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Who would be your Fantasy Big Ten QB?

by alexander.barnhart
Mar 27, 2014 1:19 AM EDT



So we are going to do something I used to do as a teenager. I used to create my favorite team on my ps2 by literally creating ALL the players including backups (even punters/kickers). I would go through my college football books or use the internet to find their height, weight, and jersey number (some would call me obsessive but I'm not writing this post about my wife). So this is what we are going to do, build our favorite team, I will provide the information and you let me know who is the right choice. This will be ridiculous fun and I can't wait so let's get started with the most important position on the field.

And the candidates are...


Drew Brees (Purdue 1997-2000)
Brees exploded onto the national scene as a sophomore. The Big Ten was in shock as Brees attempted 569 passes in 1998. The Big Ten was a ground and pound conference until Joe Tiller brought his spread offense to town from Wyoming. Brees was the perfect person to run Tiller's "basketball on grass" offense. In 3 years as the starter Brees passed for over 11,000 yards, 90 TD's and completed over 60% of his passes. He even ran for 14 TD's during his career. He finished 4th in the Heisman voting in 1999 and 3rd in 2000. Drew would lead the Boilermakers to only their 2nd Rose Bowl as a senior where they would lose to Washington. Brees would be drafted with the 1st pick in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the Chargers.

Passing Yards 11,792
Passing TD's 90
Interceptions 45
Rushing Yards 900
Rushing TD's 14

Troy Smith (Ohio State 2003-2006)

Troy Smith would have his ups and downs at Ohio State. As a sophomore it was obvious he had potential but he wasn't very consistent. Things changed for him as a junior. He lost an early season matchup with Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns but when on to have a strong year and finished the season by defeating the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. As a junior Smith would throw for over 2200 yards and 16 TD's while only throwing 4 interceptions. He also ran for over 600 yards and another 11 TD's. As a senior Smith put it all together. He would beat Texas in Austin 24-7 to avenge the loss from the year before. Ohio State would go undefeated and Smith would win the Heisman, AP player of the year, the Davey O'Brien Award as well as being named an All American. Troy is the only Heisman winner on this list. Smith was remarkable efficient as a senior throwing 30 TD's to only 6 interceptions. Ohio State would play and lose badly in the National Championship game against Florida. Smith would go on to be drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 5th round of the NFL draft.

Passing Yards 5,720
Passing TD's 54
Interceptions 13
Rushing Yards 1,168
Rushing TD's 14

Antwaan Randel El (Indiana 1998-2001)

Randel El was one of the most dynamic playmakers the Big Ten has ever seen. He was a 4 year starter for Indiana and made a bad Hoosier team fun to watch. He was remarkably shifty and diverse. He was probably the 1st great dual threat quarterback in the Big Ten. He was as dangerous running as he was passing and actually ran for more TD's than he threw for TD's. While he was not a prolific passer evident by the fact he did not complete over 50% of his passes during his career at Indiana, he was a nightmare for defenses. Randel El never played on a team with a .500 or better record. All 4 of his years in Indiana ended with losing records. As a senior playing on a team that finished at 5-6 with no football legacy Antwaan would finish 6th in the Heisman voting and be named the Big Ten Offensive player of the year. He would go on to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2nd round of the NFL draft. (As a wide receiver)

Passing Yards 7,469
Passing TD's 42
Interceptions 37
Rushing Yards 3,895
Rushing TD's 44

Chad Henne (Michigan 2004-2007)


Henne was a highly recruited quarterback out of high school. A big kid with a big arm. He came in and won the starting job right away which doesn't happen very often at a school with Michigan's tradition. He would lead his team to a Rose Bowl berth as a freshman where they lost to Texas and a remarkable game by Vince Young. Texas would use that win as a springboard game to win the national championship the following season. Henne would take Michigan to two Rose Bowls during his career but was never able to be victorious in one. As a junior he would lead the Wolverines to an undefeated season heading into the annual Ohio State-Michigan season finale. The game was #1 vs #2 with a spot in the National Championship game on the line. In what would turn out to be a great offensive game, Ohio State would walk away with a close 39-42 victory denying Michigan a chance to play for the championship. Another trip to the Rose Bowl would again end in a loss to USC. As a senior he would finish his career by defeating Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators in Lloyd Carr's final game as head coach. Henne was drafted in the 2nd round of the NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins.

Passing Yards 9,715
Passing TD's 87
Interceptions 37
Rushing Yards -315
Rushing TD's 3

Kurt Kittner (Illinois 1998-2001)

Kittner is sometimes overlooked as a great Big Ten quarterback but lead Illinois to 2 of their better seasons and had some very impressive stats along the way. As a sophomore he would lead the Fighting Illini to an 8-3 record as well as wins over traditional powers Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. Defeating all 3 in the same season is a special season for Illinois as they were traditionally a lower tier team. During his sophomore year he threw for over 2,700 yards, 24 TD's and only 5 interceptions. As a junior Illinois finished with a losing record but Kittner still had a solid year throwing for over 1,900 yards, 18 TD's and 8 interceptions. As a senior he outdid his sophomore campaign. He would throw for over 2,900 yards and 23 TD's. Even more impressive Kurt lead the Fighting Illini to a Big Ten Championship and were invited to the Sugar Bowl where they would lose to LSU. Kittner would be drafted in the 5th round of the NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons.

Passing Yards 8,460
Passing TD's 66
Interceptions 33
Rushing Yards 168
Rushing TD's 7

Denard Robinson (Michigan 2009-2012)

One of the most electric players in the Big Ten over the last decade. "Shoe Lace" would be a player that could take it to the house on any play. While he played for some of the worst Michigan teams in recent memory Denard was not part of the problem. Like Randel El he was not a prolific passer but was able to beat you multiple ways. He could not have been suited for a better offensive scheme than coach Rich Rodriguez's spread offense. Denard's career took off out of nowhere as a sophomore. Robinson would pass for over 2,500 yards and 18 TD's as well as complete over 62% of his passes. However he also had 1,700 rushing yards and 14 rushing TD's. Against Notre Dame Robinson had probably the greatest game of his career. He set a school record for total offense, over 500 yards as well as an 87 yard touchdown run that helped him get his "Shoe Lace" nickname. Denard would finish 6th in the Heisman voting and be voted Big Ten Offensive player of the year. Robinson would go on to have a great year as a junior, passing for over 2,100 yards and 20 TD's. He would also run for over 1,100 yards and 16 TD's. His senior season was not as prolific partly because he had a new coach with a new offensive system and he also missed time with injuries. He still rushed for over 1,200 yards but only passed for 9 TD's.

Passing Yards 6,250
Passing TD's 49
Interceptions 39
Rushing Yards 4,495
Rushing TD's 42

Honorable Mention Goes to...

Terrelle Pryor
Kirk Cousins
Drew Tate
Braxton Miller
Kyle Orton


Obviously there were many options to choose from, I tried not to base it solely on statistics which could be inflated by more modern offensive schemes. I also tried to stay away from one hit wonders such as Michael Robinson from Penn State. I know everybody will have their own thoughts and I look forward to hearing from everybody. Please vote in the poll if you like the article.