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Big Ten Football: Power Ranking The Quarterbacks Going Into Conference Play

Carl StineCorrespondent IJune 17, 2016

Big Ten Football: Power Ranking The Quarterbacks Going Into Conference Play

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    So, who is the best quarterback in the Big Ten?

    Depends on your scale for judging.

    If we are talking about most efficient, that will probably be a different quarterback than the one who gains the most yards.

    And the leader in that category may be even different than the one who displays the most poise in the pocket.

    What about a quarterback whose team wins? Should he be considered better than the one with video game like numbers whose team couldn't beat Sister Martha's School for Fat Girls and Wayward Nuns?

    Who is to say?

    For the purposes of this list, we will rank the quarterbacks based on passing efficiency, coupled with wins.

    Conference play begins this week, and we all know that is a horse of a different color than Notre Dame, Arizona State, and Temple.

    Here are your rankings, No. 11 to No. 1 going into the first week of conference play.

11. Robert Marve: Purdue Boilermakers

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This transfer from Miami was supposed to infuse life into the Purdue offense.

    But through four games, Marve has only completed 67.7% of his passes this season and only tossed three touchdown passes to go with four interceptions.

    Besides that, Marve is currently sitting on the bench with an ACL tear, the same injury that affected Marve in the spring of 2009.

    Couple these stats with his team's 2-2 record, and that is why Marve brings up the rear in this week's rankings.

10. Nathan Scheelhaase: Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Nathan Scheelhaase does not overwhelm one with his amazing accuracy, nor does he blow one away with his arm strength.

    But he has the Illini at 2-2 this season, and Illinois will face their stiffest test of this season this weekend.

    With three passing touchdowns and another rushing to go with three interceptions, Scheelhaase occupies the next-to-last place on the list.

9. Robert Bolden: Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    He's a true freshman, give him that, but Bolden is going to have to put up better numbers if PSU is going to have any further success this year.

    Thus far, Bolden has tossed only three touchdowns to go with five interceptions and only 205 yards per game, while completing only 60% of his passes.

8. Adam Weber: Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Adam Weber averages over 250 yards passing per game, has thrown seven touchdowns, and only two interceptions.

    So why is he here?

    Because he is only completing 62% of his passes, and the Gophers are 1-3.

    And the guys above him are pretty darn good.

7. Kirk Cousins: Michigan State Spartans

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    Finally, after sharing the starting job with Keith Nichol last season, Kirk Cousins has it all to himself this season.

    Cousins has been good, leading the Spartans to a 4-0 record heading into their showdown with Wisconsin this weekend.

    With a 67% completion percentage, and six passing touchdowns, Cousins comes in at seventh on the list.

6. Scott Tolzien: Wisconsin Badgers

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Tolzien has been "Mr. Efficiency" so far this season, completing almost 77% of his passes while leading Wisconsin to a 4-0 record.

    Tolzien has been operating without his top two receivers, as both have been out with injuries for the past two weeks.

5. Ricky Stanzi: Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    "Stanzi the Manzi" has been great this season, throwing nine touchdowns to only one interception and averaging 250 yards passing per contest.

    Stanzi has made some big plays with his arm, and has shown the capacity to slice up a defense.

    He will have to improve in big games though, against Arizona in the Hawks only loss, he accumulated 278 yards passing, but threw his only pick and completed less than 55% of his passes...

4. Terrelle Pryor: Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    TP...where to start.

    The Junior quarterback has shown maturity and poise, throwing only two picks to go along with ten touchdowns.

    Pryor has also rushed for 269 yards and three touchdowns, putting him at No. 4 in this week's rankings.

3. Ben Chappell: Indiana Hoosiers

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Chappell has, arguably, the best receivers in the conference, and his statistics show it.

    Through only three games this season, Chappell has thrown 10 touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 72% of his passes for 296 yards per game.

    While Indiana has yet to play anyone of note this season, not many in the Big Ten have.

2. Denard Robinson: Michigan Wolverines

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The most talked about man in college football, Denard Robinson leads the conference in rushing yards, with 688 yards so far this season and scoring six TDs on the ground.

    Couple that with his four passing TDs and electrifying performance in every game, and "Shoelace" comes in at No. 2.

1. Dan Persa: Northwestern Wildcats

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Persa? Persa? Really?

    Yeah.

    Through four games this season, Persa has averaged 262 yards passing per game to go with 8 touchdowns and only one interception in his first season as a starter.

    Persa also has also rushed for two touchdowns.

    Persa sits on top this week, mainly because he completes eight out of every 10 passes, but also because his leadership qualities and intangibles give the Wildcats a chance to win every week.

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