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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Phil Harrison

Big Ten quarterbacks ranked by Total QBR rating through Week 1

College football is a quarterback-driven game and has been for a long time now. Gone are the days of being a game manager with handoffs and short passes when needed. It hasn’t been that way for a long, long time now.

You simply can’t go special places anymore without having a dynamic player under center and Ohio State has a good one in C.J. Stroud.

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However, he’s not the only good quarterback in the Big Ten. Though Stroud is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy, there are still other signal-callers in the league that can spin it when called upon.

One of the best metrics we like to look at when it comes to a quarterback’s performance is Total QBR, and we’re going to take a look at it each week upon the completion of games. Where is Stroud after this week? What about other quarterbacks in the league? You might be surprised, especially after OSU had some perceived struggles against Notre Dame.

Here’s a ranking of the top 12 Big Ten quarterbacks based on total QBR ranking this early in the season. Stats are courtesy of ESPN.

Spencer Petras, Iowa

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras (7) stands with teammates tight end Bryce Schulte (48) and defensive back Riley Moss (33) after an NCAA college football game in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl against Kentucky, Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Casey Thompson, Nebraska

Nebraska’s Casey Thompson drops back for a pass. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Graham Mertz, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) scores a touchdown in the second quarter against Army, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Total QBR


Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland

Dec 29, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) is tackled by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive back Jalen Stroman (26) during the second half of the 2021 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Total QBR


Tommy DeVito, Illinois

Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito looks to pass. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Conner Bazelak, Indiana

Indiana’s Connor Bazelak (9) throws the pass during the Indiana versus Illinois football game at Memorial Stadium on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Total QBR


Payton Thorne, Michigan State

Michigan State Spartans quarterback Payton Thorne (10) runs the ball against the Maryland Terrapins during first-half action Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Spartan Stadium. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Aidan O'Connell, Purdue

Nov 6, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell (16) drops back to pass the ball in the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Ross-Ade Stadium. Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Total QBR


Tanner Morgan, Minnesota

Nov 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) drops back for a pass in the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers at TCF Bank Stadium. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Total QBR


Sean Clifford, Penn State

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford takes off on the ground during the 2022 Blue-White game at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, April 23, 2022, in State College. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Ryan Hillinski, Northwestern

Northwestern quarterback Ryan Hilinski (12) throws during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud says he believes athletes might be worth more to the school than they receive in scholarship money. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Total QBR


Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes, and opinion. Follow Phil Harrison on Twitter.

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