I hate to see any top 10 list that omits teams or players just because they are not from a BCS "power" conference.
To me, that sort of list would be authored by a clueless, shallow-minded person who has very little useless knowledge about the nationwide college football landscape as a whole.
For that reason, I now offer you "the real" rankings of the top 10 quarterbacks in the nation for the 2010 season, regardless of team or conference affiliation.
I hope you enjoy my take, and whether you agree or disagree, I welcome all replies.
Please post your thoughts in the comment section below—Thank you.
Number 10—Jacory Harris (Miami-FL)
Harris, who is very similar to Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, is a slightly-more accurate passer, however, he lacks the explosive individual game-breaking ability of Pryor. His team does have a few other playmakers though, so be sure you do not miss their potential game-of-the-year battle on September 11, when Ohio State hosts Miami in The Horseshoe.
Number Nine—Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M)
Johnson had a tremendous season in 2009. In my opinion, he is undervalued as both a QB, and as the leader of his team. Johnson could likely be the best field general in the Big 12 this coming season and could also be poised to will the Aggies to only their second-ever BCS Bowl game appearance—the only previous BCS appearance by the Aggies being a loss to our own Ohio State Buckeyes in 1999. Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas could each potentially derail that thought, but maybe, led by Johnson, the Aggies break through as the best team in the conference this season.
Number Eight—Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)
A great supporting cast of dual-1000-yard-tailbacks (Darren Evans, Ryan Williams) should open up huge passing lanes for third best dual-threat QB in the nation. He sits only behind Pryor and Baylor's Robert Griffin in my estimation. If the Hokies are to meet expectations by winning the ACC and challenging for a BCS bid, Taylor won't have to shoulder the entire load, but he will have to make significant positive contributions.
Number Seven—Robert Griffin III (Baylor)
Griffin had an awesome—and I do mean awesome—freshmen season in 2008. He is second only to Pryor in my top dual-threat QB race, which begs the question—How has everyone forgotten about him? I know he missed nearly the entire 2009 season due to injury, but can I really be the only blogger and fan of college football who is not suffering from short-term memory loss? Wake up people...
Number Six—Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State)
I am a Buckeye fan so I may be accused of homerism (although I'd actually claim I'm being a bit modest) with my ranking and this statement about Pryor, but nobody can realistically dispute the fact that he is clearly the best dual-threat QB in the country. The 2010 Rose Bowl win vs. Oregon was his coming out party as a passer. He will be surrounded by great WR depth in 2010, so look for many more of his future performances to resemble the one he had against the Ducks.
Number Five—Andrew Luck (Stanford)
This kid is my runner-up to Washington's Jake Locker as the best QB in Pac-10, but only because of the experience factor. Luck is entering his second season under center for the Cardinal, while Locker is a fifth-year senior in his fourth year as the Huskies starter. The then-redshirt freshmen dazzled fans in 2009 as he led Stanford to wins over Oregon and USC (both were ranked in the top 10 at the time) in 2009 before breaking his finger against Notre Dame the last week of the regular season. The injury forced him to miss Stanford's Sun Bowl loss vs. Oklahoma. With the departure of running back, and Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart, all eyes and hopes will be on Luck as the Cardinal chase the Pac-10 title in 2010.
Number Four—Jake Locker (Washington)
I'm sure there will some grumblings that I have Locker too low, and perhaps I do, but time will tell. While I believe he has the size, arm, and the play-making ability to succeed at the next level, I need to see him protect the ball and make better decisions on the field at this level before I can consider him top three material. In his three year career at UW, he has thrown 36 touchdown passes, but he has also been intercepted 26 times. That's not a great TD to INT ratio. Overall, his stats haven't been terrible, but he has a measly 9-20 win/loss record as a starter. I'm just not sold on him enough to put him any higher than fourth as of right now.
Number Three—Kellen Moore (Boise State)
Moore has put up big numbers and recorded an incredible 26-1 record in his two seasons at the helm for the Broncos, but can he continue those trends against BCS conference foes Virginia Tech and Oregon State this season? On paper, history says yes as BSU has defeated three of the four ranked opponents they've faced with Moore under center, but will that hold true in 2010? If indeed it does, Moore may be the first small-school player to legitimately challenge for, and possibly win, the Heisman Trophy since Houston's Andre Ware won it in 1989. Boise State will be favored in all of their games outside of the trip to D.C. to face Va Tech. They would likely become the first team from a non-automatic-qualifying conference to play for the national title since the 1998 inception of the BCS if they run the table. With Moore leading the way, it just might happen.
Number Two—Ryan Mallet (Arkansas)
Mallet possesses a strong arm, and he is all set for a statistically huge season in 2010. The Razorbacks might now win the SEC, but Mallet and crew will make some noise and it should be fun to watch them do it. He actually began his college career at Michigan, and played sparingly in 2007 behind current Miami Dolphins starting QB Chad Henne. When Rich Rodriguez came to Ann Arbor in 2008, Mallet withdrew soon after and transferred to Arkansas. Mallet was one of the best QB's in the SEC and the nation last year. After sitting out the 2008 season per NCAA transfer rules, he threw for over 3,627 yards and tossed 30 touchdowns, both Arkansas school records. Too bad UM didn't keep Mallet and reject Dickrod. Those poor Michigan faithful just can't catch a break...
Number One—Case Keenum (Houston)
Let's forget the "system QB" or "weak conference" excuses right now and acknowledge the facts about Keenum. He puts up ridiculously amazing passing stats, and pretty much all of Houston's wins in 2009 can solely be credited to him. If it wasn't for a pathetic defensive unit last season, Keenum, not Alabama's Mark Ingram, might have been the 2009 Heisman winner. Other than in Houston's bowl game vs. Air Force, Keenum blew up opposing defenses all season long. He passed for 5,671 yards and 44 touchdowns to only 15 interceptions. It's just too bad that his amazing play couldn't help Houston's wet-paper-towel defense. The Cougars, who went 10-4 last year, outscored most of their opponents comfortably thanks to Keenum. More of the same should be expected from him in 2010, and maybe for once the Heisman will actually be given to the best player in the nation instead of the best player on the best team as in recent years.