As we head down the stretch of the 2011 college football season, there are a lot of factors that determine how well a team finishes the year.
Some teams rely on offense, some defense, while others seek a balance between the two.
While I was going through the BCS rankings over the weekend, I started thinking about how much the quarterback factors into how good a team is. Quarterbacks are always important, but some teams can't compete without that man behind center dominating.
Look at how bad the Indianapolis Colts are without Peyton Manning for instance.
This got me thinking, who are the top 10 quarterbacks in college football all things considered?
Take a look at what I came up with, and let me know if you agree.
Sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd has come a long way from last season.
As a freshman, he only completed 33 of 63 passes for 52.4 percent. He threw four touchdowns and three interceptions.
He still holds the ball too long and gets sacked, costing his team valuable field position. He's been sacked 15 times thus far.
This season, he has been one of the most fun quarterbacks to watch. His athleticism is still there plus added poise and confidence.
He plays like a senior out there, and if he keeps it up don't be surprised to see him discussed as a Heisman candidate.
This season, Tajh has completed 172 of 278 passes for a completion percentage of 61.9 percent.
What's more, he has thrown 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Keep an eye on this guy, he is going to be a superstar!
Another sophomore, Bryn Renner has a ton of potential.
He completes a great deal of his passes, 147 of 203 so far for 72.4 percent.
He would be a few slots higher, but the kid has a major flaw in his game right now that needs fixed if he is to be considered elite.
Renner has already thrown nine interceptions, which makes his 16 touchdowns less valuable. The guy is good, but you can tell the game is still a bit too fast for him.
Bryn makes his reads and does a nice job looking at the whole field, rather than picking one receiver and forcing the ball.
The problem when I have seen him is that he throws the ball late at times. He makes the right read, but lets the ball go a bit too late, resulting in interceptions and knockdowns.
He also takes way too many sacks with 17 so far, because of his will to make the huge play.
Deep touchdowns are nice, but Renner needs to be willing to take the short passes when the defense is giving those to him.
If he does this then the deep ball will be there more often, rather than the defense sitting back in coverage all day long.
My third sophomore quarterback is Casey Pachall.
As you will see, I put a lot of value into completion percentage. If you are completing a lot of passes, chances are there won't be many interceptions.
Accurate quarterbacks mean a lot more to me than the guy who can run a 4.3 forty and jump over a building, but doesn't know where the ball is going when he lets it go.
Pachall is a guy who stays in the pocket and trusts his receivers.
He has completed 131 of 188 passes, or 69.7 percent. My favorite stat of his is 17 touchdowns with only four interceptions.
The future is bright for this kid, I hope they get some help on the defense for him.
If he played in a major conference his name would be right up near the top, even so look for him to be a top five QB next season.
Geno Smith is the forgotten man.
Only a junior, Geno basically has to carry the entire offense. The running game isn't the same, and Geno has already had to throw 299 passes.
His offensive line is average at best, keeping him on the run all of the time. Still, he has managed to complete 189 of 299 passes for 63.2 percent.
With 18 touchdowns and five interceptions, he is putting together a solid year. Two of those came against LSU, where Geno Still managed to throw for 463 yards.
LSU knew he was throwing nearly every play, which is the coaching staff's fault. He was asked to throw 65 passes which is ridiculously one dimensional, not to mention it probably had Geno's arm on ice for three days.
Geno Smith is one of my Heisman candidates for next season, I expect him to have a career year once he settles in with the offensive changes that came with the coaching change.
Sophomore quarterback Keith Price is a baller.
He throws about as nice of a pass as you can hope for, and does it without a lot of talent around him. He can move around in the pocket effectively, and seems to have eyes in the back of his head to avoid the pass rush.
Completing 141 of 206 passes for a 68.4 completion percentage, he takes care of the football. He has thrown 22 touchdowns and five interceptions, he does everything right.
Price always looks poised and unshaken, even when his team is over matched.
Against Nebraska, he threw four touchdowns and kept his team in the game.
Assuming he gets some help, Washington will be a tough team to beat over the remainder of his career.
Is it just me, or does it seem like this guy has been playing in college for ten years?
Senior quarterback Case Keenum is as cool in the pocket as is humanly possible. If he played against decent competition this guy would be a Heisman favorite.
Unfortunately, he plays against some of the worst teams in the country. I for one hope Houston goes undefeated so he gets a shot to prove himself against a worthy opponent. I certainly think he has what it takes to be a good NFL quarterback.
The guy is completing 72.9 percent of his passes, completing 194 of 266. He has thrown 23 touchdowns and only two interceptions!
If you can't tell, I'm a huge Case Keenum fan. He's a proven winner and has battled through injury, he can throw a football as good as anybody.
Keep an eye on Houston down the stretch.
Even as a Boise State hater, I have to give senior quarterback Kellen Moore some credit.
He has completed nearly 80 percent of his passes this season, and is once again lighting up the stats sheet. With 24 passes and five interceptions, he is yet again one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
While his team is overrated and playing against teams that a top tier high school team could beat, this guy is a winner. He has proven time and time again that he can and will lead his team to victory almost every single game.
I still don't think Boise State deserves a shot at the national championship, but knowing this kid they can beat anybody in the country.
Senior quarterback Russell Wilson can always bring his team back.
Even as his team struggled and fell two touchdowns behind Michigan State, he managed to drive them down the field late to tie the game. Ultimately losing on a deep prayer by Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson did all he could to win that game.
The first real duel threat quarterback on my list, Wilson can run well when he chooses to. His best attribute is his great passing ability, but he runs extremely well too.
He doesn't have to pass a lot due to Wisconsin's great run game, but when he does he normally makes it count.
Completing 109 of 149 passes for a completion percentage of 73.2 percent, you can't find a much better QB in the country than Russell Wilson.
He has run for 212 yards on 32 carries with 2 TD's, an average of 6.6 yards per carry.
His game should translate well to the NFL.
"OMG, this guy doesn't have Andrew Luck No. 1!!"
That's what most of you reading this said as you clicked over to this slide.
While Andrew Luck has the size and tools of a pro quarterback, I don't have him on the pedestal most of the media does.
Sure he's awesome, a lock for No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft barring an unforeseen series of events that drops him for whatever reason.
I happen to think there is a quarterback who is better than Andrew Luck, both at this level and as a pro prospect.
Luck has been great however, I'm not taking anything away from him. Whichever team drafts him took a winner for sure.
He has completed 145 of 202 passes, a stellar 71.8 percent. His 20 touchdowns and three interceptions is nothing to sneeze at either.
The man, the myth, the legend, Robert Griffin III.
The junior quarterback is by far my favorite quarterback in the country. He's one of the best prospects I have ever seen.
He's completed 78 percent of his passes, adding 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He can also run the ball, totaling nearly 300 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
This guy should get more press than Denard Robinson of Michigan does. He's not quite as athletic, but is close. The difference is, he isn't a gimmick. Robinson runs the ball great when he isn't injured from all the hits he takes. He is also great until he floats three interceptions in a game .
Point is, Griffin deserves to be talked about with Andrew Luck. He still has a year of eligibility left and already plays like a pro.
If you haven't watched a Baylor game, do yourself a favor and check one out.
Everybody will be on my side soon enough.