Makinen: College football QB rankings, conference by conference

August 13, 2022 08:52 PM

Undoubtedly, the quarterback position is the most important on the field for any college football team. 

It’s so important that in my college football stability scores, I give four points (out of a maximum of 19) to teams with a returning starter at QB. This four-point quantifier is the same value I assign for having the same head coach or for returning at least 17 starters in any given season. 

In almost all cases, it’s a big deal to have a returning starting quarterback playing in the same system as the previous season.

All of that said, all returning starting quarterbacks are not created equal, and all returning starting QBs are not better than a new one on a different team. Knowing who is who and what is what is crucial, however. Getting a solid gauge on which teams have the best quarterbacking situations is one of the most important parts of my preseason prep work. 

Each year for Point Spread Weekly, I like to share my interpretation of the rankings I develop for the starting quarterbacks in each conference. It has been quite the controversial subject over the years, and I am always invigorated by the passionate responses I receive in my inbox or on my Twitter feed. 

Let me preface the content with this: These lists don’t amount to college football gospel. They are simply my best guess as to which players are the best and/or in the best situations. I look at past college performances, raw recruiting rankings, my own team projections for the season, plus size, speed and several other factors. It’s a fun subject to discuss and I can only assume I will be doing so on my Wednesday morning appearance on the “Lombardi Line.” Be sure to check out that show at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT if you get a chance.

Here are my QB rankings by conference:

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