We’re back at it once again with our top college quarterback rankings after Week 7. The top spot has officially changed hands here as Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. has overtaken USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams as the best quarterback in the country right now.
There’s a lot of movement elsewhere in our top college QB Rankings. See for yourself below with analysis on all 133 quarterback situations across the country.
Top College Quarterback Rankings Criteria
After months of excruciating film watching, hours-long sessions of data analysis, and a bevy of spreadsheets, the rankings are here. Okay, kidding, to the excruciating aspect, as I love every minute of watching college football and quarterback play in our great sport.
Before we get to the rankings, it’s imperative to set the tone and let you understand how these rankings are formed. Like always, the film-watching portion of these rankings dictates a heavy portion of the weight on where a player landed.
Injury history, head coach or offensive coordinator changes and subsequent implementation of the scheme this year, roster turnover, and general quarterback mechanics all over the field were also added into the mix.
Stats mean a lot, but they’re not the end-all, be-all for college quarterbacks.
As always, this is not a list of their pro-level abilities. We’re not looking at them as NFL Draft prospects — I leave that to our friends at Pro Football Network now. Instead, these college quarterback rankings are solely based on how each player has fared in their time in college or, in some cases, back to their high school days.
Just like our preseason rankings, the film through this point of the season has largely been added to a wealth of information and data at hand for every quarterback across the country.
Let’s get to it. Remember, you can fire any questions you may have to me on Twitter regarding these rankings. And if you missed any of our college QB rankings at the conference level, they’re all listed below.
All QB Rankings: ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MAC | MWC | Sun Belt | FBS Ind.
FBS College Football QB Rankings, 1-133
133) Cade McNamara, Deacon Hill | Iowa
B1G Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 132nd (-1)
Yards: 311 | TDs: 2 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 38.6% | YPA: 4.4
It could be said that no quarterback in the country may have to do as little as the starting quarterback for the Iowa Hawkeyes does in order to get a win. That should certainly be evident in Deacon Hill who has started the last two games for the Hawkeyes and thrown just 147 yards on 12-of-35 passing.
That’s right, Hill has thrown a single touchdown, completed 34.2% of his throws, and chipped in with -43 rushing yards over his first two starts this year and somehow, some way, the Hawkeyes are 2-0 on those games.
It’s a shock that this team — with all their offensive woes — is still ranked inside the top 25. Their defense is great and their special teams are awesome, but as good as those other units are, with Hill or Cade McNamara leading the team at quarterback, their offense is equally, if not more, unimpressive.
132) Grant Wilson, Jack Shields | Old Dominion
Sun Belt Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 131st (-1)
Yards: 838 | TDs: 7 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 50.5% | YPA: 8.5
The Old Dominion quarterback situation hasn’t been the culprit this year, but it also hasn’t won them any games. The defense kept the Monarchs in the contest against Wake Forest and came up huge in the win against Southern Miss in Week 6.
With a bye week entering Week 8’s game against App State, will we see the Grant Wilson who threw three interceptions against Texas A&M Commerce or the Grant Wilson who looked every bit the part against Louisiana and Virginia Tech of an above-average on-field distributor?
Consistency is key at the quarterback position, but Wilson has been incredibly volatile.
131) Jalon Jones, Trexler Ivey | Charlotte
AAC Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 116th (-15)
Yards: 601 | TDs: 2 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 57.0% | YPA: 7.0
What an abhorent showing it was for the Charlotte passing attack against Navy in Week 7. Trexler Ivey threw two interceptions, on ill-fated decisions, and the Midshipmen continually confused the 49ers’ passing game all afternoon long.
In his first start of the season, Ivey largely disappointed and it’s not clear whether this situation is fluid, locked in stone, or even going to get any better going forward. Ivey had a sound performance back against Georgia State, so we know there’s talent there, but the game seems to be moving too fast for him lately.
130) MJ Morris, Brennan Armstrong | NC State
ACC Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 112th (-18)
Yards: 971 | TDs: 5 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 58.8% | YPA: 6.1
The move to MJ Morris was supposed to spark the NC State offense, but against Duke in Week 7, that was hardly the case. The Wolfpack were held to just three points and were kept off schedule by the Blue Devils’ all-encompassing pass-rush and coverage unit.
Morris has thrown four interceptions in just two starts this year and the going gets tougher when they return in Week 9 against Clemson. The bye week in Week 8 is much needed.
129) Athan Kaliakmanis | Minnesota
B1G Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 130th (+1)
Yards: 797 | TDs: 6 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 55.9% | YPA: 5.9
It feels like forever ago that this Minnesota offense had Tanner Morgan letting seam shots rip and throwing his receivers open to the deep portions of the field. And, well, that’s likely because it was after the long season it’s been with Athan Kaliakmanis at the helm.
Fresh off a beatdown at the hands of Michigan, the Gophers will hope to utilize their Week 7 bye week to install some pass plays that get this ridiculously talented wide receiver group the ball in space because that’s certainly one of the things that’s been lacking this year.
128) Tai Lavatai, Braxton Woodson | Navy
AAC Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 129th (+1)
Yards: 426 | TDs: 3 | INT: 0 | Comp. %: 51.9% | YPA: 8.2
The Navy offense did what they needed to do against Charlotte in Week 7, controlling the ball and dictating the pace of play. Braxton Woodson showed enough as a leader on offense to warrant perhaps another look after he took over for an injured Tai Lavatai.
Woodson ran the ball 18 times for 58 yards and took care of the ball in their option attack well enough. The passing game for Navy will continue to be nonexistent it appears, however, and they’ll have to rely their defense and on more sharp decisions from their QBs reading their keys and holding on to the football at the right time to be successful in 2023.
127) Brendon Lewis | Nevada
MWC Rank: 12/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 128th (+1)
Yards: 907 | TDs: 2 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 57.9% | YPA: 5.7
Wins are going to be hard to come by for Nevada in 2023, despite Brendon Lewis’ best attempts. He put forth his first multi-touchdown game of the season in Week 7; actually, it was the first game with a passing touchdown for him, and he flashed with his legs to the tune of 115 yards and another score against UNLV.
However, it was far too little and mostly in garbage time that the Wolf Pack put up any bit of a fight. The offense is out of sync, out of rhythm, and without any sort of viable threat this season, like they were last year, following Jay Norvell’s departure. Lewis is fresh off his best game of the season, and they still lost by 18.
126) Layne Hatcher, Kadin Semonza, Kiael Kelly | Ball State
MAC Rank: 12/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 126th (no change)
Yards: 565 | TDs: 4 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 64.2% | YPA: 5.9
It’s difficult to take any good from Kiael Kelly’s first start for Ball State. On one hand, he kept the ball moving on the ground and did a good enough job of keeping the ball away from the high-powered Toledo offense.
On the other hand, he completed just four passes on 16 attempts and threw a pick. Sure, it was his first start, but with the success we saw with Kadin Semonza in the fold, a new identity was formed: a run-first identity.
Whether or not that leads to success in the long run is up in the air, as the Ball State offensive line failed to dictate the pace of play on the ground in Week 7.
125) Emory Jones | Cincinnati
Big 12 Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 105th (-20)
Yards: 1,226 | TDs: 10 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 62.1% | YPA: 7.6
For the third time in four outings, Emory Jones has thrown multiple interceptions. In Week 7, he threw two picks against Iowa State and the Cincinnati offense struggled to find any ground to move on.
Jones’ success to start the year is now a distant memory as the Bearcats have lost four straight and scored just 43 points in their last three. His accuracy past 10 yards has gone by the wayside and this Cincinnati offense has to be looking for a spark to change things at this point.
124) Trenton Bourguet, Drew Pyne | Arizona State
Pac-12 Rank: 12/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 115th (-9)
Yards: 726 | TDs: 1 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 65.3% | YPA: 7.4
A bye week for the Sun Devils leaves us with the same questions we had prior. And we likely won’t get many answers around the status of this quarterback situation and if we’ll see any improvements in the near future against Washington in Week 8.
123) Rocco Becht | Iowa State
Big 12 Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 125th (+2)
Yards: 1,223 | TDs: 10 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 60.0% | YPA: 6.8
The Iowa State Cyclones moved to 2-0 over their past two games with strong defensive performances and error-free play from their quarterback. Rocco Becht is starting to see the field much better and has delivered some strong passes to his receivers in space.
Finding his receivers in space will do wonders for your statistical showing and keeping your offense on schedule. More of that and we’ll certainly see Becht move up these rankings.
122) Noah Kim | Michigan State
B1G Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 124th (+2)
Yards: 1,090 | TDs: 6 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 56.9% | YPA: 6.8
We really liked what we saw from Noah Kim early on in the season for Michigan State. Kim was sharp with his reads and showcased a strong enough arm. However, after three interceptions against Iowa and six over his last two starts, it was Katin Houser who we saw against Rutgers in Week 7.
Houser did little with his arm to stake claim to the position as the Spartans continue to flounder, but he did contribute to three touchdowns. He threw for 133 yards on 29 attempts, hardly testing the waters deep with any consistency and this situation has a lot to prove moving forward.
121) Heinrich Haarberg | Nebraska
B1G Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 120th (-1)
Yards: 631 | TDs: 4 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 52.1% | YPA: 6.6
The Nebraska quarterback situation was always set to get worse before it got better in the first year under Matt Rhule. With Jeff Sims out, it’s been the Heinrich Haarberg show over the last few outings, and he’s battled through some accuracy issues to a 3-1 record over their last four.
Still, Haarberg is a much better rusher at this point than he is a passer. Considering Rhule certainly needs a passer in his wide-open offense, there is a recipe for success with Haarberg in 2023. They just can’t avoid getting down early as this team is not built to come from behind at this stage.
120) Mason Garcia, Alex Flinn | ECU
AAC Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 123rd (+3)
Yards: 649 | TDs: 1 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 48.8% | YPA: 5.2
It appears that we’re going to continue to get the two-quarterback situation from ECU this season as Mason Garcia and Alex Flinn have split reps in essentially all but one game this year. Flinn must have shown in practice that he’s the more capable passer, yet he’s not shown that in any game reps to date.
Garcia actually fared better than Flinn against SMU on a Thursday night Week 7 matchup, but it was far too little, too late, against the Mustangs. It’s a confounding situation as this offense just doesn’t want to even attempt to push the ball down the field despite some weapons and some success they’ve seen in doing so.
The schedule doesn’t get much easier down the stretch with conference powers Tulane and UTSA scheduled as two of their next three opponents.
119) Michael Alaimo, Tommy Ulatowski | Kent State
MAC Rank: 11/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 118th (-1)
Yards: 881 | TDs: 2 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 55.4% | YPA: 6.8
Michael Alaimo had shown plenty of promise in his first year with Kent State, scoring some points and making some halfway-decent throws. This past week, however, it was Tommy Ulatowski, the dual-threat quarterback who saw more time in Week 7, who showed some flashes of potential.
Ulatowski lulled Eastern Michigan’s defense to sleep with his QB power game and designed runs before hitting a few deep beauties over the top for touchdowns. However, save for those two deep balls that went for scores, it was an inconsistent day and lacked any success moving the ball on the ground or in the short area of the field to move the sticks.
It’s been a long season for Kent State, and it appears only to be getting longer.
118) Ben Bryant, Brendan Sullivan | Northwestern
B1G Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 108th (-10)
Yards: 926 | TDs: 6 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 59.0% | YPA: 5.8
The majority of the back half of the Big Ten QB Rankings were on bye weeks in Week 7 and Northwestern was no different. Last we saw the Wildcats, however, was going to the wire against Howard.
In that outing, Brendan Sullivan returned as the starter and threw for two scores while rushing for another. Sullivan has some interesting intangibles as the Northwestern quarterback but decision-making and accuracy haven’t shown up as consistently as you’d like.
117) Tayven Jackson | Indiana
B1G Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 107th (-10)
Yards: 914 | TDs: 2 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 60.9% | YPA: 7.1
Against Michigan, no Indiana quarterback fared too well. Not too well at all. In fact, it was Donaven McCulley who threw the lone touchdown of the day for the Hoosiers on a double-pass from the former quarterback himself.
Tayven Jackson threw two interceptions and Brendan Sorsby completed just six of his 15 pass attempts as the Indiana offense just simply got shut down by Michigan.
Even not against Michigan, the Indiana offense hasn’t looked anything but stuck in mud for the most of the 2023 season and something will have to give as they move on down the stretch.
116) Logan Smothers, Zion Webb | Jacksonville State
CUSA Rank: 9/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 95th (-21)
Yards: 638 | TDs: 5 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 56.9% | YPA: 6.3
The Jacksonville State Gamecocks are one of the fastest offenses in the country and they’re a surprise team at 5-2 on the season. However, you can bank the majority of those wins on their defense, offensive line, and ground game as the quarterback sistuation has yet to be figured out.
Both quarterbacks — Logan Smothers and Zion Webb — have had their moments, but they’re far too limited as passers to warrant anything other than the bottom of the barrel of our Conference USA QB rankings. They’ll need to get them clean in the pocket and working on their progressions as the Conference USA schedule continues.
115) Sam Jackson, Ben Finley, Fernando Mendoza | Cal
Pac-12 Rank: 11/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 98th (-17)
Yards: 356 | TDs: 3 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 62.0% | YPA: 7.1
There was some promise for Fernando Mendoza in his first major action back in Week 6. But running the gauntlet of Oregon State and Utah’s defenses will never look good for any offense, let alone a freshman QB with a lot to prove.
Mendoza has shown some flashes, but decision-making and lack of elite arm talent to every level of the field have proven ineffective enough to warrant movement up these rankings. The struggles will likely continue for Cal and their overall situation with an angry USC team and a trip to Oregon on the horizon.
114) Behren Morton | Texas Tech
Big 12 Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 76th (-38)
Yards: 571 | TDs: 8 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 55.1% | YPA: 5.8
The injury to Tyler Shough forced Behren Morton back into the lineup for the second season in a row, but unlike last year’s success, Morton has been erratic and inconsistent from the jump. He came in in relief of Shough in a loss to WVU before winning two straight over lackluster defenses in Houston and Baylor.
Morton wasn’t all to blame for their loss to Kansas State but he certainly deserves his fair share. He’s been inaccurate to every level of the field and hasn’t even tested the deep waters it feels like in two games. Getting back to basics, making his correct reads on time, and delivering more than dumping passes off in the short area of the field will remain crucial for this offense.
113) Dylan Hopkins | New Mexico
MWC Rank: 11/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 94th (-19)
Yards: 1,165 | TDs: 7 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 55.6% | YPA: 7.7
It’s been tough sledding for the New Mexico Lobos this season, mainly because their defense has given up 50 points in two outings and at least 31 in their last contests. Dylan Hopkins certainly has a familiarity with the offense, but that’s done the team little favors when it comes to successful execution.
Hopkins has had his moments in 2023 and the talent is there. They’re no strangers to testing the deep waters but the inconsistency to keep the offense on schedule has plagued them in key situations this year. Getting back to basics and not relying on deep completions to move the chains will be pivotal to the rest of the year’s success.
112) E.J. Warner | Temple
AAC Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 57th (-55)
Yards: 1,741 | TDs: 12 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 56.5% | YPA: 6.4
We’ve dropped E.J. Warner and the Temple quarterback situation several spots because of the lack of depth behind Warner and their lack of success this season, even at the top. Warner was a late scratch against North Texas in Week 7, and Quincy Patterson was completely ineffective as a passer in relief.
Warner has shown he can be a gamer this year, battling through multiple hits and quick pressures against UTSA back in Week 6 to the tune of five touchdowns and a whopping 65 pass attempts. However, his unavailability in Week 7 gives concerns for his longevity this year as he was only sacked once (though he did take plenty of hits against UTSA) and missed the week of practice and the game against the Mean Green.
Patterson isn’t a reliable backup option, and even at his best this season, Warner has led his team to just a single victory over FBS competition this year. It’s an abysmal season compared to preseason expectations as it’s started to unravel for the Owls.
111) Jeff Undercuffler Jr., Tahj Bullock | Akron
MAC Rank: 10/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 75th (-36)
Yards: 364 | TDs: 2 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 66.7% | YPA: 6.4
At one point, the Akron Zips quarterback situation was a potential top-tier unit. That was, of course, with DJ Irons leading the way. Irons lost two games in overtime to close out September, and since exiting the lineup, Jeff Undercuffler and Tahj Bullock have proved ineffective.
The whole offense change with Bullock or Undercuffler and the duo has combined for seven interceptions against three touchdowns. It’s a tough road to navigate without your star quarterback for a school like Akron and an unfortunate one at that.
110) Jack Turner, Hank Bachmeier | Louisiana Tech
CUSA Rank: 8/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 85th (-25)
Yards: 1,011 | TDs: 5 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 58.0% | YPA: 7.1
Re-entering the lineup for the first time since Week 3, Hank Bachmeier came in for Jack Turner against Middle Tennessee, but it didn’t matter. The Louisiana Tech offense has been sluggish, to say the least, the last few weeks, marred by inconsistency and untimely turnovers.
There is plenty of talent in both Hachmeier and Turner, but this offense may not pit to both of their strengths.
109) Tony Muskett, Anthony Colandrea | Virginia
ACC Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 103rd (-6)
Yards: 923 | TDs: 5 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 61.8% | YPA: 9.0
The Virginia Cavaliers were off in Week 7, so we look back to their last performance to indicate what they might bring to the table going forward. Tony Muskett was very effective against William & Mary, throwing for 232 yards and two scores while rushing for another. But it wasn’t nearly as comfortable as the final score would indicate.
The same errors that have cost them dearly in 2023 showed up in small amounts against the Tribe. The offensive line has struggled to protect for too long and the quarterbacks have failed to get the ball out on time for the most part. Muskett offers the most protection, while Anthony Colandrea offers a gunslinging mentality.
Which way they go moving on in their ACC schedule will be telling.
108) Christian Veilleux, Phil Jurkovec | Pittsburgh
ACC Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 133rd (+25)
Yards: 345 | TDs: 3 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 45.3% | YPA: 6.5
We’re keeping Phil Jurkovec’s name on here for now, even though it largely appears to be Christian Veilleux’s job going forward, just to understand how much of a climb Veilleux has. Jurkovec, the season’s starter to this point, has likely played his last game as a quarterback for Pittsburgh after Veilleux led the Panthers to a win over previously undefeated Louisville.
We’ll remain cautiously optimistic that Veilleux’s best football is still to come after he showed some flashes of talent in the victory. Still, he left some throws on the table and did appear rattled at times. His throw to Konata Mumpfield was the best of the night as he dropped in a bucket shot downfield with accuracy and touch.
More of that downfield precision will move the Panthers up in the ACC QB Rankings and in the win column easily enough.
107) Ashton Daniels | Stanford
Pac-12 Rank: 10/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 127th (+20)
Yards: 957 | TDs: 7 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 60.0% | YPA: 7.7
After four touchdowns and a rallying performance of a lifetime, things are looking brighter at Stanford and for Ashton Daniels. We were very impressed with his performance against Hawaii to start the season and it looks like that version of him has returned, or at least it did against Colorado in the second half.
We’ll cautiously bring Daniels up in these QB rankings, but the scripted portion of this offense will have to get better under his leadership.
106) Billy Wiles | Southern Miss
Sun Belt Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 110th (+4)
Yards: 1,254 | TDs: 7 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 53.5% | YPA: 6.3
Southern Miss was off in Week 7 after falling to Old Dominion in an ugly game in Week 6. The offense hasn’t quite been what you’d expect with the talent they have, but they’ve hardly been the root cause of their defeats in 2023.
Billy Wiles has done a miraculous job of making Southern Miss a pass-first offense after the past few years and had shown lashes of brilliance with his arm during the games against Texas State and Arkansas State.
He’s got some talent in his arm and enough juice to make things happen with his legs, but there needs to be some more consistency on stable metrics (non-play-action passes, clean dropbacks) before he moves up in our Sun Belt QB Rankings.
105) Robby Ashford, Payton Thorne | Auburn
SEC Rank: 14/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 122nd (+17)
Yards: 745 | TDs: 4 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 60.7% | YPA: 6.4
We’re not quite sure that Robby Ashford nor Payton Thorne will be the answer for Auburn moving forward, but maybe this works for them. Their two-quarterback situation has thrown some defenses for a loop in 2023, but far too often, they’ve not been consistent enough to do anything at all offensively.
Thorne, the more experienced passer, has thrown for four scores, but not a single touchdown through the air against SEC defenses as the going is set to get really tough for the Tigers in 2023.
104) Taylen Green | Boise State
MWC Rank: 10/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 71st (-33)
Yards: 1,041 | TDs: 5 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 53.0% | YPA: 7.0
With such high expectations this season for Boise State, it should be said that they have to be in consideration for one of the most underachieving and disappointing teams in the country. The play of Taylen Green has largely been the pain point for the offense and they’ve gone to Maddux Madsen in the last two outings.
Both, unfortunately, have proven ineffective at the quarterback position despite arguably one of the best running backs in the country having one of the best seasons by an RB in recent memory. There isn’t much to like from the quarterback situation as it stands right now, as they’ve proven ineffective at getting the ball to any level of the field.
Riding some play-action passes may be key to getting this offense back on track.
103) Jiya Wright | UL-Monroe
Sun Belt Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 121st (+18)
Yards: 694 | TDs: 6 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 54.4% | YPA: 6.1
Jiya Wright is a bonafide gamer. He’ll do everything he can to put his UL-Monroe Warhawks in a position to win and the veteran leader of the offense sure has shown he can lead some successful drives at the helm to open games this year.
However, when the scripted portion of the offense is over, it’s been a steep decline and the Warhawks have lost two of their last three games by a single point because of their inability to close out ballgames. Wright has the talent and the offensive line is there, he just needs to make better decisions with the game on the line.
102) AJ Swann, Ken Seals | Vanderbilt
SEC Rank: 13/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 102nd (no change)
Yards: 1,290 | TDs: 11 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 53.8% | YPA: 7.5
Ken Seals has filled in admirably for AJ Swann, but the Vanderbilt Commodores offense has failed to move the ball consistently with either one in the lineup this year. Seals has thrown two touchdowns in each of his three starts this fall, but struggled with his ball security overall.
He withers under pressure, unfortunately, and has been under duress almost more than he hasn’t so far in 2023. A concerning factor whether it’s Seals or Swann as this season continues.
101) Keegan Shoemaker | Sam Houston
CUSA Rank: 7/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 117th (+16)
Yards: 1,016 | TDs: 6 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 61.5% | YPA: 5.8
Finally, the Sam Houston offense has gotten off their backsides and started moving the ball in 2023. Keegan Shoemaker has thrown for at least 255 yards in each of his last three starts and put scares into each of their last three opponents in doing so.
The errors are still there and ultimately some inconsistent decisions have plagued this offense in the second half of each of their last three games, but Shoemaker has started off hot. Finding their rhythm and keeping on schedule in the unscripted portion of their offense will be key the rest of the way.
100) Garrett Greene | West Virginia
Big 12 Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 113th (+13)
Yards: 544 | TDs: 4 | INT: 0 | Comp. %: 52.9% | YPA: 8.0
What a gamer Garrett Greene has been for West Virginia this season. You can say he’s been limited as a passer but we finally got to see him at his best in terms of downfield accuracy and decision-making on a Thursday night showcase game against Houston.
Sure, it didn’t go his way, but that was hardly his fault thanks to a Hail Mary from the Cougars, and Greene did enough to impress us with his final-minute drive to take the lead in this one. He’s growing in front of our eyes and maybe his best football is yet to come.
99) Mitch Griffis, Michael Kern | Wake Forest
ACC Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 68th (-30)
Yards: 1,211 | TDs: 9 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 59.2% | YPA: 7.2
What to do in Winston-Salem, what to do indeed. Mitch Griffis has been fielding questions around his ability to lead the offense since their loss to Clemson and things reached a fever-pitch against Virginia Tech.
Griffis was pulled after what head coach Dave Clawson called “where he just wasn’t executing the offense.” Michael Kern entered the lineup and the offense didn’t score a touchdown either way.
This offense can be a QB-friendly one if run correctly by the correct QB. Currently, however, it appears Wake Forest may not have the correct QB on the roster.
98) Jaylen Raynor | Arkansas State
Sun Belt Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 99th (+1)
Yards: 850 | TDs: 10 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 63.3% | YPA: 10.8
We moved Jaylen Raynor and the Arkansas State Red Wolves from the bottom of the Sun Belt QB Rankings in Week 6, following their terrific start under the freshman. However, after a rough outing against Troy, they stay put right here.
Let’s face it, even the best quarterbacks struggle against the Trojans defense this season and Raynor was no different. Still, he’s thrown 10 touchdowns in just three starts with some spot duty against Stony Brook this year. He’s been a spark plug for a team that needed to be revitalized.
We’re confident the success will still follow, especially with a bye week following a learning experience against Troy two weeks ago.
97) Jalen Mayden | San Diego State
MWC Rank: 9/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 114th (+17)
Yards: 1,285 | TDs: 6 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 62.9% | YPA: 6.9
Righting the ship, Jalen Mayden and San Diego State stopped a four-game slide with a win at Hawaii in Week 7. It didn’t come without trouble nor dramatics, but the Aztecs quarterback showed resolve and took relative care of the football. There are still limitations with this offense with Mayden at the helm, but those can be overcome with a strong performance by the offensive line and their defense all the same.
Taking care of the football in the air is Mayden’s biggest strong suit as he has shown limitations with his power and arm strength. Fitting balls over the middle of the field defenders isn’t an issue; it’s pushing it to all sides of the field that has shown difficult.
Staying within the structure and trusting his arm on throws he knows he should be able to make will be key if the Aztecs want to get back to a bowl game.
96) Byrum Brown | USF
AAC Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 64th (-32)
Yards: 1,662 | TDs: 12 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 59.6% | YPA: 7.3
There is a lot of good in Byrum Brown’s game, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of potential for boom, or big plays. But there’s equal potential to stay out of rhythm and struggle to find consistency in looking for those big plays.
Against FAU in Week 7, Brown found some shots but largely fell to the inconsistent side in terms of keeping the chains moving for the USF offense. Brown is a dynamic quarterback and it appears he’s the right choice to lead USF as they continue to figure things out under Alex Golesh, but consistency and understanding when to play another down will be pivotal.
95) Daniel Richardson | FAU
AAC Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 119th (+24)
Yards: 902 | TDs: 5 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 65.1% | YPA: 6.1
Was this finally the Daniel Richardson we remember from his time at Central Michigan? Richardson threw three touchdowns and was downright dominant with his decisions, accuracy, and ball placement against USF in Week 7.
The former Chippewa took some time to get acclimated to starting for the Owls, after being thrust into the lineup following Casey Thompson’s ACL injury, but it looks like the corner has been turned. Richardson was accurate and decisive. His arm talent was apparent and he added something with his pocket presence.
If this kind of performance continues, the Owls could certainly force some issues in the AAC this season with their defense.
94) Devin Leary | Kentucky
SEC Rank: 12/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 80th (-14)
Yards: 1,377 | TDs: 14 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 54.4% | YPA: 7.1
The Kentucky Wildcats season has come off the rails with back-to-back losses, showing the biggest discrepancy they have over their SEC rivals: quarterback play. Devin Leary got away with some errant throws and some bad decisions against lesser competition to start the season, but now that SEC play has heated up, he’s been inconsistent, inaccurate, and not willing to tempt the field.
Leary has thrown two interceptions and completed less than 46% of his passes over the past two outings. Making matters more concerning, he’s not faring nearly as well on play-action passes in SEC play despite a historic season from Ray Davis and their offensive line.
93) Ta’Quan Roberson | UConn
Ind. Rank: 4/4
Last Week’s Ranking: 79th (-14)
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.
92) Taisun Phommachanh | UMass
Ind. Rank: 3/4
Last Week’s Ranking: 90th (-2)
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.
91) Max Johnson | Texas A&M
SEC Rank: 11/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 86th (-5)
Yards: 898 | TDs: 7 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 56.8% | YPA: 7.6
Max Johnson struggled to see the field against Texas A&M, mirroring what we saw against Alabama a week prior. The way Conner Weigman was playing prior to his injury is a real shame as this Texas A&M team was moving the football really well, and instead, with Johnson in, have been boom or bust.
Johnson’s ‘yolo’ style of play hasn’t quite shown and he’s found his receivers well in the short area of the field, but it’s been too little to overcome some strong defenses this season. He’s thrown three picks and just one touchdown over the past two weeks, and that’s likely to continue unless he improves his overall mechanics and field vision.
90) Kyron Drones | Virginia Tech
ACC Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 101st (+11)
Yards: 1,042 | TDs: 6 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 58.0% | YPA: 6.9
Finally, the Virginia Tech offense got moving in Week 7. Kyron Drones passed the 1,000-yard mark with a 321-yard performance against a hapless Wake Forest defense. And he did so by targeting his playmakers on time and in space.
It was a good example of how potent this Hokie passing attack could be as Jaylin Lane and Stephen Gosnell each showed promise in different ways. Distributing the ball effectively opened up the rushing game for Drones and this offense was better for it.
89) Kedon Slovis | BYU
Big 12 Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 44th (-45)
Yards: 1,240 | TDs: 10 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 59.4% | YPA: 7.5
What a disaster it was for the BYU Cougars in Week 7. We know Kedon Slovis has the arm talent to push for a top spot in the conference — we even had him at No. 3 in the Big 12 last week amid questions across the board in the conference — but it was a downright ugly performance against a TCU defense that had been torched at times this year.
Hopefully, for BYU fans and college football fans alike, that was a one-off situation for Slovis as he was consistently pressured into errant decisions and seemed off with his timing with his receivers. He takes a tumble in our QB Rankings — mainly because of this performance — but also because of answers, consistency, and a surge in solid QB play from he rest of the league’s signal-callers.
88) Thomas Castellanos | Boston College
ACC Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 93rd (+5)
Yards: 1,143 | TDs: 10 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 57.2% | YPA: 7.5
A week off in Week 7 sees Boston College get healthier following a rain-soaked victory in Week 6. Thomas Castellanos is as dynamic as they come, and though the passing statistics don’t quite show it, he’s still growing as a passer.
Improving his accuracy to every level of the field is the next step, but until then, Castellanos can rely on his legs and off-script ability. He’s accounted for 17 total touchdowns including seven on the ground so far this season.
87) Zeon Chriss | Louisiana
Sun Belt Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 97th (+10)
Yards: 800 | TDs: 7 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 69.2% | YPA: 8.8
On a bye in Week 7, the Louisiana quarterback situation could rest after a dramatic victory over Texas State a week prior. Zeon Chriss has been a revelation for this Ragin’ Cajuns team, adding a spark to the tune of a 3-1 record since he entered play.
Chriss’s success has been throwing his receivers open downfield while he has been sluggish on your ‘every-day’ throws, those easy, should-be-completed attempts in the short area of the field. Reps, practice, and slowing down may be vital to more success from Chriss this year.
86) Hayden Wolff | Western Michigan
MAC Rank: 9/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 88th (+2)
Yards: 309 | TDs: 3 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 68.2% | YPA: 7.0
When Hayden Wolff quietly announced his transfer portal destination this past offseason, the expectations certainly went up for Western Michigan. He hasn’t gotten the consistent chance to showcase his talents yet, and maybe we were a bit too high on those expectations in the first place.
Wolff has a big arm, we all know that, and he can spread the ball out well to each level. However, Wolff has seen his fair share of struggles against some talented defenses this year and is 0-3 in major game action.
Like so many quarterbacks, getting back to basics and staying on time within the structure of the offense will be key.
85) Will Rogers | Mississippi State
SEC Rank: 10/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 81st (-4)
Yards: 1,275 | TDs: 10 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 61.4% | YPA: 7.5
On a bye week in Week 7, Will Rogers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs have a chance to look at what has been successful this season, and what hasn’t. Rogers’ ability to spread the ball around to each side of the field has worked, but finding receivers downfield has not.
Getting back to the ways of this offensive scheme’s most successful passes — stick concepts and routes working back to Rogers — should pay off in the long run for their season win total and Rogers’ overall game.
84) Cardell Williams | Tulsa
AAC Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 106th (+22)
Yards: 955 | TDs: 8 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 60.8% | YPA: 9.4
On a bye week in Week 7, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane spent time licking their wounds after a close defeat to FAU in Week 6. Cardell Williams threw two costly interceptions and the offense was held mainly in check by FAU’s secondary.
Williams has had his moments in 2023, flashing with his ability to spot receivers quickly and deliver accurate passes. But the consistency hasn’t been there, not from game to game, nor from down to down. There’s talent here to unlock, and it should come in time.
83) Graham Mertz | Florida
SEC Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 92nd (+9)
Yards: 1,897 | TDs: 12 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 76.2% | YPA: 8.5
We’re starting to see the best of Graham Mertz for the Florida Gators. He’s been pressed into duty and pressed into downfield passing, something that fits his strengths when he’s brought his A-game. Mertz is fourth in the SEC in passing yards and has thrown six touchdowns over his last two starts.
Against good defenses, however, Mertz has still struggled at finding his receivers open downfield. We’ll remain cautious about moving him up too far until he proves his top form is here against strong defenses.
82) Connor Bazelak, Camden Orth | Bowling Green
MAC Rank: 8/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 87th (+5)
Yards: 826 | TDs: 4 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 57.4% | YPA: 6.4
This duo hasn’t needed to do too much this season and, on the strength of their ball-hawking defense, are 3-4. Camden Orth has provided the biggest spark and helped lead the Falcons to a win over Buffalo in convincing fashion, thanks in large part to the defense and four interceptions.
Orth threw for just 77 yards and a touchdown, but added 72 yards on the ground and another score as he’s taken what the defenses are presenting him and exploiting any gap he finds with his arm or legs.
They’ll need to figure out this passing attack and get back to basics of targeting their outside receivers because there’s too much talent for this team to hardly have over 1,000 yards through the air at this point of the season.
81) Austin Smith | Eastern Michigan
MAC Rank: 7/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 89th (+8)
Yards: 952 | TDs: 6 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 57.3% | YPA: 5.8
For the most part, Austin Smith played a solid game in Week 7 against Kent State. He was on time with most of his throws, suffering from some drops from his receivers and learning to live to play another down. Smith did enough to get the win despite some ball security issues.
The question for Smitih moving forward remains will he be able to replicate his previous two performances of high completions and on-time throwing with even greater success as the season gets more difficult.
80) Cole Snyder | Buffalo
MAC Rank: 6/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 38th (-42)
Yards: 1,337 | TDs: 11 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 59.1% | YPA: 5.6
Despite some high expectations this season at Buffalo, it’s been a largely disappointing season. They needed overtime to defeat Akron and the corner looked to have been turned. However, a loss to Bowling Green and a subsequent abysmal day of passing sees them falter and expectations shift to simply making a bowl game.
Cole Snyder threw two interceptions against Bowling Green’s talented secondary and CJ Ogbonna added two more for a disastrous day at the office in Week 7. The season gets no easier with three of the MAC’s best teams coming up in their next four outings, so something has got to give here because Snyder has a ton of talent and we’re not seeing it.
79) Jase Bauer | Central Michigan
MAC Rank: 5/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 65th (-14)
Yards: 1,060 | TDs: 4 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 57.8% | YPA: 6.4
The Central Michigan passing attack has been somewhat of a mystery this season. There are times that Jase Bauer looks every bit the part of a sound passing quarterback, and then there are plenty of times when he is a running back with a halfway decent arm.
Now, both situations have led to victories, but the consistency has not followed. Still, it’s an interesting proposition for opponents to try and figure out as Bauer is absolutely one athletic and talented quarterback.
Can he harness some downfield accuracy to go along with his dominant rushing ability? That’s the lone question we have because otherwise, he’s a terrific MAC QB.
78) John Rhys Plumlee, Timmy McClain | UCF
Big 12 Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 91st (+13)
Yards: 1,008 | TDs: 9 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 63.9% | YPA: 10.4
It’s been a tough road for the UCF Knights in their first season as a member of the Big 12. John Rhys Plumlee played well before an injury, and Timmy McClain has certainly shown flashes of potential brilliance with his downfield accuracy.
However, it’s been inconsistent short-area passes that have plagued McClain and the Knights and their inability to keep the chains moving in crucial spots has led to three straight defeats.
Plumlee tried to give it a go in Week 6, but he was clearly hampered enough to yield way to McClain once again. With a bye week since then, it remains to be seen who is the signal-caller down the stretch for the Knights.
77) Tanner Mordecai | Wisconsin
B1G Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 39th (-38)
Yards: 1,127 | TDs: 3 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 63.7% | YPA: 6.3
What could have been for this Wisconsin offense in their first year under Phil Longo and with Tanner Mordecai at the helm. Instead, they’ve struggled to make ends meet and Mordecai has just three passing touchdowns in six games.
The offense was held without a touchdown against Iowa in Week 7 as the Hawkeyes bottled up their passing and rushing attack all the same. Mordecai wasn’t inaccurate with his throws, but he certainly wasn’t accurate with some of his decisions against Iowa as they couldn’t quite pull the trigger on any successful drives.
Mordecai has plenty of arm talent, a ton of moxie, and the wherewithal to make this offense go, one wonders why it hasn’t done just that this season.
76) Dante Moore | UCLA
Pac-12 Rank: 9/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 58th (-18)
Yards: 1,304 | TDs: 10 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 50.9% | YPA: 8.0
The going has gotten incredibly tough for Dante Moore and UCLA. The Bruin’s young signal-caller may be better off for it — in years to come — but as it stands right now, it’s tough to watch this offense fold the way it has the past few weeks.
Moore is 1-2 in his past three starts and completed just 45.5% of his throws against three top-25 teams (Utah, Washington State, and Oregon State). The stout secondaries presented in the Pac-12 don’t get much better than Utah and Oregon State, and Moore was confounded in both outings.
Things may get uglier before they get better, but at least they get easier secondaries to throw on down the stretch.
75) Joe Milton | Tennessee
SEC Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 55th (-20)
Yards: 1,264 | TDs: 10 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 61.5% | YPA: 6.9
It just hasn’t been what Tennessee Volunteers’ fans wanted it to be from Joe Milton in 2023. A year after Hendon Hooker dominated in the same offensive scheme, Milton has struggled to see the field and struggled even more to make the right reads.
Despite Josh Heupel’s system being a QB-friendly offense, Milton hasn’t even come close to the expectations set forth this offseason. Everyone knows of his arm talent, but the lack of accuracy has shown on multiple occasions this year.
74) Jacob Zeno | UAB
AAC Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 84th (+10)
Yards: 1,905 | TDs: 12 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 74.4% | YPA: 7.5
Jacob Zeno leads the American Athletic Conference in passing yards despite an incredibly low average depth of target. He’s getting a ton of help from his receivers in space and the offensive scheme certainly doesn’t pit to the strength of his game.
Zeno has great arm strength and solid accuracy on downfield shots, but he’s hardly been asked to push the ball deep. It’s caught up to this Blazers team this season as they’re not built to come from behind.
Against man coverage heavy defenses, you’d hope the staff would trust Zeno to make some downfield throws against single coverage, but they’ve yet to release that.
73) Luke Altmyer | Illinois
B1G Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 100th (+27)
Yards: 1,571 | TDs: 8 | INT: 9 | Comp. %: 63.3% | YPA: 7.2
It wasn’t the prettiest of outings for Luke Altmyer nor for the Illinois Fighting Illini, but they overcame the Maryland Terrapins and their ferocious front four in Week 7 anyways. Altmyer has rebounded nicely after rather slow performances through the Penn State game this season, throwing five touchdowns against just two interceptions in his last four games.
This offense pits to his strengths and it should be noted that he’s seemingly improved in every game this year, save for that aforementioned Penn State game. Altmyer may never be the quarterback to test the deep waters regularly, nor will this offense ask him to, but he’s shown he can still manage a couple of consistent drives for the Illini all the same.
72) Gavin Wimsatt | Rutgers
B1G Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 82nd (+10)
Yards: 1,095 | TDs: 7 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 50.9% | YPA: 6.5
Say what you will about the limitations of the Rutgers offense, Gavin Wimsatt, Greg Schiano, and the Scarlet Knights can flat-out get it done. Sitting a game away from bowl eligibility, Rutgers heads into their Week 8 bye week on the heels of a come-from-behind victory over Michigan State, thanks to the run game, their defense, and Wimsatt.
Throwing for a touchdown and keeping key plays alive with his legs, Wimsatt gave the Scarlet Knights exactly what they needed, when they needed in against the Spartans in Week 7. It’s not been “sexy” by any means, but the Rutgers offense thrives on the ground and with Wimsatt’s ability to extend plays.
More of that will be crucial when they return to the field in Week 9 as their schedule certain stiffens, but a single win with games against Indiana, Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Maryland left on the schedule seems possible.
71) Will Howard, Avery Johnson | Kansas State
Big 12 Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 47th (-24)
Yards: 1,224 | TDs: 9 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 61.3% | YPA: 7.1
As terrific as Avery Johnson was in relief of Will Howard, it’s clear that he was a bit limited as a passer and the offense changed dramatically with him in the fray. Still, head coach Chris Klieman has said he feels he can win with both quarterbacks at the helm, but we know that defensive coordinators will certainly have enough film on Johnson’s success on the ground to study and potentially limit him.
We’ll remain confident that Klieman knows what he’s doing by potentially playing both quarterbacks in Week 8 against TCU, and we’ll figure much more out as this situation unfolds on game day.
70) Gavin Hardison, Cade McConnell | UTEP
CUSA Rank: 6/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 96th (+26)
Yards: 947 | TDs: 5 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 56.6% | YPA: 7.3
In the absence of Gavin Hardison, the Miners may have found something with Cade McConnell. Dropping immaculate passes to every level, McConnell led UTEP to a win and did so by finding Kelly Akharaiyi all over the field.
McConnell trusted his arm and placed footballs in accurate places all night long. The job may still be Hardison’s but we’ve seen this before where an underdog story is written with a dominant road win. We’re cautiously optimistic that Hardison can return to form once he’s healthy, but what a spark it was to see McConnell lighting the field up in Week 7.
69) Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi | Colorado State
MWC Rank: 8/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 109th (+40)
Yards: 1,944 | TDs: 14 | INT: 11 | Comp. %: 63.6% | YPA: 7.7
The term gunslinger absolutely applied to Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi. A week after throwing three interceptions and getting in trouble with some ill-fated tight-window decisions, Fowler-Nicolosi got away with a few throws in Week 7 against Boise State and came away victorious.
There’s plenty of arm talent for Fowler-Nicolosi and if he continues to harness it in a way that is helpful to his team, rather than potentially detrimental, he could develop into something special for the Rams.
68) Donovan Smith | Houston
Big 12 Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 111th (+43)
Yards: 1,348 | TDs: 9 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 64.6% | YPA: 7.0
Like some other boom-or-bust quarterbacks across the country, Donovan Smith giveth as much as he taketh away. In Week 7, Smith giveth to his receivers and threw for four touchdowns with another score on the ground in a terrific game against West Virginia.
He also giveth the world a treat in the form of his Hail Mary toss that won the game in dramatic fashion over WVU.
Smith has thrown four touchdowns in two straight games and has cut the turnovers in half since Sam Houston in Week 4. We’ll remain bullish that he can keep up this level of play, but after years of watching Smith, we know that consistency has always been his biggest issue.
67) Brayden Schager | Hawaii
MWC Rank: 7/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 83rd (+16)
Yards: 2,088 | TDs: 17 | INT: 8 | Comp. %: 63.4% | YPA: 7.2
Brayden Schager makes it an exciting time to watch Hawaii play football as he’s clearly grasped Timmy Chang’s offensive philosophy very well. Schager has thrown for 750 yards in his last two outings and multiple touchdowns in all but two games this season.
Schager has plenty of arm talent and has even been seen throwing his receivers open on some beautiful back-shoulder throws this year. His decision-making has been increasing as well and it looks like we’re getting the best version of Schager as this season has gone on.
66) Hudson Card | Purdue
B1G Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 62nd (-4)
Yards: 1,617 | TDs: 7 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 60.6% | YPA: 6.6
The defenses have certainly not been kind to Hudson Card or the Purdue Boilermakers to open the season as they’ve played some of the best defenses any one team has played in 2023. Fresh off a slow performance against Ohio State, Card still has done enough in 2023 to know that he’s the guy for Purdue.
Still, he’ll have to play better, with more accuracy, more poise, and better decision-making as the season goes along if they want to make a bowl game. The opposing defenses — save for Michigan — do get a bit easier down the back-half of their schedule.
65) Keyone Jenkins | Florida International
CUSA Rank: 5/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 53rd (-12)
Yards: 1,474 | TDs: 5 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 57.8% | YPA: 8.9
There was going to be a boom-or-bust nature with Keyone Jenkins starting for FIU this season. You’d better belive the FIU coaching staff was willing to put up with those busts for how much of a boom Jenkins could bring, until UTEP in Week 7 that is.
Jenkins made way for Haden Carlson against the Miners in Week 7, but it’s apparent that he’s the future of this program and the player that makes them more than one-dimensional. Cleaning up his decision-making and learning to live to play another down rather than forcing throws will be key to his growth.
64) Cam Fancher | Marshall
Sun Belt Rank: 9/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 50th (-14)
Yards: 1,506 | TDs: 7 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 68.9% | YPA: 7.2
Like a few other Sun Belt teams, the Marshall offense has been led and paced by their rushing attack. Yet, Cam Fancher has attempted at least 27 passes in every game this year.
Somehow, all those pass attempts haven’t led to as many passing yards nor success through the air as you’d expect. Fancher has done a good job of keeping the ball out of harm’s way unless the situation needs him to press the gas, but that’s hardly going to win games on obvious passing situations.
He’ll need to improve his accuracy to all levels of the field, but specifically past the sticks as he’s been off his mark far too often on such attempts.
63) Haynes King | Georgia Tech
ACC Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 59th (-4)
Yards: 1,631 | TDs: 16 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 62.3% | YPA: 8.5
With a week off to rest and recover after their furious finish against Miami, Haynes King and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are still a difficult team to read. King, however, has been solid all year long.
He’s given this Jackets team something to build on with his intermediate passing as he’s found their talented skill players in space plenty. Though King’s missed some throws here and there, he’s breathed life into the team when it’s needed it.
Playing more to his strengths — his accuracy and timing — are key to this team continuing to grow.
62) Cam Ward | Washington State
Pac-12 Rank: 8/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 21st (-41)
Yards: 1,779 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 69.7% | YPA: 8.7
Ball security issues have always plagued Cam Ward, dating back to his time at Incarnate Word and even in 2022 with Washington State. However, in two straight losses, it’s also been his decision-making that has dropped the Cougars the past two weeks.
Ward has plenty of talent and he showcased that with 13 touchdowns against zero interceptions over the first five outings, but it’s been a completely different story as the sledding’s gotten much tougher. Back to basics, simplifying the offense, and staying on schedule will be key to his development down the stretch.
61) KJ Jefferson | Arkansas
SEC Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 56th (-5)
Yards: 1,450 | TDs: 14 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 66.0% | YPA: 7.7
KJ Jefferson started off too slow, ultimately, to come away with an upset win over Alabama in Week 7. Still, he made a game of it and threw for two scores against the Crimson Tide, but it was too little too late, and he was a bit too erratic when it was all said and done.
Jefferson is a strong athlete, that’s never been in question, but he’s not taken his game to the next level in terms of his consistent passing ability. Until then, Jefferson plays in the middle of the road of these SEC QB Rankings.
60) Garrett Shrader | Syracuse
ACC Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 49th (-11)
Yards: 1,371 | TDs: 8 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 62.0% | YPA: 7.7
For Syracuse and Garrett Shrader, it’s safe to say the road doesn’t get any tougher than their last three-game stretch. With games at home versus Clemson and on the road in back-to-back weeks against UNC and FSU, Shrader has been bottled up and beat up.
Shrader exited the game against the Seminoles in favor of Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and the duo struggled, overall. It appears that Shrader will return after the team’s Week 8 bye week after he was removed from the lineup with food poisoning against FSU.
MORE: Garrett Shrader Injury Update Following His Removal Against FSU
The road gets a bit easier down the stretch for ‘Cuse, but they’ll have to improve in all facets on offense to compete in the ACC this year.
59) Grayson McCall | Coastal Carolina
Sun Belt Rank: 8/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 63rd (+4)
Yards: 1,675 | TDs: 8 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 64.8% | YPA: 8.5
The real Grayson McCall seemed to step up down the stretch for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in Week 7. McCall was clean with his throws down the stretch and rallied his Chants’ team to a victory over App State, breaking a two-game slide.
McCall is beginning to test the field deep and with accuracy once again, something that was a staple of his game in previous years. If his performance against App State is any indication, we’re going to see the best of McCall as the season comes down the back half.
58) Alan Bowman | Oklahoma State
Big 12 Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 104th (+46)
Yards: 748 | TDs: 2 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 53.3% | YPA: 5.5
We figured the quarterback situation would get worked out at some point in Stillwater, we didn’t expect it to drag that long into the season nor resolve it self so quickly once the answer was there. That answer is Alan Bowman, the longtime college football quarterback, and his quick decision-making and accuracy that have returned.
As wild as it sounds, his best football was back in 2018, but we may be scratching that arena soon if he keeps playing the way he is recently. Bowman is 2-1 since taking over as the full-time starter and let’s face it, that Iowa State performance looks more like an anomaly from the whole team at this rate.
Bowman threw for 336 yards nad two scores against Kansas, defeating the Jayhawks in fabulous fashion. If he continues to be quick with his reads and decisive with his throws, Bowman can make this Oklahoma State team a surprise for their opponents in each game remaining.
57) Preston Stone | SMU
AAC Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 77th (+20)
Yards: 1,467 | TDs: 14 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 57.1% | YPA: 7.4
The SMU Mustangs put up valiant fights against their Power Five opponents to start their schedule, and now that Preston Stone is into AAC play, he’s showcasing why he’s the right choice to lead this team. Despite a boundary-pushing short-area passing attack, we’ve still seen Stone put some extra mustard on his throws this season to the deep portion and looks good when doing so.
Stone doesn’t possess the strongest arm in the conference, but he certainly maintains an ability to torch defenses with his ability to extend plays and keep his vision downfield. He has uncanny accuracy when he’s at the top of his game, and he may be rounding into form at the right time this year.
56) Jalen Milroe | Alabama
SEC Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 72nd (16)
Yards: 1,397 | TDs: 11 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 64.4% | YPA: 10.6
Finding his groove against Arkansas, Jalen Milroe was dominant on downfield passing and within the scripted portion of the Alabama offense. However, the wheels fell off with his accuracy down the stretch and the Razorbacks nearly came back.
Fortunately for Milroe, the Crimson Tide defense stepped up big time in the win over Arkansas. Milroe hit several deep shots, however, that showcased what makes him a potential special kind of player. With time in the pocket, Milroe could be a dominant downfield passer.
55) Cooper Legas | Utah State
MWC Rank: 6/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 70th (+15)
Yards: 1,338 | TDs: 13 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 66.0% | YPA: 8.7
It’s been a refreshing sight to see Cooper Legas back at near-2021 levels for Utah State. Since starting the season, losing his starting job, and re-entering the lineup in Week 5, but in Week 6 as the starter, the Aggies are 2-1 and putting up more than their fair share of points.
Legas has scored at least 32 points in each of the past three games for Utah State but has made some questionable decisions with the ball. He’ll spot receivers open over the middle of the field just fine, but Legas has some work to do outside the numbers as he’s been seemingly a bit limited with his arm strength this season.
54) JT Daniels | Rice
AAC Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 52nd (-2)
Yards: 1,831 | TDs: 15 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 63.6% | YPA: 8.9
The Rice Owls were off in Week 7, giving them time to figure out what went wrong against UConn in Week 6 in the process. JT Daniels threw for 362 yards and two scores, but a costly interception and consistent pressure from the Huskies’ defensive front proved too much to overcome.
Still, Daniels has been on fire since a double-ovettime victory over Houston. He’s thrown at least three touchdowns in three games this year and over 400 yards twice. The connection with Daniels to Luke McCaffrey is one of the nation’s top QB-WR combinations, no questions asked.
Decision-making and playing outside of the structure of the offense can be improved, however.
53) Rocky Lombardi | Northern Illinois
MAC Rank: 4/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 74th (+21)
Yards: 1,1887 | TDs: 6 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 57.4% | YPA: 7.0
When Rocky Lombardi transferred to Northern Illinois those years ago, it seemed like the Huskies were ready to take the next step. After a slow start to the season that included four straight losses, things appear to be heading in the right direction.
The Huskies’ defense limited Ohio well and Lombardi distributed the ball with ease against Ohio’s defense, not needing to do too much to run away with a comfortable victory in the end.
NIU gets a home game before a bye week and into some scary Tuesday action on Halloween to kick off MACtion in 2023, and the way Lombardi has turned the corner, opponents may be scared to play him, indeed.
52) Gunnar Watson | Troy
Sun Belt Rank: 7/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 73rd (+21)
Yards: 1,766 | TDs: 11 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 59.4% | YPA: 8.5
They’ve righted the ship on defense, allowing just 10 points over their past three games, and the offense seems to be rounding into form. Gunnar Watson, however, is coming in off just a 47.6% completion percentage outing against Army as the adverse weather certainly played a part in the game.
Watson has done a good enough job of distributing the ball for the Trojans this season, but where they get in trouble is if they get behind early. He’s been great at throwing for distance while lacking some consistency with his underneath throws, and he’s been bailed out by some miraculous cacthes by his wideouts.
Kimani Vidal has carried the offense, not their quarterback, and that will need to change if they want to continue these winning ways into the rest of the Sun Belt season.
51) Cam Rising, Nate Johnson, Bryson Barnes | Utah
Pac-12 Rank: 7/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 66th (+15)
Yards: 398 | TDs: 1 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 57.6% | YPA: 6.0
The Utah Utes offense needs little from their quarterbacks when they have a converted safety rushing like Sione Vaki did in Week 7. However, you have to think of how much better this team will be with a healthy Cam Rising.
Bryson Barnes did a great job of managing the game against Cal in Week 7, throwing for 128 yards on 71.4% completions and keeping the offense on schedule. Pressed into duty or to make throws, however, is where this offense still needs to figure out its passing game.
50) Jalon Daniels, Jason Bean | Kansas
Big 12 Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 54th (+4)
Yards: 705 | TDs: 5 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 74.7% | YPA: 9.4
Jason Bean nearly played the game of his life in Week 7, throwing for 410 yards with five touchdowns but two costly interceptions. Those turnovers ultimately did in bean in a loss to Oklahoma State but he surely showed enough to give Kansas fans some hope as the season goes along.
Bean’s elongated throwing motion can get him in trouble on quick decisions and it showed against Kansas. When he has time to set his feet and read the field, he’s as powerful a thrower as anyone in the nation.
Jalon Daniels gives them a more complete quarterback, but Bean has been impressive enough in relief this year.
49) Jayden de Laura, Noah Fifita | Arizona
Pac-12 Rank: 6/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 67th (+18)
Yards: 946 | TDs: 8 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 75.2% | YPA: 7.6
This Arizona offense hasn’t skipped a beat with Noah Fifita taking over in the absence of Jayden de Laura. Fifita has played three straight, two close losses to Washington and USC, and a dominant showing over Washington State.
He’s thrown eight touchdowns against two interceptions but taken great care of the ball and moved the offense in the process. Fifita may be the future of this team with how he’s playing, or better yet, with the resurgence he’s given the Wildcats on offense, he may be the present.
48) Jack Plummer | Louisville
ACC Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 37th (-11)
Yards: 1,901 | TDs: 13 | INT: 8 | Comp. %: 63.5% | YPA: 9.1
For most schools, there is no way to avoid a trap game and that’s exactly what happened to Louisville in Week 7. Jack Plummer struggled mightily against Pittsburgh, as did the whole team, and their undefeated season was washed away in the rain.
Plummer, though, had largely cut down on the mistakes and was seeing the field brilliantly. Getting back to what made this offense so successful in the early third of the season will be key. That was Plummer getting the ball out quickly and lulling the defenses to sleep before hitting his receivers on in-breaking routes for max yards after the catch.
47) Joey Aguilar | Appalachian State
Sun Belt Rank: 6/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 51st (+4)
Yards: 1,530 | TDs: 14 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 60.0% | YPA: 7.8
It feels like a college football forever ago that Joey Aguilar didn’t start the season opener for the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Since taking over, Aguilar has rolled to just a 2-3 record as the starter, but he’s made the Mountaineers more than a one-dimensional team.
There’s a lot to clean up, but as he showcased in a loss to Coastal Carolina, he’s every bit of a top-notch quarterback when his receivers can make plays for him. Aguilar stands tall in the pocket despite som shaky blocking and has done a tremendous job of distributing the ball to all levels of the field.
He’s been consistent on the metrics you want him to be, those that show growth and maintain their level of play throughout the season. Aguilar has hardly been the problem for App State this season.
46) Blake Shapen | Baylor
Big 12 Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 45th (-1)
Yards: 920 | TDs: 4 | INT: 0 | Comp. %: 62.1% | YPA: 8.9
The Baylor Bears have split the last two starts from Blake Shapen, but the loss to Texas Tech is hardly their quarterback’s fault. Shapen has battled through injury and gives the Bears a clear identity on offense, even if their offensive line struggled to protect against TTU.
Back after a bye week in Week 7, Shapen and Baylor can focus on getting the ball to the perimeter and their playmakers in space. Shortening his release and quickening the time he lasts in the pocket will ultimately lead to better decisions and easier completions. That should be the emphasis on this offense moving forward.
45) Cade Klubnik | Clemson
ACC Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 48th (+3)
Yards: 1,370 | TDs: 11 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 65.2% | YPA: 6.5
For all the talk about how talented the Clemson offense could be this season, they’ve really taken a step back, dropping two games and looking downright flat against Power Five competition. Yet, like his predecessor, there is no denying the talent that Cade Klubnik has.
When he gets a chance to open up the playbook, Klubnik has been sound. It’s just the middle of the field, short-area attack that needs some consistent work for him to be able to do so.
44) Brady Cook | Missouri
SEC Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 30th (-14)
Yards: 2,046 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 71.0% | YPA: 9.4
We’ve not seen the best Brady Cook over the past two weeks, throwing three picks in his past two games, but he’s still earned a season split against top 25 teams in LSU (loss, 39-49) and Kentucky (win, 38-21). Cook was dominant over the first five games of the season and flashed a bit of that skill against Kentucky in Week 7, but there were some missed opportunities and forced throws that could’ve gone the other way.
He’ll have to clean up his decision-making as the season continues on through SEC play if the Tigers want to keep their winning ways. Find Luther Burden, get back to what worked, and Cook should continue to thrive.
43) Riley Leonard | Duke
ACC Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 22nd (-21)
Yards: 912 | TDs: 3 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 62.7% | YPA: 7.2
The Duke Blue Devils didn’t need Henry Berlin IV to do much in Week 7, riding an impressive defensive performance to victory. And that was a good thing as he had just four completions (sure, they went for two touchdowns) and was largely inconsistent in doing so.
For the Blue Devils the rest of the way this season, they’ll need Riley Leonard to return, and return healthy, where he can use his legs and his processing ability. We’ll cautiously leave them here, at fourth in the ACC QB Rankings, as we wait and see what happens.
42) Bryson Daily | Army
Ind. Rank: 2/4
Last Week’s Ranking: 43rd (+1)
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.
41) Carter Bradley | South Alabama
Sun Belt Rank: 5/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 42nd (+1)
Yards: 1,456 | TDs: 11 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 65.7% | YPA: 8.2
A mixed bag of success this season has marred what could’ve been a special year for South Alabama. Carter Bradley, however, has fared very well all things considered. Despite a multi-interception performance against conference-leading JMU, Bradley still had his troops in the contest against the Dukes.
They then boat raced a ULM defense that has exceeded all expectations this year and held Texas State to just 21 points this past weekend. With bye week in Week 7 to prepare for Southern Miss on a Tuesday night, the Jaguars will hope Bradley looks the part of an accurate distributor of the ball once again down the stretch.
40) Chevan Cordeiro | San Jose State
MWC Rank: 5/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 34th (-6)
Yards: 1,619 | TDs: 8 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 59.6% | YPA: 7.3
Moving down on the Mountain West QB Rankings only because of the gritty and strong performance of his cohorts, Chevan Cordeiro has proven more than his fair share of naysayers wrong in 2023. It hasn’t quite led to victories for San Jose State, but Cordeiro is picking his shots and unleashing strong throws to every level of the field.
He got back on track against an overmatched New Mexico defense in Week 7, throwing two touchdowns, though a ton of those yards came after the catch. Still, Cordeiro gives San Jose State a chance to win, even if they’ve been let down by their defense at times this season.
39) Davis Brin | Georgia Southern
Sun Belt Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 36th (-3)
Yards: 1,882 | TDs: 12 | INT: 9 | Comp. %: 68.2% | YPA: 6.5
The Georgia Southern offense was confounded and kept completely in check by the JMU Dukes in Week 7 as Davis Brin couldn’t consistently set his feet and make his progressive reads. That’s been the case for most opponents of the Dukes this year, but Brin’s gunslinger mentality hadn’t really gotten him trouble since Wisconsin.
To be honest, Brin’s gunslinging mentality has been kept in check more so than anticipated, but during their two-game win streak against Ball State and Coastal Carolina, he sure did. Getting time in the pocket and working through his reads, Brin is every bit of a top-tier quarterback in the Sun Belt.
Can the offensive line keep up?
38) Nicholas Vattiato | Middle Tennessee
CUSA Rank: 4/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 69th (+31)
Yards: 1,824 | TDs: 11 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 68.6% | YPA: 7.1
The Conference USA leader in total passing yards, Nicholas Vattiato has been a revelation this year for Middle Tennessee. It took him a few games to truly get rolling — matchups against Alabama and Missouri to start the year didn’t help — but he’s moving now.
Vattiato has thrown for at least 240 yards in each of his last four starts and has thrown four touchdowns over his last two. The defense has done him no favors (nor have his receivers), but Vattiato is fighting to give his team a chance all the same.
37) Taulia Tagovailoa | Maryland
B1G Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 31st (-6)
Yards: 1,926 | TDs: 16 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 63.9% | YPA: 7.7
Sometimes Taulia Tagovailoa giveth, sometimes Taulia Tagovailoa taketh away. Though not quite the gunslinger you’d expect, at times, Tagovailoa is absolutely a gunslinger who pushes football into windows that are shut or trusts his arm a bit too much to make ill-fated decisions.
He’s not seen the short area of the field particularly well this year, but when he does test the deep waters, Tagovailoa has shown brightest. With back-to-back losses marring what was a terrific start, Tagovailoa was certainly not to blame for half those decisions, but will have to play better as the Big Ten schedule continues.
36) Jayden Maiava | UNLV
MWC Rank: 4/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 60th (+24)
Yards: 960 | TDs: 5 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 61.9% | YPA: 8.1
The world needs to open their eyes to the potential that is Jayden Maiava and the skills that he’s shown since taking over for the UNLV Rebels. Maiava entered the lineup against Vanderbilt for an injured Doug Brumfield and hasn’t looked back.
He led the Rebels to a come-from-behind victory against the Commodores and has scored at least 44 points in each of his three starts since. The Rebels’ offense is humming, the players are flying around the field, and there’s real excitement surrounding the program as they continue down the back stretch of the season.
Maiava is a talented quarterback with his ridiculous arm strength and strong decision-making for a freshman. He’ll pick his shots wisely and trust his arm just as well. He can buy time in the pocket and doesn’t lose any accuracy or power when he’s on the move.
We may be only scratching the surface of Maiava’s greatness, but it needs to be said: The defenses get tougher for UNLV as the season goes on, with Fresno State, Wyoming, and Air Force standing as three of their next five opponents.
35) Seth Henigan | Memphis
AAC Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 27th (-8)
Yards: 1,697 | TDs: 13 | INT: 7 | Comp. %: 66.1% | YPA: 7.8
For all those who said Seth Henigan was on Michael Pratt’s level, their Friday night primetime faceoff did little to support the claim. Still, Henigan did flash what makes him a potential special quarterback against Tulane with his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver accurate shots despite pressure and small windows.
Henigan can sling it all over the field. He’s accurate to each level, but at times, his decision-making doesn’t follow suit with his arm talent. That can lead to trouble more often than not, and as it stands right now, this Memphis team is not prepared to overcome too many mistakes from their passing game despite Blake Watson’s terrific season.
34) Carson Beck | Georgia
SEC Rank: 4/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 26th (-8)
Yards: 2,147 | TDs: 12 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 73.6% | YPA: 9.1
The only thing knocking Carson Beck this early into his starting career with the Georgia Bulldogs is inconsistency. He’s shown flashes over the past three weeks, but in Week 7, forced a few throws and made a few errant decisions.
Fortunately, for Georgia fans, Beck can get away with those with how good his defense is playing. Quietly, though, he’s second in the SEC in passing yards and has done so with three straight 300-yard performances prior to a sluggish game against Vanderbilt.
33) Diego Pavia | New Mexico State
CUSA Rank: 3/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 40th (+7)
Yards: 1,615 | TDs: 14 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 62.2% | YPA: 9.8
For years now, Diego Pavia has been nationally underrated. After dotting the field with some impressive passing and even better dual-threat abilities over the past few weeks, Pavia’s stock is rising. Pavia threw for 286 yards and ran for 115 yards against Sam Houston in Week 7 and now has 14 scores against just five interceptions on the year.
The New Mexico State offensive scheme works to get their receivers open downfield on play-action passing, and Pavia has been able to exploit that with accuracy and poise this season. The Aggies are two wins away from a bowl game, and Pavia is a big reason why.
32) Darren Grainger | Georgia State
Sun Belt Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 35th (+3)
Yards: 1,421 | TDs: 8 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 68.5% | YPA: 8.6
The Georgia State Panthers have quietly forged to a 5-1 record this year and made their triumphant return in Week 7 following their loss to Troy in Week 5 and a bye week. In the win against Marshall, Darren Grainger was back to his usual ways, completing passes at will and moving the Panthers offense all the same.
Grainger now has 13 total touchdowns this year and he’s trending back in the right direction following an ugly performance against Troy. What makes Grainger a special quarterback is his ability to light the field up with his accuracy downfield, but also his short memory from any potential mistakes.
He’s a veteran and a darn good veteran quarterback in that aspect. Grainger will keep this Georgia State offense moving with that kind of success he saw in Week 7 all season long.
31) Kurtis Rourke | Ohio
MAC Rank: 3/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 15th (-16)
Yards: 1,068 | TDs: 8 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 63.2% | YPA: 6.9
It was a confusing and confounding day at the office in Week 7 for Kurtis Rourke and the Ohio Bobcats offense. Rourke threw three interceptions and was slow to read the action all game long against Northern Illinois. In fact, Rourke hardly completed a pass past the sticks against NIU as he was limited to short area passes that allowed the Huskies’ defense to limit first downs incredibly well.
Rourke must get back to what he does best and that’s scanning the field with his vision, maintaining that vision downfield if the play breaks down, and using his accuracy to strike his receivers open at every level of the field. He has all the talent in the world; we’ve yet to see it in a complete game this year, though.
30) Mikey Keene | Fresno State
MWC Rank: 3/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 29th (-1)
Yards: 1,692 | TDs: 15 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 68.5% | YPA: 7.3
It’s going on two weeks since we’ve seen Mikey Keene, yet Logan Fife did a great job in replacement of the star quarterback for Fresno State. Fife completed over 56% of his throws against a ball-hawking Utah State secondary and kept the ball out of their hands in doing so.
The rushing game has helped greatly as they wait to get Keene back in the lineup and we’ve note quite seen that big of a drop-off in talent from one to the other. Credit to Fife for that.
29) Tyler Van Dyke | Miami
ACC Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 24th (-5)
Yards: 1,721 | TDs: 16 | INT: 6 | Comp. %: 70.5% | YPA: 9.4
There’s a certain gunslinger mentality, it appears, for Tyler Van Dyke over the past two weeks of action. He’s pushing the ball downfield, squeezing throws into tight windows like it was 2021 all over again, but he’s also misread some coverages and trusted his arm too much.
It’s led to five touchdowns and five interceptions over the past two games for Van Dyke and back-to-back losses (though, can we really count the loss to GATC against Van Dyke? The answer is no.). Still, Van Dyke must get back and stay in rhythm as the season progresses because it doesn’t get much easier down the stretch with Clemson, Florida State, and Louisville still left to play.
28) Andrew Peasley | Wyoming
MWC Rank: 2/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 41st (+13)
Yards: 970 | TDs: 12 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 59.2% | YPA: 6.8
What a performance, albeit in a loss to Air Force, for Andrew Peasley. Absolutely one of the toughest dudes in all of college football, Peasley put forth a gritty performance that gave his Cowboys team a chance to win against the Falcons but came up a few plays short on defense.
Peasley has flashed with his arm talent this year, dropping accurate passes downfield and showing strong decision-making capacity in the short red zone. He’s ground out yards on the ground when plays have broken down but excelled from a clean pocket behind one of the nation’s top offensive lines.
Wyoming’s ceiling is being extended with the way Peasley is playing quarterback.
27) Chandler Morris (Josh Hoover) | TCU
Big 12 Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 78th (+51)
Yards: 1,513 | TDs: 12 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 65.8% | YPA: 7.6
The incredible level of play Josh Hoover showcased in Week 7 against BYU was eye-opening. Perhaps there is a QB debate brewing in Fort Worth because of how good Hoover was in replacement of season-starter Chandler Morris.
Hoover performed far better than anyone could have expected against BYU, looking defenders off with his vision and snapping accurate throws everywhere on the field. It was the type of performance that sets the bar incredibly high for the TCU offense going forward, and may make it difficult for Morris to crack back into the lineup once healthy.
Do yourself a favor, go back and rewatch that Hoover performance in Week 7.
26) Chandler Rogers | North Texas
AAC Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 61st (+35)
Yards: 1,419 | TDs: 12 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 63.9% | YPA: 8.4
We’ve almost seen enough to bump Chandler Rogers into the elite tier of our AAC QB Rankings. Almost. Since taking over as the starter in the Louisiana Tech game back in Week 3, the North Texas Mean Green have been a formidable offensive attack.
Rogers has led them to a 3-1 record in those starts and had it not been for a letdown from their offensive line against Navy, they would be sitting pretty with an unblemished AAC mark. He’s sparked the offense. throwing for 10 touchdowns in his four starts (12 all together) and is starting to catch steam with his downfield passing.
This Mean Green offense is a scary unit to face for any opponent going forward.
25) Zac Larrier | Air Force
MWC Rank: 1/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 28th (+3)
Total Yards: 941 | Total TDs: 8 | INT: 0 | Comp. %: 71.4% | YPA: 16.7
It’s been a masterclass on how to run the triple-option offense from Air Force this season and they’ve exceeded expectations at every turn. The big reason for that is absolutely Zac Larrier.
A bonafide track star, Larrier is as fast as they come and lands as one of the better decision-makers across the country. He’s proven plenty with his arm talent to boot, but running this offense has been beautiful to watch.
WIth a strong defense and Larrier playing near-elite levels of football, the sky is the limit for this Falcons team. Larrier is a game away from the elite tier of our Mountain West QB Rankings.
24) Brett Gabbert | Miami (OH)
MAC Rank: 2/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 33rd (+9)
Yards: 1,455 | TDs: 14 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 61.4% | YPA: 9.2
Consistently climbing the the MAC QB Rankings, Brett Gabbert is a play or two away from entering the elite tier of quarterbacks. Gabbert has been lights out this season, dropping only the first game of the season against the more southern Miami and has thrown 14 touchdowns in the past six outings.
He’s seeing the field incredibly well and has done more than enough with his legs to not only buy time in the pocket but also keep the ball on some impressive scramble drills this year. With the way Gabbert is playing, there’s no wonder why the RedHawks are in a race to topple Toledo for the MAC East crown — a Week 8 marquee matchup is on the horizon.
23) DJ Uiagalelei | Oregon State
Pac-12 Rank: 5/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 25th (+2)
Yards: 1,573 | TDs: 15 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 60.2% | YPA: 8.9
The more you watch what Clemson’s offense is doing (and by extension, what Tony Elliott is doing at Virginia), the more you realize it wasn’t DJ Uiagalelei’s fault for all of their discrepancies during his time with the Tigers.
In Week 7, Uiagalelei flashed the talent that he has in his right arm with multiple throws, including some dominant downfield seam shots to his tight end Jack Velling. DJU was decisive and did a great job of working his progressions.
It’s a marked improvement from the previous version we saw of Uiagalelei, and in no shock to us, he’s doing so with the best offensive line he’s ever had in front of him.
22) Kyle McCord | Ohio State
B1G Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 23rd (+1)
Yards: 1,651 | TDs: 11 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 64.1% | YPA: 9.7
Fresh off arguably his best performance to date, Kyle McCord is teetering on joining the Elite Tier soon in our Big Ten QB Rankings. McCord threw three touchdowns against Purdue and did so despite some wide receiver hiccups.
He’s started to settle in as the season has gone along for Ohio State, taking what defenses are presenting him and exploiting coverage mismatches to his star-studded wide receivers more frequently.
He loses a bit of accuracy and his decisions haven’t quite been the best when he’s forced to get the ball past the sticks, but other than that, McCord’s got it.
21) Shedeur Sanders | Colorado
Pac-12 Rank: 4/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 19th (-2)
Yards: 2,420 | TDs: 21 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 72.3% | YPA: 8.0
For all the good that Shedeur Sanders has done this season, it’s been relatively undone by a few costly mistakes. The forced interception in the end zone during overtime against Stanford is the microcosm of that instance, as he threw for five touchdowns and 400 yards, but a costly mistake ultimately cost the game for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Sanders, still, has shown more than enough to warrant a discussion that he belongs in the top quarterback conversation in the country. Unless he cuts down on the forced throws and realizes that every defense in the Pac-12 is far faster than he thinks, he’ll stay on the fringe.
He’s got all the talent in the world, and Sanders has done more than enough to be classified as must-watch TV because of his talent on the field, not his persona off it (though that doesn’t hurt).
20) TJ Finley | Texas State
Sun Belt Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 16th (-4)
Yards: 1,941 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 68.9% | YPA: 8.7
It didn’t come without a bit of a struggle, but Texas State got back in the win column against UL-Monroe, 21-20. The Bobcats struggled to move the ball on the Warhawks secondary as it took 46 pass attempts to reach 222 yards and Finley even served up a late-read pick-six to ULM.
Yet, with the game on the line, he was poised and precise. Finley marched his troops downfield twice in the waning moments and scored on two consecutive drives to take the game from what looked like sure defeat, down 11 points with under five minutes to go.
The unique packages with Malik Hornsby in the lineup appear to throw wrenches in the opposing defense’s hands but also mess with Finley’s consistency. One wonders if that will help or hinder going forward, but when it comes down to it, few are better than Finley across the country this season.
19) Dequan Finn | Toledo
MAC Rank: 1/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 14th (-5)
Yards: 1,265 | TDs: 12 | INT: 5 | Comp. %: 64.4% | YPA: 7.9
It wasn’t pretty in Week 7, but Dequan Finn and the Toledo Rockets got it done. Ball State’s secondary is no joke and Finn kept the offense on schedule more often than not despite the strength of the Cardinals’ defensive.
The focus shifts now to the CFN Group of Five Game of the Week between Toledo and Miami. Finn will have to rely on his game-breaking ability and his arm talent that has seen him push the ball into tight windows and move the sticks consistently with play-action passes off the back of Peny Boone’s success.
This is a matchup for the ages in midseason MAC action in Week 8.
18) Jordan McCloud | James Madison
Sun Belt Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 32nd (+14)
Yards: 1,432 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 64.5% | YPA: 9.2
A new No. 1 in the Sun Belt QB Rankings, Jordan McCloud takes the top spot after leading James Madison to an undefeated 6-0 start and in the driver’s seat of the Sun Belt. Sure, they can’t play for the title itself, but that won’t stop this team from commanding every aspect of the game.
McCloud diced up the Georgia Southern defense at will, leading his receivers downfield well and adjusting to multiple different coverage looks. He leaned into the rushing attack with some solid play-action passes and has looked the best that we’ve seen him during his five-year college career.
This offense means business and they have every right to be ranked inside everyone’s top 25, even if they’ve not been granted that privilege from those who haven’t watched them play.
17) Drew Allar | Penn State
B1G Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 20th (+3)
Yards: 1,254 | TDs: 12 | INT: 0 | Comp. %: 65.2% | YPA: 6.9
We’ve finally reached the part of Drew Allar’s growth where we put him firmly in the Elite Tier of our Big Ten QB Rankings. The big-armed signal-caller has been terrific for Penn State in 2023, seemingly growing in front of our eyes.
He’s thrown for 1,254 yards but it could be much more as he’s had some potentially costly drops from his receivers. Still, Allar has picked apart defenses, taken his time to settle in, and been dominant once he’s found his footing.
Like McCarthy above him, Allar is performing incredibly well inside of stable situations and within the structure of the offense. And for a young quarterback like Allar, that’s something you like to see as they mature and get more comfortable in the pocket.
16) Spencer Rattler | South Carolina
SEC Rank: 3/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 46th (+30)
Yards: 1,724 | TDs: 11 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 73.6% | YPA: 8.9
It could be said that this South Carolina defense is sadly wasting one of the best South Carolina quarterback seasons we’ve seen in recent memory. Spencer Rattler is dotting the field with accurate passes, powerful shots, and zone beaters left and right, middle and deep.
The defense has allowed at least 30 points in the past three games and 41 points in back-to-back contests, forcing errant throws down the stretch that bury just how good Rattler has been this season. Rattler has vaulted himself back into the NFL Draft picture and is certainly in the top tier of the top college quarterback rankings.
15) Frank Harris | UTSA
AAC Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 18th (+3)
Yards: 932 | TDs: 7 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 64.7% | YPA: 6.9
Since Frank Harris returned to the lineup, the UTSA Roadrunners have looked more and more like the team pegged to contend for the AAC this preseason. Harris has the Roadrunners humming and is a mere fourth-down conversion away from a 4-0 record as the team’s starter this season.
He’s proven that he can give this offense exactly what they need, when they need it, and he’s not afraid to force the issue or take the checkdown this season. A veteran of the sport, the Roadrunners schedule has winnable games the rest of the way through to their season finale against Tulane, as long as Harris continues playing the way he is now.
14) Kaidon Salter | Liberty
CUSA Rank: 2/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 17th (+3)
Yards: 1,353 | TDs: 14 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 57.6% | YPA: 10.3
Despite some offensive issues to start the game, the Liberty offense and Kaidon Salter got things going against Jacksonville State in Week 7. Salter threw for two touchdowns and accumulated over 200 yards of total offense in the process.
He displayed his elite touch on the football with some downfield throws that looked effortless, and he commanded a great second half of football. Avoiding those slow starts will be crucial as they play some top-tier offenses and stalwart defenses over the next few weeks.
13) Austin Reed | Western Kentucky
CUSA Rank: 1/9
Last Week’s Ranking: 13th (no change)
Yards: 1,665 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 61.0% | YPA: 6.8
After a bye week, Austin Reed and Western Kentucky welcome back to Conference USA midweek action with two straight against conference leaders in Jacksonville State and Liberty.
Reed will need to bring his A-game against both opponents, but with the way he’s been rounding into form (seven touchdowns in his last three starts), we’re sure he’ll be up for the challenge.
12) Quinn Ewers | Texas
Big 12 Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 12th (no change)
Yards: 1,704 | TDs: 11 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 69.6% | YPA: 9.3
A week off to lick their wounds, Quinn Ewers and Texas went back to the drawing board in Week 7 on their bye week. Ewers has amazed this season and did even in the loss to Oklahoma, save for a few minor errors in judgment.
He’s got all the requisite skills to take Texas back to the top of the national rankings but there are set to be a few bumps along the way. Continuing to find his receivers open in space down the field is paramount to all but his continued consistency over the middle of the field and in crucial situations.
It’s likely that Ewers gets a revenge game against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game and the Playoffs are not out of the picture with that in mind.
11) Sam Hartman | Notre Dame
Ind. Rank: 1/4
Last Week’s Ranking: 11th (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.
10) Michael Pratt | Tulane
AAC Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 10th (no change)
Yards: 927 | TDs: 9 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 70.7% | YPA: 10.1
Though it wasn’t his finest performance against Memphis in Week 7, Michael Pratt once again proved he’s the top quarterback in the conference with a third-straight victory in his return. He’s been sharp with the football all season long, and especially since his return to the field following the season-opening victory over South Alabama.
There isn’t a level of the field Pratt can’t hit nor a throw he can’t make. Pratt has began trusting his arm and knowing when to force throws as well as when to take something off them. He can layer shots over defenders all the same as he can push them through tight windows.
Pratt will hold the top spot in the AAC until proven otherwise.
9) Jaxson Dart | Ole Miss
SEC Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 9th (no change)
Yards: 1,638 | TDs: 12 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 64.1% | YPA: 9.8
With a bye week to get healthy, the Ole Miss team stays afloat in the SEC West. Jaxson Dart has been the reason for the majority of their success on offense, throwing for 12 touchdowns and maintaining the offense’s schedule brilliantly.
Dart has tested the waters at every level of the field well and shown the talent that made him such a highly sought-after recruit. The defenses aren’t quite the best over the next three weeks, and Dart should have a considerable advantage until the Georgia game in November.
8) J.J. McCarthy | Michigan
B1G Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 8th (no change)
Yards: 1,512 | TDs: 14 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 78.2% | YPA: 10.6
Save for a slow start to the Indiana game in Week 7 and a sluggish outing against an underrated Bowling Green secondary, J.J. McCarthy has essentially played perfect football in 2023. He’s undoubtedly the best quarterback in the Big Ten and charging up the top tier nationally.
McCarthy is consistently seeing the field brilliantly, picking his shots wisely, and has the benefit of a tremendous offensive line in front of him. He’s been absolutely dominant with play action, but perhaps even better without it as he’s been as stable as they come in 2023.
McCarthy is must-watch television and could carry this Michigan team into the College Football Playoff.
7) Jayden Daniels | LSU
SEC Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 7th (no change)
Yards: 2,294 | TDs: 22 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 73.1% | YPA: 11.0
What a season it continues to be for Jayden Daniels. The LSU defensive woes didn’t quite show up in Week 7 and for the third consecutive game, Daniels and the Tigers’ offense scored at least 48 points. He’s thrown 14 touchdowns in the past four games and multiple touchdowns in all but one game this season.
Daniels is clearly not the issue, and in fact, continues to be the reason this LSU defense remains competitive. He’s seeing the field well, and continuing to make moves with his legs, except this season, he seems to be picking his shots with his legs much better than in years past.
6) Jordan Travis | Florida State
ACC Rank: 2/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 6th (no change)
Yards: 1,482 | TDs: 13 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 63.2% | YPA: 8.1
There isn’t much more to say about Jordan Travis at this point. He’s as gritty as they come, he wills this FSU team to victory after victory, and he’s a bonafide star. Travis once again battled through a rough hit that saw him visibly shaken up to 284 yards and three total touchdowns against Syracuse.
The best part about Travis’ performance in Week 7 was his poised presence in the pocket, reading his progressions, freezing safeties with his vision, and dropping accurate downfield passes almost at will. FSU has scored 31 points in every game this season and Travis is certainly the reason why.
5) Bo Nix | Oregon
Pac-12 Rank: 3/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 4th (-1)
Yards: 1,796 | TDs: 17 | INT: 1 | Comp. %: 79.2% | YPA: 8.7
Sure, Bo Nix was outdueled by Penix; that happened. However, Nix was brilliant all afternoon long, and the game was ultimately his had it not been for an ill-fated fourth-down decision by the Ducks coaching staff.
Nix finally got in rhythm in the second half and, in doing so, flashed the potential that he has with his arm talent. It’s likely they rebound with how Nix played against Washington, but this loss will sting. It won’t drop him in our rankings, however. In fact, it only solidified his case as one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
4) Drake Maye | North Carolina
ACC Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 5th (+1)
Yards: 1,902 | TDs: 12 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 68.9% | YPA: 9.0
The cream of the crop has risen above the rest and Drake Maye, paired with Jordan Travis, have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the ACC QBs. Maye is fresh off back-to-back multi-touchdown games, throwing seven touchdowns in his last two ACC starts.
He’s seeing the field brilliantly and distributing the ball effectively to all levels of the field. Scary enough as is, getting Devontez Walker in the lineup has helped his average depth of target and his overall ability, as he has a reliable No. 1 receiver who can create natural separation.
We don’t get a regular-season matchup between FSU and UNC, but the way things are heading right now, we’ll see these two play one another in the ACC Championship.
3) Dillon Gabriel | Oklahoma
Big 12 Rank: 1/14
Last Week’s Ranking: 3rd (no change)
Yards: 1,878 | TDs: 16 | INT: 2 | Comp. %: 72.3% | YPA: 9.6
The Oklahoma Sooners and QB Dillon Gabriel had an off week in Week 7 to relish in their victory over arch-rival Texas. Gabriel’s fresh off the victory that propelled him well into the Heisman Trophy consideration and he’s one of now two quarterbacks with a Heisman moment after Michael Penix joined him in Week 7.
Gabriel has carved up opposing defenses this season and leads the Big 12 in passing yards despite not playing a full game in seemingly the entire first half of their schedule, save for against Texas. He’s one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, hands down, and arguably the best deep ball thrower with his pinpoint accuracy and strength.
The sky is the limit for Oklahoma with how well Gabriel is playing.
2) Caleb Williams | USC
Pac-12 Rank: 2/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 1st (-1)
Yards: 2,021 | TDs: 23 | INT: 4 | Comp. %: 70.0% | YPA: 10.0
With far too many “ugly” throws, Caleb Williams drops a spot here and in the race for the Heisman. He forced way too many throws against Notre Dame and was careless with the football. All too often, Williams has gotten away with some of those kinds of throws as his arm talent was too much for opposing defenses.
That was not the case against the Fighting Irish, who intercepted him three times and sacked him six more. He battled back and still had some moments that drop your jaw, and you can only wonder what Williams would look like in front of an NFL-caliber offensive line at every position (and with a good defense for the first time in his career).
1) Michael Penix Jr. | Washington
Pac-12 Rank: 1/12
Last Week’s Ranking: 2nd (+1)
Yards: 2,301 | TDs: 20 | INT: 3 | Comp. %: 72.1% | YPA: 10.7
The new leader in the clubhouse of our Pac-12 QB Rankings just so happens to also lead the Heisman Trophy shortlist as well. After fighting through injury and battling from behind, Michael Penix Jr. assumes the throne and has an inside track to the sport’s most prestigious award: The top rankings of our national quarterback list.
Sure, and the Heisman, too.
Penix was brilliant against Oregon, shaking off an errant throw and working his way against a stout defense. Injuries hampered the Ducks in the secondary, but Penix’s accuracy, touch, poise, precision, and decision-making were all on display in front of the national audience in Week 7.