College Football Power Rankings 2011: Top 25 Quarterbacks Heading into Week 12

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterNovember 17, 2011

College Football Power Rankings 2011: Top 25 Quarterbacks Heading into Week 12

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    Week 11 was not a good one for the best quarterbacks in college football, to say the least. Some, like Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore, weren't terrible but, then again, weren't quite good enough to keep their teams from suffering disappointing losses. Others, like Denard Robinson and Zach Collaros, succumbed to injuries, both short-term and season-ending.

    And still others, like Dominique Davis and Seth Doege, just plain stunk up the stat sheet.

    As such, you'll probably notice quite a bit of reshuffling among the Quarterback Scramble compared to last week's edition.

    To be fair, the quarterbacking wasn't all bad in every instance. In fact, there were still quite a few strong, if not superb, performances put forth by some superb signal-callers. I'll do what I can to highlight those while mixing in a fair and balanced dose of football reality.

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Who's Out?

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    As you might imagine, a number of those quarterbacks who got hurt or played poorly fell out of the top 25.

    Six, to be exact, which would make this week among the most hectic in the "long and storied" history of The QB Scramble.

    A startling development, indeed.


    9. Bryant Moniz, Hawaii: 3-of-7 for 23 yards before suffering a fractured tibia in a 42-28 loss at Nevada.

    2011 Stats: 2,733 yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs, 62.5 percent pass completions; 81 carries, 293 yards, 8 TDs rushing


    14. Seth Doege, Texas Tech: 25-of-43 for 169 yards and an interception in a 66-6 loss to Oklahoma State.

    2011 Stats: 3,328 yards, 24 TDs, 7 INTs, 67.6 percent pass completions


    18. Zach Collaros, Cincinnati: 7-of-11 for 70 yards before breaking his right ankle in a 24-21 loss to West Virginia.

    2011 Stats: 1,854 yards, 14 TDs, 8 INTs, 63.4 percent pass completions; 76 carries, 242 yards, 8 TDs rushing


    21. Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: 13-of-26 for 143 yards, with 19 carries for 56 yards rushing, in a 17-14 win at Penn State.

    2011 Stats: 1,688 yards, 10 TDs, 7 INTs, 57.7 percent pass completions; 153 carries, 768 yards, 9 TDs rushing


    23. Denard Robinson, Michigan: 6-of-10 for 92 yards and an interception, with 12 carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns, before succumbing to a wrist injury in a 31-14 win over Illinois.

    2011 Stats: 1,611 yards, 13 TDs, 13 INTs, 52.4 percent pass completions; 151 carries, 864 yards, 12 TDs rushing


    24. Keith Price, Washington: 12-of-16 for 125 yards before suffering a knee injury in a 40-17 loss at USC.

    2011 Stats: 2,258 yards, 25 TDs, 10 INTs, 67.2 percent pass completions

Honorable Mentions

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    Rather than spend too much time dwelling on the negative, it's important for all of us here at the QB Scramble to accentuate the positives as much as possible.

    Which is why we'd like to give a shout out or two to these five football players who posted phenomenal performances in Week 11.


    Darron Thomas, Oregon: 11-of-17 for 155 yards and three touchdowns, with seven carries for 17 yards, in a 53-30 win at Stanford.

    2011 Stats: 1,704 yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs, 60.5 percent pass completions; 33 carries, 131 yards, 2 TDs rushing


    Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: 7-of-13 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, with 18 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns rushing, in a 37-26 win at Georgia Tech.

    2011 Stats: 2,143 yards, 14 TDs, 7 INTs, 60.5 percent pass completions; 105 carries, 355 yards, 8 TDs rushing


    Connor Halliday, Washington State: 27-of-36 for 494 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-27 victory against Arizona State.

    2011 Stats: 671 yards, 7 TDs, 69.1 percent pass completions


    BJ Daniels, South Florida: 23-of-34 for 254 yards, with 21 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown, in a 37-17 win at Syracuse.

    2011 Stats: 2,281 yards, 12 TDs, 5 INTs, 60.4 percent pass completions; 113 carries, 557 yards, 5 TDs rushing


    Jonathan Perry, Alabama-Birmingham: 29-of-48 for 410 yards and four touchdowns, with nine carries for 47 yards rushing, in a 41-35 victory at Memphis.

    2011 Stats: 1,616 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs, 56.5 percent pass completions; 64 carries, 144 yards, 1 TD rushing

25. Alex Carder, Western Michigan

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    There was no way I could possibly leave Alex Carder out of the top 25 of the QB Scramble this week, not after what he did against Toledo.

    Sure, it wasn't enough to get Western Michigan a win, but you can hardly fault Carder for the Broncos dropping a narrow 66-63 decision. If anything, Carder deserves praise for keeping his team in a shootout with the Rockets by way of 548 yards and seven touchdowns through the air.

    Oh, and let's not forget about the 16 yards and a touchdown he added on the ground.

    He and the Broncos have already put in their work for Week 12 against Miami (OH), but we'll save that for the next edition. You can thank the Mid-American Conference and its desperate desire to get itself on ESPN for that.

    2011 Stats: 2,822 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs, 67.5 percent pass completions; 96 carries, 234 yards, 4 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

24. Casey Pachall, Texas Christian

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    Casey Pachall's hasn't been in the QB Scramble since September but is more than deserving of immediate re-installation, both for his brilliance and what it meant to his team.

    Pachall passed for 473 yards, five touchdowns and just one pick.

    And, as it so happens, TCU needed just about every one one of those yards—and certainly every one of those touchdowns—to spring a monumental 36-35 upset victory over Boise State at Bronco Stadium.

    Pachall will look to keep his beloved Horned Frogs on track for the Mountain West Conference title when they take on Colorado State at Amon Carter Stadium on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,413 yards, 24 TDs, 6 INTs, 68.0 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

23. GJ Kinne, Tulsa

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    Clearly, GJ Kinne didn't care for life outside of the QB Scramble, so he went out and did whatever he could to crack the top 25 again.

    And by "whatever he could", I mean 302 yards, four touchdowns and just one pick to keep Tulsa undefeated in Conference USA with a 59-17 shellacking of Marshall.

    Next up, Kinne and company will travel down to the Lone Star State to stack up against Texas-El Paso.

    2011 Stats: 2,400 yards, 21 TDs, 9 INTs, 64.6 percent pass completions; 90 carries, 328 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

22. Nick Foles, Arizona

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    The downward spiral that is the 2011 season continued for Nick Foles and Arizona this past weekend. Foles failed to keep the Wildcats from serving up Colorado's first Pac-12 victory, throwing for 352 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions 48-29 defeat in Boulder.

    Expect another sad display of fumble-filled football in an unexpectedly tragic tilt for the Territorial Cup.

    2011 Stats: 3,612 yards, 23 TDs, 13 INTs, 68.5 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: 16

21. Dominique Davis, East Carolina

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    I couldn't quite bring myself to drop Dominique Davis from the QB Scramble entirely, but I came all too close anyway. Once a borderline top 10 signal-caller, Davis fell deservedly far after completing just 18 of his 34 pass attempts for 133 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

    Granted, I may have gone easier on Davis if those modest numbers had been enough to keep ECU from losing to UTEP, though I guess we'll never really know.

    Davis will need better numbers, or at least better results, against Central Florida to keep from dropping out of the rankings entirely.

    2011 Stats: 2,737 yards, 18 TDs, 15 INTs, 68.2 percent pass completions; 69 carries, 64 yards, 5 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 11

20. Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan

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    Who would've thought that the only quarterbacks in the QB Scramble from Great Lakes State schools would come from the MAC?

    Alex Gillett certainly doesn't mind, not after notching 234 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 completions in 15 attempts.

    The 89 rushing yards on 19 carries weren't half bad either and certainly helped Eastern Michigan earn a 30-17 win over Buffalo.

    A trip to Kent State on Saturday should afford Gillett another golden opportunity to strut his stuff for yours truly.

    2011 Stats: 1,273 yards, 13 TDs, 5 INTs, 57.3 percent pass completions; 139 carries, 654 yards, 3 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

19. Collin Klein, Kansas State

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    Denard Robinson may not be in the top 25, but at least Collin Klein is still carrying the mantle for running quarterbacks quite well in his stead. Klein accumulated 281 yards, a touchdown and an interception through the air and, more importantly, 103 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to lead Kansas State to a thrilling quadruple-overtime victory against Texas A&M.

    Expect Klein's tired feet to be busy once more when the Wildcats claw their way to Austin to face Texas on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 1,504 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs, 58.9 percent pass completions; 241 carries, 1,009 yards, 24 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

18. Cody Fajardo, Nevada

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    Cody Fajardo has been fantastic for Nevada since taking over the full-time quarterbacking duties in Reno back in October. Fajardo took another step up the ladder with 290 yards and three touchdowns passing, along with 81 yards and a touchdown rushing, to lead the Wolfpack to a 42-28 win over Hawaii.

    He'll look to take another step up to the elite level of collegiate quarterbacks against Louisiana Tech this weekend.

    2011 Stats: 1,255 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs, 70.4 percent pass completions; 87 carries, 525 yards, 11 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 25

17. Aaron Murray, Georgia

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    I've proceeded with caution in including Aaron Murray in the QB Scramble this year, though I thought it safe enough to finally insert him prominently this time around.

    Especially after the way he carved up Auburn for 224 yards and four touchdowns on 14-of-18 passing in a 45-7 smashing for Georgia.

    Look for him to pile up some big numbers against Kentucky on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,284 yards, 27 TDs, 8 INTs, 61.2 percent pass completions; 59 carries, 88 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: NR

16. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

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    It never seems to get any easier for Ryan Tannehill and Texas A&M. Tannehill posted a solid performance against Kansas State, throwing for 210 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while rushing for another 31 yards, but couldn't quite keep his Aggies from succumbing to a 53-50 quadruple-overtime defeat.

    A home game against lowly Kansas should provide the folks in College Station a brief respite from what has been an unexpectedly brutal season.

    2011 Stats: 2,911 yards, 23 TDs, 11 INTs, 62.4 percent pass completions; 46 carries, 273 yards, 4 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 20

15. Tyler Tettleton, Ohio

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    Tyler Tettleton's slow and steady rise through the QB Scramble continued in Week 11 as he led Ohio to a 43-28 win over Central Michigan. Tettleton totaled 218 yards, two touchdowns and one interception along with 50 yards and a touchdown rushing to push his Bobcats up through the wackiness of the MAC.

    Tettleton's already put in his work for Week 12, but we'll let you sit on pins and needles for a bit before we let you know how things turned out.

    2011 Stats: 2,459 yards, 22 TDs, 6 INTs, 63.2 percent pass completions; 97 carries, 337 yards, 7 TDs

    Last Week's Ranking: 19

14. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois

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    Speaking of the mid-week MAC attack, Chandler Harnish has likewise already totaled big numbers for Week 12, but we'll focus first on his stellar performance from Week 11.

    Harnish harnessed his exceptional football energies to throw for 294 yards and two touchdowns and run for another 181 yards and a score in a 45-14 trouncing of Bowling Green.

    We'll fill you in on Harnish's performance against Ball State in the next edition.

    2011 Stats: 2,594 yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs, 64.0 percent pass completions; 155 carries, 1,203 yards, 10 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 22

13. James Franklin, Missouri

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    Not going to lie here—much of James Franklin's bump up this week came by way of Missouri earning a surprising 17-5 win over Texas.

    Franklin's numbers were anything but great (186 yards passing, 33 yards and a touchdown rushing), but they were certainly enough to help the Tigers score a big victory against the Longhorns.

    He should have no trouble making up for lost time on the stat sheet against Texas Tech on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,381 yards, 16 TDs, 7 INTs, 63.1 percent pass completions; 162 carries, 642 yards, 11 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 17

12. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

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    Tajh Boyd wasn't spectacular, but he was just good enough to lead Clemson past Wake Forest.

    Hence, he's back at No. 12.

    Boyd boasted 343 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 27-of-43 passing, along with 11 carries for 27 yards, in a 31-28 nailbiter.

    The Tigers have already wrapped up a spot in the ACC Championship Game out of the Atlantic Division but still figure to do some damage in Raleigh against North Carolina State on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 3,017 yards, 17 TDs, 7 INTs, 61.5 percent pass completions; 100 carries, 191 yards, 4 TDs

    Last Week's Ranking: 12

11. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State

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    Brock Osweiler is starting to resemble cross-state rival Nick Foles—a top-quality quarterback who can't keep his team from tanking.

    That's been the case the last two weeks, including Arizona State's 37-27 loss to Washington State in Week 11, during which Osweiler tossed for 351 yards and a touchdown on 28-of-44 passing.

    Look for Osweiler and Foles to light up each other's defenses in the tussle for the Territorial Cup on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,890 yards, 20 TDs, 8 INTs, 64.8 percent pass completions; 69 carries, 125 yards, 3 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 13

10. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

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    Tyler Wilson and Arkansas may never get their due, having to fight for scraps behind LSU and Alabama, but that shouldn't detract from what they've been able to do this season.

    Wilson continued to play like arguably the best quarterback in the SEC, throwing for 224 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 16-of-26 passing to lead the Razorbacks to a 49-7 stomping of Tennessee.

    Expect Wilson to "hog" the spotlight once again when Arkansas takes on Mississippi State in Little Rock on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,850 yards, 18 TDs, 5 INTs, 61.7 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: 15

9. Matt Barkley, USC

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    Matt Barkley wasn't exactly Matt Barkley in USC's 40-17 win over Washington.

    Not that he performed poorly, per se, but 174 yards passing and two total touchdowns don't exactly scream "Barkley".

    If Barkley has a big game against Oregon on Saturday and is able to lead his Trojans to a victory in the process, he'll find himself comfortably nestled much closer to the top than he is now.

    2011 Stats: 2,782 yards, 29 TDs, 6 INTs, 66.8 percent pass completions; 24 carries, 22 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

8. Landry Jones, Oklahoma

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    Landry Jones spent the week hangin' out and, more importantly, figurin' out if anyone, Kenny Stills or otherwise, can possibly fill the void left behind by the injured Ryan Broyles.

    Baylor's absentee defense should provide an interesting opportunity for Jones and the Sooners to find out.

    2011 Stats: 3,349 yards, 28 TDs, 9 INTs, 64.6 percent pass completions; 17 carries, 22 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

7. Geno Smith, West Virginia

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    Give Geno Smith credit—the kid's played some great football this year even if his West Virginia teammates haven't as often as he has.

    Smith continued his strong season, completing 29-of-43 for 372 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mountaineers to a big 24-21 win at Cincinnati.

    Smith will need his buddies to keep up with him if WVU is to take out Pittsburgh in the annual Border War a week from Friday.

    2011 Stats: 3,497 yards, 24 TDs, 5 INTs, 64.5 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: 10

6. Andrew Luck, Stanford

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    Stanford's BCS National Championship hopes weren't the only things that took a hit from last Saturday's loss to Oregon.

    Andrew Luck's reign in the top 5 of the QB Scramble also came to a temporary end. His 256-yard, three-touchdown, two-interception performance would've been questionable enough in and of itself.

    Throw in the startling defeat and...Luck drops two spots.

    Eh well. Look for Luck to have a big game in The Big Game against Cal on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,680 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INTs, 70.6 percent pass completions; 34 carries, 134 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

5. Kellen Moore, Boise State

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    I came close to penalizing Kellen Moore in the QB Scramble for Boise State's loss, but he played well enough in that game that I just couldn't do it.

    Moore can hardly be faulted for the Broncos' 36-35 home loss to TCU, not after throwing for 320 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-38 passing.

    He'll look to recuperate his team's image with a trip to San Diego State on Saturday.

    2011 Stats: 2,549 yards, 31 TDs, 5 INTs, 74.1 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

4. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin

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    Russell Wilson came about as close to quarterback perfection this past Saturday as anyone in college football this season since North Carolina's Bryn Renner went 22-for-23 against James Madison in Week 1.

    More specifically, Wilson threw 17 passes and completed 16 of them, for 178 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-13 thrashing of Minnesota for Wisconsin.

    Expect plenty more fireworks from Wilson at Illinois this weekend.

    2011 Stats: 2,416 yards, 25 TDs, 3 INTs, 73.4 percent pass completions; 55 carries, 295 yards, 4 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

3. Robert Griffin III, Baylor

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    Robert Griffin III has had two "bad" games this season...and Saturday's overtime win at Kansas wasn't one of them.

    RG3 racked up 312 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 22-of-29 passing, not to mention 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries to lead Baylor to a thrilling 31-30 overtime victory.

    A big game against Oklahoma would to wonders to, well, push him back up a spot or two in what's proving to be a tough pairing to crack.

    2011 Stats: 3,093 yards, 29 TDs, 5 INTs, 74.2 percent pass completions; 117 carries, 478 yards, 5 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

2. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

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    Brandon Weeden was devilishly good during Oklahoma State's 66-6 shellacking of Texas Tech in Lubbock.

    Weeden walloped the Red Raiders' defense (or lack thereof) for 423 yards and five touchdowns on 31-of-37 passing, making Seth Doege (see: Who's Out?) look like a chump by comparison.

    Look for him to have a similar comparative effect on Jared Barnett when the Cowboys take on Iowa State on Friday.

    2011 Stats: 3,635 yards, 31 TDs, 9 INTs, 73.1 percent pass completions

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

1. Case Keenum, Houston

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    So what would it take someone—anyone—to oust Case Keenum from his long stay atop the QB Scramble?

    Well, a great performance, to be sure, one of at least, say, 350 or 400 yards along with four or five touchdowns.

    And, of course, a poor day from Keenum, which probably isn't going to happen anytime soon, not after seeing him accumulate another 325 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-29 passing against Tulane.

    Southern Methodist will prove a tough challenge for Houston on Saturday, but certainly not one that Keenum can't pass them through.

    2011 Stats: 3,951 yards, 37 TDs, 3 INTs, 74.2 percent pass completions; 37 carries, 35 yards, 2 TDs rushing

    Last Week's Ranking: 1