With the BCS era wrapping up, I figured it was time to take a look back and rank our Golden Bears. In this series of posts we're going to look a little bit at players and rank them by performance.
Today we look at quarterbacks. HydroTech wrote about this a few years back, but we added a few more years from before the 2000s and after (1998-2013 was the length of the BCS era). So we have a few new faces to add to the picture.
8. Justin Vedder
7. Joe Ayoob
They have both gone onto solid post-Cal careers. Vedder has gone on to become an executive vice president at a financial company. Ayoob is a sales manager at a brewing company and is the world record holder in paper airlines.
6. Zach Maynard: He had that game where he outplayed the best Pac-12 quarterback of the BCS era. That was really sweet.
Maynard is now playing football in Germany.
5. Jared Goff: Goff is going to be rising up this list post-BCS, and there will be plenty of chatter as to where he deserves to be when it’s done. Right now this seems like the best place for him. In a terrible football season, he was the lone bright spot.
4. Kevin Riley: Technically, Goff is probably headed up this chart and will probably have a better career statistically than Riley. Riley always seemed to have some big moments, including that Armed Forces Bowl comeback and a few memorable 2009 comebacks. He won both his Big Game performances and out dueled Andrew Luck, and Cal would have had three straight bowl appearances if he stayed the starting QB.
Riley currently works at an orthopedic company in the Bay Area.
3. Kyle Boller: The case for Boller vs. Riley as being third on this list isn’t that far-fetched. Riley had a better career at Cal in terms of overall win-loss record, but his teams were definitely talented and better coached.
I give the nod to Kyle though. Boller was saddled with an atrocious coaching staff and didn’t develop until the tail end of his career with Tedford. He really didn’t become the quarterback he was until his final season, when he helped lead a motley group of Golden Bears to a winning record. He also gets positive marks for playing all four seasons at Cal and toughing it out through the bad times.
Boller recently retired from the NFL after a decade in the league.
2. Nate Longshore: Longshore is a pretty easy second choice. Pre–ankle injury he was leading one of the most proficient offenses in college football a year-and-a-half running. He led Cal to a tie for first place, earning the Bears our first share of the Pac-10 championship since 1977. He has his share of detractors, but when Longshore was good, Cal was good.
Longshore is currently a coach at Rancho Santa Margarita High School and runs a quarterback training program.
1. Aaron Rodgers: I don’t need to explain this.
How would you rank the Cal quarterbacks of the BCS era? Leave us a note in the comments.