Top 10 QBs in college football

Ranking the nation's 10 best quarterbacks at the season's halfway point

Updated: October 19, 2012, 4:14 PM ET
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
Geno Smith/Matt Barkley/Braxton MillerGetty ImagesGeno Smith, Matt Barkley and Braxton Miller are three of the best QBs in the country.

We've seen a lot of shake-ups in the polls these past few weeks, and that has been reflected in my midseason quarterback rankings. While the top few passers have largely remained the same, some talented but underperforming QBs have slid, allowing some newcomers to join the mix.

As a reminder, these are the two factors I consider when putting together this list:

1. Efficiency, production and playmaking ability on the collegiate level

2. NFL aptitude and projection

As a result, what you'll find below is not merely an evaluation of the QBs with the best pro potential, or a list of the most efficient passers on the college level, but instead a ranking that takes both factors into account. Why look at it this way? Because while potential alone can only take a quarterback so far, the abilities that NFL teams covet can often set apart the best collegiate QBs from the rest.

With that, let's jump into my midseason ranking of the 10 best quarterbacks in college football. (For the previous edition, click here.)

1. Matt Barkley, USC Trojans

Previous rank: 1

Barkley's 10 completions Saturday at Washington were the fewest he has had in a game since his freshman year. Over his past four starts he has thrown only six touchdowns to five interceptions, and in the process has seen his "can't-miss" draft status as the No. 1 overall NFL pick erode to the point that ESPN draft expert Todd McShay has elevated Geno Smith over Barkley in his prospect rankings. Star WR Robert Woods was quoted as saying that the Trojans' passing game is "terrible" right now.

So how can it be that I still have Barkley ranked as the best quarterback in college football?


To read Brock Huard's complete midseason ranking of the top 10 QBs in college football, plus a look at the quarterbacks who are close to making the list, you must be an ESPN Insider.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
• Co-host of the Brock and Danny Show on ESPN 710 AM in Seattle