After Riley was chosen as the starter, I noticed a few comments on how Nate is the best backup QB in the conference/nation and still one of the best QBs in the conference. This made me start to wonder how good he is compared to starting Pac-10 QBs (I'm not including Kevin Riley in this analysis).
Who would we consider to be the best QB in the Pac-10? Oregon's Nate Costas has built up a lot of hype but has not yet proven it on the field. USC's Mark Sanchez was okay last year and will most likely improve this year. UCLA is about to re-hire Dorrell so he can play QB. WSU has a new QB whom I know almost nothing about. Somehow, I know even less about OSU's new QB. I'm not sure if Stanford even has a football team anymore. Although Washington's Jake Locker was the Pac-10 Freshman of the year last year, I'm not convinced that he's as great as he is said to be. He is a dual-threat quarterback who can pass and run, but his passing numbers have been pretty poor. This leaves us with only three quarterbacks in the conference who have proven themselves as good, reliable QBs. ASU's Rudy Carpenter was great last season, but his numbers were very similar to Nate's 2006 and pre-injury 2007 numbers. And Arizona's Willie Tuitama has also been pretty good the past few years.
It seems like the top three QBs in the conference are Carpenter, Longshore, and Tuitama. Though Tuitama has been consistent in the past, he hasn't led his team to anything beyond mediocrity. Although they have their flaws (Carpenter's lack of an offensive line and Longshore's interceptions and questionable ability to lead a comeback) Longshore and Carpenter stand out to me as the top 2 QBs in the conference.
What do the rest of you think?