The clock is ticking towards the start of the 2013 college football betting campaign, and as a part of the preparation for the year, we take a look at the Top 10 quarterbacks in the country coming into the 2013 season.
1: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies – Johnny Football did every last year for the Aggies. He led the team in rushing with 1,410 yards and 21 TDs, and he threw for 3,706 yards and 26 TDs against nine picks. In the process, he became the first frosh to ever win the Heisman Trophy, and he has as good of a chance as any quarterback has ever had of winning the Heisman for a second time. It’s not easy though, and if Tim Tebow wasn’t able to do it for the Florida Gators back in the day, it’s going to be tough to see Manziel pull off the feat as well. However, we know that this man is the most talented college quarterback in the game, and he is destined for greatness in the rest of his time in College Station.
2: Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville Cardinals – Bridgewater is largely looked upon as the best pro prospect at the quarterback position that we have seen in the last two years. Whether he pans out that way or not is still very much so to be determined, but he has the numbers to back it up. On a Louisville team that doesn’t get a lot of exposure, Bridgewater threw for 3,718 yards and 27 scores against just eight picks last season, and he is going to have an opportunity to do any even better job this season. Remember that the Cardinals have one of the easier schedules in college football, and Bridgewater should take full advantage of that fact.
3: Braxton Miller, Ohio State Buckeyes – The argument could have been made that last season, Miller should have been the Heisman Trophy winner, and the argument could also be made that had they not been on bowl ban, the Buckeyes could have won the National Championship. As it is, OSU finished the year as the only undefeated team in America, and Miller was a big part of that. The passing numbers aren’t always there for Miller, as he only completed 58.3 percent of his passes for 2,039 yards and 15 TDs against six picks, but he was a tremendous threat on the ground as well, accounting for 1,271 yards and 13 TDs. Miller won’t have the stats that Manziel has at Texas A&M, but these Buckeyes are based on their defense and taking good care of the football, not glitz, glamor and statistics. Miller is every bit as good as the best in the game.
4: AJ McCarron, Alabama Crimson Tide – It’s tough to argue with the idea that McCarron is the most accomplished quarterback in college football. If he wins another National Championship, he’ll be the only one to lead his team to three titles in his time in college. McCarron is 25-2 as a starter in his career, including an SEC Championship and those two titles, and he has never been beaten on the road or at a neutral site. The numbers weren’t all that bad either. There’s no shame in throwing for 2,933 yards and 30 TDs against three picks, especially when you have a pair of 1,100+ yard backs in the backfield. It should be another great season for McCarron.
5: Tajh Boyd, Clemson Tigers – Boyd is one of these stats quarterbacks who will just continue to put up ridiculous day after ridiculous day this season. The junior threw for 346 yards against an LSU defense that was considered one of the best in the nation last year, and that was merely a signature game in a fantastic season. The Clemson standout threw for 3,896 yards and 36 TDs, and he rushed for 514 yards and 10 trips to the end zone. The argument could be made that this is a man who is slated to be a Top 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft as well. The schedule this year though, is very, very tough with games against Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida State.
6: Aaron Murray, Georgia Bulldogs – Murray is going to finish rewriting the record books at Georgia this season. It’s a sin from his standpoint that he is mired behind McCarron and Manziel in the SEC, because in most conferences, he would be the best in the land. UGA only finished just short of the BCS National Championship Game last year, and Murray literally came just one play away against a great Alabama defense from pulling off the upset. What made Murray remarkable last year was not just the 36 TDs and the 3,893 yards. It’s the fact that he averaged 10.1 yards per pass attempt that really made the Dawgs explosive. This is going to be a great offense again in 2013.
7: Marcus Mariota, Oregon Ducks – The Ducks definitely don’t stop here! Even with Head Coach Chip Kelly’s departure, it remains clear that the U of O is going to have one of the best teams in the nation. The Quack Attack has another tremendous dual-threat quarterback in Mariota, and we expect big things out of him in his second season in control of this team. RB Kenjon Barner and RB De’Anthony Thomas accounted for 32 rushing TDs last year, but that didn’t stop Mariota from accounting for 32 TDs through the air and five more on the ground. He had over 3,400 yards of total offense and averaged over 7.5 yards per snap last year for one of the most fun to watch offenses in the land.
8: Devin Gardner, Michigan Wolverines – This is a bit prospective for Gardner to put him in the Top 10 in the nation, but we think that he has a real chance to shine in his first full season under center for Big Blue. Gardner doesn’t have QB Denard Robinson to worry about any longer, and he can just go out there and run the offense. He threw for 1,219 yards and 11 scores and rushed for 101 yards and seven more TDs, but we expect to see better numbers out of him this year now that he has full control of the ‘O’.
9: David Fales, San Jose State Spartans – We know. You don’t even know who in the heck David Fales really is. Last season, San Jose State won 11 games and made it to a bowl game, a shocking turnaround for what has been one of the worst programs in the nation for quite some time. Fales led a passing attack that ranked sixth in the land, averaging 332.6 passing yards per game. This wasn’t just a man who threw the ball all over the place. He was insanely accurate as well. Fales completed 72.5 percent of his passes for 4,193 yards and 33 TDs against nine picks, and he could legitimately put up 5,000 yards and 50 scores this year for SJSU.
10: Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois Huskies – Lynch took a big time step in the wrong direction when he played in the Orange Bowl against Florida State, but we don’t think that a bad game against one of the top defenses in America in a game in which the Noles had six weeks to prepare for is all that bad. Lynch threw for 3,138 yards and 25 TDs against six picks, and he rushed for 1,815 yards and 19 scores. The MAC isn’t exactly known for its defense, so the NIU quarterback is probably going to end up with outrageous numbers once again this year.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.