over and nabs freshman Taylor Kelly as their starter.

    Kellywill be filling the big shoes left by Brock Osweiler, and has not seen much collegiate action only passing for 31 yards last season. Good luck to both Graham and Taylor, as they have somewhat of an uphill battle.

80. Joe Southwick, Boise State

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    Speaking of big shoes to fill, there may be none bigger than Joe Southwick at Boise State. Kellen Moore is finally gone, and after an extensive battle, Southwick is likely to be the starter.

    He passed for 198 yards with a touchdown and an interception last season. Now the keys are his, and the expectations are big in Boise.

79. Chase Rettig, Boston College

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    The struggles of Boston College over the past few years have been well documented, but quarterback Chase Rettig has not been the reason.

    He has started the past two seasons, and last year he passed for 1,960 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Eagles will need to get some help around him, as he was sacked 24 times in 2012.

78. David Piland, Houston

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    David Piland is another quarterback who has rather large shoes to fill. He's taking over for Case Keenum.

    He was a starter during the 2010 season when Keenum was out with an injury, and he passed for 2,641 yards with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in only eight games. The Cougars only won two of his eight starts, however.

77. Stephen Morris, Miami

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    Jacory Harris is finally gone from Miami, and that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Stephen Morris will be stepping in as the starter after passing for 283 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in 2011.

    During the 2010 season, he saw more action, totaling 1,240 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. He will need to improve on those interception numbers for the Hurricanes succeed in 2012.

76. Steele Jantz, Iowa State

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    Steele Jantz was the starting quarterback for the first half of last season for Iowa State. He had subpar numbers overall.

    He passed for 1,519 yards with only 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Those numbers must improve, as he is getting a second chance to prove himself for the Cyclones.

75. Jacoby Brissett, Florida

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    Florida struggled mightily last season at the quarterback position, and the man who saw most of the action when John Brantley was injured was freshman Jacoby Brissett.

    This year, he will be a sophomore, after passing for only 206 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He will need to improve drastically if the Gators are going to have a winning season.

74. Gary Nova, Rutgers

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    It looks like Gary Nova beat out Chas Dodd for the Rutgers starting quarterback job, and his performance will go a long way toward determining the success of the Scarlet Knights.

    Last season, he passed for 1,553 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. There is a lot of talent around him on both sides of the ball, and Rutgers is a serious contender for the Big East title.

73. Matt McGloin, Penn State

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    Matt McGloin decided to stick it out at Penn State in the midst of everything that is going on. Last year, he passed for 1,571 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

    He has passed for over 3,000 yards in his career, and even though he lost a lot of talent around him, the Nittany Lions will be trying to surprise some people in 2012.

72. Ryan Katz, San Diego State

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    Ryan Katz lost his starting job at Oregon to freshman Sean Mannion, and then left the program for San Diego State.

    He has some experience, as he passed for 2,401 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2010, so there is potential there. The Aztecs will need him to be a huge factor.

71. Caleb TerBush, Purdue

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    Purdue is a steadily improving football team that should be even better in 2012. If they are to be successful, it will be under the leadership of quarterback Caleb TerBush.

    Last season, he passed for 1,905 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. The Boilermakers are steadily improving, but the offensive line will need to play a little better in front of TerBush in 2012.

70. Garrett Gilbert, SMU

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    If Garrett Gilbert was still at Texas, he would likely be in the quarterback mix to be the starter in 2012. However, he decided to transfer to SMU, where he will assume the starting duties.

    During the 2010 season, Gilbert passed for 2,744 yards with 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. That ratio will need to get much better in 2012 for SMU to reach a bowl game once again.

69. Danny O'Brien, Wisconsin

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    Danny O'Brien is another transfer starter on the list, and he comes to Wisconsin from Maryland. He passed for 1,648 yards with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions a year ago.

    In 2010, he threw for 2,438 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions, so the potential is there for him to keep the Badgers near the top of the rankings.

68. David Ash, Texas

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    David Ash has won the Texas quarterback job over Case McCoy, and if he can play up to the potential some think he has, the Longhorns could be a very dangerous team in 2012.

    Ash split duties last season and put up marginal numbers with four touchdowns and eight interceptions, while passing for only 1,079 yards. Those numbers must improve this year.

67. Michael Rocco, Virginia

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    Michael Rocco started every game last season for Virginia and led the Cavaliers to a bowl game. With a year of experience under his belt, he should be better this year.

    He passed for 2,671 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing over 60 percent of his passes. The Cavaliers may count on him a little more heavily in 2012.

66. Johny Manziel, Texas A&M

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    Replacing Ryan Tannehill is no easy task, but it looks as if Texas A&M will be counting on redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel to take over.

    He has not played a collegiate snap and he will need all the help he can get. Playing in the SEC will not makes things any easier for the Aggies.

65. Nick Florence, Baylor

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    With the exception of maybe the Stanford job, these are the biggest shoes to fill in college football.

    Nick Florence is the man who will be stepping into those shoes, and even though he is a senior, he has not seen meaningful action since his freshman year, when he passed for 1,786 yards. He would like to help the Bears forget about RGIII.

64. Ryan Radcliff, Central Michigan

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    Ryan Radcliff has passed for over 3,000 yards in each of the past two seasons and is one of many talented MAC quarterbacks.

    He threw for 25 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 2012, and even though the Chippewas only won three games, it was not because of anything Radcliff did.

63. Cody Fajardo, Nevada

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    As a freshman during the 2011 season, Cody Fajardo had his fair share of ups and downs. He passed for 1,707 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.

    The Wolf Pack will need him to improve drastically during the 2012 if they plan on getting back to a bowl game. The key to all of that will be the play of sophomore Fajardo.

62. Matt Scott, Arizona

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    Matt Scott is another quarterback who has big shoes to fill, as he is taking over for Nick Foles.

    He did not see any action last season, so it could take him a while to shake off the rust. Look for Scott to impress people, as he will be learning under new head coach Rich Rodriguez.

61. Zach Mettenberger, LSU

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    Even though Zach Mettenberger has never played a meaningful college football snap, there will be a lot of pressure on him heading into the 2012 season.

    He is a transfer from Georgia and only got into two games last season. He does have the size and arm strength to compete in the SEC, but he will be going against some of the top defenses in the country.

60. Wes Lunt, Oklahoma State

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    Freshman Wes Lunt does not have any collegiate experience, but the Cowboys have been raving about him, and he was one of the top recruits in the country.

    He will step in for Brandon Weeden, and there is no question that Oklahoma State will be a far cry from what it was a season ago. Big things could be in store in the future for Lunt and the Cowboys.

59. Sean Renfree, Duke

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    Duke quarterback Sean Renfree will be entering his third season in the starting role and looking to improve on a subpar touchdown-to-interception ratio.

    He did throw for 2,891 yards last season with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, which was an improvement on 2010's 17 throwaways. If the Blue Devils can continue to improve as they have been, Renfree will put up some pretty decent numbers.

58. Josh Nunes, Stanford

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    Josh Nunes has only thrown two passes in his entire collegiate career, and he will be filling the biggest shoes of them all. 

    Stanford still has enough talent around him coming back, including running back Stepfan Taylor, meaning Nunes should be able to manage the game more than a lot of other quarterbacks. 

57. Tyler Russell, Mississippi State

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    Tyler Russell did see a considerable amount of action last season, and the job is his entering the 2012 campaign.

    He threw for eight touchdowns to only four interceptions last season while passing for 1,034 yards. If the Bulldogs have any hopes of repeating and getting back to a bowl game in 2012, they are going to be relying heavily on him.

56. Zach Maynard, California

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    Zach Maynard is another quarterback entering his third season as the starter for the Golden Bears. He has been rather impressive over the past two years.

    In 2011, he passed for 2,990 yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has had some excellent talent to throw to, including junior Keenan Allen. Look for more big numbers this year from Maynard.

55. Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State

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    Andrew Maxwell is replacing Kirk Cousins, who seemed to be under center at Michigan State forever. Maxwell played in four games last season and saw about the same amount of action in 2010. 

    This will be his junior season, and it may take some time for him to get his feet under him. With that being said, he inherits a very talented team and should have no problem leading them to the top of the Big Ten.

54. Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh

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    Tino Sunseri was a bit of a disappointment last season, throwing only 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He did, however, pass for 2,616 yards, but he was sacked a remarkable 61 times. 

    The Panthers are going to have to find somebody to block for him, and if they can do that along with running back Ray Graham coming back healthy, Sunseri could be in for a big year.

53. Brett Hundley, UCLA

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    Kevin Prince has had an interesting career at UCLA, and last season he stepped back into the starting role toward the middle of the season.

    During the offseason however he lost his starting job at some point to redshirt freshman Brett Hundley. He had a very successful high school career and was one of the most highly touted recruits coming out a few years ago.

52. Everett Golson, Notre Dame

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    Even going into fall camp, there were nearly a handful of quarterbacks battling for the starting job at Notre Dame.

    It appears as though Everett Golson has finally won the job, and he will be trying to keep it longer than those who have come before him in recent years.

    He is a sophomore who will have to hold off Gunner Kiel for the next three years. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

51. Jeff Tuel, Washington State

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    Jeff Tuel is stepping into the starting role at Washington State after serving as the primary starter in 2010. During that season, he passed for 2,780 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

    New head coach Mike Leach will give Tuel a huge advantage over a lot of other quarterbacks, as Leach is an offensive genius.

50. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt

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    Jordan Rodgers stepped into the starting role midway through last season for Vanderbilt, and while there are still some question marks surrounding him, he should be much improved in 2012.

    He threw for 1,500 yards with only nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions. If the Commodores plan on returning to a bowl game, Rodgers will need to have a better year.

49. Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech

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    After not playing in the first six games of the regular season last year, Colby Cameron stepped in and did an admirable job for the Bulldogs in the second half of the season.

    They went 6-0 with him as a starter after beginning the year 2-4. He passed for nearly 1,700 yards with 13 touchdowns and only three picks.

    Those numbers doubled over an entire season would surprise a lot of people across the country.

48. Sean Mannion, Oregon State

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    As a freshman last season, Sean Mannion passed for 3,328 yards with 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

    He will likely be able to cut down slightly on his interception totals from a season ago, and if he can do that, the Beavers should be a little better than they were last year.

    Mannion is one of many talented quarterbacks scattered throughout the Pac-12.

47. Corey Robinson, Troy

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    Even though Troy only won three games last season, quarterback Corey Robinson was one of the lone bright spots.

    He finished the season with 3,411 yards along with 21 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. There is a chance for him to have a huge year if Troy can get some talent around him.

    4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns are not out of the question for Robinson.

46. Kain Colter, Northwestern

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    Kain Colter has spent most of his first two seasons at Northwestern playing wide receiver. He did throw six touchdowns with only one interception in limited fill-in duty for the injured Dan Persa.

    He is entering his junior season and can beat opponents with either his leg or his arm. The Big Ten better look out for this guy in 2012.

45. Chuckie Keeton, Utah State

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    As a freshman last season, Chuckie Keeton was somewhat of a surprise for the Utah State Aggies. He will be even better in 2012.

    He only passed for 1,200 yards with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions, but he only saw action in roughly half of the games.

    Keeton flashed his potential with a five-touchdown performance against Wyoming.

44. Riley Nelson, BYU

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    Riley Nelson passed for 19 touchdowns with only seven interceptions a year ago after not seeing much action at the beginning of the season.

    Those numbers could improve drastically in 2012, and the 1,717 yards he passed for will be doubled if he stays healthy for the entire season.

43. MarQueis Gray, Minnesota

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    MarQueis Gray is by far the best player on his team, but could use a little talent around him to put up some bigger numbers in 2012.

    A season ago, he passed for 1,495 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Like many other Big Ten quarterbacks, he is a major threat with his feet, as he rushed for 966 yards and six touchdowns a year ago.

42. Matt Schilz, Bowling Green

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    Matt Schilz is another of the talented MAC quarterbacks, and last season he threw for over 3,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

    Bowling Green did not have a winning season in 2011, and if Schilz can improve some, the Falcons will likely put up more wins than they did a season ago.

41. Brett Smith, Wyoming

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    Last season, Brett Smith stepped into the starting role as a freshman and was the leader of a surprising Wyoming team.

    He threw for 2,622 yards with 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Those are not bad numbers at all for a freshman.

    With Smith running the show, the Cowboys will be a force over the next few years.

40. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois

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    Nathan Scheelhaase has a wealth of potential and could remind fans a little bit of Juice Williams.

    Entering his junior year, the Illini will be hoping he can put all of that talent together. He threw for 2,110 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions a year ago.

    Similar to a lot of other Big Ten quarterbacks, Scheelhaase can run. He rushed for 624 yards and six scores.

39. Munchie Legaux, Cincinnati

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    Munchie Legaux had his ups and downs filling in for the injured Zach Collaros last season. He did come up big toward the end of the year.

    In three starts, he passed for 749 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 185 yards and two scores.

38. Dayne Crist, Kansas

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    Dayne Crist will be running the Kansas offense for new head coach Charlie Weis, and he will not be surrounded by the talent that he was at Notre Dame.

    In 2010 as a starter, he passed for 2,000 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. Crist has a chance to lead the Jayhawks out of the cellar in the Big 12.

37. James Vandenberg, Iowa

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    James Vandenberg is one of a few players last season who passed for over 3,000 yards with less than eight interceptions.

    He threw for 3,022 yards with 25 touchdowns and only seven picks—very good numbers for anybody. He is entering his senior campaign in 2012 and will be counted on to lead the Iowa offense.

36. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse

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    Ryan Nassib is a talented senior quarterback who could use a little more around him. As a junior in 2011, he passed for 2,685 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    He was the most consistent player on the team and one of the most consistent in the conference, but he will need to step it up a level to get Syracuse into a bowl again.

35. Tyler Tettleton, Ohio

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    The next of the talented MAC quarterbacks is Tyler Tettleton. He threw for 3,306 yards with 28 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions a year ago.

    Tettleton passed for over 200 yards in 11 of his final 12 contests. He is only entering his junior season, so there is still room to grow in the offense.

34. Kiehl Frazier, Auburn

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    Kiehl Frazier has won the starting quarterback job for the Auburn Tigers, and a lot will be expected of him against one of the toughest schedules in the country.

    He saw limited action last season and was highly regarded coming out of high school. If he can live up to his potential, the Tigers will be fine next season and beyond.

33. Blaine Gautier, Louisiana-Lafayette

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    Many people may not have heard of Blaine Gautier, but he is one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football.

    Last year he passed for 2,958 yards with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions. He came on strong at the end of the year and had his best game of them all in the New Orleans Bowl, passing for 470 yards and three scores.

32. Alex Carder, Western Michigan

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    As a junior in 2011, Alex Carder passed for 3,872 yards with 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, posting one of the most productive seasons of any quarterback in college football.

    He will be without Jordan White as his top target, but the Broncos are still filled with potential on the offensive side of the ball.

31. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

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    In what may be a surprise to some, Marcus Mariota was named the starting quarterback over Bryan Bennett.

    He inherits an Oregon offense that is one of the most dynamic in the country, and he will have a bunch of weapons to work with.

    It will be exciting to see how Mariota does in 2012.

30. Tanner Price, Wake Forest

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    Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price passed for 20 touchdowns with only six interceptions, while throwing for 3,000 yards in 2012.

    He was one of the most consistent players in the conference, and there is plenty coming back for Wake Forest to have a similar season to what they did last year.

    Price should be improved as well.

29. Terrance Owens, Toledo

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    While many of the talented MAC quarterbacks beat teams strictly with their arm, Terrance Owens can do it with both his feet and his arm.

    He led an explosive Toledo offense with 18 touchdowns through the air in 2011 along with only three interceptions.

    There is no question that he will be the full-time starter in 2012, so more snaps will mean much more production.

28. Jordan Wynn, Utah

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    Jordan Wynn missed most of last season with a knee injury, and in 2012 he will be one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12.

    He showed what he is capable of during the 2010 season, and even at the beginning of the year in 2011. He can do a little bit of everything on the football field for Utah.

27. B.J. Daniels, South Florida

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    Entering his fourth season as the starter for South Florida, the question is whether or not B.J. Daniels can finally live up to his potential.

    He had his best season to date in 2011, throwing for 2,604 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

    His ability to beat teams with his feet also makes him a threat, as he rushed for 601 yards and six touchdowns last season.

26. Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech

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    Tevin Washington is more of a running back than a quarterback, but he can throw the ball a little bit also.

    Last year, he passed for 1,652 yards with 11 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He also rushed for 987 yards and 14 scores. Expect similar numbers this year from Washington and the Yellow Jackets.

25. Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State

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    Ryan Aplin passed for 3,588 yards with 19 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last year. If he can cut down on his picks, he could have Arkansas State near the top 25 once again.

    He has the arm and talent to be one of the top 15 quarterbacks in the country if everything falls into place in 2012.

24. Connor Shaw, South Carolina

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    The potential of South Carolina and the talent around him gives Connor Shaw a chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC.

    Last season, he threw for 1,448 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. The fate of the Gamecocks really rests on his shoulders, and a big season could see South Carolina in the SEC championship.

23. Derek Carr, Fresno State

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    Derek Carr put up solid numbers last season, throwing for 3,544 yards with 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

    Unfortunately, Fresno State struggled for most of the year. Carr is one of the most talented non-BCS quarterbacks and could easily go over 4,000 yards in 2012.

22. Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)

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    Zac Dysert is the best of all the MAC quarterbacks. Last year, he threw for 3,513 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    Over his first three seasons in Oxford, he has passed for over 8,500 yards. A 4,000-yard season is not out of the question for Dysert.

21. Bryn Renner, North Carolina

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    Bryn Renner stepped into the starting role last season for the Tar Heels and threw for 3,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

    He will be running the show for a program that is not bowl-eligible in 2012, but it still has plenty of talent to put together a huge season.

20. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska

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    There is arguably not a quarterback in the country more adept at running the football than Nebraska's Taylor Martinez.

    With that being said, he will need to improve on his passing numbers next season. He threw for 2,089 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    He also rushed for 874 yards with nine scores. In 2012, Martinez should improve both through the air and on the ground.

19. A.J. McCarron, Alabama

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    A.J. McCarron does exactly what he needs to do for the Crimson Tide: He manages the game. 

    Last season, he threw for 16 touchdowns with only five interceptions, while passing for 2,634 yards. He lost a lot of talent around him, but Alabama always reloads, and there is no question that they will be in national title contention if McCarron plays up to his ability.

18. Teddy Bridegwater, Louisville

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    Teddy Bridgewater was one of the most explosive and dynamic freshman quarterbacks in the country last season, and after stepping into the starting role toward the beginning of the year, he flashed a lot of potential.

    Bridgewater threw for 14 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and passed for 2,129 yards. There is no question that those numbers will rise in 2012 and beyond for this talented sophomore.

17. E.J. Manuel, Florida State

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    E.J. Manuel has almost as much talent as any quarterback in the country. Last season, he passed for 2,666 yards with 18 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

    He did miss a few games due to injury, and that really hurt the Seminoles. They are one of the best teams in the country, and for them to win the ACC, they will need a lot of production from Manuel. 

16. Seth Doege, Texas Tech

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    Quarterback Seth Doege was one of the few bright spots on a Texas Tech team that lost more games than it was expecting last year.

    Injuries forced the Red Raiders to pass more than they probably wanted, but Doege obliged and threw for over 4,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and only 10 picks.

    He will likely improve on the touchdown numbers if his squad can stay healthy.

15. Braxton Miller, Ohio State

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    Miller was very impressive last season as a true freshman, and he will be a dynamic playmaker in Urban Meyer's offense for the next few years.

    He passed for 1,159 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He can also beat teams with his feet, as he rushed for 715 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Look for big things from Miller in 2012.

14. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

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    Logan Thomas had time to learn and develop under Tyrod Taylor for a few seasons, stepping in quite nicely in 2011.

    Thomas passed for over 3,000 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year. Those numbers are likely to get better with a season under his belt.

13. Tyler Bray, Tennessee

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    Tyler Bray missed five games last season and still managed to throw for 17 touchdowns with only six interceptions.

    His 1,983 yards are not overly impressive, but the Volunteers suffered through a season full of injuries. It isn't looking much better so far in 2012, as Da'Rick Rogers is no longer on the team.

    Still, Bray is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the SEC.

12. Casey Pachall, TCU

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    Casey Pachall will get a real taste of the big time in 2012, as TCU is taking its talents to the Big 12.

    Last season, Pachall threw for 2,921 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The competition will get a little stiffer in the Big 12, but the defenses are still not all that tough.

    If he can put up huge numbers, a conference title is not out of the question.

11. Mike Glennon, North Carolina State

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    Not many people came on as strong at the end of the season as Mike Glennon of NC State. He had big shoes to fill last year, and he stepped in for Russell Wilson and did an admirable job.

    During 2011, he threw for 3,054 yards with 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. If he can just improve slightly on those numbers, look out for the Wolfpack in 2012.

10. James Franklin, Missouri

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    James Franklin may be one quarterback who is ready for the challenge of the SEC. He was very solid last season, passing for 21 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions, while totaling 2,865 yards through the air.

    He is a versatile quarterback who can do a little bit of everything. He rushed for 981 yards with 15 touchdowns a season ago.

9. Denard Robinson, Michigan

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    Denard Robinson is as explosive as anybody in college football. He put up astronomical numbers last season, passing for 2,173 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

    Where he really hurt teams was on the ground, as he rushed for 1,176 yards and 16 scores. If he can improve on his interception numbers, he could be a top-five quarterback in 2012. 

8. Keith Price, Washington

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    Keith Price is overshadowed slightly in the Pac-12 by the dominance of Matt Barkley, but he can put up some pretty spectacular numbers of his own.

    He threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns last season with only 11 interceptions. He will be a junior and has the potential to throw for close to 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in the high-flying Huskies offense.

7. Collin Klein, Kansas State

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    No quarterback was more important or did more for his team last season than Collin Klein at Kansas State.

    He passed for 1,918 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions last season, but did most of his damage on the ground, rushing for 1,141 yards and an amazing 27 touchdowns.

    Klein's 40 total touchdowns are something to take notice of.

6. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

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    Clemson's Tajh Boyd is a passing machine. He threw for 3,828 yards with 33 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions a year ago.

    A lot of the talent on offense is coming back for Clemson, and there are some playmakers for Boyd to get the ball to.

    Look for these numbers to go up this season for Boyd.

5. Aaron Murray, Georgia

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    Aaron Murray is very experienced for only being a junior, and he will lead a Georgia team with a legitimate shot to play for a national championship.

    Last season, he threw for 3,149 yards with 35 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Where Murray has to step up is in the big games. If he can do that, Georgia will be in business.

4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma

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    Even with what has happened in the offseason as far as the wide receivers of Oklahoma are concerned, Landry Jones is still a top-five quarterback.

    Last season, he threw for 4,463 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His touchdown numbers would be much higher if Blake Bell was not running the ball in every time the Sooners got close.

    Either way, Jones is one of the most prolific passers in the country.

3. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

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    There is no quarterback in the SEC with more talent than Tyler Wilson, and he displayed that all season in 2012.

    Wilson threw for 3,638 yards with 24 touchdowns and only six interceptions. If Knile Davis can come back healthy and take some of the pressure off Wilson, Arkansas could contend in the SEC West.

2. Geno Smith, West Virginia

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    Geno Smith is what most would consider a gunslinger, and he has the weapons available to sling it every down.

    Last year, Smith threw for 4,385 yards with 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. With the weapons he has, there is no question that he could be a sleeper for the Heisman Trophy. The Mountaineers could contend for a national championship if everything falls into place.

1. Matt Barkley, USC

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    The Heisman Trophy is Matt Barkley's to lose, and he has enough talent to easily bring home the hardware. 

    Last season, he passed for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions. If those numbers get any better, then he will be the leader for the Heisman Trophy in December and will also be considered the best quarterback in the country.