As far as most mainstream college football fans are aware of, the quarterbacks in the fledgling American Athletic Conference are Lousville’s Teddy Bridgewater and … a bunch of other guys.
Which isn’t to say that there aren’t talented signal-callers to be had in the AAC aside from the preseason 2013 Heisman Trophy candidate. UCF’s Blake Bortles had an excellent first season as a starter last year, while several others hope to perform prolifically either by getting a full season to be their respective team’s starter or becoming a more consistent passer.
2013 Preseason AAC Starting Quarterback Rankings
|1||Teddy Bridgewater||Jr.||68.5%, 3,718 PASS YDS, 27 PASS TD, 8 INT||The 2013 Sugar Bowl MVP has a legitimate chance to be even better this season. Even though he won’t allow the Cardinals to tout his Heisman credentials, he’ll nonetheless be a leading candidate.|
|2||Blake Bortles||Jr.||62.9%, 3,344 total YDS, 33 total TD, 7 INT||Bortles put up big numbers last year and retains almost his full compliment of leading receivers. As an added bonus, HC George O’Leary has vowed to throw the ball more in 2013.|
|3||Brendon Kay||Sr.||63.0%, 1,604 total YDS, 12 total TD, 2 INT||Kay’s accuracy was a welcome change from the wayward passing of Munchie Legeaux (52.2%). His stats from 2012 project to a nice full season as the starter, particularly behind a fully in-tact offensive line.|
|4||Gary Nova||Jr.||57.0%, 2,695 PASS YDS, 22 PASS TD, 16 INT||Nova was great during Rutgers’ 7-0 start (15 TDs, 3 INTs) but subpar during its 2-4 finish (7 TDs, 13 INTs). Can new OC Ron Prince make the Jersey native a more consistent passer?|
|5||Garrett Gilbert||Sr.||53.0%, 3,278 total YDS, 23 total TD, 15 INT||The former Texas QB showed a much better grasp of HC June Jones’ run-and-shoot as 2012 wore on. Expect him to direct it with even more panache after a full offseason entrenched as the Mustangs’ starter.|
|6||Jacob Karam||Sr.||64.2%, 2,116 total YDS, 15 total TD, 3 INT||If Karam maintains his sterling performance from Memphis’ three-game win streak to end 2012 (76.9% passing, seven TDs), he could guide the Tigers to their first bowl bid since ’08.|
|7||David Piland||Jr.||57.1%, 3,119 total YDS, 18 total TD, 12 INT||The Cougars’ starter for the majority of 2010 and all of 2012, Piland has the ability to put up big numbers. However, he needs to be more accurate and cut down on his INTs.|
|8||Chandler Whitmer||Jr.||57.6%, 2,664 PASS YDS, 9 PASS TD, 16 INT||Will a trial-by-fire first year at UConn and the comfort of knowing he’s the starter produce better results in Whitmer’s second season in Storrs? On-thin-ice HC Paul Pasqualoni certainly hopes so.|
|9||Bobby Eveld||Sr.||37.5%, 29 PASS YDS, 0 PASS TD, 0 INT||New HC Willie Taggart’s first priority is finding a replacement for longtime starting QB B.J. Daniels. The competition is still wide open between Eveld, Matt Floyd and newcomer Mike White.|
|10||Connor Reilly||Jr.||N/A||Reilly hasn’t started at QB since his 2009 senior season at W.T. Woodson (VA) High. He’s trying to hold off freshman P.J. Walker to be the starter in the Owls’ new pass-oriented offense.|