Big East 2012 top 25 countdown: No. 3

3 ... 2 ... 1. Almost there.

No. 3 Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Making the case: Nassib had one of the best seasons in Syracuse history, setting single-season records for passing yards (3,749), touchdown passes (26), completions (284), passing yards per game (288.4) and total offense (3,891) en route to Big East second-team honors. He would have been the best quarterback in the league had it not been for a fella at Louisville you will see later in this countdown. But what was truly a pleasure to watch this past season was the complete comfort level Nassib had in the offense. You could tell you were watching a player who had been in the system for some time, and who had a complete and firm grasp of what he had to do to not only to move the ball, but make the players around him better.

Nassib had six 300-yard games. Two that stick out to me the most: his performances against USF and Missouri. The Orange trailed 23-3 at halftime against USF and looked well on their way to losing. But Nassib was a force in the second half, carving up the USF secondary at will. His 1-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Alec Lemon came with 3 seconds remaining. He led a similar comeback against the Tigers a few weeks later, this time throwing a 17-yard touchdown pass to Lemon with 20 seconds left to win the game and clinch bowl eligibility.

Syracuse ended up winning a share of the Big East title, and a large reason why was the way Nassib played.

Previous ranking: No. 25

The countdown