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Auburn Tigers Football: Top 12 Quarterbacks in War Eagle History

Nathan DealCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2017

Auburn Tigers Football: Top 12 Quarterbacks in War Eagle History

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Auburn is a school really known for its football, not unlike most of its SEC counterparts.

    Auburn, though, has always been specifically known for its running backs, being commonly referred to along with Ohio State and Southern Cal as "Running Back U."

    Auburn's had running backs like Bo Jackson, Cadillac Williams, Kenny Irons, Ben Tate, Ronnie Brown, Brent Fullwood, Rudi Johnson and so many others.

    But there have been some pretty good quarterbacks on the Plains as well.

    Who are the top 12 quarterbacks to ever take a snap with that interlocking "AU" logo on their helmet?

    Read on to find out who's No. 1...

12. Jeff Burger

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    Years played: 1984-1987

    Record as starter: 19-3-2

    Career stats: 331-538 passing, 4,082 passing yards, 24 TD, 21 INT, 82 rushing attempts, 169 yards, two rushing TD

    Jeff Burger wasn't flashy, and sometimes he looked simply mediocre, but he got the job done 19 out of 24 times.

    His first season as a starter was a good one, as Auburn went 10-2, beat Alabama for the first time since 1983 and overcame the USC Trojans in the Citrus Bowl.

    His last season, his second as a starter, was even better, as Auburn went 9-1-2 and won the SEC outright, earning a spot in the Sugar Bowl against unbeaten Syracuse.

    Of course, that game was "The Tie", where Auburn scored on a field goal with no time left to tie it at 16-16, ticking off the Syracuse Nation.

    Jeff Burger never wowed you at all, but he was consistent.

11. Lloyd Nix

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    Years played: 1956-1958

    Record as starter: 19-0-1

    Stats unavailable

    I can't find any stats other than his freakish record as a starter: 19-0-1.

    In 1955, he enrolled at Auburn University and joined the football team, but wasn't eligible to play until his sophomore year.

    As a sophomore, Nix lined up as a running back but rarely played.

    Finally, before the 1957 season, Auburn coach Shug Jordan decided to switch Nix from RB to QB. The result?

    In his first season, he led the team to a 10-0 record as Auburn won its first national championship in football.

    His second season was almost as good, as a tie against Georgia Tech was the only blemish on the schedule and the only thing that kept Auburn from back-to-back national championships.

    All he did was "win, win, win." Sure, that song didn't come out for another 52 years, but it was true: Lloyd Nix was a winner.

    Nix was in attendance at Auburn's national championship celebration at Jordan-Hare Stadium this past January.

10. Dameyune Craig

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Years played: 1994-1997

    Record as starter: 18-7

    Career stats: 427-782 passing, 6,026 passing yards, 39 TD, 24 INT, 270 rushing attempts, 804 rushing yards, 19 rushing TD

    Dameyune Craig was the "Mike Vick before Mike Vick."

    Craig constantly burned defenses with his dual-threat ability during his two years as a starter, but he never claimed an SEC title in his career.

    He led Auburn to the SEC Championship Game in 1997, but the Tigers fell to Tennessee, 30-29.

    Still, Craig was consistent and was the first great dual-threat QB at Auburn since Jimmy Sidle. However, Craig's passing stats are pretty good, as he threw for 34 TD and 5,573 yards as a starter.

9. Brandon Cox

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    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Years played: 2004-2007

    Record as Starter: 29-9

    Career stats: 550-927 passing, 6,959 passing yards, 42 TD, 32 INT, 151 rushing attempts, 416 yards, four rushing TD

    While Cox was very inconsistent, he was a winner who broke records at Auburn.

    In his career, Cox won 29 games compared to just nine losses. He is also one of only two Auburn QBs to have a 3-0 record as a starter against Alabama (Jason Campbell being the other).

    Cox was plagued by huge expectations, injuries and interceptions, but he was tough and clutch.

    Cox remains loyal to Auburn athletics to this day, attending many Auburn athletic events. He's like Charles Barkley, only intelligent. (Sorry, Chuck.)

8. Patrick Nix

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    Years played: 1992-1995

    Record as starter: 17-5-1

    Career stats: 386-656 passing, 4,957 passing yards, 31 TD, 16 INT, 96 rushing attempts, 313 rushing yards, 10 rushing TD

    The year is 1993. Auburn is 10-0, but can't win the national title thanks to NCAA rulings.

    Still, an unbeaten season is always a goal, and that goal is within range for Auburn against rival Alabama.

    Stan White is the Tigers' star QB who can be a hero against Alabama in Jordan-Hare Stadium. But for a moment, Auburn thought its season was lost.

    Stan White went down with an injury in his last game and sophomore back-up Patrick Nix came in the game. Rather than have a meltdown on a big (and untelevised, thanks to the NCAA) stage, Nix played excellently, leading Auburn to a 22-14 win on the Plains.

    Nix was the new hero at Auburn, and his final two years lived up to the hype, as he went 9-1-1 in his first season as a starter and went 8-4 his senior year.

    He's the most notable back-up QB in Auburn history, and he did pretty well for himself as a starter, too.

7. Reggie Slack

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Years played: 1986-1989

    Record as Starter: 20-4

    Career stats: 346-585 passing, 4,697 passing yards, 23 TD, 25 INT, 107 rushing attempts, 333 rushing yards, five rushing TD

    Coming in at seventh on this list is Reggie Slack. While some of his numbers aren't very impressive, he was a good athlete and, even more importantly, he was a winner.

    In his two years as a starter, Slack's Tigers won a share of the SEC championship each year, leading his teams to a Sugar Bowl in 1988 and a blowout Hall of Fame Bowl victory over Ohio State in 1989.

    Is he one of the best QBs Auburn has ever had? When talking about the best of the best, no. But he is good enough to make this list.

6. Randy Campbell

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    Years played: 1981-1983

    Record as starter: 20-4

    Career stats: 159-300 passing, 1,934 passing yards, 14 TD, 5 INT, 229 rushing attempts, 756 yards, eight rushing TD

    Randy Campbell was largely overshadowed by star RB Bo Jackson in his career, but make no mistake, Campbell was a darn good quarterback.

    While his passing stats may not look impressive, consider that he ran an option offense in his time at Auburn.

    Campbell burst on the scene in 1982, notably leading a game-winning drive at Legion Field against Alabama, who had won nine straight in the annual Iron Bowl. The drive is known for Bo Jackson's runs, but Campbell made some important plays himself.

    In 1983, he led the Tigers to an 11-1 season, including a 9-7 win over the Michigan Wolverines in the Sugar Bowl. The Tigers should have been named national champions, but the Miami Hurricanes, who played a much weaker schedule and also had a loss, were named champions.

    Still, Randy Campbell did nothing but win in his time at Auburn University.

5. Jimmy Sidle

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    Years played: 1962-1965

    Record as Starter: 18-7-1

    Notable stats: 1,006 rushing yards in 1963

    Again we have reached so far back in time that statistics are not available beyond his amazing feat in 1963.

    Most think Cam Newton in 2010 was the first QB ever to rush for over 1,000 yards in the SEC in a season. That is false.

    In 1963, Auburn QB Jimmy Sidle ran for 1,006 yards, leading Auburn to a 9-2 season and Orange Bowl berth against Nebraska. Sidle was named All-SEC and All-American at QB that season. Sidle became the first QB ever to lead the nation in rushing.

    What he's famous for, more than anything, is the Sports Illustrated cover you see to the left. Before 2010, Sidle was the only Auburn player to have the entire cover of Sports Illustrated to himself.

    Unfortunately, Sidle was injured most of 1964 and was eventually moved to running back. Still, his 1963 season was quiet a sight.

    Even more unfortunately, out of all the QBs on this list, as of now only Sidle has passed away. Sidle died at the age of 57 in Montgomery, Alabama, because of heart failure.

4. Jason Campbell

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    Years played: 2001-2004

    Record as Starter: 31-8

    Stats: 564-872 passing, 7,373 passing yards, 45 passing TDs, 25 INT, 249 rushing attempts, 309 rushing yards, nine rushing TD

    Jason Campbell, who won 31 games as a starter (a school record), did what only five Auburn QBs have ever done.

    He led an unbeaten season.

    After being beaten and mocked for three seasons, he led Auburn to a 13-0 record and Sugar Bowl berth (should have been BCS National Championship Game) in 2004.

    Campbell led the Tigers from a low preseason record to being a dominant force. In fact, the 2004 team is probably the greatest Auburn team of all time. 2010? Great. 1993, 1983 and 1957? They were all great. But the 2004 team just lined up and, outside of LSU, beat every single foe into submission.

    Jason Campbell did especially well for having four offensive coordinators in his four years at Auburn. 

3. Stan White

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    Years played: 1990-1993

    Record as starter: 29-14-2

    Career stats: 659-1231 passing, 8,016 passing yards, 40 TD, 52 INT, 185 rushing attempts, 459 rushing yards, 11 rushing TD

    Stan White might have had interception trouble at times at Auburn, but to this day, he is still the career leader at Auburn in passing yards.

    He started every game in his four years at Auburn, playing 45 games.

    Also, he was the starting QB for the 1993 Auburn team that went 11-0, being the only undefeated team in all of major college football.

    If not for 1993, White may not be on this list. But leading an unbeaten season forever solidifies your legacy.

2. Pat Sullivan

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    Years played: 1969-1971

    Record as Starter: 26-7

    Career stats: 452-819 passing, 6,284 passing yards, 53 TD, 39 INT, 151 rushing attempts, 560 rushing yards, 18 rushing TD

    Pat Sullivan, until 2010, was regarded as easily the best Auburn QB of all time. Rightfully so, too, as he tied an NCAA record at the time by scoring 71 touchdowns in his career.

    Sullivan became the first player to win the Heisman Trophy at a school where John Heisman coached, sweeping up the glorified stiff-arm statue in 1971.

    Also to his credit, Sullivan broke the NCAA record for total offense in 1970, the year before he won the Heisman.

    He never won a national title, but he is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in SEC history.

1. Cam Newton

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Year played: 2010

    Record: 14-0

    Career stats: 185-280 passing, 2,854 passing yards, 30 TD, 7 INT, 264 rushing attempts, 1,473 rushing yards, 20 rushing TD

    It only took one year.

    Cam Newton transferred to Auburn from Blinn Junior College in the December of 2009. In April, he won the starting QB job that had been up in the air throughout spring training.

    Cam Newton had taken over the starting quarterback spot at Auburn. He would then go on to take over college football, and quiet possibly American sports in 2010.

    Newton won the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Trophy, Maxwell Trophy, Davie O'Brien Award and so much more.

    He also led Auburn to a 14-0 record, the school's third undefeated season since 1993, and captured the Tigers' first national title since 1957.

    He broke the school record for TD passes in a season with 30. At a school that has had famous RBs like Bo Jackson, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown and Rudi Johnson, Newton broke the Auburn record for rushing TDs in a season with 20. He even caught a touchdown pass from Kodi Burns in a game against Ole Miss.

    Newton is easily the greatest QB in Auburn history and his football legacy at Auburn is compared to the likes of Bo Jackson.

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