The debate on QBU is a broad one. It’s hard enough to argue about a singular player, but arguing over a group of them poses a new challenge. Even worse, arguing about the Quarterback position can be a death wish if you’re talking to a Patriots or Packers fan.
Nonetheless, I am willing to put my safety at risk for this article. Quarterback University is a title that should be given not only to the school that produces a high quantity of NFL quarterbacks, but maintain a good quality all the same.
So no, USC is not on this list, as much as some may want them to be. Trojan fans, don’t hang your heads too low, because you will be on similar lists to come (little teaser there). With all that being said, what team separates itself to be more than just any good school, but to be considered THE Quarterback University?
This is a dilemma on my end. As much as I would like to put Notre Dame and even Eastern Illinois (Romo and Garoppolo disrespect is not accepted here), we need to set some ground rules.
There needs to be Past AND Present success by quarterbacks from this school, so having no present or recent success in this league will not be accepted. This goes the same way in the other direction; If you only have recent success and no history of production, you’re not going to be a part of this either.
What we are looking for here is consistency. I want a team who, over many years of NCAA play, has had an even-spread flow of gunslingers headed to the league.
We have an early list of teams to start with, but I can’t promise they will all stay during the conversation. Here is where we’re at:
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
Although you may question some of these additions, I will explain them later. This is our starting group, and we will carry on from here.
Our first cut on this list is Auburn. Now, I love this team. They have very successful COLLEGE quarterbacks who make it to the pros. Namely, Cam Newton, alongside fellow Tigers Jason Campbell and Pat Sullivan.
The reason this was my final verdict was due to Cam’s supporting cast. Newton is an incredible player with great accolades, but his fellow teammates were career backups. I gave them respect because they were good backups, and had decent careers in the pros. That longevity and CONSISTENCY is why Auburn makes this list.
My second cut is, sadly, Oregon. I can envision a world where Herbert and Mariota have incredible seasons, and their careers put them at a star caliber. But now, they’re still in transition stages in the NFL. Herbert is young but has incredible promise, while Mariota came off a backup position battling for the starting spot in Atlanta.
Oregon will make their way up this list, especially as Herbert improves. Yet, as of right now, there’s no telling what might happen in the upcoming years.
My last cut in our first wave is Texas A&M. They have Ryan Tannehill leading the charge, with a fairly successful NFL career. Although there were NFL backups that came out of the program, they just don’t have the production to make it to the finals.
This leaves us with Oklahoma, FSU, Louisville, and Texas. Figuring out who to throw away first was tough because you can make a case for all of them. However, three need to go, and we have to start with one.
Goodbye Texas. Yes, Vince Young and Bobby Layne, two former pro bowl players, makes them a candidate for number one. However, we are dwelling too much on the past. The only formidable player in recent history is Colt McCoy, and his career is nothing special.
Next up, Louisville. Some may be surprised that they lasted this long. To that, I beg to differ. Have any of you diehard NFL fans heard the name, Johnny Unitas? The best quarterback of his generation and one of the top 10 all-time, Unitas made his way into Canton.
In recent memory, we have a Lamar Jackson. An MVP winner, pro bowler, and NFL superstar, he has all the makings to be another Louisville QB headed to the HOF. However, in between these guys, there’s almost nothing. I preached on consistency and having no solid NFL quarterback from 1973 until 2018, no one can convince me that a 45-year drought can be considered consistent.
Our final cut from this list is going to have to be FSU. Winston, Weinke, Ponder, Manuel, Gary Huff, and Brad Johnson were all NFL quarterbacks coming out of this program, and I want them to win. Hell, anything but the Sooners.
There’s nothing I can say to knock down the Seminoles, all I can do is elevate Oklahoma. Two pro bowl caliber quarterbacks that are active in the league right now with Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Sam Bradford made has a good career as well, wasted by bad coaching, and players like Jalen Hurts and Troy Aikman have to be brought into conversation despite their short stints.
Oklahoma really has it all. At every level, led by production and consistency, the Sooners have made their staple as the best quarterback-producing college of all time. With that being said, there are young players in the league right now that are making a name for themselves, and if we see an Oregon or FSU player take the reigns, things may change in the near future.