Top 10 Senior Quarterbacks
Brandon Weeden | Oklahoma State
With his top target -- Justin Blackmon -- returning and the offensive line back, Weeden is in line for another eye-opening season. Last year, the 27-year-old former minor league pitcher threw for 4,277 yards and 34 TDs. New offensive coordinator Todd Monken is keeping the Pokes' big-play system intact. Now, can Weeden and OSU beat Oklahoma, something that has not happened since 2002?
Kellen Moore | Boise State
Transition from the WAC to Mountain West should be rather seamless for the Broncos and Moore, who many expect to have another top-5 finish in the Heisman voting. New receivers need to emerge and a new OC is on board, but Moore will be operating behind an experienced and star-studded line. Whether he can lead the nation in pass efficiency again and post another scintillating TD/INT ratio (35/6 in `10) might be asking too much. However, we know not to put anything past Moore, who needs eight wins to top Colt McCoy as the winningest QB in college football history.
Dan Persa | Northwestern
Fully healed after surgery to repair his right Achilles' tendon, Persa is ready to pick up where he left off. Before he was shelved for the final two regular season games and a bowl, Persa established an all-time Big Ten mark for single-season completion percentage (73.5) while throwing just four interceptions in 302 attempts. He also totaled 24 touchdowns, including nine on the ground. A pre-season Heisman campaign that includes billboards has been underway in the Windy City.
Ryan Lindley | San Diego State
There is a new head coach and yet another new OC, but the pro-style offense in which Lindley has thrived will remain. For good reason. The fourth-year starter threw for 3,830 yards and 28 TDs a year ago. Gone are a pair of electrifying wideouts, but there should be enough quality targets to go around and a strong line returns largely intact.
Nick Foles | Arizona
Foles, who threw for 3,200 yards last season, should continue to benefit from a deep and talented corps of receivers. He has a knack for being very effective when facing strong opponents. Against Iowa, Oregon, Oregon State and USC combined, he threw 11 touchdown passes with only two picks. Speaking of strong opponents, circle Thursday, Sept. 8 on your calendar. That's when Foles and Weeden meet at Stillwater.
Russell Wilson | Wisconsin
As a graduate transfer, Wilson does not have to sit out a year. And my how excited they are in Madison that the former North Carolina State star chose the Badgers to complete his eligibility. In the Big Ten, Wilson will be going against better defenses than he certainly saw in the ACC. What will help him transition is that he is surrounded by a great running game and a strong line. Last season in Raleigh, Wilson totaled nearly 3,998 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Case Keenum | Houston
The Cougars' faithful received a belated New Year's gift when in mid-January the NCAA granted Keenum a sixth year of eligibility after a knee injury suffered last September cut short his season. The QB, who enters this year needing 3,487 yards to become the NCAA's all-time passing leader, appears to have picked up where he left off as he has been impressive in fall practice. Whether he can become the first quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 5,000 yards in three different seasons remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the NCAA record books will remain under attack.
Kirk Cousins | Michigan State
A host of returning glamour position players and a line that appears to be better than last year will give Cousins, a captain since his sophomore season, plenty to work with. Fans in East Lansing are hoping it translates into a BCS Bowl appearance. If so, Cousins will lead the way. After completing 67 percent of his passes a year ago while throwing for 2,825 yards, he enters this season atop MSU's all-time career leaders in completion percentage and passing efficiency.
G.J. Kinne | Tulsa
The reigning Conference USA Player of the Year is back for a shot at more hardware. New coach Bill Blankenship wants to take the offense to new heights, if that is possible. With Kinne leading the parade, it might be. When considering that the entire starting line returns along with stud wideout Damaris Johnson, Kinne could very well improve on his 3,650 yards and 30 TDs of a year ago. He added seven touchdowns on the ground and is also the Golden Hurricanes' leading returning rusher.
Stephen Garcia | South Carolina
Plagued by immaturity that has resulted in five suspensions since arriving in Columbia, Garcia has been his own worst enemy and a major headache for coach Steve Spurrier. If the Gamecocks are to return to the SEC title game and perhaps win 10-plus games, then Garcia is their best hope. Reinstated before fall drills, Garcia is coming off a season in which he threw for 3,059 yards and 20 TDs.