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Tim Tebow and the 14 Greatest Left-Handed CFB Quarterbacks of All Time

Carl StineCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2017

Tim Tebow and the 14 Greatest Left-Handed CFB Quarterbacks of All Time

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    The majority of the human race uses their right hand as the dominant hand.

    Depending on which study one reads, 70 to 95 percent of the earth's population is right-handed, not including notable exceptions such as President Obama, former presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush, as well as Jay Leno, Bill Walton, Jim Zorn and Tommy Lasorda.

    In the game of college football, there have been some excellent quarterbacks that can boast the title "southpaw" or "lefty."

    This list runs down the best left-handed signal callers in the history of the game.

    Yes, Tim Tebow is on the list; it was unavoidable.

Honorable Mention

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    Doug Nussmeier, Idaho - Left school with records for most career yards by a Vandal quarterback: 10,824.

    Kenny Stabler, Alabama - His "Run in the mud" against Auburn was one of his most famous Alabama moments. He helped lead the Tide to a national title and an undefeated season the following year when they finished the season third in the rankings.

    Paul McDonald, USC - Went 22-1-1 as a starter, including a Rose Bowl win and a national title. He isn't higher on this list due to lack of monster stats.

14. Chris Simms, Texas

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    Texas fans might not look fondly on the memory of the man who took most of Major Applewhite's season from him under center, but Simms was solid as Mack Brown's quarterback, particularly in 2001 and 2002.

    He left Texas with the highest career passer rating in school history, and currently sits at second on that list behind only Colt McCoy.

    He's tied with Vince Young for second-most passing touchdowns in a season while at Texas, and also tied for second with the legendary Bobby Layne with most touchdown passes in a game (five).

    In Simms' last season with the Longhorns, he finished with over 3,000 yards passing, and 26 passing touchdowns to only 12 interceptions.

    While he did not win any major awards or big games, Simms was one of the better quarterbacks in the history of Texas football.

13. Tyler Palko, Pitt

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    Joe Flacco, the guy who just signed that massive contract as quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens, once sat behind this guy on the Pitt Panthers' depth chart.

    Now, Palko is out of football while Flacco got the last laugh.

    However, back at Pitt, Palko was the man from 2004-2006, following his redshirt season, who threw for 8,343 touchdowns and scored 78 total touchdowns.

    His main claim to fame is that he was the losing quarterback in the first BCS game won by a "BCS buster" when Utah whooped up on the Panthers 35-7 in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl.

12. Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky

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    Lorenzen certainly deserves first place on the list of "big boy" quarterbacks.

    At 6'4" and approaching 300 pounds during his days at Kentucky, he was not exactly the most mobile of quarterbacks.

    That said, he did all kinds of things at Kentucky, including setting school records for passing touchdowns, passing yards and total offense.

    Lorenzen had a strong arm and could make all the necessary throws, but his conditioning was always an issue as his career progressed.

11. David Greene, Georgia

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    Greene was one of the best quarterbacks in the history of Georgia football.

    He burst onto the scene in 2001 with 2,789 passing yards, earning the SEC offensive Rookie of the Year Award, as well as the 2002 Offensive Player of the Year Award.

    In his senior season, he completed 214 consecutive passes without an interception, which stood as a record for three years.

    He also left school with the most wins by any college football quarterback in NCAA history with 42.

    His 11,270 total career yards set the SEC record.

10. Cade McNown, UCLA

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    McNown is the only UCLA quarterback in history to finish his career a perfect 4-0 against USC.

    For that alone he should earn a spot on this list.

    After a great freshman season and a notable sophomore slump, McNown led the 1997 Bruins to a season in which they averaged 39.75 points per game, and led them to a top-five finish in the final polls.

    During his junior and senior season, the Bruins strung together a 20-game win streak, which is a UCLA record.

    In his final season, McNown and the Bruins came within one game of reaching the national title game, eventually falling to the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl, 38-31.

    McNown's failure in the NFL is not as notable only because he was in the same class as Ryan Leaf, who failed in such a way that his name has become synonymous with NFL draft bust.

9. Dave Humm, Nebraska

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    When Dave Humm played his final season for the Huskers in 1974, he did so as the best passer to that point in the history of Husker football.

    Humm finished his Husker career with 54 total touchdowns and 5,236 passing yards, which was impressive for a Nebraska quarterback at the time.

    He also finished his career with over 5,000 yards rushing, and when he left Nebraska, he left with the single season record for passing touchdowns (18).

    Not bad for a lefty.

    He's also one of only four quarterbacks to go 3-0 in New Year's Day bowl games.

8. Josh Heupel, Oklahoma

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    Josh Heupel is the only Oklahoma Sooner quarterback to win a national title under head coach Bob Stoops.

    After transferring into the program from Snow College in Utah, Heupel accumulated 53 passing touchdowns in two seasons as the Sooner starting quarterback, while racking up 7,242 yards passing.

    He also had the ability to score on the ground, rushing for 12 touchdowns over the course of his two seasons in Norman.

    While sometimes prone to interception issues, Heupel easily earns a spot on this list as one of the best southpaws in history.

7. Pat White, West Viriginia

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    Pat White never led the Mountaineers to a national title, or even to the BCS title game, but he did some incredible things as the quarterback at WVU.

    He remains the only quarterback in college football history to start and win four bowl games. He's also one of only four quarterbacks to go 3-0 in New Year's Day bowl games.

    He finished his career with a total of 103 touchdowns, 47 on the ground and 56 through the air.

    His ability to take over a game was demonstrated in his bowl performances, where he completed 70 percent of his passing attempts, and threw only one interception in four games.

    While White tends to be overlooked in lists of the greatest college football quarterbacks, he was a monster, and deserves more respect for his achievements.

6. Matt Leinart, USC

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    Leinart finished his sophomore season at the helm of the USC Trojans in 2004 with an 11-1 record, and a place atop the final AP poll, as well as 38 passing touchdowns.

    In 2005, Leinart won the Heisman, and won his second straight AP title as a Trojan, as well as his first BCS title win, a 55-19 rout of Oklahoma.

    In his final season, he again led the Trojans to the BCS title game, this time watching the Trojan defense falter late and fall to the Vince-Young-led Texas Longhorns.

    He finished his career one touchdown short of 100 passing touchdowns.

5. Kellen Moore, Boise State

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    Say what you will about Boise State and the team's less-than-stellar strength of schedule; it is not often at any level of football that one gets to watch a winner of the caliber of Kellen Moore.

    The kid could make all the throws as the quarterback of the Broncos, and also became the first quarterback in FBS history to win 50 games.

    That means, during his entire collegiate career, Moore only participated in three losses.

    That's incredible.

4. Terry Baker, Oregon State

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    Baker was a trailblazer of sorts for all football players west of Texas.

    He won the Heisman Trophy back in 1962, becoming the first player west of Texas to win the award.

    He was also an excellent basketball player, leading the Beavers' basketball team to the Final Four, as a guard on the team.

    He scored the only points of the Liberty Bowl that season, scoring on a 99-yard quarterback keeper, as the Beavers won 6-0.

    He finished the season with 24 total touchdowns and an 8.6 yards per attempt average.

3. Michael Vick, Virginia Tech

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    Forget about the last few injury-ridden seasons.

    Forget about the dog fighting, the time in Philadelphia and also Atlanta.

    Michael Vick was incredible as the quarterback of the Hokies in 1999 and 2000, and even led the Hokies to the national title game against Florida State in his first season as the starter, and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting that same season.

    Vick's explosive, elusive rushing ability garnered all kinds of attention, and he finished the 1999 season with the best passer efficiency rating in the nation.

2. Steve Young, BYU

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    BYU has a history of excellent quarterback play, in spite of the recent failure at the position.

    Steve Sarkisian, John Walsh, John Beck, Virgil Carter, Max Hall, Robbie Bosco, Jim McMahon and Gifford Nielsen. That list features national title winners, players who set records, broke them and even went on to big things in the NFL.

    Steve Young, while not the best of them, certainly had the best NFL career, and after struggling early in his career at BYU, he finished with 592 passes completed for 7,733 yards and 56 touchdowns, and rushed for 18 more scores.

    During his senior season at BYU, he led the Cougars to an 11-1 records, and a win in the 1983 Holiday Bowl, in which he caught the game-winning touchdown on a halfback pass.

    His 71.3 percent completion percentage in 1983 set the NCAA single-season record for completion percentage.

1. Tim Tebow, Florida

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    All the negative hype surrounding Tim Tebow and his current status as a member of the New England Patriots blurs the fact that he was a great college football quarterback.

    With reactions such as this one floating around the interwebs:

    As part of his contract with the #Patriots, Tim Tebow has to wear this jersey this year pic.twitter.com/PTcufWAdPg

    — NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) June 12, 2013

    It is definitely easy to laugh at Tebow for his inability to play at the NFL level, rather than remember the greatness that he displayed as a member of the Florida Gators.

    Tebow scored 55 touchdowns in his first season as the starting quarterback in 2007, when he also won the Heisman Trophy.

    In 2008, Tebow broke the Florida record for rushing touchdowns, scoring his 37th on November 1.

    He also won his second consecutive Maxwell Award, only the second player in history to do so, and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.

    But the statistics about Tebow's passing accuracy are the numbers that we tend to forget. When he finished his career as a Gator, he did so as the SEC's all-time leader in passing efficiency, as well as completion percentage.

    And then there was the little matter of the BCS title back in 2009, as well as the part that Tebow played in the Gator's 2006 title.

    He is still second in the NCAA record books in passing efficiency. That's surprising at this point in his career, when his accuracy is questionable at best. When looking back, Tebow is clearly one of the best college quarterbacks of all time, not just one of the best left-handed quarterbacks.

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