It’s the Sam Hartman show once again in our FBS Independent QB Rankings as the Notre Dame QB led an emphatic victory over USC. Is there any movement behind Hartman among the three remaining Independent teams, or have we really figured out who these teams are in 2023 already?
Our weekly iteration of our 2023 Independent QB Rankings is here, taking a look at where they stack up through seven weeks of the season.
2023 Independent QB Rankings
As with all of our conference rankings and our national quarterback evaluations, the FBS Independent QB rankings below consider everything involved with quarterbacking at the major college football level.
While statistics will be mentioned, they were not the lone deciding factor in ranking the athletes. The list below prefers programs with a solidified quarterback situation and one signal-caller who plays significant snaps against top-tier competition. Two-quarterback systems will always be looked down upon, especially in those cases where an answer has not yet been provided for the long term.
Other factors in these rankings include but are not limited to game film, injury history, play-calling, offensive system knowledge and continuity, general quarterbacking mechanics, level of competition, the elevation of supporting casts, and several other influential factors.
All QB Rankings: 1-133 | ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MAC | MWC | Sun Belt | FBS Ind.
With the amount of midweek games in Week 7, we’ve paused the written analysis on each quarterback across the country and will save that for a renewed Week 8 ranking following each conference’s games for this weekend.
Reminder – we also released our Midseason All-Independent Team and Midseason All-Americans this week.
Tier 1: The Elite Independent QBs
1) Sam Hartman | Notre Dame
Last Week’s Ranking: 1st (no change)
Yards: 1,838 | TDs: 18 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 64.5% | YPA: 9.1
Sam Hartman needed to do little to knock off USC in Week 7, yet he put on a clinic of managing a game in doing so. Hartman led his Notre Dame offense with ease against an overmatched defense and rode the rushing game and a dominant defensive outing from the Fighting Irish to a comfortable win over the previously undefeated Trojans.
Hartman has done an immaculate job of keeping the ball away from the enemy, save for an anomaly of a performance against Louisville, and he’s every bit the part of one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He’ll give the Fighting Irish exactly what they need at the exact right time.
Tier 2: Well-Above-Average Independent QBs
None applicable. With only four teams, it’s impossible to fill all our tiers here. Surprisingly, though, we’ve had plenty of movement between the tiers so far in 2023.
Tier 3: Above-Average Independent QBs
2) Bryson Daily | Army
Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd (no change)
Total Yards: 1,124 | Total TDs: 9 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 54.5% | YPA: 9.2
It was an ugly game overall in Week 7 and we’ll pay no small attention to the weather that caused such a sluggish game. However, that was two ugly outings in a row for the Army offense against Boston College and now Troy.
Bryson Daily hasn’t quite been able to let it rip in the passing game and the mesh points have been consistently bottled in the run game. We’ve seen him find his receivers in space and throw them open in their new offense, and that led to victories, so we know the talent is there.
Tier 4: Average Independent QBs
3) Taisun Phommachanh | UMass
Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd (no change)
Yards: 813 | TDs: 6 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 62.9% | YPA: 7.0
Like many occasions for UMass, they were completely overmatched against Penn State in Week 7. Taisun Phommachanh and the offense couldn’t move the ball and the defense couldn’t stop the Nittany Lions. Even the special teams allowed two touchdowns to a player who had previously returned zero punts in his college career.
Still, we’ve seen enough from Phommanchanh this year to know that he’s the right choice at QB for the Minutemen. The wins haven’t quite followed, but this team is playing much better football with him distributing the ball and adding an element with his legs, though the consistent pressure allowed over the past three games hasn’t allowed us to see a lot of that.
4) Ta’Quan Roberson | UConn
Last Week’s Ranking: 4th (no change)
Yards: 970 | TDs: 7 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 60.3% | YPA: 6.9
With a week off following their victory over Rice, the UConn Huskies had time to hone in on what worked in Week 6. Ta’Quan Roberson was certainly what worked as he distributed the ball well and found his receivers in open throwing lanes over the middle of the field.
Roberson has done a great job of doing just that this season, finding his receivers in space and allowing them to do damage after the catch. When forced into action downfield, he’ll make enough happen and has enough accuracy to find big gains. He just needs to work on consistency to the deep portion of the field.
Tier 5: Work-To-Be-Done Independent QBs
We’ll remain bullish that no quarterback slips down to this tier.