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Crouch moves up after looking golden
By Gary Danielson
Special to BCSfootball.com

Each Monday, ABC college football analyst Gary Danielson will break down the top quarterbacks around the country and rank his Top 10.

Not only was it only a huge week for college, it was a fascinating week for quarterbacks and their impact on the season.

Respond to Gary's rankings.

Here is my latest Top 10 with last week's rankings in parentheses:

No. 1 -- Chris Weinke, Florida State (1)
at Georgia Tech: 25-38-443, 2 TD
Season: 57-88-761, 4 TD
Although Florida State struggled, all Chris did was put up numbers (443 yards). He keeps making the right decisions. NFL scouts say they have as many as five first-round picks right now in college football.

Game grade: A-. Mark him down slightly for not getting the team in the end zone enough.

No. 2 -- Eric Crouch (4)
at Notre Dame: 7-15-103, 1 int.; rush: 16-80, 3 TD
Season: 11-25-170, 1 TD, 3 int.; rush: 24-137, 6 TD
He had the toughest game this week. I judge quarterbacks not only on performance, but also on schedule. Not only did he go into a hostile environment and win, but Eric made all the big plays.

Game grade: A.

No. 3 -- Drew Brees, Purdue (3)
Drew Brees faces his first test of the season this Saturday at Notre Dame.
vs. Kent: 32-46-415, 2 TD, 1 int.; rush: 6-31, 2 TD
Season: 57-88-733, 5 TD, 1 int.; rush: 9-47, 2 TD
I don't know if I have seen a quarterback in a long time who is more comfortable in running his team's offense as well as Drew Brees. If you are an opposing defensive coordinator, you have to hope he has a bad game. Otherwise, you are in for a long afternoon.

Game grade: A-. Marked down only because of the schedule. This week's test (at Notre Dame) will tell a lot more.

No. 4 -- Michael Vick (2)
at East Carolina: 9-15-106, 1 TD; rush: 6-13
Season: 16-26-292, 3 TD, 1 int.; rush: 14-115, 2 TD
Although he didn't put up his usual numbers, I was impressed with his patience in leading the offense and his ability to distribute the ball to all of his weapons. A sign of a maturing quarterback is to know when he doesn't have to do everything. There will be plenty of opportunities for Vick to post big numbers.

Game grade: A.

No. 5 -- Marques Tuiasosopo, Washington (6)
vs. Miami: 18-31-223, 1 TD, 2 int.; rush: 15-45, 1 TD
Season: 34-61-446, 2 TD, 3 int.; rush: 30-125, 2 TD
I am sure that all of you thought I had him graded too high. Rick Neuheisel loves what Marques brings to his gameplan. A guy that can run and throw like he can is so valuable.

Game grade: A-. Don't want him to lose his nerve, but he can't make those huge mistakes in the end.

No. 6 -- Major Applewhite/Chris Simms, Texas (8)
Applewhite vs. La.-Lafayette: 18-26-315, 4 TD
Simms vs. La.-Lafayette: 7-14-88, 1 TD, 1 int.
Still a little too early to separate these guys, so I will let Mack Brown handle what to say to the press. The Longhorns are going to be fine with both of these guys.

I knew that Major would not give up his job very easily. Chris is going to gain so much experience from this game. Texas, if they can work this position out, is going to contend for the national championship.

Game grades:
Applewhite: A+ for handling the situation well. All that Major has done since he has been at Texas is prove everybody wrong and show that he can get the job done.
Simms: C. Didn't expect much more. He'll get better.

No. 7 -- Carson Palmer, USC (7)
vs. Colorado: 25-30-275, 1 TD, 1 int.
Season: 35-50-362, 1 TD, 2 int.
Carson is just getting better and better. You can see that coach Paul Hackett is slowing carving this guy into a winning quarterback.

Game grade: B.

No. 8 -- Philip Rivers, N.C. State (NR)
at Indiana: 31-52-401, 5 TD, 1 int.
Season: 60-109-798, 8 TD, 1 int.
I don't usually like to get too excited about a quarterback too fast, but you can't ignore what he has done. He has a huge advantage with Norm Chow as his quarterbacks coach.

Game grade: A.

No. 9 -- Brooks Bollinger, Wisconsin (NR)
vs. Oregon: 5-13-65, 1 int.; rush: 11-12, 1 TD
Season: 11-24-161, 1 int.; rush: 27-11, 1 TD
Bollinger led Wisconsin to victory despite all the suspensions.

No. 10 -- Josh Heupel, Oklahoma (10)
vs. Arkansas State: 24-32-301, 3 TD, 1 int.; rush: 5-12, 1 TD
Season: 42-68-575, 5 TD, 2 int.; rush: 8-9, 2 TD
He's got a perfect offense and he keeps making the Sooners look good.

Dropped from Top 10:
Quincy Carter, Georgia (5)
at South Carolina: 10-24-108, 5 int.; rush: 4-2
Season: 26-51-311, 2 TD, 6 int.; rush: 10-10, 1 TD
I have always talked about Quincy's lack of fundamentals and that was the case this weekend. When you trust your raw ability to get you through, it can bite you. That is what happened to him against South Carolina. I am sure it will be a good lesson for him.

Game grade: D.

Other notables:
Ken Dorsey, Miami: Ken ran into a buzzsaw in Seattle. I know what it is like to play there.

Game grade: C for the comeback.

Woody Dantzler, Clemson
Kurt Kittner, Illinois (9)
Ben Leard, Auburn
Romaro Miller, Mississippi
Antwaan Randle El, Indiana

Gary Danielson writes a column every Monday for BCSfootball.com  
 
 

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Thank you!!! Philip Rivers, N.C. State, No. 8 with a bullet!
--Daniel Bland, Tarboro, N.C.

It is nice to see somebody give Crouch recognition for this game. Stats shouldn't be the only Heisman factor since this guy basically is the conductor of a symphony when looking at NU's offense. A well-timed pitch that opens up a running back for a TD gets Crouch no stats at all, but still makes him a great player. Thanks for noticing and watching this kid.
--Andy, Lincoln, Neb.

I don't see how you can overlook Drew the way you do. He has thrown for over 700 yards in two games and has 5 passing touchdowns and 2 rushing. He gives the Purdue offense unlimited possibilities and he takes away the possibility of the defense to sack him. He can avoid the sack like no other quarterback in college football and nobody gives him credit.
--Rob Martz, West Lafayette, Ind.

I agree that Chris Weinke is a gifted passer at the ripe age of 28, but with receivers like the ones that he has at Florida State, I could get the yards that he racks up each week. He is nothing more then a strong arm. Brees, however, is a true leader on the field. His receivers are All right, but nothing of the talent level located at FSU. Something to look at also is the amount of yards after catch. That is something that just does not exist at Purdue. Brees is the offence.
--Scott Strickland, West Lafayette, Ind.

Good overall. However, I would place Eric Crouch at No. 1. Why? Because he played the tougher game than Weinke, and won. Not only that his impact on the Nebraska offense is greater than that of Wienke with Florida State, he is maturing more and more every game and it is evident. Plus, he is more versatile than Weinke. He can run and throw. Granted, his throwing is not as good as Weinke's, but overall he is a bigger threat to defenses. Weinke is a great QB, but his strength is throwing and that is it.
--Gregory Scott, Minneapolis, Minn.

I think your rankings are very justifiable, but there is only one problem. Michael Vick is the best quarterback in college football. Just wait until this weekend against Rutgers. Vick will be putting up some serious numbers. No quarterback has the athleticism that Vick has. No one can throw as hard, or is as accurate as No. 7. I hope to see Vick topping your list next week.
--Michael Hill, Fairfax, Va.

I don't agree with your ranking of Michael Vick. He's definitely the No. 1 quarterback in the country. He started the season as No. 1 according to all the analysts and also in the Heisman race) at the beginning of the season and has done nothing to hurt his ranking. In fact, during the game against Akron, he once again proved why he's the best.
--Abhi Pandit, Redwood Shores, Calif.

I like the way you handled listing the Applewhite/Simms situation. It is getting old having people go back and forth on the situation and praising a different guy everyday. There is no controversy brewing here. These two guys are phenomenal and Mack Brown seems to be handling it well from our end
--Kyle McCoy, Austin, Texas

Gary -- pretty much agreed with your rankings, but you need to consider Jonathan Beasley of Kansas State at least in your "notables" if not in your Top 10. First of all, he's a winner (13-1) as a starter. How many of your Top 10 can say that. Second, he's as good or better than anyone on your Top 10 at reading defenses and checking into the right plays. He finished either first or second in the nation last year in yards/completion. He's an excellent runner (lots of rushing touchdowns) and very good throwing out of the pocket. Completion percentage (his only consistent rap) is 58 percent this year.
--Chris Badger, Dallas, TX

Good call with Crouch. That kid is as tough as they come, and he can run, think, and pass enough. I say if Nebraska wins it all, he should get the Heisman.
--Rod Deiter, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Why is everyone jumping on the Michael Vick bandwagon? Almost every QB you have listed has better numbers than he does, and he plays one of the weakest schedules in the country. Vick may be the best athlete in the country, but he is not the best QB in the country. Everyone likes to bring up the wonderful game he had against Florida St., but no one mentions the turnovers and mistakes he made that really cost the team. You also don't hear much about the awful first half he had against Miami last year before the defense and special teams bailed the team out in the second half (just like the ECU game). I watched the ECU game and all I heard was that he was not breaking a sweat and wasn't really trying. If he was not trying, he would have never stepped on the field. By putting Vick on the pedestal that you (the media) have, you have given me and others many reasons to pull against him.
--Brent Cooper, Jackson, Tenn.

ALSO SEE
Weekend wrap-up: South Carolina's upset the biggest so far

Danielson: Year of the QB

Danielson: Vick beginning to resemble a certain Tiger

AUDIO/VIDEO
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 Washington's Marques Tuiasosopo dives for the touchdown. (Courtesy:ABC)
avi: 525 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler staggers 14 yards into the end zone. (Courtesy:ABC)
avi: 673 k
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