College football’s 150th season meant fans could look back on the sport and (as college football fans LOVE to do) debate each other until they’re blue in the face about anything and everything. Naturally, one of the hottest debates each and every year is about the best quarterback to ever play. In the NFL, that debate is over. But in college, greatness is defined numerous ways depending on when and where each football player starred.
Welp, get ready to pull your hair out if you’re not a fan of former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. He’s been named the best college QB to ever play.
SportingNews compiled a list of the 10 greatest signal callers in college football history, a list that begins with the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner from Florida.
Tebow is one of two college quarterbacks with at least 80 touchdown passes and 50 rushing touchdowns in his college career. (The other? Colin Kaepernick.) Tebow also holds NCAA records for most career games scoring a touchdown (38), most consecutive games with a passing and rushing touchdown (14), and ranks fourth all-time in passing efficiency (170.8). Plus, the dual-threat whiz owned every major SEC record for total offense when he left Florida.
Today, the two-time national title game winner still owns the conference’s career mark for total touchdowns with 145. His single-season record of 55 was broken in 2019 by LSU’s Joe Burrow.
While his NFL career didn’t pan out, Tebow’s remained in the public spotlight as a television analyst and minor league baseball player with the New York Mets organization. Now he plays tight end for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It’s hard to dispute Tebow’s greatness, but alas, people still find a way to do it. But putting the son of God aside, who else is deserving after Tebow?
Spoiler alert: Some heavy-hitting passers were left off this list.
College football’s all-time leader in passing yards, Houston’s Case Keenum, didn’t make the cut. A two-time national championship game winner and All-American like Alabama’s A.J. McCarron wasn’t mentioned. Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and his Big Ten record 147 touchdowns weren’t a factor. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield? Nah. Even small school guys like Louisiana Tech’s Colby Cameron, whose NCAA record 444 consecutive passing attempts — that’s 12 games — without an interception, couldn’t get a nibble.
There’s also the fact this list is not up to the date any longer, as a couple years have passed since it was published. We have to assume that an updated listed would at least name drop two Tigers, LSU’s Joe Burrow and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson? We’re fans! Oregon’s Marcus Mariota? Another Heisman winner! Also, would his NFL career lead some to reconsider Patrick Mahomes’ time at Texas Tech? To which you might say, “Why doesn’t FanBuzz just make it’s own list of the best college quarterbacks ever?” To which we say, “We’re working on it!”
That’s how prolific this list of college football quarterbacks is. They threw TDs, were bowl game MVPs, won Davey O’Briens and Heismans, and a few of them went high in the NFL Draft. Here is SportingNews‘ list of the greatest to ever do it:
Best College Quarterbacks of All Time
1. Tim Tebow, Florida (2006-09)
2. Peyton Manning, Tennessee (1994-97)
3. Matt Leinart, USC (2003-05)
4. Tommie Frazier, Nebraska (1992-95)
5. Vince Young, Texas (2003-05)
6. Deshaun Watson, Clemson (2014-16)
7. Roger Staubach, Navy (1962-64)
8. Doug Flutie, Boston College (1981-84)
9. John Elway, Stanford (1979-82)
10. Sammy Baugh, TCU (1934-36)
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Ty Detmer, BYU
Michael Vick, Virginia Tech
Jameis Winston, Florida State
Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Danny Wuerffel, Florida
Andrew Luck, Stanford
Drew Brees, Purdue
Colt McCoy, Texas
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Cam Newton, Auburn
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma