10 Conferences - 24 Top College Quarterbacks, 2017

10 Conferences - 24 Top College Quarterbacks, 2017

Riley McCullough / Unsplash / CC0

At this point, we can only guess who will be at the top by the end of the season. There is no obvious leader now. We have Lamar Jackson, who got Heisman Trophy last year, Sam Darnold is likely to win the Heisman after this season and could be the first pick in the NFL draft. And do not discount Jalen Hurts - another candidate for the Heisman Trophy. Let's dive into the list of the best quarterbacks for 2017 season in every college football conference. The list is mainly based on the players’ performance during last season.

1. Atlantic Coast Conference

Lamar Jackson, Louisville

2016 season in numbers:
  • 3543 yards
  • 30 TD
  • 9 interceptions thrown
  • 148.8 passer rating
  • 56.2% completion percentage

Jackson put up striking numbers and gathered a whole bunch of awards in 2016: he got the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp Award. Despite the streak of losses at the end of the season, he still led Louisville to some impressive wins, like 8 TDs in the first half of match against Charlotte. And though his numbers dropped in last 4 games, Jackson is among 5 players in 17 years to get at least 3000 passing and 1200 rushing yards. So he is still in favor to win Heisman next year again. And if he’d learned from the last season’s slide, expect to be impressed again.

Deondre Francois, Florida State

2016 season in numbers:
  • 3350 yards
  • 20 TD
  • 7 interceptions thrown
  • 142.1 passer rating
  • 58.8% completion percentage

Though Francois had quite a struggling offensive line support, he accumulated decent numbers by the end of the season. An offensive line lost running back Dalvin Cook, so there is even more pressure on the offense. There are high hopes Francois will show himself at his best in the opening match against Alabama.

2. Pac-12 Conference

Sam Darnold, USC

2016 season in numbers:
  • 3086 yards
  • 31 TD
  • 9 interceptions thrown
  • 161.1 passer rating
  • 67.2% completion percentage

Everyone is expecting a lot from Darnold. He took over Max Browne’s starting position in the 4th game of the season, led his team to 9 consecutive wins, including a record-setting game in the Rose Bowl. His passing ability is incredible, he’s good at plays on the run and puts up great results. He started just 10 games and is already viewed as number 1 pick in the draft. The chances are Sam Darnold is going to be the next Heisman trophy winner.

Jake Browning, Washington

2016 season in numbers:
  • 3430 yards
  • 43 TD
  • 9 interceptions thrown
  • 167.5 passer rating
  • 62.1% completion percentage

Browning performance slid a bit due to a shoulder injury. Nevertheless, he scored outstanding numbers. Thanks to Browning Huskies got to the Pac-12 title, first since 2000. He was in the race for Heisman, but the loss to USC put him right behind Jackson. Browning is an accurate QB and makes good choices. The primary goal of the approaching season is to lead Huskies back to the College Football Playoff.

Luke Falk, Washington State

2016 season in numbers:
  • 4468 yards
  • 38 TD
  • 11 interceptions thrown
  • 145.6 passer rating
  • 70.0% completion percentage

Falk is one of the most productive passers in college football. With him on the offensive line as a starter, the Cougars won 17 games in two years. He continues to pile up yards and TDs. The main question is if the Cougars get the desirable Pac-12 title.

Josh Rosen, UCLA

2016 season in numbers:
  • 1915 yards
  • 10 TD
  • 5 interceptions thrown
  • 138.9 passer rating
  • 59.3% completion percentage

If new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch fixes the O-line, Rosen will benefit a lot. He got little support from the offensive line last season. This fact topped with the shoulder injury, made 2016 season a challenging one for Rosen and he missed the second half of it. He is a skilled quarterback, his passing is polished, and he accumulated significant numbers. Hopefully, he will return healthy after an offseason surgery and get more help from his supporting team.

3. Southeastern Conference

Jalen Hurts, Alabama

2016 season in numbers:
  • 2780 yards
  • 23 TD
  • 9 interceptions thrown
  • 139.1 passer rating
  • 62.8% completion percentage

Jalen Hurts took over Blake Barnett’s starting role in the second game of last season. He is the 1st true freshmen becoming a starting QB for Alabama in 30 years. Hurts was quite impressive as a freshman - he almost led the Crimson Tide to a national championship, being on the edge of the undefeated season, and won SEC offensive player of the year. He is a great runner and should develop his passer skills under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll mentorship.

Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

2016 season in numbers:
  • 2423 yards
  • 21 TD
  • 10 interceptions thrown
  • 124.3 passer rating
  • 54.3% completion percentage

Fitzgerald started the first game of the season but was replaced by Damian Williams after two series. The Bulldogs lost that game and Fitzgerald took over the starting position again for the second game, leading his team to a win. Only two QBs outstripped Fitzgerald in rushing yards last season - Lamar Jackson and Quinton Flowers. Impressive numbers he put up make it possible Fitzgerald will become Dak Prescott’s, Mississippi State’s greatest player, successor.

Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

2015 season in numbers:
  • 1265 yards
  • 12 TD
  • 2 interceptions thrown
  • 199.0 passer rating
  • 68.8% completion percentage

Stidham began his career in 2015 at Baylor, taking over starting QB position after his seventh game, when Seth Russell, a starter at that time, got an injury. That season he led his team to win over Kansas State, passing for 419 yds and 3 TDs. Later, in the game against Oklahoma, he got a severe ankle injury and missed the rest of the season. In the light of the Baylor University sexual assault scandal, Stidham transferred to the McLennan Community College, didn’t play football there, skipping the 2016 season. He transferred to Auburn this summer and has all the chances to take over Sean White’s starting position. There are high hopes that Stidham will take Tigers back on track in a SEC champion.

Shea Patterson, Ole Miss

2016 season in numbers:
  • 880 yards
  • 6 TD
  • 3 interceptions thrown
  • 121 passer rating
  • 54.5% completion percentage

Patterson debuted on the high note in a game against Texas A&M, throwing for 338 yards and 2 TDs, and leading the Rebels to a win. His ability to perform well on the move makes him a prospective QB leader in the conference, especially with new coordinator Phil Longo guidance. We can expect Patterson to put big numbers next season.

Austin Allen, Arkansas

2016 season in numbers:
  • 3430 yards
  • 25 TD
  • 15 interceptions thrown
  • 146 passer rating
  • 61.1% completion percentage

In 2016 Allen took his brother’s place as the Arkansas Razorbacks starting QB and he is back for the 2017 year at the same position. And though he threw for 25 touchdowns, he has a high level of interceptions, which he needs to reduce next season. Five best Razorbacks receivers left, and Allen has to adapt to the new supporting cast, including tailback Rawleigh Williams.

4. Big 12 Conference

5. Big Ten Conference

6. American Athletic Conference

7. Mountain West Conference

8. Mid-American Conference

9. Conference USA

10. Sun Belt Conference

Logos: Wikimedia Commons / CC0

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