How does Marcus Mariota stack up with recent Heisman QBs?


Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is going to win the Heisman Trophy tonight. The only question, they say, is by how much. (And if he doesn’t, some say, the award means nothing.)

We’re not here to speculate about vote totals – the Heisman folks have put that cottage industry out of business – but we can see how Mariota stacks up again recent Heisman-winning quarterbacks.

For purposes of this study, we’ll look at Heisman winning quarterbacks since 2000 and, to account for different styles of offense and the overall evolution of football over the past decade and a half, try to measure things on a per play basis as much as possible.

First, let’s recap the Heisman-winning signal callers since 2000, when college football’s most prestigious honor shifted to becoming a much more quarterback-centric award:

2000 – Chris Weinke, Florida State
2001 – Eric Crouch, Nebraska
2002 – Carson Palmer, USC
2003 – Jason White, Oklahoma
2004 – Matt Leinart, USC
2006 – Troy Smith, Ohio State
2007 – Tim Tebow, Florida
2008 – Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
2010 – Cam Newton, Auburn
2011 – Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2012 – Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2013 – Jameis Winston, Florida State

Without further ado:

Passing Efficiency
1. Griffin – 189.5
2. Mariota – 186.3
3. Winston – 184.9
4. Newton – 182.1
5. Bradford – 180.8

Yards Per Attempt
1. Griffin – 10.7
2. Winston – 10.6
3. Mariota – 10.2
Newton – 10.2
5. Bradford – 9.8

Completion Percentage
1. Griffin – 72.4
2. Mariota – 68.3
3. Manziel – 68.0
4. Bradford – 67.9
5. Winston – 66.9
Tebow – 66.9

Touchdown Percentage
1. Newton – 10.7
2. Bradford – 10.4
3. Mariota – 10.2
4. Winston – 9.6
Smith – 9.6

Interception Percentage
1. Mariota – 0.5
2. Griffin – 1.5
Leinart – 1.5
4. Bradford – 1.7
Tebow – 1.7

Yards Per Carry
1. Manziel – 7.0
2. Mariota – 5.7
3. Newton – 5.6
4. Crouch – 5.5
5. Tebow – 4.3

Rushing Touchdown Percentage
1. Mariota – 12.0
2. Bradford – 11.9
3. Tebow – 11.0
4. Manziel – 10.4
5. Crouch – 8.9

Yards Per Play
1. Mariota – 9.1
Winston – 9.1
Bradford – 9.1
4. Weinke – 8.8
5. Griffin – 8.6

(Mariota breaks the tie by averaging 9.11 yards per play, slightly ahead of Winston at 9.08 and Bradford at 9.06.)

Touchdown Percentage
1. Mariota – 10.8
2. Bradford – 10.5
3. Tebow – 9.8
4. Newton – 9.3
5. White – 8.3

For the record, Mariota’s stats this year stand at 254-of-372 passing for 3,773 yards with 38 touchdowns and two interceptions to go with 117 rushes for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus one reception for a 26-yard touchdown. While his total numbers don’t stack up to every-snap workhorses like Tebow, Newton and Manziel – Manziel averaged a full 10 more touches a game than Mariota this season, and Newton had twice as many rushes – Mariota gets more done with the touches he gets. Mariota nearly produces a first down every play, and registers a touchdown every 10 touches.

Mariota is the only quarterback to show up in all nine of our hand-picked statistics. All in all, No. 8 either holds his own or surpasses the very best quarterbacks that the Golden Age of Offense has to offer, and his 2014 campaign sets a new standard for dual-threat efficiency.

Oh, and one more thing. Taking the spread offense back a decade is just simply unfair, like bringing an AK-47 to the Revolutionary War.

Highest-rated signee in Georgia State’s 2017 recruiting class enters transfer portal

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After landing a couple early on in the offseason, Georgia State football finds itself on the wrong side of the portal this go ’round.

According to, offensive tackle Connor Robbins has placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.  While he didn’t confirm it on his personal Twitter account, the Georgia State football player did retweet the report.

The 6-9, 310-pound lineman will be leaving the Panthers as a graduate transfer.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Robbins was a three-star member of the Georgia State football Class of 2017.  He was the highest-rated signee for the Panthers that cycle.

Robbins took a redshirt as a true freshman.  The past two seasons, the Florida native played in 15 games.  Most of that action, though, came on the point-after and field goal units.

In the third season under Shawn Elliott, GSU went 7-6 this past year. It was a five-win improvement from the 2-10 record the year before. In Elliott’s first season, the Panthers went 7-5. The seven wins are the best-ever for the Georgia State football program since moving to the FBS level in 2013.

Tulane confirms signing of Georgia Tech transfer Ajani Kerr

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The Power Five transfer train has officially made yet another stop at the Tulane football program.

In late MarchAjani Kerr entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.  Three months later, Tulane confirmed in a release that the Georgia Tech defensive back has officially signed and been added to the football roster.

Kerr comes to the Green Wave as a graduate transfer.  This coming season will serve as his final year of eligibility.

Kerr was a two-star member of Tech’s 2016 recruiting class coming out of high school in Georgia.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Kerr played in 29 games the past three seasons.  Five of those appearances came in 2019.

In that action, Kerr had been credited with 66 tackles (55 solo, 11 assisted) and one fumble recovery.

Kerr is one of four Power Five transfers to join Tulane football this offseason.

Jan. 24, Tulane football officially welcomed Oklahoma State transfer linebacker Kevin Henry. Four days later, former Oklahoma wide receiver Mykel Jones was formally added to the roster as well. In late January, Florida State cornerback Kyle Meyers tweeted his move to the Green Wave.  Last month, Tulane confirmed the signing of Duke transfer offensive lineman Jaylen Miller.

Additionally, running back Corey Dauphine was granted a sixth season of eligibility in March.  Dauphine has been the Green Wave’s second-leading rusher each of the past two seasons.

Both Clemson, Georgia will receive at least $4 million each for 2021 opener

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Not surprisingly, it will pay handsomely for Clemson and Georgia to open up next season’s slate.

In February of this year, both Clemson and Georgia announced that the two football programs will kick off the 2021 season against each other.  The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sept. 4.

According to information obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald, “[e]ach school will receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue” for the non-conference, neutral-site affair.  The Banner-Herald added that “[p]art of the event’s revenue is expected to be generated by media rights, ticket sales and sponsorships.”

The fact that each school will receive at least $4 million will help to offset the cost of getting this game on the schedule.  To make room for the non-conference matchup, Clemson canceled a previously-scheduled tilt with Wyoming while Georgia did the same with one against San Jose State.  Because of the cancellation, Clemson will pay Wyoming $1.1 million and Georgia will cut San Jose State a $1.8 million check.

That said, it’s the cost of putting on such a quality matchup.  One that has been and will continue to be must-see TV for the foreseeable future.

Along with the addition of a new home-and-home announced in April of last year, the Tigers and Bulldogs are now scheduled to face each other six times between 2021 and 2033, including the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.  There’s also a previously announced home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 (in Clemson) and 2030 (in Georgia).

The two football programs have met 64 times previously, the first in 1897 and the most recent in 2014.  UGA leads the all-time series 42-18-4.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including 200-plus former Penn State football players calling for Joe Paterno statue to be put back on campus

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 5, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)


THE HEADLINE: Hawaii confirms death of LB Scheyenne Sanitoa, 21
THE SYNOPSIS: You never, EVER, want to write a headline like this.


THE HEADLINE: Latest 2019 title odds have Alabama, Clemson neck and neck
THE SYNOPSIS: LSU, the eventual national champion, was given 20/1 odds.


THE HEADLINE: Texas makes Corona Light the official beer of Longhorns sports
THE SYNOPSIS: Corona. F ck 2020…


THE HEADLINE: 200-plus former Nittany Lion football players call on Penn State to put statue of Joe Paterno back
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that didn’t happen. So, where is the JoePa statue now? The Athletic had an excellent piece on that recently.


THE HEADLINE: Duke WR in critical condition following jet ski accident
THE SYNOPSIS: Fortunately, this headline had a positive ending.  And an inspiring one as well.