The top 25 is littered with pinpoint passers or dual threats, ranging from Bryce Young to Devin Leary to Tyler Van Dyke and K.J. Jefferson. For programs returning subpar starting quarterbacks, the offseason was about ironing out the deep wrinkles in their existing starters or hoping a clipboard- holding QB would rise up between the spring and September to bury that aforementioned 2021 starter six feet under the depth chart. For better or worse, ya got what ya got at this point.
If you assessed college football’s final AP top 10 poll of the 2021 season by each starting quarterback’s QBR and where those ratings ranked among their peers, here’s what it would look like.
- (UGA) – Stetson Bennett – 86.7 (3rd)
- (Alabama) – Bryce Young – 87.6 (2nd)
- (Michigan) – Cade McNamara – 75.4 (24th)
- (Cincy) – Desmond Ridder – 71.9 (28th)
- (Ohio State) – C.J. Stroud – 91.6 (1st)
- (Oklahoma State) Spencer Sanders – 68.1 (39th)
- (Notre Dame) Jack Coan – 72.8 (26th)
- (USC) Caleb Williams – 86.5 (4th)
A quarterback with an elite QBR of 80 or above is the ideal benchmark for a playoff or a New Year’s Six bowl game contender, but 75 is still really good. The three quarterbacks in Michigan, Oklahoma, City and Cincy, who didn’t earn QBRs over 75, still ranked among the top 30 in the nation and were all propped up by elite defenses, while Ridder could be challenging to be the starting quarterback in Atlanta by 2023. This season will be no different. Certain playoff contenders could be pulling themselves up by the bootstraps without elite quarterback play to carry them towards the College Football Playoff. Here are the Jekyll and Hyde quarterbacks who college football eyeballs should be trained on this upcoming season:
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