College Football Power Rankings: Top 25 Quarterbacks Heading into Week 8

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterOctober 20, 2011

College Football Power Rankings: Top 25 Quarterbacks Heading into Week 8

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    The conference portion of the 2011 college football season has brought quite a bit of clarity to the quarterback scramble, which comes as good news for some but not for all.

    Week 7 was surprisingly "devoid" of spectacular performances from the mainstays of the Top 25. There were some excellent games from big names—Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill come to mind—though they were easily in the minority. As such, you won't see many gigantic leaps up so much as slight drops down the ladder for some compared to last week's rankings.

    What you will see, though, is a collection of top-shelf signal-callers to keep your eye on during another big weekend of college football.

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Who's Out?

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    A lack of stellar displays of quarterbacking doesn't necessitate poor play across the board, though there were, as always, some whose struggles were just too mighty to ignore. These three QBs may be gone from the rankings for now, but they will not be long forgotten...

    Unless, of course, they continue to stink up the joint.

     

    18. Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech: 2-of-8 for 24 yards and two picks, with 26 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns rushing, in a 24-21 loss at Virginia.

    1,076 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions on 48.1 percent pass completions; 121 carries for 424 yards and eight touchdowns rushing in 2011

     

    20. Alex Carder, Western Michigan: 25-of-43 for 194 yards, one touchdown and one interception, with 16 carries for 26 yards rushing, in a 51-22 defeat at Northern Illinois. 

    1,872 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions on 67.7 percent pass completions; 73 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

     

    21. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois: 20-of-34 for 169 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, with 16 carries for 49 yards rushing, in a 17-7 loss to Ohio State.

    1,407 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions on 64.9 percent pass completions; 110 carries for 396 yards and four touchdowns rushing in 2011

Honorable Mentions

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    We shan't forget about those who played well in Week 7 but haven't quite worked their way (back) into the Top 25.

    Because when it comes to "amateurs", everyone deserves a trophy just for trying, right?

     

    Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: 17-of-32 for 280 yards and two touchdowns, with 11 carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns rushing, in a 38-17 win at Wake Forest.

    1,476 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions on 60.8 percent pass completions; 61 carries for 198 yards and five touchdowns rushing in 2011

     

    CJ Brown, Maryland: 17-of-35 for 177 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with 22 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown rushing, in a 56-45 loss to Clemson.

    269 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions on 45.8 percent pass completions; 33 carries for 315 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

     

    Aaron Murray, Georgia: 22-of-38 for 326 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in a 33-28 victory at Vanderbilt.

    1,653 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 60.6 percent pass completions in 2011


    Dominique Davis, East Carolina: 28-of-37 for 307 yards and three touchdowns, with eight carries for 25 yards and a touchdown rushing, in a 35-17 win at Memphis.

    1,641 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 68.5 percent pass completions in 2011


    GJ Kinne, Tulsa: 31-of-43 for 341 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, with 12 carries for 34 yards, in a 37-20 win over Alabama-Birmingham.

    1,303 yards, 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 64.2 percent pass completions; 45 carries for 144 yards rushing in 2011

25. Tyler Tettleton, Ohio

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    Tyler Tettleton is once again teetering on the edge of the Top 25 after posting his second so-so performance in as many weeks.

    The sophomore strung together 18 completions on 30 attempts for 246 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, with eight carries for 30 yards, in Ohio's narrow 23-20 loss to Ball State in MAC play.

    He'll need to step up his game against Akron to maintain his place among the "pantheon" of the best quarterbacks of 2011.

    1,641 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions on 62.8 percent pass completions; 64 carries for 235 yards and four touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 25th

24. AJ McCarron, Alabama

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    Welcome to the QB Scramble, AJ McCarron.

    The Alabama sophomore has been as steady as any quarterback in the nation over the last month and a half, with no interceptions thrown since Week 1. McCarron continued his remarkable run of efficiency by completing 19-of-24 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown in a 52-7 shellacking of Ole Miss in Oxford.

    Next up, he and the Crimson Tide will (more than likely) roll over Tennessee in pursuit of a second BCS National Championship in three years.

    1,380 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions on 67.2 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: not ranked

23. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

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    Apparently, Ryan Tannehill was angry about getting dropped from the QB Scramble.

    Either that, or he just really felt like it was about time to drop some jaws a la 2010. Tannehill tore up the Baylor defense for 415 yards and six touchdowns with an interception on 25-of-37 passing in a 55-28 trouncing for Texas A&M.

    Tannehill's will continue his redemption tour at Iowa State on Saturday.

    1,742 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions on 67.1 percent pass completions; 29 carries for 231 yards and three touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: not ranked

22. Zach Collaros, Cincinnati

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    Not too much to say about Zach Collaros in Week 7, other than that he was effective in leading Cincinnati to a 25-16 win over Louisville in the ever-expanding Big East. Collaros connected on 18-of-26 attempts for 152 yards, a touchdown and an interception while rushing for another 22 yards and a score on 13 carries.

    He and the Bearcats have a big test ahead of them, with a trip to South Florida on tap for Saturday at noon.

    1,187 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions on 64.2 percent pass completions; 51 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 24th

21. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois

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    Can someone else please give some love to Chandler Harnish?

    Leading Northern Illinois to a 51-22 blow out of Ball State would've been enough to keep him hangin' around the rankings. Then he went out and threw for 203 yards (albeit with a pick) and ran for another 229 on just 14 carries.

    If you're looking to be entertained by a spectacular football player who's flying (literally) under the radar, be sure to tune in when the Huskies take to the road to play Buffalo on Saturday.

    1,547 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions on 65.6 percent pass completions; 82 carries for 671 yards and seven touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 23rd

20. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State

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    Losing to Oregon isn't what Arizona State had hoped for, but at least they got a pretty good performance out of Brock Osweiler.

    The mountain man from Montana marked up the Ducks' defense for 291 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 29-of-46 passing in a 41-27 defeat.

    Big Brock and the Sun Devils (not a bad name for a band, right?) will have the week off before hosting Colorado on Halloween weekend.

    1,968 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 66.0 percent pass completions; 50 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 22nd

19. James Franklin, Missouri

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    I wonder if James Franklin enjoys this weekly Hokey Pokey he does with the QB Scramble. One week, he's got one foot in. The next, he's got one foot out.

    Franklin turned himself around in Week 7, throwing for 289 yards, three touchdowns and two picks while running for 84 yards and two more touchdowns in Missouri's 52-17 trouncing of Iowa State.

    We'll see what he's all about when undefeated Oklahoma State rolls into Columbia on Saturday.

    1,488 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions on 61.4 percent pass completions; 94 carries for 390 yards and seven touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: not ranked

18. Darron Thomas, Oregon

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    Darron Thomas' continued presence in the QB Scramble is contingent on his health. The junior put up pretty good numbers (13-of-17 for 187 yards, two touchdowns and an interception) in Oregon's 41-27 win over Arizona State.

    That is, before he "ducked" out of the game with a left leg injury. He's listed as questionable for Oregon's trip to Colorado on Saturday. Even if Thomas plays, he isn't likely to rack up hefty stats since the Ducks should have this one wrapped up before either team takes to Folsom Field in Boulder.

    Yeah, the Buffs are that bad.

    1,227 yards, 17 touchdowns and three interceptions on 61.3 percent pass completions; 22 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 14th

17. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska

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    Taylor Martinez hangs on at No. 17 this week by virtue of Nebraska's bye. He'll be back in action at Minnesota on Saturday.

    1,014 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions on 54.3 percent pass completions; 100 carries for 584 yards and nine touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 17th

16. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

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    The same goes for Tyler Wilson, who will have an excellent chance to pile up some big numbers at Ole Miss this weekend.

    1,779 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions on 64.9 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 16th

15. Keith Price, Washington

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    Keith Price marched on with his campaign to be the Best Quarterback Nobody's Talking About, tormenting Colorado (like so many before him) for 257 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-28 passing in a 52-24 win for Washington.

    He'll have a golden opportunity to strut his stuff on Saturday, when the Huskies mush into the Bay Area to take on Stanford in a pivotal Pac-12 North clash.

    1,466 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interception on 69.4 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 19th

14. Denard Robinson, Michigan

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    As Denard Robinson goes, so goes Michigan.

    Is it any wonder, then, that the Wolverines' first loss—28-14 at Michigan State—coincided with Shoelace's worst performance of the season? Robinson completed just nine of his 24 pass attempts for 123 yards, a touchdown and a pick while running for another 42 yards and a score on 18 carries.

    He and the Maize and Blue will have some time to get their act together before hosting lowly Purdue on October 29th.

    1,253 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 53.9 percent pass completions; 120 carries for 762 yards and nine touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: ninth

13. Nick Foles, Arizona

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    Nick Foles and Arizona finally got a reprieve from their downward spiral with a weekend off. They'll be back on the field on Thursday against UCLA in a Pac-12 pity party.

    2,255 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions on 71.5 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 13th

12. Seth Doege, Texas Tech

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    I love Seth Doege's yardage total from Week 7—430 yards on 43-of-63 passing.

    His other numbers? Not so much. Doege was picked off three times in Texas Tech's 41-34 loss to Kansas State, though, to his credit, he threw for a touchdown and rushed for another.

    Doege's next dance will come at Oklahoma on Saturday, which, if you've been keeping track, will likely result in a significant drop in the rankings next week.

    2,167 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions on 70.7 percent pass completions; 30 carries for 85 yards and one touchdown rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 12th

11. Geno Smith, West Virginia

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    Geno Smith certainly deserved a breather in Week 7 for all the quality work he'd put in during the first six weeks of the season.

    He'll be back in the saddle when West Virginia trips up to Syracuse on Friday.

    2,159 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions on 64.0 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 11th

10. Matt Barkley, USC

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    Matt Barkley wasn't bad against Cal last week, but he wasn't exactly brilliant either. The junior connected on 19-of-35 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns in USC's 30-9 win over Cal in San Francisco.

    A trip to Notre Dame for the Trojans should give Barkley more than enough of a stage to showcase his top 10 worthiness on Saturday.

    1,782 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions on 68.2 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: seventh

9. Bryant Moniz, Hawaii

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    If it hadn't been for Bryant Moniz's three interceptions, Hawaii probably would've beaten San Jose State in Week 7.

    Then again, had Moniz not also thrown for 303 yards and two touchdowns and and run for 64 yards, the Warriors might not have had a shot to down the Spartans.

    Moniz should have no trouble finding his comfort zone at home against New Mexico State on Sunday.

    1,881 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions on 63.5 percent pass completions; 47 carries for 190 yards and four touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 15th

8. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

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    All seemed lost for Clemson at Maryland, and then Tajh Boyd and the rest of the Tigers offense came to life in a big way.

    Clemson stormed back for a 56-45 win at "The Snake Pit", thanks in large part to Boyd's 317 total yards and four touchdowns passing.

    The Tigers will return to Death Valley to play North Carolina on Saturday in what should be another strong game for Boyd.

    2,012 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions on 62.5 percent pass completions; 70 carries for 157 yards and three touchdowns in 2011

    Last week's ranking: 10th

7. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

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    Like Oklahoma State as a whole, Brandon Weeden had a surprisingly tough day against Texas in Week 7. Weeden wobbled to 218 yards and a touchdown while completing only 23 of his 41 pass attempts in the Cowboys' 38-26 win in Austin.

    He'll have his hands full once again when the Pokes prod into Columbia to take on Mizzou this weekend.

    2,098 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions on 72.7 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: third

6. Case Keenum, Houston

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    I know, I missed watching Case Keenum sling the ball around last week, too. Luckily, he and his undefeated teammates at Houston will be back to their aerial antics against Marshall on Saturday.

    2,309 yards, 17 touchdowns and two interceptions on 71.4 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: sixth

5. Kellen Moore, Boise State

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    In the meantime, Kellen Moore more than picked up the slack left behind in Keenum's absence. Moore was flawless in his Mountain West Conference debut, completing 26-of-30 for 338 yards and four touchdowns in Boise State's 63-13 thrashing of Colorado State.

    Next up, Moore will show off his aerial skills against Air Force this weekend.

    1,729 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions on 75.9 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: eighth

4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma

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    Landry Jones and Oklahoma got off to a slow start against Kansas but finished with flurry and, most importantly, a 47-17 win. Jones completed 29-of-48 attempts for 363 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the Jayhawks' jaundiced defense, most of which came in the second half.

    He'll rack up some serious yardage when Texas Tech comes to Norman for a good ol' fashioned Big 12 shootout.

    2,177 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions on 67.6 percent pass completions in 2011

    Last week's ranking: fourth

3. Robert Griffin III, Baylor

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    Incredible, yes. Indomitable, no.

    That's been the case for Robert Griffin III, whose brilliant play this season has lifted Baylor football to new heights.

    Perhaps too high, even. As brilliant as RG3 was against Texas A&M—going 28-for-40 for 430 yards, three touchdowns and one interception—he wasn't quite good enough to prevent a 55-28 loss to the Aggies.

    He'll have an extra week to regenerate his super powers before charging into Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State in what is sure to be a thriller.

    1,950 yards, 22 touchdowns and two interceptions on 78.0 percent pass completions; 72 carries for 295 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: fifth

2. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin

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    It's hard to blame Russell Wilson for putting up merely "whelming" numbers in Wisconsin's 59-7 slaughter of Indiana at Camp Randall Stadium. Wilson wasn't in for long, but was productive nonetheless, completing 12-of-17 for 166 yards and a touchdown.

    Wilson also boosted his Heisman Trophy candidacy with 42 yards on two carries along with a 25-yard touchdown catch.

    Wilson and the Badgers will have their work cut out for them against a tough Michigan State squad on Saturday in East Lansing.

    1,557 yards, 14 touchdowns and one interception on 74.2 percent pass completions; 24 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: first

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford

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    So Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in college football.

    Had to make it official at some point, right?

    Luck wasn't perfect against Washington State but he was rather productive nonetheless, throwing for 336 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a 44-14 win for Stanford.

    He and the Cardinal will hope to boost their BCS profile with a win over a ranked Washington squad this weekend.

    1,719 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions on 71.3 percent pass completions; 13 carries for 60 yards and one touchdown rushing in 2011

    Last week's ranking: second