ASK CFN - The Top NFL Quarterback Prospects
Posted Oct 9, 2009

Who are the best quarterback prospects for the 2009 NFL Draft? Who are the best announcers and color analysts (and worst)? Explaining the rankings, the worst weather to sit through, and whether or not Miami is back to superpower status, all in the latest ASK CFN.

ASK CFN ... October 9

By Pete Fiutak

Fire over your questions, comments, and baskets of mini-muffins to

I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

- Who is Ryan Williams?
- Will the pollsters bypass Oklahoma?
- Will Texas really go 9-3?
Can Ole Miss win the BCS title?
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2006 ASK CFNs
Where does Tim Tebow really stack up as a pro prospect at the moment, and who are the top five NFL quarterback prospects right now? – FE

A: From all the insiders I've talked to and from all my NFL types who really do know how the pro scouts think, the top five NFL quarterbacks eligible for the 2010 Draft right now are 1. Sam Bradford, 2. Jimmy Clausen, 3. Colt McCoy, 4. Tim Tebow, 5. Tony Pike. Jake Locker might be No. 5A, but I don't get it, and Jevan Snead 5B. As far as the top five prospects in college football right now, eligible for next year's draft or not, my top five at the moment are 1. Jimmy Clausen, 2. Ryan Mallett, 3. Sam Bradford, 4. Jevan Snead (IF he gets a few years of really, really good NFL coaching), 5. Matt Barkley (in three years).

Utah was arguably a co-national champion last year. Do they really deserve a #30 ranking after one loss to an Oregon team that really looks pretty good right now? Would anyone be that surprised if Utah won out? I'm not saying top 10, but top 20 is not unreasonable... – TN

A: Yeah, I'd be surprised. You're obviously a Utah fan; you really think this team is comparable to last year's team? The loss of RB Matt Asiata isn't a killer, but it's a major problem. Last year's passing game was ultra-efficient, and this year's passing game is fine, but not close to as strong. Last year's team wouldn't have lost a game when the pass defense allows the Oregon QB to complete just 4-of-16 passes for 95 yards with an interception. Yeah, the 2009 version is good, but it's not time to start talking BCS after sputtering against Utah State and San Jose State and beating Louisville at home. I do think the Utes will roll through the next six weeks and be 8-1, or 7-2 at worst, but there's no way they're beating both TCU and BYU on the road. As far as last year, no, it's not arguable. Florida was the national champion.

Is it true that if a Big10/Pac 10 champion plays in the BCS title game the Rose Bowl committee is required to take their replacement pick from a non-BCS league school if it qualifies (ala Boise State or TCU)? I heard this came about because the other BCS Bowls are upset that the Rose Bowl has not had to absorb this pick yet so they should be forced to take it in the year they host the title game? Please clarify. – JS

A: Yup, but not until next year. From January 2011 through 2014, the first time the Rose Bowl loses a Big Ten or Pac 10 team to the national title, a non-BCS league team, assuming it meets the other qualifications of finishing in the top 12, or in the top 16 with a BCS league champion ranked lower, gets to go to Pasadena. The rule is basically in place because the Rose Bowl gets a sweet deal with the two automatic tie-ins. The other BCS bowls don't want to have to take the non-BCSer and want the Rose Bowl to pull its weight on the team no one really wants.

I know you've been asked in the past what your favorite college football announcer/analyst was, but I was wondering who you least favorite announcer is and the one you think is the worst. Same goes for the analysts on all the college football shows. – SB

Is it me, or is Craig James close to unlistenable in the booth? I was curious, what are your top 3 (current) play-by-play and color guys? – Brad in LA

A: I'm not sure what James adds. I don't really like Jesse Palmer in the studio, but he's growing into a nice game analyst. It's like he's better when he doesn't think and just throws. James isn't bad, but I can't remember ever thinking, "hmmm, interesting point."

I prefer a former coach in the booth, like a Bob Davie, who can X and O it well, and if there's going to be a former player doing a game, I want to hear from an insider's perspective what he's seeing and I don't want to hear the basic comments that some guy in a bar could make. That's why I like Chris Spielman and the way he sees the game, even if he's wrong in his analysis from time to time.

In general, the play-by-play man should be heard and not seen. In other words, it's not a bad thing if you don't notice his work unless he's special, like Verne Lundquist or Brent Musberger, and he should never, ever, detract from the game by doing anything annoying. Mark Jones tends to cross that line from time to time, but the worst in all of sports at the moment is the way-too-screamy Chip Carey doing baseball for TBS.

To answer your question about who are my least favorite talking heads, it's unfortunate, but I'm having a hard time with Bob Griese. He used to be the best in the game, and he used to carry Keith Jackson, but at least five times per broadcast I feel for him when he stumbles over a name or loses his train of thought. In studio, I used to make excuses for Lou Holtz because I liked the goofiness and the fire, but he's no longer adding anything other than clichés and the most basic of analysis. His problems are only made more glaring by the rock-solid work of Mark May and the fantastic job done week after week by Rece Davis. Not to go Howard Cosell and get into the jockocracy, but the pros, like Davis, Chris Fowler and Trey Wingo, are so good that they make the weak ex-jocks stick out. The NFL studio shows do a worse job of this than the college shows (Mike Ditka is a buffoon and Keyshawn Johnson is a disaster).

My three favorite play-by-play announcers right now are Musberger, Lundquist, and in a tie, Chris Fowler and Pam Ward. My three favorite color analysts are Pat Haden, Davie, and Kirk Herbstreit.

You guys continue to mystify me. How is a one Loss BYU team ranked so far below OU, and how does Georgia continue to be ranked ahead of Oklahoma State, when OSU beat them by 2 touchdowns, more points then what LSU beat them by. I would like to see you guys answer these questions on your questions sheet and not try to beat around the bush on this. – WL

A: Have you seen BYU play lately? Yes, we take into account the head-to-head matchups, but if that's all you're going by, where do you put Florida State? The Noles didn't just beat BYU, they destroyed the Cougars in Provo. Now, Landry Jones has a little experience, but the Sooners need to show something soon. Georgia had flu issues against Oklahoma State, and now, with Kendall Hunter hurt and Dez Bryant banged up an suspended, it's hard to justify a much higher ranking.

With the SEC pretty much guaranteed a spot in the BCS championship game every year, how long until the other 5 BCS conferences realize that their champion only has a one in five chance of playing in the game and start calling for a broader system (i.e. playoff/plus one)? – KW

A: The playoff part of your question isn't going to happen, and your basic premise is flawed. Yes, if all things are equal, at the moment, the SEC champion gets the No. 1 spot in the pecking order after what the conference has done in recent national championships. However, it's not always going to be a given. Remember, the 2007 LSU Tigers don't play for the national title unless West Virginia chokes in the loss to Pitt in the regular season finale. The 2006 Florida Gators don't go to Glendale to paste Ohio State if USC didn't gag in a 13-9 loss to UCLA. The SEC champion still has to go unbeaten to be assured of a national title slot, but at the moment, the league has earned the respect.

Settle a debate … worst weather for a game to sit through. I hate it when it's too cold, my coworker was saying it's worse to sit through a sweltering, sunny day when you're stewing in a sauna? What say you, my man? – Tex

A: Neither. There's nothing worse than sitting through a game when it's 33 degrees and raining. I've smoked three regular cigarettes in my life, and one of them was in East Lansing watching Michigan State on just such a day when it was pouring rain and cold. I was so desperate that I thought that maybe the smoke would warm me up in some way. Obviously it didn't, and the ensuing hacking cough only made things worse. If I have to choose between too hot and too cold, I take too cold by a hair. You can always put on a sweater.

I dare you to answer my question, but you won't because you're a tool. Miami football is back and is going to dominate college football again. Yes or no. Tool. – JO

A: No.