Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | School Notes | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS
 
 
 

Quarterback U: Which school deserves the title?

College and NFL criteria reveal several elite programs and, surprisingly, Purdue as leading candidates for distinction

August 23, 2009
By Cory Giger, cgiger@altoonamirror.com

Len Dawson knows the answer, the only correct answer to such a loaded question.

"If you give the title to one school, somebody else is going to claim it anyway," the Pro Football Hall of Famer said.

When people debate which school deserves to be called Quarterback U, Dawson's alma mater, Purdue, probably doesn't get much consideration. Higher-profile programs like Miami and USC first come to mind for many, along with perhaps Notre Dame, Alabama or Michigan.

Article Photos

To download and read the two-page graphic spread, right click on the picture and select 'Save Image As.'

Truth be told, a case can be made for all of those schools, just as a case can be made for Purdue. It all depends on the criteria used.

The purpose of this project is to provide as much cold, hard data as possible so every fan can come to his or her own conclusion about the Quarterback U debate. It's easy to blurt out the popular answer, "Miami," when someone asks, but study the statistics on these two pages carefully and you may find yourself jumping on another team's bandwagon, perhaps even Purdue's.

The starting point

Fact Box

About this project

Cory Giger's "Quarterback U" project started with one simple thought: How does Penn State compare to other college programs when it comes to producing NFL starting quarterbacks? Nearly 100 hours of research later, the Mirror presents a comprehensive breakdown comparing college-to-NFL quarterback success.

This project encompasses the entire Super Bowl era. Every quarterback who started at least one game in the NFL (and old AFL) during the past 43 years is listed here.

Two guidelines were followed in the research:

1. Every NFL starting quarterback for every year from 1966 -- the regular season leading up to the first Super Bowl -- through 2008 is included. Any games a quarterback started prior to 1966 are not counted in his or his alma mater's totals. The number of starts by Johnny Unitas, for example, take into account only the latter part of his career (1966-73) and not those prior to the Super Bowl era.

2. If a quarterback attended more than one college, the final one was used as his representative school. For instance, Jeff Hostetler transferred from Penn State to West Virginia, so he counts as a Mountaineer and not a Nittany Lion. This distinction was made to avoid giving multiple schools credit for one player's success.

Primary research sources: Pro-Football-Reference.com, NFL.com, NFL official team Web sites, NFL team media guides

-----------------------------

The NFL experience

Complete list of every NFL starting QB during the Super Bowl era (1966-present), broken down by school attended, total number for the school and how many regular-season games each started.

ABILENE CHRISTIAN (1)

Clint Longley 2

AKRON (1)

Charlie Frye 20

ALABAMA (8)

Ken Stabler 146

Joe Namath 121

Richard Todd 108

Bart Starr 59

Scott Hunter 42

Jeff Rutledge 10

Brodie Croyle 8

Steve Sloan 1

ALABAMA STATE (1)

Tarvaris Jackson 19

ALCORN STATE (1)

Steve McNair 153

ARIZONA (1)

Bill Demory 1

ARIZONA STATE (8)

Jake Plummer 136

Danny White 92

Mike Pagel 54

Mark Malone 53

Paul Justin 10

Andrew Walter 9

Todd Hons 3

Jeff Van Raaphorst 1

ARKANSAS (5)

Joe Ferguson 171

Scott Bull 7

Mike Kirkland 2

Clint Stoerner 2

Ronnie Lee South 1

ARKANSAS STATE (1)

Cleo Lemon 8

AUBURN (4)

Jason Campbell 36

Dieter Brock 15

Pat Sullivan 5

Dick Wood 4

AUGUSTANA (1)

Ken Anderson 172

BAYLOR (5)

Cody Carlson 19

Don Trull 15

Buddy Humphrey 5

Cotton Davidson 4

Brad Goebel 2

BOSTON COLLEGE (9)

Matt Hasselbeck 103

Doug Flutie 66

Jack Concannon 44

Matt Ryan 16

Glenn Foley 9

Mike Kruczek 7

Gary Marangi 7

Tim Hasselbeck 5

Shawn Halloran 2

BOWLING GREEN (1)

Brian McClure 1

BUFFALO (1)

John Stofa 9

BYU (7)

Steve Young 143

Jim McMahon 97

Marc Wilson 60

Virgil Carter 30

Ty Detmer 25

Gifford Nielsen 14

John Beck 4

CALIFORNIA (6)

Craig Morton 144

Steve Bartkowski 127

Joe Kapp 48

Kyle Boller 42

Aaron Rodgers 16

Gale Gilbert 4

CALIFORNIA-DAVIS (3)

Ken O'Brien 110

Mike Moroski 9

J.T. O'Sullivan 8

CAL POLY-POMONA (1)

Jim Zorn 106

CAL POLY-SAN LUIS OBISPO (1)

Don Milan 1

CAL-STATE NORTHRIDGE (2)

Max Choboian 7

Bruce Lemmerman 2

CENTRAL FLORIDA (1)

Daunte Culpepper 95

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1)

Gary Hogeboom 37

CENTRAL WASHINGTON (1)

Jon Kitna 115

CINCINNATI (2)

Greg Cook 11

Jacky Lee 5

CLEMSON (1)

Steve Fuller 42

COASTAL CAROLINA (1)

Tyler Thigpen 11

COLORADO (2)

Kordell Stewart 87

Koy Detmer 8

COLORADO STATE (2)

Kelly Stouffer 16

Moses Moreno 3

COLUMBIA (2)

Marty Domres 32

John Witkowski 1

CONNECTICUT (1)

Dan Orlovsky 7

CORNELL (1)

Gary Wood 7

C.W. POST (1)

Jim LeClair 4

DARTMOUTH (2)

Jay Fiedler 60

Jeff Kemp 29

DELAWARE (4)

Rich Gannon 132

Scott Brunner 30

Joe Flacco 16

Jeff Komlo 16

DUKE (6)

Sonny Jurgensen 81

Dave Brown 60

Al Woodall 19

Anthony Dilweg 7

Scotty Glacken 1

Leo Hart 1

EAST CAROLINA (2)

Jeff Blake 100

David Garrard 46

EASTERN ILLINOIS (2)

Tony Romo 39

Jeff Christensen 2

EASTERN MICHIGAN (1)

Charlie Batch 50

FISK (1)

J.J. Jones 1

FLORIDA (8)

Steve Spurrier 38

Rex Grossman 31

Shane Matthews 22

John Reaves 17

Doug Johnson 11

Danny Wuerffel 10

Jesse Palmer 3

Kay Stephenson 3

FLORIDA A&M (1)

Quinn Gray 4

FLORIDA STATE (6)

Brad Johnson 125

Steve Tensi 33

Gary Huff 28

Danny Kanell 24

Chris Weinke 20

Peter Tom Willis 3

FRESNO STATE (4)

Trent Dilfer 113

David Carr 79

Billy Volek 10

Kevin Sweeney 4

FURMAN (2)

David Whitehurst 37

Sam Wyche 9

GEORGIA (6)

Fran Tarkenton 174

Quincy Carter 34

Matt Robinson 20

Eric Zeier 12

Zeke Bratkowski 10

Larry Rakestraw 4

GEORGIA TECH (1)

Mike Kelley 1

GRAMBLING STATE (2)

Doug Williams 81

James Harris 41

HARVARD (1)

Ryan Fitzpatrick 15

HOFSTRA (1)

Don Gault 1

HOUSTON (2)

David Klingler 24

Andre Ware 6

IDAHO (1)

John Friesz 38

ILLINOIS (6)

Jeff George 124

Tony Eason 51

Jack Trudeau 49

Dave Wilson 31

Mike Taliaferro 25

Kurt Kittner 4

INDIANA (3)

Trent Green 113

Babe Laufenberg 7

Steve Bradley 1

IOWA (2)

Chuck Long 21

Mark Vlasic 4

IOWA STATE (4)

David Archer 23

Sage Rosenfels 12

Seneca Wallace 12

Tim Van Galder 5

KANSAS (3)

John Hadl 135

Bobby Douglass 53

Frank Seurer 2

KANSAS STATE (4)

Steve Grogan 135

Lynn Dickey 111

Dennis Morrison 2

Dan Manucci 1

KENTUCKY (4)

Tim Couch 59

Babe Parilli 25

Rick Norton 11

George Blanda 9

LEHIGH (1)

Kim McQuilken 7

LOUISVILLE (5)

Johnny Unitas 66

Browning Nagle 14

Chris Redman 10

Ed Rubbert 3

Dave Ragone 2

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE (1)

Jake Delhomme 81

LOUISIANA-MONROE (3)

Stan Humphries 81

Bubby Brister 75

Doug Pederson 17

LSU (6)

Bert Jones 96

David Woodley 53

JaMarcus Russell 16

Tom Hodson 12

Alan Risher 3

Matt Mauck 1

LOUISIANA TECH (4)

Terry Bradshaw 158

Tim Rattay 18

Luke McCown 7

Mickey Slaughter 1

MAINE (1)

Mike Buck 1

MARSHALL (2)

Chad Pennington 77

Byron Leftwich 46

MARYLAND (9)

Boomer Esiason 173

Neil O'Donnell 100

Bob Avellini 50

Dick Shiner 27

Frank Reich 20

Stan Gelbaugh 12

Shaun Hill 10

Scott Zolak 7

Chuck Pastrana 3

MASSACHUSETTS (2)

Greg Landry 98

John McCormick 6

MEMPHIS (1)

Steve Matthews 1

MIAMI, FLA. (10)

Vinny Testaverde 214

Jim Kelly 160

Bernie Kosar 108

Steve Walsh 38

Craig Erickson 35

Ken Dorsey 13

George Mira 5

Larry Lawrence 2

Brock Berlin 1

Scott Covington 1

MIAMI, OHIO (1)

Ben Roethlisberger 71

MICHIGAN (8)

Jim Harbaugh 140

Tom Brady 111

Brian Griese 83

Elvis Grbac 70

Todd Collins 20

Larry Cipa 2

Drew Henson 1

John Navarre 1

MICHIGAN STATE (4)

Tony Banks 78

Earl Morrall 45

Jim Miller 27

Jim Ninowski 2

MICHIGAN TECH (1)

Dave Walter 2

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE (2)

Kelly Holcomb 24

Jonathan Quinn 6

MILTON (1)

Dave Krieg 175

MINNESOTA (1)

Mike Hohensee 2

MINOT STATE (1)

Randy Hedberg 4

MISSISSIPPI (4)

Archie Manning 139

Eli Manning 71

John Fourcade 11

Norris Weese 7

MISSISSIPPI STATE (1)

Joe Reed 19

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (2)

Parnell Dickinson 1

Willie Totten 1

MISSOURI (2)

Steve Pisarkiewicz 4

Gary Lane 1

MISSOURI SOUTHERN (1)

Mike Loyd 1

MONTANA (1)

Brent Pease 3

MOREHEAD STATE (2)

Phil Simms 159

Adrian Breen 1

NAVY (1)

Roger Staubach 114

NEBRASKA (6)

Vince Ferragamo 53

Jerry Tagge 12

Bruce Mathison 9

Dennis Claridge 3

David Humm 1

Terry Luck 1

NEW MEXICO (2)

Stoney Case 6

Steve Myer 4

NEW MEXICO STATE (3)

Charley Johnson 75

Joe Pisarcik 30

Cliff Olander 1

NICHOLLS STATE (1)

Doug Hudson 1

N.C. STATE (3)

Roman Gabriel 135

Erik Kramer 67

Philip Rivers 48

NORTHERN COLORADO (1)

Bill Kenney 77

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (1)

Jerry Golsteyn 9

NORTHERN IOWA (1)

Kurt Warner 101

NORTH TEXAS (1)

Steve Ramsey 31

NORTHWESTERN (1)

Randy Dean 2

NORTHWESTERN STATE (1)

Bobby Hebert 100

NOTRE DAME (13)

Joe Montana 164

Joe Theismann 124

Steve Beuerlein 102

Daryle Lamonica 84

Rick Mirer 68

Terry Hanratty 18

Blair Kiel 3

Brady Quinn 3

Ed Rutkowski 3

George Izo 2

John Huarte 1

Jarious Jackson 1

Rusty Lisch 1

OCCIDENTAL (1)

Jack Kemp 36

OHIO STATE (7)

Mike Tomczak 73

Kent Graham 38

Bobby Hoying 13

Tom Tupa 13

Art Schlichter 6

Craig Krenzel 5

Troy Smith 2

OKLAHOMA STATE (1)

Rusty Hilger 14

OREGON (9)

Dan Fouts 171

Chris Miller 92

Joey Harrington 76

Bob Berry 53

Akili Smith 17

A.J. Feeley 15

Kellen Clemens 8

Tony Graziani 5

Bill Musgrave 1

OREGON STATE (3)

Derek Anderson 27

Matt Moore 3

Erik Wilhelm 1

PACIFIC (4)

Bob Lee 29

Tom Flores 14

Craig Whelihan 14

Carlos Brown 3

PENN (1)

Jim Crocicchia 1

PENN STATE (6)

Kerry Collins 164

Todd Blackledge 29

Pete Liske 28

Milt Plum 12

Tom Sherman 7

John Hufnagel 1

PITTSBURGH (4)

Dan Marino 240

Matt Cavanaugh 19

Alex Van Pelt 11

Matt Lytle 1

PORTLAND STATE (2)

Neil Lomax 101

June Jones 5

PRINCETON (1)

Jason Garrett 9

PURDUE (9)

Jim Everett 153

Bob Griese 151

Drew Brees 106

Len Dawson 104

Mike Phipps 72

Gary Danielson 60

Kyle Orton 33

Scott Campbell 13

Mark Herrmann 12

RICE (4)

Tommy Kramer 110

Frank Ryan 30

Donald Hollas 8

King Hill 4

RICHMOND (2)

Ron Smith 7

Bob Bleier 2

RUTGERS (2)

Ray Lucas 15

Mike McMahon 14

ST. CLOUD STATE (1)

Todd Bouman 6

SAM HOUSTON STATE (1)

Josh McCown 31

SAN DIEGO STATE (7)

Brian Sipe 111

Dennis Shaw 37

Don Horn 15

Jesse Freitas 7

Dan McGwire 5

Craig Penrose 4

Matt Kofler 1

SAN JOSE STATE (3)

Steve DeBerg 140

Jeff Garcia 116

Ed Luther 9

SANTA CLARA (1)

Dan Pastorini 122

SMU (2)

Mike Livingston 75

Don Meredith 37

SOUTH CAROLINA (2)

Anthony Wright 19

Bill Troup 11

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (1)

Mike Busch 1

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (1)

Jim Hart 180

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (2)

Brett Favre 269

Reggie Collier 1

STANFORD (10)

John Elway 231

Jim Plunkett 144

John Brodie 86

Steve Dils 27

Trent Edwards 23

Mike Boryla 19

Chad Hutchinson 14

Turk Schonert 12

Steve Stenstrom 10

Randy Fasani 1

SYRACUSE (3)

Donovan McNabb 128

Todd Philcox 5

Jim Del Gaizo 3

TCU (1)

Kent Nix 18

TEMPLE (1)

Henry Burris 1

TENNESSEE (5)

Peyton Manning 176

Heath Shuler 22

Pat Ryan 19

Bobby Scott 14

Dewey Warren 4

TENNESSEE STATE (1)

Joe Gilliam 7

TEXAS (2)

Vince Young 29

Chris Simms 15

TEXAS A&M (3)

Ed Hargett 7

Gary Kubiak 5

Bucky Richardson 4

TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE (3)

Wade Wilson 69

Kyle Mackey 4

Will Cureton 1

TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE (1)

Randy Johnson 48

TEXAS SOUTHERN (1)

Dave Mays 4

TEXAS STATE (1)

Spergon Wynn 3

TEXAS TECH (1)

Billy Joe Tolliver 47

TOLEDO (1)

Bruce Gradkowski 12

TULANE (4)

J.P. Losman 33

Shaun King 24

Patrick Ramsey 24

Ken Karcher 3

TULSA (5)

Gus Frerotte 93

T.J. Rubley 7

Rick Arrington 5

Jerry Rhome 5

Jeb Blount 4

UCLA (10)

Troy Aikman 165

Billy Kilmer 114

Jay Schroeder 99

Steve Bono 42

Tommy Maddox 36

Cade McNown 15

Tom Ramsey 5

Rick Neuheisel 2

David Norrie 2

Matt Stevens 2

UNLV (2)

Randall Cunningham 135

Glenn Carano 1

USC (15)

Rodney Peete 87

Carson Palmer 65

Bill Nelsen 60

Pat Haden 55

Vince Evans 39

Pete Beathard 32

Rob Johnson 29

Paul McDonald 21

Matt Leinart 16

Matt Cassel 15

Rudy Bukich 14

Sean Salisbury 12

Todd Marinovich 8

Mike Rae 8

Scott Tinsley 2

U.S. INTERNATIONAL (1)

Wayne Clark 5

UTAH (3)

Scott Mitchell 71

Alex Smith 30

Terry Nofsinger 6

UTAH STATE (4)

Eric Hipple 57

Bill Munson 47

Bob Gagliano 13

Tony Adams 10

UTEP (2)

Gary Keithley 2

Sammy Garza 1

VANDERBILT (1)

Jay Cutler 37

VIRGINIA (6)

Aaron Brooks 90

Don Majkowski 57

Gary Cuozzo 38

Matt Schaub 24

Bob Davis 14

Scott Secules 4

VIRGINIA TECH (4)

Michael Vick 67

Don Strock 22

Will Furrer 2

Jim Druckenmiller 1

WAKE FOREST (2)

Norm Snead 99

Karl Sweetan 18

WASHINGTON (12)

Warren Moon 203

Chris Chandler 152

Mark Brunell 150

Steve Pelluer 30

Damon Huard 27

Hugh Millen 25

Billy Joe Hobert 17

Brock Huard 4

Tom Flick 3

Cary Conklin 2

Cody Pickett 2

Marques Tuiasosopo 2

WASHINGTON STATE (5)

Drew Bledsoe 193

Mark Rypien 78

Ryan Leaf 21

Jack Thompson 21

Timm Rosenbach 20

WEBER STATE (2)

Jamie Martin 8

Jeff Carlson 3

WEST VIRGINIA (3)

Marc Bulger 87

Jeff Hostetler 83

Oliver Luck 9

WICHITA STATE (1)

Tom Owen 9

WILIIAM & MARY (1)

Dan Darragh 11

WISCONSIN (4)

Randy Wright 32

Brooks Bollinger 10

Ron Vander Kelen 4

Neil Graff 2

XAVIER (1)

George Wilson 7

YALE (1)

Joe Dufek 5

YOUNGSTOWN STATE (2)

Ron Jaworski 143

Cliff Stoudt 20

-----------------------------

Quarterback factories

Most NFL starting QBs by school:

(Note: Penn State has had 6 and Pittsburgh 4.)

USC 15

Notre Dame 13

Washington 12

Miami, Fla. 10

Stanford 10

UCLA 10

Boston College 9

Maryland 9

Oregon 9

Purdue 9

Michigan 8

Alabama 8

Arizona State 8

Florida 8

BYU 7

Ohio State 7

San Diego State 7

-------------------------

Most games NFL games started by alums:

Purdue 704

Washington 617

Miami, Fla. 577

Notre Dame 574

Stanford 567

Alabama 495

UCLA 482

USC 463

Oregon 438

Michigan 428

Maryland 402

California 381

BYU 373

Arizona State 358

Washington State 333

Illinois 284

Pittsburgh 271

Southern Mississippi 270

San Jose State 265

Boston College 259

Georgia 254

N.C. State 250

Kansas State 249

Penn State 241

Tennessee 235

Florida State 233

---------------------------

Big Ten breakdown

Purdue the top team, while Penn State's Kerry Collins has started more NFL games than any other QB from the conference.

Comparing Big Ten teams

School NFL starters NFL games

Purdue 9 704

Michigan 8 428

Ohio State 7 150

Illinois 6 284

Penn State 6 241

Wisconsin 4 48

Michigan State 4 152

Indiana 3 121

Iowa 2 25

Minnesota 1 2

Northwestern 1 2

---------------------------

Big Ten QBs with most NFL starts

Name School Games

Kerry Collins Penn State 164

Jim Everett Purdue 153

Bob Griese Purdue 151

Jim Harbaugh Michigan 140

Jeff George Illinois 124

Trent Green Indiana 113

Tom Brady Michigan 111

Drew Brees Purdue 106

Len Dawson Purdue 104

Brian Griese Micigan 83

Tony Banks Michigan State 78

Mike Tomczak Ohio State 73

Mike Phipps Purdue 72

Elvis Grbac Michigan 70

Gary Danielson Purdue 60

----------------------

Heisman Trophies

QB winners by school since 1966:

Florida (3): Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Tim Tebow

Florida State (2): Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke

Miami, Fla. (2): Vinny Testaverde, Gino Torretta

Oklahoma (2): Sam Bradford, Jason White

USC (2): Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart

Auburn (1): Pat Sullivan

Boston College (1): Doug Flutie

BYU (1): Ty Detmer

Houston (1): Andre Ware

Nebraska (1): Eric Crouch

Ohio State (1): Troy Smith

Stanford (1): Jim Plunkett

UCLA (1): Gary Beban

------------------------------

National championships

Since 1966 (either AP, UPI, Coaches or BCS) vs. number of total NFL starters:

School national titles NFL starters

USC 6 15

Miami, Fla. 5 10

Nebraska 5 6

Alabama 4 8

Notre Dame 4 13

Oklahoma 4 0

Florida 3 8

Texas 3 2

Ohio State 2 7

Florida State 2 6

LSU 2 6

Penn State 2 6

BYU 1 7

Clemson 1 1

Colorado 1 2

Georgia 1 6

Georgia Tech 1 1

Michigan 1 8

Pittsburgh 1 4

Tennessee 1 5

Washington 1 12

NOTEWORTHY

Stanford 0 10

UCLA 0 10

Boston College 0 9

Maryland 0 9

Oregon 0 9

Purdue 0 9

-----------------------------

NFL Hall of Famers

Who played since 1966:

Alabama (2): Joe Namath, Bart Starr

Purdue (2): Len Dawson, Bob Griese

BYU (1): Steve Young

Duke (1): Sonny Jurgensen

Georgia (1): Fran Tarkenton

Kentucky (1): George Blanda

Louisiana Tech (1): Terry Bradshaw

Louisville (1): Johnny Unitas

Miami, Fla. (1): Jim Kelly

Navy (1): Roger Staubach

Notre Dame (1): Joe Montana

Oregon (1): Dan Fouts

Pittsburgh (1): Dan Marino

Stanford (1): John Elway

UCLA (1): Troy Aikman

Washington (1): Warren Moon

---------------------------

Lombardi luminaries

Super Bowls won by starting QB alum:

Notre Dame (5): Joe Montana 4, Joe Theismann

Alabama (4): Bart Starr 2, Joe Namath, Ken Stabler

Louisiana Tech (4): Terry Bradshaw 4

Stanford (4): John Elway 2,

Jim Plunkett 2

Michigan (3): Tom Brady 3

Purdue (3): Bob Griese 2, Len Dawson

UCLA (3): Troy Aikman 3

BYU (2): Jim McMahon, Steve Young

Miami, Ohio (2): Ben Roethlisberger 2

Navy (2): Roger Staubach 2

Florida State (1): Brad Johnson

Fresno State (1): Trent Dilfer

Grambling State (1): Doug Williams

Louisville (1): Johnny Unitas

Mississippi (1): Eli Manning

Morehead State (1): Phil Simms

Northern Iowa (1): Kurt Warner

Southern Mississippi (1): Brett Favre

Tennessee (1): Peyton Manning

Washington State (1): Mark Rypien

West Virginia (1): Jeff Hostetler

No team should be included in the debate unless it has produced numerous quality NFL quarterbacks. College success alone cannot be enough.

Oklahoma, for instance, has had two Heisman Trophy winners (Jason White, Sam Bradford), and the Sooners have won four national titles since 1966. But here's a fascinating tidbit: Oklahoma has not had an alum start a game at quarterback in the NFL since Jack Jacobs way back in 1949.

"You're kidding," Dawson said when told that surprising fact.

Furthermore, Texas has produced only two NFL starting quarterbacks during the Super Bowl era (Vince Young, Chris Simms). To put that in perspective, Division II Texas A&M-Commerce has turned out three NFL starters (Wade Wilson, Kyle Mackey, Will Cureton), which is more than Oklahoma and Texas combined.

"The NFL was looking at a different type of quarterback than the wishbone we ran at Oklahoma," said Galen Hall, the Sooners' offensive coordinator from 1966-83 and now Penn State's offensive coordinator. "That might have something to do with the Oklahoma thing. Now they're throwing the football, and you'll probably see a quarterback from Oklahoma start in the NFL sometime soon."

NFL draft analyst Chris Steuber from scout.com said many quarterbacks, like Oklahoma's White, have skills that "don't translate well" from college to the pros. A lot of them excel in a system that works for a college program, but that system may not be used by NFL teams.

"In college today, a lot of teams don't really care about what the pros do," Steuber said. "The spread formation doesn't exactly work in the NFL, but it's very effective in the college game."

Double dose of success

Unlike an Oklahoma or Texas, the leading contenders for Quarterback U distinction all have produced a bunch of NFL starters.

Some people may include every quarterback who made it to the NFL as proof of a school's strong pipeline. But rather than boast about backups who rarely got off the bench, the better measure of success is the number of starters.

USC tops the list with 15 alums who have started at least one NFL game, followed by Notre Dame (13) and Washington (12).

Taking over the marquee position at a powerhouse program can create a lot of pressure on a young quarterback. Jimmy Clausen went to Notre Dame in 2007 as the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation, and he'll enter his junior season still trying to live up to the hype.

"There's always pressure at Notre Dame," Clausen said.

Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis, who mentored Tom Brady with the New England Patriots, put the pressure facing Clausen in perspective.

"When you come in as a freshman quarterback, especially here at Notre Dame, especially with the hype ... sometimes we forget that these are just teen-agers," Weis said. "We treat them like it's Tom Brady or Peyton Manning."

Purdue, one of Notre Dame's biggest rivals, belongs in the Quarterback U debate for two reasons. Boilermaker alums have started more NFL games (704) than any other school, and Purdue is the only program to have four quarterbacks start at least 100 games (Jim Everett, Bob Griese, Drew Brees, Dawson).

The passing attack was a big part of Purdue football more than 50 years ago - long before most other schools - and continued under recently retired head coach Joe Tiller.

"Purdue was one of the few schools that threw the football," Dawson said. "Being from Ohio, I was recruited by Ohio State. Woody Hayes was the coach, and he was running the Split-T.

"Hank Stram was one of my coaches at Purdue, along with Bobby DeMoss, an ex-quarterback at Purdue. They let me throw the ball."

While schools like Purdue have a long tradition of throwing the ball, others like Penn State are just the opposite. Joe Paterno built the Nittany Lions into a national power primarily with a strong running game and defense.

"We were 3 yards and a cloud of dust for a lot of years," Penn State alum Kerry Collins said. "It's not that way anymore."

Collins helped spearhead that change at PSU during his All-America career and guided the Lions to an undefeated season in 1994. Getting set for his 15th pro season, Collins has started more games in the NFL (164) than any other Big Ten quarterback during the Super Bowl era.

All things considered

Every school with a legitimate claim to the Quarterback U title has at least one blemish on its resume.

USC has never produced a Super Bowl-winning quarterback or Hall of Famer, and its most successful alum was Rodney Peete.

Miami has no Super Bowl champs - unfortunately for Jim Kelly (0-for-4) - and one of its Heisman Trophy winners, Gino Torretta, never started a game in the NFL.

Neither Alabama nor Purdue has produced a Heisman Trophy winner. Also, Purdue hasn't won a national championship, and Alabama hasn't had a standout quarterback in three decades (since Richard Todd in 1976).

Brady has given Michigan's resume a boost with three Super Bowl titles, but the Wolverines' eight NFL starters and 428 starts lag behind many other schools.

Stanford, led by John Elway and Jim Plunkett, has a strong overall claim with four Super Bowls, 10 NFL starters, 567 starts and a Heisman Trophy. All of those good signal callers, however, failed to lead the Cardinal to a national championship.

Washington ranks third with 12 NFL starters, second with 617 starts and is the only school to produce three quarterbacks with at least 150 starts (Warren Moon, Chris Chandler, Mark Brunell). The Huskies, though, have never had a Heisman Trophy or Super Bowl winner.

Notre Dame, surprisingly, has not had a Heisman Trophy quarterback during the Super Bowl era.

Florida leads with three Heisman Trophy winners, but no Gator quarterback has started more than 38 games in the NFL or won a Super Bowl.

"I don't think there's a school that has a formula for it," said Penn State's Hall, a pro quarterback himself from 1962-63. "You can't say, 'Go to this school, you're going to be an NFL quarterback.' I don't believe that."

Dawson was asked if he believes one school has distinguished itself enough over the others to be called Quarterback U. He replied, "If you find out the answer, let me know."

Here you go, sir:

The data suggests no.

Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and cgsports12@aol.com.

 
 
 

EZToUse.com

I am looking for: