Ranking the 70 Bowl QuarterbacksDecember 18, 2012
1. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M – FR – (10-2) 6-1, 200lbs
68.3%, 3,419 yards, 24 TDs, 8 INTs, 155.9 rating, 1,181 yards, 19 TDs
“Johnny Football” has made big play after big play this season en route to breaking Cam Newton’s single season SEC total offense record and becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. In addition to the Heisman, the freshman sensation also hauled in the Davey O’Brien Award (best quarterback) and AP All-American honors (as well as from six other organizations). Manziel has been an unstoppable force this year and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.
2. Collin Klein – Kansas State – SR – (11-1) 6-5, 226lbs
66.2%, 2,490 yards, 15 TDs, 7 INTs, 156.1 rating, 890 rush yards, 22 TDs
Klein is the face of Kansas State’s emergence as a national title contender the past two seasons. The Wildcats nearly made it to the Promised Land this season thanks in large part to Klein, who currently has the second-most rushing touchdowns in the country and was named the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Year. He also nabbed second team AP All-American status and was the recipient of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (outstanding senior quarterback).
3. AJ McCarron – Alabama – JR – (12-1) 6-4, 210lbs
66.8%, 2,669 yards, 26 TDs, 3 INTs, 173.1 rating, rush TD
McCarron is a remarkably efficient passer, tossing 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions in the nation’s toughest conference. In fact, McCarron currently holds the FBS’ highest quarterback rating with an impressive 173.1. He was rewarded well for posting his stellar numbers, garnering third team AP All-American recognition. He definitely gets the matchup nod in the national title game.
4. Marcus Mariota – Oregon – FR – (11-1) 6-4, 196lbs
69.9%, 2,511 yards, 30 TDs, 6 INTs, 165.4 rating, 690 rush yards, 4 TDs
With Darron Thomas’ decision to forego his senior season, there was a big question mark at quarterback coming into the 2012 season for the Ducks. When Mariota took the field, there were no more questions. The PAC-12’s Freshman Player of the Year and first team All-PAC-12 performer has been phenomenal. He currently boasts the nation’s fifth-best passer rating and the fourth-best completion percentage. His 690 yards and four touchdowns on the ground are also a testament to Mariota being a legitimate dual threat.
5. Tajh Boyd – Clemson – JR – (10-2) 6-1, 225lbs
66.6%, 3,550 yards, 34 TDs, 13 INTs, 168.5 rating, 492 rush yards, 9 TDS
Boyd was named the ACC’s Player of the Year and certainly has put together the body of work to merit the honor. In addition to compiling the country’s fourth-best quarterback rating, Boyd racked up 34 touchdown passes and nine more on the ground. His play caught the attention of the American Football Coaches Association, who named him to their All-American team.