2010 Big 10 Quarterback Rankings, First Edition

In the short history of my QB rankings, this year's batch is the best, no questions asked. It's partly thanks to a ton of veterans, but it's also thanks to coaches who have put their signalcallers in position to succeed. Even the worst team in the conference, Minnesota, has an improved passing game in 2010. I know stats will get less impressive during conference play, but it says a lot when almost every single team in the conference has the capability to throw for 200 yards.

The ranking system uses a mix of five or so factors:

  • Accuracy of throws, both short and long
  • Game management
  • Statistics
  • Possible future success
  • Running effectiveness (very applicable this year)

You can compare the 2010 rankings with 2009's final order (Daryll Clark was #1, no surprise, but Terrelle Pryor is #4).


QB Team Comments
#1 Terrelle Pryor OSU Finally checking down while reading routes and progressing through multiple reads. Throwing the best deep ball of his career and dominating on the ground. His only weakness? Short throws, of course. These little four yard tosses aren't made for his loopy delivery.
#2 Denard Robinson
UM I'll continue betting on Denard until he gets hurt. And then I'll stop. Unstoppable on the ground against two decent defenses with good athletes. His passing has been the Big Ten's biggest surprise though. That play where he sprints left to run and then heaves the ball to a streaking WR? Someone needs to learn how to defend that.
#3 Dan Persa
NW Has got some swivel to go with that shake. Oh, and is throwing at an 86% completion rate. NW looked lazy at the start of last year, but probably had a better team than this year. If Persa can continue being so effective with swing passes and dump downs, this team may outperform expectations. Is ahead of where NFL-bound Kafka was at this time last year, at least in the way he grasps the Wildcat O.
#4 Ricky Stanzi
Iowa Ricky is ready. Physically, he's healthy and throwing a good ball...and HASN'T EVEN THROWN A PICK SIX YET.
#5 Kirk Cousins
MSU Hasn't been unleashed yet. Exhibited the big laser arm against Western for a bit...and then sort of relaxed. Even hit a 2-7 patch versus the Broncos. Everyone will be watching to see if the Spartans put him in four wide a lot against ND and let him go to work.
#6 Ben Chappell
Ind We know so little about him because he's only played one game. But he looked calm and collected, picking up right where he left off last year. I give him added points because basically Indiana's only hope this year is for Chappell to throw for 300 yards and orchestrate huge offensive days...and I think he'll do it a couple times.
#7 Scott Tolzien
Wisc My pick for most disappointing quarterback so far, but that's because I expect so much from this Wisky team. I know he's 2-0, I know his rating is 150ish. But he's alternately short arming passes, leading to high throws, and underthrowing receivers. Fortunately Wisconsin hasn't had to depend on his arm.
#8 Robert Marve
PU The key in the Purdue offense is to scan, scan, and then fit the ball into small targets 5-10 yards away. If nothing is open, scramble with your head up like Drew Brees did, sans mole but with the finger pointing. Marve has thrown a lot, but with limited yard production so far. The mechanics are solid but it remains to be seen whether this former 5 star picks up the intricacies of the Purdue offense the way Joey Elliot did last year.
#9 Adam Weber MN Lots has been made of Weber's offseason camp performance and his impressive physical tools. He showed them versus South Dakota, but his two fumbles cost Minnesota dearly. At least we know he's starting the whole year, which is a smart move by...whomever is making the decisions in Minnesota.
#10 Robert Bolden
PSU Surprising first year starter isn't going to face a much harder test than Bama in Tuscaloosa. His delivery is better than any of the PSU backups...good. He stands in the pocket and takes hits...good.
#11 Nathan Scheelhaase
Ill Young and physically talented, plus it looks like the Illini have put in some offensive packages to help Nathan out (read: the opposite of what last year's formations did for Juice).
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