Bowl Matchups 2010-11: Power Ranking All 70 QBs for the Bowl Games
It's hard to believe that bowl season starts tomorrow in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In the prior weeks, we've seen a lot of phenomenal performances and a lot of great quarterbacks. And starting tomorrow and going through the BCS National Championship Game, 70 starting quarterbacks will line up under (or in some cases, five yards back) of center and attempt to lead their respective schools to victory. This is a list ranking the 70 starting quarterbacks in the bowl season.
Obviously, there's a lot that goes into ranking these quarterbacks. Do they throw often, are they running an option system or a throwing offense? Are they injury replacements, etc.
But we took it all into account to get these rankings in.
70. Austin Dantin, Toledo. Has struggled during the season, throwing seven touchdowns to eight interceptions.
69. Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech. A quarterback not expected to throw much with the Yellow Jackets' option offense.
68. Tim Jefferson, Air Force. See Washington.
67. Trent Steelman, Army. See Jefferson and Washington. The quarterbacks, not the presidents.
66. Chase Rettig, Boston College. A quarterback who's had an okay season for an Eagle team much more known for offense.
65. Zach Frasier, UConn. Might really need to step up and have a big game if Connecticut wants to have a chance against Oklahoma.
64. B.J. Daniels, South Florida. Has the ability to throw but is more of a runner at this point than a passer.
63. Boo Jackson, Ohio. Could very well have to have a big game to keep up with Troy's high-powered offense.
62. Jake Heaps, BYU. Played better as the season went on, especially in the last four games.
61. Evan Watkins, Northwestern. Struggled since taking over for the injured Dan Persa.
60. Morgan Newton, Kentucky. Limited snaps this season but has the potential to have a big game. Starting for the suspended Hartline.
59. Jordan Wynn, Utah. Good numbers but played poorly in Utah's two losses.
58. Tito Sunseri, Pittsburgh. Inconsistent but has shown flashes of being a solid quarterback.
57. Wesley Carroll, FIU. Like his Panthers teammates, got better as the season went on.
56. Ricky Dobbs, Navy. One of the better option quarterbacks in the country but can throw if need be, as well.
55. Tyler Bray, Tennessee. A big reason why the Volunteers turned it around at the end of the season.
54. John Brantley, Florida. Inconsistent and not a good fit in Urban Meyer's offense.
53. Justin Burke, Louisville. Cardinals are a running team, but Burke's played pretty well under center.
52. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois. A dangerous dual-threat quarterback who can beat you with his legs and his arm.
51. Jeff Godfrey, UCF. Freshman took over midseason and played very well for the C-USA champions.
50. Chris Relf, Mississippi State. Not flashy but got the job done with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.
49. Chase Coffman, Kansas State. Injury concerns but played nicely as second fiddle to Daniel Thomas.
48, Ryan Nassib, Syracuse. Like Coffman, a nice option for a mostly run-based offense.
47. Jordan Jefferson/Jarrett Lee, LSU. Combination has played much better but is still inconsistent and can make mistakes at times.
46. Danny O'Brien, Maryland. O'Brien threw for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in only nine games as a starter.
45. Austin Boucher, Miami (OH). Boucher threw for more than 200 yards in two of his three starts at the end of the season.
44. Dwight Dasher, Middle Tennessee State. Dasher had a rough season but also missed the first four games of the regular season and threw for 23 touchdowns last year.
43. Kyle Padron, SMU. Another June Jones quarterback putting up big numbers.
42. Austin Davis, Southern Miss. Davis led one of the hottest offenses in the nation down the stretch.
41. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois. Harnish had five games this season with multiple touchdowns and no interceptions.
40. Trevor Vittahoe, UTEP. Had a tough end to the regular season after a hot start, plus numbers are down from last year.
39. Tommy Rees, Notre Dame. Stepped in admirably after Dayne Crist went down with a season-ending injury.
38. Jacory Harris, Miami (FL). Has all the potential but still can be very interception- and mistake-prone at times.
37. Aaron Murray, Georgia. Is it any wonder that Murray and Georgia played much better when A.J. Green came back?
36. Matt McGloin, Penn State. McGloin re-energized the Penn State offense and possibly saved the season.
35. Geno Smith, West Virginia. Can throw, run and doesn't turn the ball over. Might be the best quarterback in the Big East.
34. Ryan Colburn, Fresno State. His passing yards and touchdowns are up, and his interceptions are down from last season.
33. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina. Has the potential to win a game. It doesn't hurt to have two guys named Lattimore and Jeffrey, either.
32. Robert Griffin III, Baylor. Griffin might be one of the better quarterbacks in a conference deep with them.
31. Kyle Parker, Clemson. A two-sport star who can go downfield. His performance playing hurt against Auburn was commendable.
30. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri. For the first time in a while, Missouri's defense is getting more press than the offense. Gabbert still had a good year.
29. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa. A dual-threat that threw for more than 3,000 yards and also led the Golden Hurricane in rushing.
28. Bryant Moniz, Hawaii. The next dynamic Hawaii quarterback, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
27. T.J. Yates, North Carolina. While the college football world focused on the Tar Heels' off-the-field issues, Yates very quietly put up a 3,000-yard season.
26. Corey Robinson, Troy. Robinson threw for more than 3,000 yards as a freshman in one of the more dynamic passing offenses in the country.
25. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M. Tannehill helped spark the red-hot Aggies down the stretch to two wins versus top-10 teams.
24. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska. Martinez is a triple-threat who can throw but is more dangerous running the football.
23. Dominique Davis, East Carolina. Davis didn't throw for less than 200 yards in a single game this season.
22. Taylor Potts, Texas Tech. Even with Tommy Tuberville as the coach, Potts still put up fantastic numbers.
21. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa. Stanzi's cut down on the interceptions and finds ways to win close games.
20. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech
Taylor was always a dual-threat, but his passing has improved greatly.
He was the ACC Player of the Year and helped spark the Hokies on the run that brought them the ACC title. Taylor completed 60 percent of his passes, threw for 25 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
He'll be a big factor in the Orange Bowl.
19. Jake Locker, Washington
Locker's this high on the list not because of his stats but more for his skills that will probably make him a first-round pick in next year's NFL Draft.
He still needs to develop more as a thrower, but the athleticism is there, as well as the competitive fire.
18. Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin
Tolzien didn't show up at the top of many quarterback lists, but that was before he started throwing bombs downfield and making Wisconsin an offensive powerhouse.
Tolzien still threw 16 touchdown passes, but his interceptions are down from last year, and his completion percentage is up. Of course, having three great running backs helps, too.
17. Denard Robinson, Michigan
The Denard-for-Heisman talk eventually faded away by the end of the season, but he was still dangerous every time he snapped the football and every time he looked to take off from the backfield.
Eventually, the physical game he played started to take its toll, but he was still a great weapon and a big reason why the Wolverines are back in a bowl game.
16. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Pryor might not be the jump-out-of-your-seat player he was earlier in his career, but he's still dangerous and explosive.
He can bring the threat to both run and pass, and his passing game has improved by leaps and bounds, especially since the Rose Bowl against Oregon.
15. Russell Wilson, N.C. State
The athletic Wilson is a big body and a gunslinger (throwing for more than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns).
And while his interceptions are up, it's the second straight year he's topped the 3,000 yards and 25 touchdown mark, and he's now eclipsed 8,000 yards for his career in Raleigh.
14. Nick Foles, Arizona
The Wildcats might have collapsed down the stretch, but it wasn't all on Foles.
The quarterback threw for nine touchdowns and zero inteceptions in the last three games—all three Arizona losses. Foles needs less than 100 yards to hit 3,000 on the season, and he's already reached career highs in quarterback rating and completion percentage.
13. Christian Ponder, Florida State
It's pretty simple: As Ponder goes, so go the Seminoles.
Ponder is a game-breaking player who can go downfield with the football and hits receivers. The Seminoles are a different team when he's not in there, and Ponder's injury status will be something to keep an eye on as the bowl game gets closer.
12. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Weeden has been another quarterback who has fit very nicely into Mike Gundy's run-and-gun system in Stillwater.
Weeden combined with receiver Justin Blackmon to create one of the most dangerous tandems in college football. Weeden and Oklahoma State can put up points—whether the Cowboys can stop them is a different story.
11. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State
Lindley is one of the quarterbacks who has really impressed me this season.
He's a big kid who can throw the ball around all over the field. He plays well in the big games and has some gaudy numbers, including a 500-yard game earlier this season.
He might be one of the better quarterbacks in the non-BCS bowls and possibly the best quarterback no one knows about.
10. Greg McElroy, Alabama
McElroy may not put up the gaudiest stats in college football, and he might not throw for 40 touchdowns. But he's a winner, and that's pretty good in my book.
McElroy's improved leaps and bounds since last season, and it was perhaps evident how important he is to Alabama when the Crimson Tide couldn't mount a game-winning drive against Auburn with him injured.
9. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Jones somewhat learned under fire last season, when he was tossed into the starring role as a freshman because of Sam Bradford's shoulder injury.
The lesson seems to have paid off this season, as Jones threw for more than 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns after topping 3,000 yards as a freshman this season. With the exception of Bradford, Oklahoma quarterbacks haven't translated to the NFL. Perhaps Jones could change that.
8. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Cousins might not be the flashiest quarterback on a big-name team, but he doesn't make a lot of mistakes.
He doesn't turn the ball over, he's poised in the pocket, he delivers the ball on-time and on-target and he throws a strong ball. Cousins is a very good player on a very good Spartan team that deserved to go to the BCS.
7. Darron Thomas, Oregon
Thomas might not be the best quarterback in the BCS National Championship Game, but he might be one of the most important players in the game.
As much as LaMichael James, Thomas makes the Oregon offense go, using his mobility to take off and make throws downfield. He's also very accurate and doesn't turn the ball over as much as you might think.
6. Andy Dalton, TCU
Like Cousins and McElroy, Dalton might not put up gaudy numbers.
But he does do enough to help the No. 3 team in the country and is one of the more underrated and underappreciated quarterbacks in the country. He's possibly, if not probably, the best quarterback TCU's ever seen since Slingin' Sammy Baugh, and he's led the Horned Frogs to two BCS games.
5. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Perhaps the best all-around player in the bowls not named Newton and the best quarterback in the non-BCS bowls.
He does it all. He's big, he's fast, and he's part of one of the better running tandems in major college football this decade. He's also a very good thrower and needs only 170 yards to have 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in the same season.
4. Kellen Moore, Boise State
His numbers are close to unreal.
Moore is extremely dangerous, extremely gifted, extremely poised and extremely good. He's accurate, aggressive, has a great arm and doesn't throw interceptions.
Moore almost had his Heisman moment when he launched that deep pass to set up the possible game-winning field goal against Nevada. It might've been if it wasn't for that kicker...
3. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
If he decides to go, Mallett looks like he'll be a first-round pick in this year's NFL Draft.
He fell off the Heisman radar as the Razorbacks lost two heart-breakers to Alabama and Auburn, but Mallett still put up a great season and has the accuracy, size and strength to dissect any defense. He's come a long way from struggling to pass for 100 yards in Ann Arbor.
2. Andrew Luck, Stanford
Not only is Luck a great quarterback with all the tools, he's also fun to watch.
He has a great blend of athleticism, pocket presence and accuracy. He can stand in and deliver a strike right where it needs to be, or he can leave the pocket and pull off a remarkable run like he had earlier this season against California.
There's no wonder NFL scouts are drooling over this kid.
1. Cameron Newton, Auburn
Really, who else was it going to be? And what else can really be written about him that hasn't been written already?
He's big, fast, and has a great arm. He led the Tigers in both passing and rushing and has a build similar to Ben Roethlisberger. He's a much better passer than people might think, and he delivers the ball where it needs to be, especially downfield.
He's the reason why the Tigers are playing for the national championship. and he might be the reason why they win, too.