College Football Rankings 2011: Power Ranking the Top 10's Quarterbacks
To be a great college football team, you need to have a great quarterback.
Football is becoming a pass-first game (Georgia Tech and Navy not included), so quarterback is the most important position on the field.
The top 10 teams in this week's AP Top 25 Poll have some pretty good quarterbacks, including Andrew Luck, who will probably be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Then there's guys like Landry Jones, Russell Wilson, Darron Thomas and Kellen Moore, guys who are already established as stars in the college game.
Also, you have guys like Tajh Boyd and A.J. McCarron, who will be stars in the future.
So, how do these quarterbacks stack up against each other?
Let's take a look at how the quarterbacks from the top 10 teams stack up against each other.
10. A.J. McCarron, No. 2 Alabama
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McCarron keeps getting better and better, but he's not quite an elite quarterback.
He did post career highs against Vanderbilt on Saturday, though, throwing for 274 yards and four touchdowns.
But, he doesn't make many plays. His four touchdowns doubled his season total to this point.
On the other hand, he doesn't make many mistakes either. He threw two interceptions in Week 1 and hasn't thrown one since.
He'll continue improving and the Tide will be in good shape for the next couple years.
9. Jarrett Lee, No. 1 LSU
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Similar to McCarron, Lee is a game manager.
His typical game looks something like this: one TD, zero INT, 150 yards.
Occasionally, he'll throw for three touchdowns like he did against West Virginia, but typically he just plays within himself.
With as talented as the rest of the Tigers are, all Lee has to do is not screw up and the team will win.
8. Tajh Boyd, No. 8 Clemson
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Boyd has been one of the biggest surprises of the college football season so far.
He's led Clemson to upset victories over Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech en route to a surprising 6-0 start for the Tigers.
He's thrown for more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns already and only has two interceptions thrown.
The sky is the limit for this sophomore. It'll be fun to see if Clemson can keep rolling.
7. Tyler Wilson, No. 10 Arkansas
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Just like Ryan Mallett before him, Tyler Wilson has a very strong arm.
The junior has taken over so seamlessly from Mallett, keeping the Razorbacks in the top 10.
He's thrown 13 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions.
He also had a huge game against Texas A&M, throwing for a whopping 510 yards.
He's definitely talented enough to garner some Heisman talk before the start of next season.
6. Darron Thomas, No. 9 Oregon
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The Ducks are LaMichael James' team, but Darron Thomas is a pretty darn good quarterback, too.
That allows the Ducks to keep teams from stacking the box against James.
Thomas has thrown for more than 1,000 yards, 15 touchdowns and two interceptions this year.
And, if he sees a running lane, he can take off and make plays with his feet, too.
5. Brandon Weeden, No. 6 Oklahoma State
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Old Man Weeden (he's 27 years old) throws more interceptions (six) than most of the quarterbacks on this list, but he also has more pass attempts than most.
Oklahoma State loves to air it out, and if your team had Justin Blackmon at wide receiver, you'd air it out, too.
In fact, the Cowboys scored 70 points against Kansas on Saturday, 56 of which came in the first half.
Weeden finished the game 24-for-28 with five touchdown passes.
His poise and leadership are big reasons Oklahoma State is contending for a Big 12 title.
4. Landry Jones, No. 3 Oklahoma
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Against Texas on Saturday in Dallas, Landry Jones proved he could play well away from Oklahoma.
That was a big step in keeping the Sooners on track for a spot in the BCS National Championship game.
He threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns against the Longhorns.
He's still got some work to do if he's going to lead the Sooners to the promised land, though.
3. Russell Wilson, No. 4 Wisconsin
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Wilson knows how to take care of the football, plain and simple.
He's thrown for only one interception all year long to go with 13 touchdowns and 1,391 yards.
He can also run a little bit, too, adding two rushing touchdowns so far this year as well.
He's the complete package and the perfect quarterback for this Wisconsin team.
2. Kellen Moore, No. 5 Boise State
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Moore hasn't been quite as good this year as he has in years past.
His passing yards are down and his interceptions are slightly up.
But, in a big game, there's no one I want leading my team more than Moore. He's a winner, something he has proven over and over again at Boise State.
He might not be successful in the NFL, but he is one of the greatest college quarterbacks ever.
1. Andrew Luck, No. 7 Stanford
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Luck is going to be the first pick of the next NFL draft.
He would have been the first pick this year if he had declared, ahead of Cam Newton.
He decided to come back to Stanford, though, and they are glad to have him. He's thrown 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions so far.
If the Cardinal can get by Oregon on November 12 and then go on to win the Pac-12 championship, they have a legitimate shot to get Luck to the national championship.
That would be a fitting way to end a dynamic college career.