A decade of quarterbacks

Streeter Lecka

A look at some basic quarterback stats over the last decade.

We looked at running backs and receivers. Now on to quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks that averaged at least 20 passes per game in any season from 2003 to 2012 were included in this group. This narrows down the list to 903 seasons for us to analyze. I'll list the top 25 in each of the four QB rating categories, then the top 100 QB rating seasons in the past decade.

Before we dive in, though, I thought it would be interesting to see how these numbers change as players mature in their college careers. Here is every stat we'll look at today by classification over the past decade:

Class Count Comp% Y/Att TD/Att INT/Att Rating
FR 82 59.2% 7.0 4.8% 3.2% 127.7
SO 222 60.1% 7.2 5.1% 2.9% 131.9
JR 298 60.6% 7.4 5.2% 2.8% 134.4
SR 301 61.5% 7.5 5.6% 2.7% 137.4

As you can see, the stats improve in every single category as QBs get older. Obviously there is some bias at work here, as poor QBs get weeded out over time. Still, it's interesting to see how significant the changes are over the years.

First up, let's look at completion percentage. These 25 passers had the highest percentages over the past ten years of college football. NCAA average among this group of 903 seasons: 60.7%

Rk Year QB, Team Comp %
1 2008 Colt McCoy, Texas 76.7%
2 2011 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 74.3%
3 2004 Stefan Lefors, Louisville 73.5%
4 2010 Dan Persa, Northwestern 73.5%
5 2011 Dan Persa, Northwestern 73.4%
6 2010 Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin 72.9%
7 2008 Chase Daniel, Missouri 72.9%
8 2011 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 72.8%
9 2006 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 72.6%
10 2012 David Fales, San Jose St. 72.5%
11 2007 Riley Skinner, Wake Forest 72.4%
12 2011 Robert Griffin III, Baylor 72.4%
13 2011 Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St. 72.3%
14 2003 Philip Rivers, North Carolina St. 72.0%
15 2007 Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 71.8%
16 2011 Andrew Luck, Stanford 71.3%
17 2010 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 71.3%
18 2012 Geno Smith, West Virginia 71.2%
19 2003 Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo 71.2%
20 2011 Case Keenum, Houston 71.0%
21 2010 Greg McElroy, Alabama 70.9%
22 2010 Andrew Luck, Stanford 70.7%
23 2009 Colt McCoy, Texas 70.6%
24 2008 Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 70.6%
25 2005 Phil Horvath, Northern Ill. 70.6%

Next up, the top 25 QBs over the past decade in yards/attempt. NCAA average: 7.4.

Rk Year QB, Team Yds/Att
1 2011 Robert Griffin III, Baylor 10.68
2 2011 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 10.28
3 2010 Cam Newton, Auburn 10.19
4 2008 David Johnson, Tulsa 10.15
5 2004 Stefan Lefors, Louisville 10.10
6 2012 Aaron Murray, Georgia 10.09
7 2010 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 10.04
8 2004 Jason Campbell, Auburn 10.00
9 2005 Rudy Carpenter, Arizona St. 9.97
10 2006 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 9.93
11 2008 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 9.77
12 2003 Ryan Dinwiddie, Boise St. 9.77
13 2008 Zac Robinson, Oklahoma St. 9.76
14 2006 Brian Brohm, Louisville 9.74
15 2005 Troy Smith, Ohio St. 9.63
16 2003 Bradlee Van Pelt, Colorado St. 9.58
17 2005 Brian Brohm, Louisville 9.58
18 2010 Greg McElroy, Alabama 9.54
19 2010 Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 9.41
20 2007 Tim Tebow, Florida 9.39
21 2005 Vince Young, Texas 9.34
22 2012 A.J. McCarron, Alabama 9.34
23 2011 Case Keenum, Houston 9.34
24 2006 John Beck, Brigham Young 9.32
25 2009 Nathan Enderle, Idaho 9.31

Here are the top 25 QB seasons over the last decade in terms of TD% (TD / Attempt). NCAA average: 5.3%.

Rk Year QB, Team TD/Att
1 2008 David Johnson, Tulsa 11.5%
2 2010 Cam Newton, Auburn 10.7%
3 2011 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 10.7%
4 2007 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 10.6%
5 2006 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 10.4%
6 2008 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 10.4%
7 2004 Alex Smith, Utah 10.1%
8 2008 Tim Tebow, Florida 10.1%
9 2011 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 9.8%
10 2011 Darron Thomas, Oregon 9.7%
11 2006 Troy Smith, Ohio St. 9.6%
12 2006 Justin Willis, Southern Methodist 9.6%
13 2012 A.J. McCarron, Alabama 9.6%
14 2012 Marcus Mariota, Oregon 9.5%
15 2003 Matt Leinart, Southern California 9.5%
16 2012 Aaron Murray, Georgia 9.3%
17 2012 Matt Barkley, Southern California 9.3%
18 2008 Mark Sanchez, Southern California 9.3%
19 2011 Robert Griffin III, Baylor 9.2%
20 2011 Andrew Luck, Stanford 9.2%
21 2007 Tim Tebow, Florida 9.1%
22 2010 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 9.1%
23 2006 Colt McCoy, Texas 9.1%
24 2011 Keith Price, Washington 9.1%
25 2004 Lester Ricard, Tulane 9.1%

Last category in QB rating: INT% (INT / Attempt). NCAA Average: 2.8%.

Rk Year QB, Team INT/Att
1 2008 Russell Wilson, North Carolina St. 0.4%
2 2006 Stephen McGee, Texas A&M 0.6%
3 2009 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 0.7%
4 2012 Jake Medlock, FIU 0.8%
5 2012 Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh 0.8%
6 2011 Case Keenum, Houston 0.8%
7 2004 Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green 0.9%
8 2005 Rudy Carpenter, Arizona St. 0.9%
9 2008 Levi Brown, Troy 0.9%
10 2006 Kevin Kolb, Houston 0.9%
11 2009 Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame 0.9%
12 2007 Drew Weatherford, Florida St. 0.9%
13 2012 A.J. McCarron, Alabama 1.0%
14 2012 Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech 1.0%
15 2012 Ryan Aplin, Arkansas St. 1.0%
16 2012 Tyler Tettleton, Ohio 1.1%
17 2009 Diondre Borel, Utah St. 1.1%
18 2012 Jacob Karam, Memphis 1.1%
19 2012 Matt McGloin, Penn St. 1.1%
20 2008 Robert Griffin, Baylor 1.1%
21 2003 Alex Smith, Utah 1.1%
22 2003 Scott Rislov, San Jose St. 1.1%
23 2012 Geno Smith, West Virginia 1.2%
24 2004 Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M 1.2%
25 2004 Stefan Lefors, Louisville 1.2%

And now for the big list: the top 100 QB seasons over the past decade in terms of QB rating. NCAA average: 134.3.

School representation:

  • 6: Boise State (Ryan Dinwiddle, Jared Zabransky, Kellen Moore x4) and USC (Matt Leinart x3, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley x2)
  • 4: Hawaii, Louisville, Oklahoma, Houston
  • 3: Texas, Florida, Oregon, Ohio State
  • 2: 17 schools
Player representation:
Rk Year QB, Team QB Rating
1 2011 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 191.8
2 2011 Robert Griffin III, Baylor 189.5
3 2006 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 186.0
4 2010 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 182.6
5 2010 Cam Newton, Auburn 182.0
6 2004 Stefan Lefors, Louisville 181.7
7 2008 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 180.8
8 2008 David Johnson, Tulsa 178.7
9 2007 Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 176.5
10 2004 Alex Smith, Utah 176.5
11 2012 A.J. McCarron, Alabama 175.3
12 2011 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 175.2
13 2005 Rudy Carpenter, Arizona St. 175.0
14 2012 Aaron Murray, Georgia 174.8
15 2011 Case Keenum, Houston 174.0
16 2008 Colt McCoy, Texas 173.8
17 2004 Jason Campbell, Auburn 172.9
18 2007 Tim Tebow, Florida 172.5
19 2008 Tim Tebow, Florida 172.4
20 2012 David Fales, San Jose St. 170.8
21 2003 Philip Rivers, North Carolina St. 170.5
22 2010 Andrew Luck, Stanford 170.2
23 2011 Andrew Luck, Stanford 169.7
24 2006 John Beck, Brigham Young 169.1
25 2010 Greg McElroy, Alabama 169.0
26 2004 Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green 167.2
27 2006 JaMarcus Russell, LSU 167.0
28 2008 Zac Robinson, Oklahoma St. 166.8
29 2005 Brian Brohm, Louisville 166.7
30 2010 Andy Dalton, TCU 166.5
31 2010 Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin 165.9
32 2003 Ben Roethlisberger, Miami (Ohio) 165.8
33 2012 Tajh Boyd, Clemson 165.6
34 2008 Mark Sanchez, Southern California 164.6
35 2003 Matt Leinart, Southern California 164.5
36 2009 Tim Tebow, Florida 164.2
37 2005 Vince Young, Texas 163.9
38 2008 Chase Clement, Rice 163.9
39 2012 Geno Smith, West Virginia 163.9
40 2003 Ryan Dinwiddie, Boise St. 163.7
41 2010 Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 163.6
42 2006 Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh 163.2
43 2012 Marcus Mariota, Oregon 163.2
44 2006 Kevin Kolb, Houston 162.7
45 2005 Troy Smith, Ohio St. 162.7
46 2006 Jared Zabransky, Boise St. 162.6
47 2004 Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo 162.6
48 2011 Keith Price, Washington 161.9
49 2006 Troy Smith, Ohio St. 161.9
50 2006 Colt McCoy, Texas 161.8
51 2009 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 161.7
52 2005 Drew Olson, UCLA 161.6
53 2003 Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo 161.5
54 2009 Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame 161.4
55 2011 Matt Barkley, Southern California 161.2
56 2007 Dennis Dixon, Oregon 161.2
57 2012 Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville 160.5
58 2009 Max Hall, BYU 160.1
59 2008 Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 160.0
60 2008 Case Keenum, Houston 159.9
61 2012 Taylor Kelly, Arizona St. 159.9
62 2007 Paul Smith, Tulsa 159.8
63 2007 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 159.8
64 2011 Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St. 159.8
65 2005 Phil Horvath, Northern Ill. 159.4
66 2008 Chase Daniel, Missouri 159.4
67 2011 Bryn Renner, North Carolina 159.4
68 2004 Jason White, Oklahoma 159.4
69 2010 Bryant Moniz, Hawaii 159.1
70 2006 Brian Brohm, Louisville 159.1
71 2010 Dan Persa, Northwestern 159.0
72 2011 Darron Thomas, Oregon 158.7
73 2006 Justin Willis, Southern Methodist 158.4
74 2005 Brady Quinn, Notre Dame 158.4
75 2003 Jason White, Oklahoma 158.1
76 2012 Connor Shaw, South Carolina 158.1
77 2011 Casey Pachall, TCU 158.0
78 2010 Terrelle Pryor, Ohio St. 157.9
79 2010 Chandler Harnish, Northern Ill. 157.8
80 2005 Matt Leinart, Southern California 157.7
81 2012 Brett Smith, Wyoming 157.7
82 2010 Richard Stanzi, Iowa 157.6
83 2012 Matt Barkley, Southern California 157.6
84 2012 Nick Florence, Baylor 157.5
85 2003 Rod Rutherford, Pittsburgh 157.4
86 2007 Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 157.3
87 2009 Nathan Enderle, Idaho 157.3
88 2008 Max Hall, BYU 157.2
89 2008 Kellen Moore, Boise St. 157.1
90 2008 Nate Davis, Ball St. 157.0
91 2004 Matt Leinart, Southern California 156.5
92 2012 E.J. Manuel, Florida St. 156.1
93 2012 Derek Carr, Fresno St. 155.9
94 2005 Colt Brennan, Hawaii 155.5
95 2012 Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M 155.3
96 2006 Adam Tafralis, San Jose St. 155.1
97 2006 Chase Holbrook, New Mexico St. 155.1
98 2010 Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech 154.8
99 2009 Case Keenum, Houston 154.8
100 2011 Dan Persa, Northwestern 154.8

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