College Football's Top 25 Quarterbacks Heading into Week 11
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For those "few" college football fans out there whose weekend wasn't entirely consumed by LSU vs. Alabama and all the BCS hullabaloo that was (not) resolved by the plethora of place kicks at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Week 10 was actually a boon for offenses and the quarterbacks who steward them.
I know, it's crazy to think that there are actually competent signal callers out there after watching Jarrett Lee, Jordan Jefferson and AJ McCarron make the SEC's top defenses look like Mafia henchmen in pads.
Believe it or not, we here at the Quarterback Scramble rather enjoy the finer points of pigskin—throwing the ball accurately and efficiently, reading defenses rather than getting overwhelmed by them at the drop of The Hat.
But I digress. For all of you lovers of 21st-century football out there, let's have a look at those brave, young pilots who keep America's passion flying through the air.
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As chock-full of great quarterbacking as Week 10 was, it couldn't keep two recent mainstays from shuffling out of the Top 25.
Or, rather, these two fellas didn't quite play well enough to hang on to their spots.
Either way, this duo's less-than-dynamism has it on the outside of the QB Scramble looking longingly in.
22. A.J. McCarron, Alabama: 16-of-28 for 199 yards and an interception in a 9-6 loss to LSU.
2011 Stats: 1,863 yards, 10 TDs, 4 INTs, 65.8 percent pass completion
23. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa: 15-of-28 for 203 yards and a touchdown, with 14 carries for 92 yards, in a 24-17 win over Central Florida.
2011 Stats: 2,098 yards, 17 TDs, 8 INTs, 63.1 percent pass completion; 87 carries, 309 yards, 2 TDs
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As always, it's only fitting that we pay respects to the young men who were outstanding on the field this past week, but haven't played well enough to climb (back) into the Top 25 of the QB Scramble just yet.
Aaron Murray, Georgia: 18-of-28 for 238 yards and five touchdowns, with two carries for 28 yards rushing, in a 63-16 trouncing of New Mexico State.
2011 Stats: 2,060 yards, 23 TDs, 8 INTs, 60 percent pass completions; 50 carries, 67 yards, 2 TDs
Collin Klein, Kansas State: 22-of-38 for 231 yards, one touchdown and one interception, with 29 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns, in a 52-45 loss at Oklahoma State.
2011 Stats: 1,223 yards, 9 TDs, 4 INTs, 58.3 percent pass completion; 206 carries, 906 yards, 19 TDs
Nick Fanuzzi, Rice: 30-of-43 for 405 yards and three touchdowns, with six carries for 34 yards, in a 41-37 win over Texas-El Paso.
2011 Stats: 787 yards, 5 TDs, 57.5 percent pass completion; 26 carries, 34 yards
Austin Dantin, Toledo: 20-of-33 for 321 yards and four touchdowns, with 12 carries for 61 yards and a rushing touchdown, in a 63-60 defeat against Northern Illinois.
2011 Stats: 1,398 yards, 14 TDs, 3 TDs, 64.9 percent pass completion; 59 carries,194 yards, 2 TDS
Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan: 12-of-17 for 196 yards and four touchdowns, with 18 carries for 126 yards rushing, in a 33-31 loss to Ball State.
2011 Stats: 1,039 yards, 9 TDs, 5 INTs, 56.3 percent pass completion; 120 carries, 565 yards, 3 TDs
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech: 18-of-32 for 358 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-21 win at Fresno State.
2011 Stats633 yards and six touchdowns on 60 percent pass completions in 2011
Blaine Gautier, Louisiana-Lafayette: 30-of-47 for 355 yards and four touchdowns, with eight carries for 59 yards, in a 36-35 win over Louisiana-Monroe in the Battle on the Bayou.
2011 Stats: 1,967 yards, 17 TDs, 2 INTs, 64.8 percent pass completion; 86 carries, 390 yards, 2 TDs
25. Cody Fajardo, Nevada
The first weekend of November was an easy one for Cody Fajardo since Nevada didn't have a game to play. He'll get back to terrorizing opposing defenses with his arm and his legs against Hawaii on Saturday, against whom he'll have the chance to measure up against fellow dual-threat dandy Bryant Moniz.
2011 Stats: 965 yards, 2 TDS, 4 INTs, 70.8 percent pass completion; 68 carries, 444 yards, 10 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 25
24. Keith Price, Washington
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Washington didn't exactly get blown out by Oregon, but Keith Price certainly could've done more to keep his Huskies in what turned out to be a 34-17 loss. Price passed for 143 yards, two touchdowns and two picks while completing 24 of his 35 attempts against U-Dub's Pac-12 North rival.
Price will need to step up his play against USC if he's to remain in the rankings for much longer.
2011 Stats: 2,133 yards, 25 TDs, 10 INTs, 66.8 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 20
23. Denard Robinson, Michigan
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Pardon my puns, but it would appear that Shoelace has become untied as of late.
Denard Robinson posted his third poor performance in as many games this past Saturday, completing just 17 of his 37 pass attempts for 194 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while running for another 55 yards on 12 carries in Michigan's disappointing 24-16 loss at Iowa.
This weekend's road game at Illinois could make or break Robinson's Top-25 candidacy for the near future.
2011 Stats: 1,519 yards, 13 TDs, 12 INTs, 52 percent pass completion; 139 carries, 834 yards, 10 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 19
22. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
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Oh Chandler Harnish, how we missed you so.
After a prolonged absence from the QB Scramble, Harnish injected himself back in the conversation by throwing for 265 yards with six touchdowns and running for another 133 yards to lead Northern Illinois to a Tecmo Bowl-esque 63-60 win at Toledo.
The MAC's biggest attacker has already played in Week 11 against Bowling Green, but we'll discuss his latest performance in next week's edition. In the meantime, pretend like you don't know how to use a search engine (or not).
2011 Stats: 1,962 yards, 18 TDs, 4 INTs, 63.1 percent pass completion; 110 carries, 871 yards, 8 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: NR
21. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
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Taylor Martinez finally has a good passing game, and Nebraska comes up short against Northwestern.
Oh, the irony. At least Martinez's 289 yards and two touchdowns passing, along with 53 yards rushing, were enough to land him back in the QB Scramble.
He and the Cornhuskers will hope for more favorable results on the field against Penn State in a game that has taken on more meaning than anyone could've imagined.
2011 Stats: 1,545 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs, 58.7 percent pass completions; 134 carries, 712 yards, 9 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: NR
20. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
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To say the 2011 season hasn't worked out as well as Ryan Tannehill and Texas A&M would've hoped is an understatement.
Tannehill did what he could to keep his Aggies in the game against Oklahoma, throwing 63 passes with 32 completions for 379 yards, two touchdowns and three picks.
Best of luck to him and his teammates against Kansas State on Saturday—they'll need it.
2011 Stats: 2,701 yards, 20 TDs, 10 INTs, 62.9 percent pass completion; 41 carries, 242 yards, 4 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 16
19. Tyler Tettleton, Ohio
The MAC attack continued in Week 10, thanks to another solid performance put forth by Tyler Tettleton. The vertically-challenged signal-caller accounted for 258 yards and three touchdowns passing, along with 29 yards and a rushing touchdown in a 35-31 win for Ohio against Temple.
Things figure to get chippy for Tettleton against the Chippewas of Central Michigan on Thursday.
2011 Stats: 2,241 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 63.9 percent pass completion; 83 carries, 287 yards, 6 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 21
18. Zach Collaros, Cincinnati
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Sooo, does anyone else realize that Cincinnati is 7-1 and might actually be a pretty good team?
Or even that Zach Collaros is a solid quarterback?
Collaros didn't have a transcendent game against Pitt per se, but he did account for all four of his team's touchdowns (two by air, two by land, none by sea), along with 214 yards passing and 20 yards rushing in a 26-23 win.
It's tough to say what a victory over a downtrodden West Virginia team would mean other than the Bearcats would be well on their way to winning the Big East.
Not quite sure what that amounts to these days, either.
2011 Stats: 1,784 yards, 14 TDs, 8 INTs, 63.4 percent pass completion; 72 carries, 245 yards, 8 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 15
17. James Franklin, Missouri
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The Missouri Tigers once again failed to follow up a win with another win, but at least James Franklin acquitted himself well. Franklin flung 46 passes, completing 33 of them, for 325 yards and three touchdowns. He supplemented his aerial brilliance with fleet feet for 57 yards on 16 carries, albeit in a 42-39 loss to Baylor.
Franklin and Mizzou will have a tough task keeping up with an improving Texas team on Saturday.
2011 Stats: 2,195 yards, 16 TDs, 7 INTs, 62.6 percent pass completion; 149 carries, 599 yards, 10 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 24
16. Nick Foles, Arizona
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Ol' Nick Foles was a very productive soul, but a winning old soul wasn't he.
Okay, enough with the nursery rhymes. There's no sugar-coating the fact that Foles is falling fast, no matter how many yards he piles up.
Not even Foles' 326-yard, two-touchdown, two-pick performance could keep Arizona from flopping against Utah, 34-21.
Now, if he can't get his act together against 1-9 Colorado, then you know things have hit rock bottom in Tucson.
2011 Stats: 3,260 yards, 22 TDs, 10 INTs, 68.8 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 11
15. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
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Finally, Arkansas snagged a win to put itself firmly on the BCS map, albeit against a shorthanded South Carolina squad.
Tyler Wilson certainly didn't seem to mind, as he threw for 299 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Razorbacks' 44-28 victory.
A game against SEC East bottom-feeder Tennessee should allow the Hogs to hop up just a bit further and closer to another successful season.
2011 Stats: 2,626 yards, 15 TDs, 4 INTs, 61.7 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 13
14. Seth Doege, Texas Tech
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So much for Texas Tech sustaining itself in the Big 12, though you can hardly blame Seth Doege this time around. Doege dashed up Texas' defense for 381 yards and two touchdowns on 40-of-55 passing in a 52-20 loss to the Longhorns.
Don't expect much better from the Red Raiders against Oklahoma State, even if Doege strings together another near-400-yard game.
2011 Stats: 3,160 yards, 24 TDs, 6 INTs, 68.5 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 18
13. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
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Not even Brock Osweiler's brilliance could keep Arizona State from imploding again, this time against UCLA. Osweiler was diligent under center, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns while scrambling for another 29 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Yet the Sun Devils couldn't help but drop a 29-28 decision to the lowly Bruins to lose control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 South.
Well, at least Washington State (ASU's next opponent) stinks, right?
2011 Stats: 2,539 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs, 64.9 percent pass completion; 65 carries, 119 yards, 3 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 14
12. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
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Tajh Boyd and Clemson had an extra week to regroup from a 31-17 loss to Georgia Tech, their first of the season. Boyd will be back to his dazzling ways against Wake Forest on Saturday.
2011 Stats: 2,674 yards, 25 TDs, 5 INTs, 61.3 percent pass completion; 89 carries, 164 yards 4 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 12
11. Dominique Davis, East Carolina
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Too bad East Carolina can't play any defense, because their offense—particularly Dominique Davis—is prone to doing some spectacular things.
Granted, 28 points against Southern Mississippi isn't a stunning total, but Davis' passing (262 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions) and his bit of running (24 yards and a touchdown) made for entertaining fare, albeit in a 20-point loss.
A trip to El Paso this weekend should help his profile.
2011 Stats: 2,604 yards, 17 TDs, 13 INTs, 69.6 percent pass completion; 61 carries, 39 yards, 5 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 10
10. Geno Smith, West Virginia
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It really is a shame that Geno Smith's football brilliance is going to waste in Morgantown. West Virginia fell to Louisville 38-35, despite Smith throwing for 410 yards and three touchdowns on 31-of-44 passing.
Smith might just need to do more to keep his Mountaineers in the mix against Cincinnati this weekend.
2011 Stats: 3,125 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs, 64.2 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 17
9. Bryant Moniz, Hawaii
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Bryant Moniz could've been more efficient for Hawaii against Utah State, but he still did quite well for himself. Moniz amassed four total touchdowns, two on 227 yards passing and two on 75 yards rushing, in a 35-31 defeat for the Warriors.
Look for a thrilling shootout on Saturday when Moniz makes his way to the Biggest Little City to play Nevada.
2011 Stats: 2,710 yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs, 62.8 percent pass completion; 80 carries, 299 yards, 8 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 9
8. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
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I'll admit, Landry Jones' six-spot drop is a bit preemptive here. Jones was so-so against Texas A&M, compiling 255 yards and five touchdowns on 18-of-38 passing in a win for Oklahoma.
Yet it's all too clear that he'll have problems without Ryan Broyles around to catch his passes, even against a defenseless Baylor bunch.
2011 Stats: 3,349 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs, 64.6 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 2
7. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
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Russell Wilson got to vent his frustrations from two straight losses by leading his Wisconsin Badgers brethren to beat up on poor Purdue. Wilson stocked up 205 yards and two touchdowns through the air, plus another 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a 62-17 win over the Boilermakers.
A road date at Minnesota should help get the remaining salt out of Wilson's wounds.
2011 Stats: 2,238 yards, 21 TDs, 3 INTs, 71.6 percent pass completion; 48 carries, 276 yards, 4 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 6
6. Kellen Moore, Boise State
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If Kellen Moore doesn't take home the Heisman Trophy at season's end, it may be in part due to games like he had against UNLV.
Not because he played poorly, but rather because he didn't get to play long enough or throw enough while in to put up jaw-dropping numbers.
Still, Moore "managed" 219 yards and five touchdowns on 18-of-31 passing in a 48-21 victory for the Broncos.
A big game against TCU would do much to boost his award candidacy, as well as that of his entire team in the BCS picture.
2011 Stats: 2,229 yards, 29 TDs, 5 INTs, 74.1 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 7
5. Matt Barkley, USC
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It's almost too bad that Matt Barkley won't get to play in a bowl game, because he's been spectacular for USC this season.
True, torching Colorado isn't all that impressive (at least in the abstract), but 318 yards, six touchdowns and an interception, regardless of the opponent, is pretty darn impressive.
You can bet he'll have more than a few opportunities to play catch with Robert Woods in a shootout with Washington on Saturday.
2011 Stats: 2,608 yards, 28 TDs, 6 INTs, 67 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 8
4. Andrew Luck, Stanford
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If you agree with Phil Simms' evaluation of Andrew Luck, I implore you to watch him play and, well, see for yourself just how great a player he really is. Luck logged 206 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, along with 28 yards rushing, in yet another blowout win for Stanford—this time against Oregon State.
This weekend's home game against Oregon will make or break Luck's Heisman candidacy, as well as that of the Cardinal in the BCS National Championship race.
2011 Stats: 2,424 yards, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, 71.3 percent pass completions; 29 carries,147 yards, 2 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 3
3. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
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Oklahoma State needed every ounce of Brandon Weeden's brilliance to beat Kansas State in the most exciting and entertaining game of Week 10. Weeden worked in 502 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions on 36-of-46 passing in a 52-45 victory in Stillwater.
Expect more offensive fireworks for the Pokes against Texas Tech in Lubbock this weekend.
2011 Stats: 3,212 yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs, 72.1 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 5
2. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
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I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I predicted Robert Griffin III and James Franklin would put on a show Saturday, and they delivered. RG3 in particular was thrilling, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 64 yards and a touchdown in a 42-39 heart-stopper.
Don't expect Kansas' destitute defense to put up much resistance to RG3's robotic brilliance on Saturday.
2011 Stats: 2,781 yards, 26 TDs, 4 INTs, 74 percent pass completion; 106 carries, 386 yards, 4 TDs
Last Week's Ranking: 4
1. Case Keenum, Houston
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Eh. Is there anything Case Keenum can do that we haven't already seen from him?
I mean, 407 yards and four total touchdowns in a 56-13 win for the undefeated Houston Cougars—can't he do better than that?
Psssh. C'mon now. What good is the kid if he doesn't throw nine touchdowns every week, especially against his competition in Conference USA?
Right? Is there a reason I'm only asking questions here? Can someone tell me, please?
Will it ever stop?
2011 Stats: 3,626 yards, 34 TDs, 3 INTs, 74.1 percent pass completion
Last Week's Ranking: 1