The most underrated player is...drumroll please...South Florida's Matt Grothe.
Is Grothe better than Pat White?
I'm a big Pat White fan and think he deserves to be included in arguments about which college QB is the greatest ever. Here are White's career statistics:
Passing yards: 6,049
Rushing yards: 4,480 (new career record for QB)
Now here are Grothe's stats:
Passing yards: 8,157
Rushing yards: 2,085
Total yards: 10,242
Grothe's career numbers are close to White's, but hold on a second—Grothe compiled these statistics in three seasons vs. White's four seasons. If Grothe played in as many games as White and produced his three year average stats, he would have 13,600 total yards!
It's rare that you get a chance to compare two quarterbacks in college football so fairly. They played in the same conference during the same seasons. That means they didn't just play against similar competition, they played against identical competition.
And Grothe's playing on a team that is clearly worse, which partly explains why he has more interceptions (42 to White's 23) and more sacks (80 to White's 41).
Just to throw in a reference point from another conference, Graham Harrell has about 15,000 passing yards in three years. That's close to an NCAA record.
As a final reference point, here are Vince Young's career stats in three years.
Passing yards: 6,040
Rushing yards: 3,127
Total yards: 9,167
I'm not trying to say Matt Grothe is the greatest, just that he's clearly not getting enough love. Why?
1. Not flashy
2. Plays for a team with no reputation and a small fan base.
3. Might have overcome these two if his teams had been more successful.