Power Ranking Every BCS Bowl Team's Starting Quarterback

Ian BergCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2012

Power Ranking Every BCS Bowl Team's Starting Quarterback

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    The BCS games are getting ready to kick off on New Year’s Day, with a number of top-rated quarterbacks taking the field.

    A lot of talent that will take the field in the five BCS games, but the focus will be on the quarterback play. How these 10 guys play will dictate the flow of the games and the level of success of their offenses. 

    Some of these guys are young and new to the starting role, while others are veterans and considered among the best signal-callers in the country.

    Here's how the 10 quarterbacks stack up against each other heading into the BCS showdowns in the new year. 

No. 10: Joel Stave, Wisconsin Badgers

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    Joel Stave became an instant star for Wisconsin at the quarterback position during September. An injury before November kept him out for the rest of the season, but according to ESPN.com he is likely to play against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. 

    If Stave can start, he will be one of the many underclassmen that layer this list. He will give the Badgers their best shot at a win over Stanford, but Stave’s collarbone injury may keep him sidelined. 

No. 9: Kevin Hogan, Stanford Cardinal

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    Kevin Hogan is another young quarterback leading his team to the BCS this year. Hogan took over the starting job in November and helped the Cardinal win five straight games. 

    He also helped Stanford knock off then-undefeated Oregon in overtime. 

    Hogan is one of the better freshmen in the country at quarterback, but he has work to do before he is considered to be among the elite quarterbacks on this list.

No. 8: Everett Golson, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Everett Golson has led the Fighting Irish to the national title game in Miami, but he has yet to prove that he can win a ballgame on his own. 

    He has helped guide the only undefeated season in the BCS, but he has also made some costly mistakes along the way.

    He has gotten increasingly better as the season progresses. A strong performance against Alabama could launch him into the top five on this list. But as it falls today, Golson is sitting at No. 8, outside of the elite quarterbacks. 

No. 7: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville Cardinals

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    Teddy Bridgewater has been the offense for Louisville this season. Without the young quarterback, the Cardinals wouldn't be anywhere near as potent as they were this past fall.

    He'll have a tough day facing off against the Florida Gators defense, though. 

No. 6: Jeff Driskel, Florida Gators

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    Jeff Driskel has been a pleasant surprise for Brent Pease and this Gators offense. The year began with a quarterback controversy, but a star emerged before the second game had finished.

    Driskel was able to step into the Florida offense and lead the Gators on an unexpected 11-win run. He shredded opposing defenses with his legs and was effective enough through the air to keep them honest. 

    Look for Driskel's stock to increase exponentially in the next year with the Gators. 

No. 5: E.J. Manuel, Florida State Seminoles

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    The Seminoles were expected to contend for a national title this fall, but a collapse against N.C. State early in the season stopped that run from happening. 

    The loss to the Wolfpack was one of the worst games of the season for the Seminoles quarterback.

    Manuel has been inconsistent during his years as a starter, and unless something major changes, he will always be a questionable liability for the Seminoles offense.

No. 4: Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Jordan Lynch helped make the impossible come true for the Northern Illinois Huskies when they earned a bid to the BCS this year. 

    The Huskies finished inside the Top 16 and won their conference as they marched their way to a big game against Florida State. 

    The offense for the Huskies is reliant on the game-changing play of Lynch. He rushed for over 100 yards in 12 of 13 games this fall and passed for over 200 in all but four contests. 

    The fact that he did it against lower-level competition hurts his ranking, but Lynch may be the most dynamic talent in this Top 10. 

No. 3: Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks

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    Marcus Mariota is one of the most dynamic offensive threats in the country. The young freshman quarterback had a very strong season for the Ducks, throwing 30 touchdown passes. 

    Mariota gave the Ducks the opportunity to make a run at the national title, but they were unable to overcome Stanford along the way. 

    One of the rising stars in the game, Mariota will be on the Heisman shortlist heading into the new year. 

No. 2: AJ McCarron, Alabama Crimson Tide

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    AJ McCarron finished the season as the most efficient quarterback in the game and an SEC champion. 

    McCarron was able to guide his Crimson Tide team to the SEC title game and a big win over Georgia. McCarron has played a major role in the Tide's offensive success of the past two seasons. 

    He will be the X-factor for the Alabama team as they head to Miami to face Notre Dame for the national title. Without McCarron, this Alabama offense is mediocre. 

No. 1: Collin Klein, Kansas State Wildcats

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    Collin Klein had the chance to guide the Kansas State Wildcats to the BCS title game, but a late-season loss to Baylor shattered that dream. 

    Klein was still able to guide his team to the Big 12 title and finished the year as one of the three Heisman finalists. 

    The Wildcats have been one of the best teams in the Big 12 over the past few years with Klein guiding the option offense. 

    Look for him to have a good game against Oregon, keeping the Wildcats in the game from start to finish.