The BCS era is over, whether we like it or not. It’s now time for the College Football Playoff to take over the college football world of ours. But, before we move on from the era, lets take a look back at the most important position over that time, the quarterback. In the 16 year span of the BCS, we saw 11 different quarterbacks take home the Heisman Trophy. We also saw countless others fall just short of winning one, just because the position was that deep. With all of the talent, it’s only right to start an argument and try to decide the top 25 QB’s of the BCS Era.
But, before you go off shouting about your favorite teams’ star quarterback from 2002, you should probably take a look at the numbers. After all, numbers never lie (aside from Air Raid offenses).
*Every quarterback who played at least two seasons in the BCS era are eligible, which means Jameis Winston and Michael Bishop weren’t eligible.
Now here comes the complicated system that I came up with based entirely on statistics. Ready? Okay. I took 35 noticeable quarterbacks from the BCS Era, ones that stand out above the rest. People like Geno Smith, Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, Andy Dalton, etc. Then I took a lo-o-o-ong list of statistics from passing touchdowns to winning percentage to rushing yards. You could say it took me a while as well. After I acquired all of this information, I gave the quarterbacks points for where they ranked on each statistic.
EX: If a QB was the 10th ranked in total yards and first in total touchdowns, then he would get 25 points and the 9th spot would get 26 and so on. Except I went threw and did that for six key stats I look at when deciding.
- Passing touchdowns per start
- Passing yards per start
- Winning percentage as a starter
- Average # of wins per season
- Rushing touchdowns per start
- Interception per start (The lowest ratio was awarded the most points)
The purpose of this was to make it as balanced as possible, so a system pocket-passer type quarterback would benefit from passing yards and passing touchdowns, a winning quarterback would be rewarded twice for their efforts, and a running quarterback would benefit from the interception ratio and rushing touchdowns. So in other words, Graham Harrell is balanced with A.J. McCarron, while McCarron is balanced with Eric Crouch, and Crouch has the same benefits that Harrell has. This way, we could determine which quarterback is the best at what they do. After assigning points to all 34 players, I then rewarded additional points for the following :
- Heisman Winner
- Heisman Finalist
- 1st Team All-American
- 2nd Team All-American
- 1st Conference All-American
- Maxwell and the Davey O’Brien awards
- BCS National Championship wins/losses
- BCS Game wins and losses
- Being from an AQ Conference awarded you five extra points, as an award for SOS
After processing all of that (only six hours or so), I found the top 25 quarterbacks of the BCS. Let me tell you I now appreciate those BCS computer-geeks a little more now. Because even after all the time I spent, the system is still flawed. But it’s more than enough to get us through the offseason isn’t it? We start off with honorable mentions (30-26), featuring a Georgia QB just shy of making a BCS Championship and a Heisman Trophy winner.
30. Aaron Murray, Georgia (2010-13)- 116 points I figured Murray would be a lot higher, but his interceptions and winning statistics hurt him here.
29. Landry Jones, Oklahoma (2009-13)- 117 points
28. Geno Smith, West Virginia (2009-12)- 122 points
27. Eric Crouch, Nebraska (1999-02)- 126 points First Heisman winner on the list for the quarterback who ranked near last in every passing statistic.
26. Braxton Miller, Ohio State (2011-15)- 130 points Another year in the BCS and Miller certainly could of soared higher. Now for the top 25 quarterbacks of the BCS Era :
25. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech (2006-08)- 131 points The air-raid quarterback most famous for his miraculous 2008 season edged Miller by one point.
23. Josh Heupel, Oklahoma (1999-01)- 133 points The 2000 National Championship helped Heupel reach the top 25.
23. Robert Griffin III, Baylor (2009-13)- 133 points RG3 tied Heupel, as his first three years at Baylor didn’t do to well in the winning category.
22. Case Keenum Houston (2006-11)- 134 points The only quarterback in NCAA history to pass over 5,000 yards in three seasons, Keenum was up top in the passing touchdowns and yards categories. His interception ratio is what hurt him the most.
21. Greg McElroy, Alabama (2007-10)- 136 points
20. Colt Brennan, Hawaii (2005-08)- 137 points
19. Collin Klein, Kansas State (2009-12)- 139 points Apparently he can Eric Crouch it better than Eric Crouch can.
18. Andy Dalton, TCU (2007-10)- 141 points
17. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (2009-12)- 144 points
16. Troy Smith, Ohio State (2005-08)- 163 points Really big jump here, you start to see bigger names and award winners from here on out.
15. Andrew Luck, Stanford (2009-12)- 167 points
14. Marcus Mariota, Oregon (2011-15)- 173 points A winner who can pass and run. Mariota might be one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the era.
13. Chris Weinke, Florida State (1998-00)- 174 points
12. A.J. McCarron, Alabama (2011-14)- 183 points A game manager is 12th on a statistics based points system? Something isn’t right.
11. Michael Vick, Virginia Tech (1999-01)- 190 points
10. Vince Young, Texas (2003-06)- 191 points I should of spotted Young 20 points for his epic-ness in the 2006 BCS performance at the Rose Bowl.
9. Colt McCoy, Texas (2007-11)- 192 points The Longhorns come in at #9 and #10 in this list.
8. Ken Dorsey, Miami FL (00-03)- 196 points W-I-N-N-E-R
7. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (2011-12)- 199 points Hey I’m a huge Manziel fan but even I was surprised he was this high up on the list.
6. Kellen Moore, Boise State (2007-11)- 206 points I didn’t think Moore would be this high either. Oh well, he won a lot of games and threw a lot of touchdowns so he earned it.
5. Cam Newton, Auburn (2010-11)- 215 points One year was all Cam needed to sky rocket on the list for 215 points.
4. Tim Tebow, Florida (2006-10)- 216 points A winner who’s freshmen statistics as a back up hurt him from taking the top spot. Hey don’t blame me it’s not my system! Okay you got me.
3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (2007-09)- 219 points Could have taken the top spot if he had won any of the BCS games he played in.
2. Jason White, Oklahoma (2000-05)- 221 points See #3
1. Matt Leinart, USC (2003-06)- 244 points In a rather shockingly landslide victory, Leinart takes the top spot by 23 points over Jason White, which almost brings me back to the 2005 Orange Bowl. A winner and a passer who also earned style points with his awards and championships, Leinart earned the top spot and it will be his to keep forever as the best quarterback in the BCS Era. Hope you enjoyed the list and the article all together.
For the complete statistics and points system, click the links below.
Extra Points Statistics Rankings Players Information