We've reached the final QB Power Rankings of the 2023 college football regular season, and neither Caleb Williams nor Drake Maye are ranked in the top 10. I don't know where I'd have set the odds on that being the case at the beginning of the season, but they wouldn't be low. I doubt it will impact either's NFL Draft stock (though I'm sure NFL talent evaluators use these rankings as a tie-breaker, seeing how they're ultra-scientific).
Of course, per the rules of these rankings, neither is eligible to be ranked this week because they lost their most recent game, but it speaks to the level of quarterback play across the country that neither would be a lock to be included in the top 10 even if the rule didn't exist. While I'm somewhat confident both would be in there, I don't think either would be in the top half.
The QBs in the top five this week have been incredible all year. While the entire back half of the list are all newcomers, they're not in those slots simply because players in last week's ranking lost. They're there because they played well, and that's been the case most of the season.
I watch the NFL on Sundays and think about how the league has a serious QB problem. The rest of the week, I watch college and think QB play has never been higher across the country.
Jayden Daniels LSU Tigers QB
|It says a lot that Daniels can throw for 235 yards, rush for 120, finish with four touchdowns in a game against Texas A&M ... and it feels like he had an off week. I don't know if he will win the Heisman Trophy, and he's certainly at a disadvantage of not having the final word with LSU not playing this week. But, statistically, nobody comes close to what he's done this year. (Last Week: 1)
Bo Nix Oregon Ducks QB
|Many transfer stories don't have fairytale endings, but both Jayden Daniels and Bo Nix are shining examples of the ones that do. Nix's entire reputation has been restored at Oregon. He finished with 398 total yards and three touchdowns in a win over Oregon State to clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and if he leads the Ducks to a win against Washington on Friday, the Bo Nix Heisman meme may become reality. (2)
Jalen Milroe Alabama Crimson Tide QB
|Sure, you can say that Jalen Milroe running past the line of scrimmage or whiffing on a snap were crucial mistakes, and that he was bailed out by a prayer. Or you could say that Jalen Milroe understands his strengths and weaknesses and knows he is much better at throwing the deep ball than the short slant! Whichever path you choose, you can't deny it was an incredible ending. (5)
Carson Beck Georgia Bulldogs QB
|Beck's final numbers against Georgia Tech weren't great, and he threw an interception, but I'm not worried about it. Georgia played like a team trying to keep things as simple as possible the week before facing Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. It showed in the results. (3)
Michael Penix Jr. Washington Huskies QB
|I love Penix, but he hasn't been quite himself for a while now. He was completing 74.7% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions through the first five games of the season. In the last seven, he has a completion rate of 59% with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. He wasn't great in The Apple Cup, and nearly through a couple of picks during the game-winning drive, but the Huskies did win. In the end, that matters a lot. (4)
Noah Fifita Arizona Wildcats QB
|There's nothing better than finishing the regular season by dancing on your rival's grave, and that's what Fifita and the Arizona Wildcats did this weekend. Fifita finished with 527 yards passing and five touchdowns as the Wildcats beat Arizona State 59-23. He will have Heisman buzz attached to his name to start 2024. (Not Ranked)
Dillon Gabriel Oklahoma Sooners QB
|Dillon has been in and out of the rankings all season long, and he's back this week after finishing with 436 total yards and four touchdowns in a 69-45 win over TCU. It'll be interesting to see what the future holds. Offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby has left for Mississippi State as the Sooners have former five-star recruit Jackson Arnold waiting in the wings. It won't shock me to see Gabriel suiting up for somebody else next year. (NR)
Taulia Tagovailoa Maryland Terrapins QB
|The Maryland QB threw for 361 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Rutgers, but honestly, I'm not ranking him because of the performance or because of his season. It's that Tagovailoa became the Big Ten's all-time passing leader in the process, surpassing former Purdue QB Curtis Painter's mark of 11,163 yards. Taulia will have one more game to add to his total. (NR)
Jordan McCloud James Madison Dukes QB
|The Football Gods are just when the NCAA is not. It's excellent news that the Dukes will get to go bowling this season, even if it took a minor miracle to get them there instead of common sense. That means a larger audience will have the chance to check out Jordan McCloud, who has been fantastic all year. He finished the regular season with six touchdowns in a 56-14 win over Coastal Carolina. (NR)
Levi Williams Utah State Aggies QB
|Here's a quick recap of Levi Williams' week. The third-string QB, Williams was thrown into duty for Utah State following an injury to Cooper Legas, and he led the Aggies to a 44-41 win over New Mexico to reach bowl eligibility. Williams finished the game with 198 yards passing, 153 rushing and five total touchdowns. And you know what he did after the game? He left the team to join the Navy SEALS. You think I'm not going to rank him after that? (NR)
Honorable Mention: Jason Bean, Kansas; Brady Cook, Missouri; J.J. McCarthy, Michigan; Diego Pavia, New Mexico State; Kaidon Salter, Liberty
Serving Detention: Drake Maye, North Carolina; Caleb Williams, USC