2006 Unit Rankings - Quarterbacks

Posted Aug 27, 2006

Preview 2006 Unit Rankings   Quarterbacks  

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1. LSU
Has one team ever had a collection of big arms like LSU owns? Ryan Perrilloux and Matt Flynn can throw, and then there's JaMarcus Russell, who can flick his wrist and put the ball anywhere in the stadium. The quarterback situation hasn't really progressed into a full-blown controversy with Russell being named the number one man when he's 100% healthy from a shoulder injury, but many Tiger fans wouldn't mind seeing Flynn get the full-time role or else take the good with the bad with Perrilloux until he gets his kinks worked out. LSU can win and win big with any of the three.

2. Ohio State
Troy Smith will forever have a place in the hearts of Buckeye fans for his performances against Michigan over the last two seasons, and now he has to lead the potent offense to a national title level. Knowing the offense, he'll put up huge numbers as both a runner and passer. Justin Zwick could start and keep the offense humming. While he doesn't have too much mobility, he's arm is strong enough to keep the passing attack moving. Todd Boeckman and Robbie Schoenhoft are nice reserves who'll need time to be groomed for next year's battle for the starting job.

3. Notre Dame
Is it crazy to get excited about the future when there's a Heisman caliber quarterback already under center? Brady Quinn will be just about everyone's preseason All-American after exploding in his first season under Charlie Weis. Now the scrutiny will be on in a year-long audition for the chance to be the number one pick in the 2007 NFL draft. As good as Quinn is, all the news this off-season was about the future after Jimmy Clausen, considered by many to be the nation's number one recruit, picked Notre Dame to stop the recruiting battle before his senior year could begin. This year, Zach Frazer and Demetrius Jones were the star quarterback recruits and they'll each get a shot at the number two job. All the incoming talent means it's now or never for backups Evan Sharpley and David Wolke to show what they can do.

4. USC
So who wants to be a superstar? Is it a foregone conclusion that the starting USC quarterback will be a Heisman finalist thanks to all the talent around him? Probably, but who will it be? John David Booty appeared ready to explode in the starting role before back spasms struck this spring. Mark Sanchez has next level talent and may someday be in New York for a Heisman presentation now that he's back on the team after a sexual assault charge filed by a USC student was dropped. If Booty can't get healthy there will be a big-time panic and lots of crossed fingers hoping for Sanchez is innocent and can get back in the mix since Mike McDonald is a limited number three option compared to the other two.

5. Louisville
How will Brian Brohm respond from his torn ACL? He'll be ready for the season opener, but rust might be an issue early on. Hunter Cantwell is a strong, tough, experienced backup who can keep the offense moving if anything happens to the franchise star, but there's not much to rely on after him with Bill Ashburn needing a little bit of experience and receiver/quarterback Patrick Carter more of a pass catcher than a passer. Thanks to the tremendous receiving corps and the great backfield to take the heat off, all the quarterbacks who play this year will thrive.

6. Florida
How fast is too fast for the future to arrive? Chris Leak is the unquestionable starter for now, but Tim Tebow appears to be the chosen one to make the Urban Meyer offense sing. Watch for Leak to run the offense with Tebow getting work here and there, but all bets are off if Leak struggles at any time. However, Florida is expected to win the SEC title this season; that will be hard to do with a true freshman. With Gavin Dickey giving up football to play baseball full-time, the backup situation is Tebow, and Tebow.

7. Michigan State
The emergence of Brian Hoyer this spring as a bona fide star of the future makes a good situation fantastic. Drew Stanton is one of the nation's most talented all-around quarterbacks with the potential to blossom into one of the top high-rising prospects for the 2007 NFL draft. He has to cut down on his interceptions and must prove that last year wasn't a fluke when he was able to stay healthy for the first time in his career.

8. Iowa
Can Drew Tate close out with an All-American bang? One of the tougher competitors in college football, Tate brings the attitude to the Hawkeyes. He's efficient and experienced, and now he has to make sure he can stay healthy after missing time here and there throughout last season. Jason Manson and Jake Christensen are capable backups, but Iowa needs Tate to have any chance of becoming a Big Ten champion.

9. Hawaii
The knock on Hawaii quarterbacks was that they were all products of the system; anyone can produce in this passing offense. While that's true, the Warriors have a quarterback with the skills to play just about anywhere. Colt Brennan is a great player in a great system, and the results should be eye-popping. Tyler Graunke is a strong number two who'll see time in blowouts, while Inoke Funaki will be more of a runner if he ever sees time.

10. California
All four of the main quarterback options (Nate Longshore, Steve Levy, Kyle Reed and Joe Ayoob) got equal shot at the starting job, but there might be protests not seen since the 1960s around Berkeley if Ayoob gets the opening day call at Tennessee. He has the talent, but he struggled in his first season as a starter after taking over for Nate Longshore, who suffered a broken ankle in the season opener. Longshore is the No. 1 man after already being declared the starter in spring ball, but Levy proved he can handle the work if called upon while Reed has the skills and smarts to be an option with more practice time.

11 California Pac 10
12 West Virginia Big East
13 Auburn SEC
14 Arizona State Pac 10
15 Stanford Pac 10
16 Arizona Pac 10
17 Tennessee SEC
17 Tennessee SEC
18 Boise State WAC
19 Michigan Big Ten
20 Houston CUSA
21 Florida State  ACC
22 Miami   ACC
23 Nebraska Big 12 
24 Iowa State Big 12 
25 Georgia SEC
26 BYU M-West
27 Texas Tech Big 12 
28 Utah M-West
29 Pitt Big East
30 Wisconsin Big Ten
32 Oregon Pac 10
33 Georgia Tech ACC
34 Tulsa CUSA
35 UCLA Pac 10
36 Northern Illinois MAC
37 Washington State Pac 10
38 Clemson ACC
39 Minnesota Big Ten
40 TCU M-West
41 Penn State Big Ten
42 Tulane CUSA
43 Akron MAC
44 San Diego State M-West
45 New Mexico M-West
47 Air Force M-West
48 Oregon State  Pac 10
49 Indiana Big Ten
50 Illinois Big Ten
51 South Carolina SEC
52 Alabama SEC
53 Missouri Big 12 
54 Boston College  ACC
55 Maryland ACC
56 Colorado   Big 12 
57 Virginia Tech ACC
58 Kansas State Big 12 
59 Kentucky SEC
60 Washington Pac 10
61 Connecticut Big East
62 East Carolina CUSA
63 Arkansas   SEC
64 Marshall CUSA
65 Mississippi   SEC
66 South Florida Big East
67 Ball State MAC
68 Wyoming  M-West
69 Texas A&M Big 12 
70 Virginia ACC
71 Purdue Big Ten
72 UNLV M-West
73 NC State ACC
74 Rutgers Big East
75 Wake Forest ACC
76 Texas   Big 12 
77 North Carolina ACC
78 Oklahoma Big 12 
79 Western Michigan MAC
80 Colorado State M-West
81 Memphis CUSA
82 Toledo MAC
83 Oklahoma State Big 12 
84 Baylor Big 12 
85 Syracuse Big East
86 Fresno State WAC
87 Cincinnati Big East
88 Northwestern Big Ten
89 Kansas Big 12 
90 Southern Miss  CUSA
92 Vanderbilt SEC
93 UL Lafayette Sun Belt
94 FIU Sun Belt
95 MTSU Sun Belt
97 Navy Ind
98 Miami Univ. MAC
99 Bowling Green MAC
100 Duke ACC
101 Idaho WAC
102 Kent State MAC
103 Mississippi State SEC
104 Eastern Michigan MAC
105 Central Michigan  MAC
106 Louisiana Tech WAC
107 Utah State WAC
108 Rice CUSA
109 Army Ind
110 Buffalo MAC
111 UL Monroe Sun Belt
112 San Jose State WAC
113 New Mexico State WAC
114 Ohio MAC
115 Arkansas State Sun Belt
116 Troy Sun Belt
117 North Texas Sun Belt
118 Temple Ind
119 Florida Atlantic Sun Belt