The 25 quarterbacks who throw the best deep ball are from a varied group of conferences, and they are from many different levels of success. Some teams on this list finished near the bottom of the FBS, yet others appeared in BCS bowls.
There are many ways to measure a quarterback, but the deep ball is one of the most fun. When a crowd sees a receiver wide open downfield, there is a moment of silence as everyone holds their breath.
When the quarterback recognizes the opportunity and heaves the ball toward the long target, there is a fleeting period of audible recognition. When the football finally hits the receiver, everyone goes nuts.
While it's great to see your team march down the field like a steamroller, there is nothing quite like seeing the big play unfold. It's a special sight, unless you're a fan of any team whose passer made this list.
In the world of collectors, there is a saying: "It's only worth what someone will pay." While the grammar isn't completely sound, the principle is. You may have a Beanie Baby that's valued at $10,000 by a price guide, but if you're offering to sell it to a 3-year-old for a dollar, you're either getting a dollar or a sad toddler.
The same principle applies to ranking quarterbacks. While one quarterback may have the prettiest long ball, it doesn't mean it's the best. To determine the best, three criteria must be considered:
1. The quarterback's ability to use it in a game.
2. The frequency of use.
3. The success of the long passes.
To find the best deep ball, the total number of passes over 20 yards was taken into account. Then, quarterbacks were subjected to an eye test. The ones who consistently threw for more than just 20-29 yards were given priority.
Lastly, the final set of contenders were sorted by a simple equation:
Number of deep completions/total number of completions = "slugging" percentage.
In order to have a high deep-to-total completion ratio, a quarterback must be trusted by his coach. Without the trust of the coach, long attempts are not going to be possible. Secondly, if he is rarely hitting the deep pass, his ratio is going to plummet.
This ratio tells us who succeeds at hitting the deep ball consistently. YouTube provided verification in almost all cases.
Some slides do not have videos. Either they were grossly outdated (from high school) or their accompanying music had profanity.