College Football 2012: Projecting the Top 10 Quarterbacks

A Bold Prediction For College Football's Top Quarterbacks

5/4/12 in NCAAF   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Apr 14, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) throws a pass in the 2012 spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIREThere were many outstanding quarterbacks that showcased their talents during the 2011-12 season, but many have said good-bye to the NCAA and hello to the NFL. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins and Kellen Moore—college football's best—are taking it to the next level.

This leaves room for new names to rise and become the face of college football.

Spring practice and the NFL draft have come to pass, leaving us with our last taste of autumn breeze until late August.

As we begin to digest and speculate the upcoming football season, let's check out the top 10 quarterbacks for the 2012-13 campaign.


*All quarterback passer rating predictions are based off the NCAA's pass efficiency formula.


10. Tajh Boyd, Clemson Tigers

Class
: Junior

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 230 lbs

2011 stats: 298-of-499 (59.7 percent), 3,828 yards, 33 TDs, 12 INTs, 141.2 passer rating

2012 prediction: 289-of-473 (61.1 percent), 3,796 yards, 37 TDs, 13 INTs, 148.8 passer rating

Why: Seemingly coming from nowhere, Boyd emerged as one of the more elite quarterbacks in the ACC last year. With the entire receivers corps returning—including All-American Sammy Watkins—this Tiger offense could be more explosive than ever.

The upcoming junior struggled toward the end of last season, throwing nine interceptions in the final six games after three in the first eight. However, his tremendous athleticism gives him and Clemson the upside to once again contend for a conference championship.


9. A.J. McCarron, Alabama Clemson Tide

Class: Junior

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 205 lbs

2011 stats: 219-328 (66.8 percent), 2,634 yards, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 147.3 passer rating

2012 prediction: 230-of-340 (67.6 percent), 2,781 yards, 19 TDs, 6 INTs, 151.3 passer rating

Why: One season in, one ring for A.J. McCarron. Nick Saban didn't ask him to do much (25.3 attempts per game), but when he did, he stepped up.

Like last year, McCarron will have an outstanding defense and run game, so he won't have to deal with a whole lot of pressure. But don't let this take away from how important he is in the Tide's offense; he's extremely efficient and, like you saw in the national championship, he's clutch.


8. Bryn Renner, North Carolina Tar HeelsDec 26, 2011; Shreveport, LA, USA;  North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Bryn Renner (2) prepares for a pass during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Independence Stadium.  Missouri won 41-24.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

Class:
Junior

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 215 lbs

2011 stats: 239-of-350 (68.3 percent), 3,086 yards, 26 TDs, 13 INTs, 159.4 passer rating

2012 prediction: 220-of-329 (66.8 percent), 2,750 yards, 22 TDs, 9 INTs, 153.4 passer rating

Why: Renner had an outstanding first season as the Tar Heels' signal caller, finishing with the nation's No. 14 completion percentage and leading his team to a winning record, along with an appearance in the Independence Bowl.

His numbers could see a small decrease this year due to an exceptional amount of talent leaving, but he's still an efficient quarterback that deserves top-10 consideration.


7. Aaron Murray, Georgia Bulldogs

Class:
Junior

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 211 lbs

2011 stats: 238-of-403 (59.1 percent), 3,149 yards, 35 TDs, 14 INTs, 146.4 passer rating

2012 prediction: 260-of-416 (62.5 percent), 3,458 yards, 35 TDs, 11 INTs, 154.8 passer rating

Why: Murray suffered what most would call a "sophomore slump" last season, as his statistics took a hit from his freshman year.

So why is he so far up on this list? Six reasons: the final six games of 2011. Murray completed 60 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and compiled a 151.2 passer rating during this time, giving us a clear look at what's to come. I believe a seasoned Murray two seasons deep in the SEC will come out firing on all cylinders.
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5/4/12   |   Tyler_Waddell   |   426 respect

Dan_B wrote:
I've always been a big fan of Aaron Murray. I think he can surpass Wilson and Bray as the best QB in the SEC.

I agree, it could definitely happen. Murray has the type of potential to become a first-round draft selection too, whether it be in 2013 or '14. Still, he needs to work on decision-making, especially while being pressured.

5/4/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I've always been a big fan of Aaron Murray. I think he can surpass Wilson and Bray as the best QB in the SEC.