College Football 2016: Power Ranking the Big Ten Quarterbacks
2016 CFB Season
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The Big Ten is often overlooked when it comes to quarterback play, as it’s a conference still stuck in the stone age, relying on defense and running the football. However, the Big Ten did have four quarterbacks last season with at least 20 touchdown passes.
So, don’t sleep.
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While there’s going to be a lot of new faces this season let’s power rank each Big Ten quarterback entering the 2016 college football season.
1. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State - J.T. Barrett once again has the Buckeyes offense to himself and is somebody who has 67 total touchdowns in two seasons. Barrett is the ultimate playmaker and the reason why Ohio State is a national championship contender.
2. C.J. Beathard, Iowa - C.J. Beathard had seven touchdown passes in his final four games and really took care of the football all year. Not exactly flashy, but Beathard is effective and gives Iowa a chance to win every game.
3. Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska - Tommy Armstrong can be one of the top quarterbacks in the country when he’s not turning the ball over. Armstrong had 29 total touchdowns last year and the Cornhuskers are 6-2 the last two seasons when he doesn’t throw an interception.
4. Mitch Leidner, Minnesota - Mitch Leidner has racked up more than 4,000 combined passing yards the last two seasons and has 23 career rushing touchdowns. Leidner can be a difference maker when he wants to be for Minnesota.
5. Wes Lunt, Illinois - Wes Lunt has thrown 14 touchdowns in each of his last two seasons and has more than 5,600 yards in his college career. Lunt gives Illinois stability and has a chance to surprise some people this season.
6. John O’Korn, Michigan - John O’Korn will make his debut for Michigan after spending a couple of seasons at Houston and throwing for 28 touchdowns in 2013. Michigan is in good hands if O’Korn can repeat what he did for the Cougars.
7. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern - Clayton Thorson must improve his completion percentage of 50.8 percent, but he is a playmaker who had nearly 400 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. Thorson is the most important player for Northwestern this season.
8. Tyler O’Connor, Michigan State - Tyler O’Connor will have the large task of replacing Connor Cook and has no more than 24 pass attempts in each of his three seasons. Still, O’Connor has been around the program for a while and does have four touchdown passes the last two seasons.
9. Trace McSorley, Penn State - Trace McSorley will be the guy to replace Christian Hackenberg and had just 40 pass attempts last season. Penn State must improve its offensive line in order for McSorley to have any success.
10. Chris Laviano, Rutgers - Chris Laviano showed flashes last season, as he had four games of three or more touchdown passes. Laviano just needs to be more consistent and take better care of the football.
11. David Blough, Purdue - David Blough managed 1,574 passing yards and 10 touchdowns despite splitting time with Austin Appleby. Blough now has the Purdue offense to himself and was highly effective in the red zone last season.
12. Zander Diamont, Indiana - Zander Diamont will be replacing Nate Sudfeld, who led the Big Ten in passing yards last season. Diamont had more than 100 pass attempts in 2014 but hasn’t shown much in his limited playing time for Indiana.
13. Bart Houston, Wisconsin - Bart Houston replaces Joel Stave and has 51 career pass attempts. Houston showed potential last season after he threw for two touchdowns and led Wisconsin to a road win over Illinois.
14. Perry Hills, Maryland - A combination of Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe averaged an interception about every 12 pass attempts last season. Hills had 13 picks on 180 passes. The good news is Hills had at least one touchdown in five of his six games with 20-plus pass attempts.