Success in college football and strong quarterback play are inextricably linked. No argument against it exists. No logical argument, anyway.
It is the most important position, the most scrutinized position, the most overevaluated and competitively recruited position.
The programs with the best quarterbacks win. Period. This season alone, the teams whose quarterbacks rank first through fourth in raw QBR -- ESPN's index that measures quarterback play by incorporating the context and details of every snap -- are all among the 14 remaining FBS unbeatens.
Nine of the 14 teams yet to lose rank among the top 16 in QBR.
Since the start of the 2010 season, of the nine programs with the highest win percentage, seven also rank among the top 15 in QBR.
The most efficient way to make a quantum leap in the college game? Find a great quarterback and perfect his development. Ask about the impact of an elite QB at Texas A&M, which was mired in mediocrity before Johnny Manziel took over last season and turned the Aggies into an elite team overnight.
We live in a golden age of quarterbacks, from the NFL level to high schools. College prospects at the position understand the geometrics of football and achieve physical feats at a rate their predecessors of a generation past could not fathom.
Still, as quarterback play undeniably dictates the title marches and subplots of college football, coaches are no better than 15 years ago at projecting the game's stars. And they admit it.
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