Don’s Top 10 Quarterbacks: 2019 Midseason College Football Rankings

On July 23, 2019, I released my preseason rankings for QB’s here¬†and now I’m back with an updated ranking. We’re seeing four new faces, and a little shifting up and down the list. This list is based off stats, team performance, and my opinion. Let’s get into it.

Honorable Mention: Dillion Gabriel, UCF; Kaleb Barker, Troy; Chris Robinson, Florida Atlantic; Cole McDonald, Hawaii; Jacob Eason, Washington

10. Jamie Newman, Wake Forest

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via Andrew Dye, JournalNow.com

Starting off this list is the man leading the UNDEFEATED #19 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Jamie Newman currently has 1,521 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Along with this, Newman is a top dual-threat QB with 262 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 78 rushes. Wake Forest is not only making themselves a name in the ACC, but also nationally. After defeating Utah State week 1, and North Carolina week 3, Jamie Newman will continue his push for the Heisman along into Wake Forest’s big game against Clemson November 16th.

9. Justin Herbert, Oregon

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via GoDucks.com

Justin Herbert was my 3rd ranked QB entering the season and has not impressed me thus far. The Ducks suffered a hard loss to Auburn week 1 and since then, Oregon has not been able to put together a good offensive performance (excluding Nevada). Herbert looks great on the stat sheet with 1,341 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, and 1 interception. However, I would like to see Herbert be able to dominate the Pac-12 and compete for a national title, but that loss to Auburn and the games against Stanford and Cal were a little to close for comfort for Herbert, who is a top QB prospect in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft. Herbert has a chance to prove me wrong with the games against Washington and Washington State approaching in a few weeks.

8. Anthony Gordon, Washington State

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via Michael Wyke, AP

At number 8 is my top Pac-12 QB, Anthony Gordon. Gordon takes over the Washington State offense after Gardner Minshew being taken in the 6th round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. I rank Gordon above Herbert because of how explosive WSU’s offense is. They do have losses to UCLA and Utah, but they are putting up 45 points per game. Gordon himself has 2,146 passing yards (most in NCAA), 22 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. As mentioned before, Washington State is going to Oregon for a big Pac-12 matchup which should be a great game to see how well Gordon and Herbert compare to one another.

7. Sam Ehlinger, Texas

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via Joe Robbins, Getty Images

Texas football is back? Sam Ehlinger thinks so and I do as well. Ehlinger is leading the 4-1 Texas Longhorns with 1,448 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. As Jamie Newman was mentioned to be a dual-threat, Ehlinger is also with 236 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 51 carries. The Longhorns only loss is to LSU, which was one of the best games of the season this far. Texas has a big game against Oklahoma this weekend, which will be a true testament of who is the best team in the Big-12.

6. Jake Fromm, Georgia

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via 24/7 Sports

The first of the three SEC quarterbacks comes in a #6 with Jake Fromm. Fromm is in his junior season now with the Georgia Bulldogs, who are in contention for a National Championship. Fromm has thrown for 1,076 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Fromm was able to beat Notre Dame two weeks ago which was his only close call this season. At this rate, an interesting matchup between Alabama and Georgia for the SEC title is setup for the end of the season. Before that, Georgia must take care of Florida and Auburn, two teams that are going to test Fromm and the Bulldogs.

5. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

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via CBS Sports

Five games in and Trevor Lawrence has been incredibly underwhelming for people, myself included, who believed he was the best quarterback in the nation. Lawrence is sitting at 1,131 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Furthermore, Clemson is coming off a narrow victory against North Carolina a week ago. I still believe Trevor Lawrence is one, if not the most, talented QB in the nation. Look for him to shine as the season goes on and Clemson makes their way to another College Football Playoff.

4. Justin Fields, Ohio State

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via Kevin Allen, USA Today

I mentioned in my initial rankings that I’d expect Justin Fields to make this list come mid season and here he is in the top 5. After transferring from Georgia and not being able to beat out Jake Fromm as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, Fields is leading a Buckeyes team that looks to be the best team in the country. Fields is at 1,293 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 1 interception, 283 rushing yards, and 8 touchdowns. Incredible numbers as the first year starter is leading the undefeated, #3 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes who are almost a certain team to reach the playoffs. Fields is coming up against the top teams in the B1G-10 with Wisconsin, Penn State, and Michigan all left on their schedule. If Fields is able to keep this up, look for him to rise on my rankings at the end of the season.

3. Joe Burrow, LSU

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via Brody Miller, The Athletic

Joe Burrow has shocked the nation after leading an LSU team that most thought would be centered around their defense. Burrow led the Tigers past their win against Texas, while averaging 55 points a game. Burrow has thrown for 1,864 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions in 2019. LSU still has Florida, Auburn, and Alabama left on their schedule. We have witnessed what Auburn’s defense is able to do, as they defeated Justin Herbert and the Oregon Ducks week 1. Alabama is the number one team in the country. If LSU gets through this schedule undefeated, Joe Burrow has a chance to lead this team to a national championship.

2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

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via SoonerSports.com

Jalen Hurts is another shock to the country, but not as much as Burrow considering how we saw him lead Alabama as a freshman. After losing his job to Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts stayed on Alabama for a year before transferring to the team that sent consecutive #1 overall draft pick QB’s to the NFL. Jalen Hurts is considered as the front runner for the Heisman trophy, which will also be the third Oklahoma QB to win the Heisman in the third consecutive year. Jalen Hurts is sitting at 1,523 passing yards, 499 rushing yards, 21 total touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Hurts is leading an Oklahoma team that is battling against Texas for the B1G-12 title, as well as also competing for a national championship. Just as I said with Ehlinger, the Texas/Oklahoma game will be crucial for both teams to reach the College Football Playoff.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

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via RollTide.com

Just as I ranked him in the preseason, Tua Tagovailoa is still the number one QB in the nation. Tua has been near perfect with a 76.4% completion rate, 1,718 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Alabama has the top receiving group in the nation and Tua is making great use. As of now, he is the top QB prospect in college while also leading the Heisman race. As Alabama begins the tail end of the season, they will be looking forward to showcasing their talent against the likes of LSU and Auburn along with a possible SEC championship game against Georgia. It is a criticism of Alabama that they play a weak schedule, however, they have to overcome great teams to reach the National Championship game once again.

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Don’s Top 10 Quarterbacks: 2019 College Football Rankings

While doing the Top 10 Running Backs and Wide Receivers, I struggled with the lists because of how much talent there is in college in those positions. While making this list, I found that the top 3 QB’s are no doubt in my mind. However, after that, no QB really gave me the definite, concrete evidence on why they are top 10. I did not include QB’s that are going into their first starting season because they do not have tape for me to really judge. At the end of the season, I do expect Justin Fields and Jacob Eason to crack the top 10. Let’s get into it.

Honorable Mention: Jordan Love, Utah State; Adrian Martinez, Nebraska; Ian Book, Notre Dame; Justin Fields, Ohio State; Jacob Eason, Washington 

10. D’Eriq King, Houston

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via Houston Athletics

D’Eriq King comes in at the 10 spot after an incredible first season at Houston. Throwing for 36 touchdowns and rushing for 14, King might be the best dual-threat QB in college. King has a chance to solidify himself as a top QB this year when he opens the season against Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma week 1. I expect that game to be the typical, exciting, high-scoring game that all fans need and love. Week 1, Houston vs Oklahoma, get ready.

9. K.J. Costello, Stanford

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via Grant Shorin, Stanford Athletics

Stanford is coming off an 8-4 season with a bowl win against a tough Pittsburgh team. Leading this is QB KJ Costello, who threw for over 3,500 yards and added 29 touchdowns with that. The problem I see with Costello is his 11 interceptions. Costello is a 2020 NFL prospect, so I’m expecting him to bring those interceptions down. With Whiteside now playing on Sundays, Costello needs to find a way to lead Stanford past a tough schedule.

8. Mason Fine, North Texas

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via North Texas Athletics

Mason Fine is heading into his senior season at North Texas with almost 10,000 yards under his belt. He’s been the CUSA Player of the Year for the past two seasons, and has only progressed forward. Look for Mason Fine to have a terrific year, with NFL scouts eyeing him. A 4,000 yard season with 35+ touchdowns is expected, and I think will be the bar for Fine.

7. Shea Patterson, Michigan

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via Michigan Athletics

Out of everyone on this list, everybody’s job is relatively safe. Shea Patterson, on the other hand, must deal with two promising QB’s behind him on the depth chart, Dylan McCaffery and Joe Milton. Patterson’s numbers do not jump off the sheet, but, with Josh Gattis now leading Michigan’s offense, I’m hoping, as all Michigan’s fans are, that Patterson lights it up this season.

6. Sam Ehlinger, Texas

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via Texas Athletics

When talking about dual threats, Sam Ehlinger is in that conversation. Over the last few years, critics have talked about whether “Texas Football” is back. Well, Ehlinger has made Texas relevant again. In 2018, Ehlinger threw for nearly 3,300 yards with 25 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Along with that, Ehlinger rushed for 480 yards and 16 touchdowns. Texas and Ehlinger’s true test this season will be week 2 when LSU comes into town.

5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

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via Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

What a roller coaster Jalen Hurts and his story has been over the course of his college career. He went from being the 2016 SEC Player of the Year and leading the Crimson Tide to two national championship games (2016 & 2017) to being benched in the 2017 National Championship, to then end up transferring to Oklahoma. This story is one that I will be most intrigued with this season, just because I want Oklahoma to take down Alabama because of this whole situation. Hurts has some big shoes to fill as well, with Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray being the last two QB’s that have played for Oklahoma.

4. Jake Fromm, Georgia

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via Jeff Sentell/DawgNation

Jake Fromm broke out during his freshmen season, leading Georgia to the National Championship. Many believed he would be the next face of college football, and although he has not played poorly, he hasn’t been what everyone once believed. Regardless, Fromm is still a top 5 QB, with a Georgia team that should make some noise in 2019. Look for Fromm to make or break his NFL draft stock this season.

3. Justin Herbert, Oregon

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via Oregon Athletics

Justin Herbert may have been the number one overall pick if he would have entered the 2019 NFL Draft. However, Herbert decided to return to the Oregon Ducks with hopes of leading them to the title game. Physically, Herbert may be the most gifted of all NFL Draft prospects. However, he needs to improve his completion percentage and interception rate to really bring this Oregon team to the next level.

2. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

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via Sports Illustrated

Here is what is going to bring the argument to the table. Lawrence vs Tagovailoa. At first, I had Lawrence ahead of Tua, no questions asked. That’s just from what I watched during last year’s national championship game. I think Lawrence is a heisman favorite this year, and he will lead Clemson to another national championship. He threw for over 3,000 yards with 30 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Along with this, he is returning Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross to his weaponry. This offense has the possibility of being an all-time great unit.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

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via Alabama Athletics

Tua Tagovailoa is the best QB in college. He was just shy of throwing for 4,000 yards last season and added 43 touchdowns to that number. It’s easy to hate Alabama, and I love seeing them down, but I can’t bet against Tua. He throws to three of the best college receivers in the nation. Me saying that should take away some sort of acknowledgement because it could be said that they make him look better than he is, but I think that Tua would excel with anyone catching his ball. The Tua vs Lawrence argument is going to be a fun thing to watch.