Big Ten's Best: QBs 2000-2010

Big Ten's Best: QBs 2000-2010

On Tuesday night, “The Big Ten’s Best: Quarterbacks of the 2000s” debuted on BTN. The Big Ten, the conference that created the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust philosophy, isn’t best known for its quarterbacks. Still, the Big Ten has had more than its share of impressive quarterbacks, and the 2000s was no exception. During the most recent decade, the Big Ten produced a pair of Heisman winners (Troy Smith and the “adopted” Eric Crouch), a national champion (Craig Krenzel) and a trio of national runners-up (Smith, Crouch, Todd Boeckman).

And let’s not forget about Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El, perhaps the conference’s most impressive statistical quarterback. Randle El did it all for the Hoosiers, becoming the first player in FBS history to pass and rush for 40 career touchdowns and to record 2,500 total yards in four consecutive years. See BTN’s top 10 quarterbacks of the 2000s below:

TROY SMITH, OHIO STATE

Won the 2006 Heisman Trophy

Compiled 6,888 total yards, 68 total TD

Won 2006 Fiesta Bowl MVP, after leading Ohio State to a 34-20 win over Notre Dame

Compiled 1,151 yards of total offense, two rushing touchdowns, and seven passing touchdowns in three games against Michigan

Went 3-0 against Michigan, becoming the second Buckeye to card three wins over the Wolverines but the first to win three straight

ERIC CROUCH, NEBRASKA

Won the 2001 Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien Award and Walter Camp Award

Compiled 7,915 total yards, 90 total TD, 2001 Heisman Trophy winner

Won 2000 Fiesta Bowl MVP

One of three quarterbacks in Division 1-A history to rush for 3,000 and pass for 4,000 yards in a career

Holds Nebraska record for total offense (7,915 yards) and touchdowns (88)

Owns NCAA record for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (59)

Tied an NCAA record by scoring a TD via run, pass, reception in the same game (Cal, 1999)

ANTWAAN RANDLE EL, INDIANA

1998 Big Ten Freshman of the Year; 2001 Offensive Player of the Year

Big Ten’s all-time leading rusher at the quarterback (3,895)

First player in NCAA Division I history to pass for 40 career touchdowns and score 40 career rushing touchdowns

First player in college football history to record 2,500 total yards for four consecutive years

Broke the NCAA freshman total offense record in his first game, with 467 total yards in 1998 opener

Won the 2001 Chicago Tribune Silver Football, presented by the Chicago Tribune to the Most Valuable Player of the conference

Led Indiana to a 14-7 victory over Iowa as a freshman, marking the first time a Big Ten team beat an opponent the year after losing to it by more than 60 points

BROOKS BOLLINGER, WISCONSIN

1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Finished career with a 30-12 record as a starter

Second in Badger history with 7,394 yards of total offense and 64 TD

Second QB in Big Ten history to start in three bowl wins

As a redshirt freshman, guided Wisconsin to its second straight Rose Bowl victory

Holds school’s rushing record for quarterbacks, with 1,767 yards and 26 touchdowns.

CHAD HENNE, MICHIGAN

Threw for 9,715 yards, good enough for fifth in Big Ten history

Tossed 87 touchdowns, second in conference history

Michigan’s second true freshman to start season opener (Rick Leach, 1975)

Tied the Michigan record for touchdown passes in a season (25) as a freshman

Won the 2008 Capital One Bowl MVP after leading Michigan beat Florida and reigning Heisman winner Tim Tebow

CRAIG KRENZEL, OHIO STATE

Led Ohio State to a 24-3 career record, including the 2002 national title

Won two Fiesta Bowl MVP trophies

In 2001, led Ohio State to its first victory in Ann Arbor since 1987

KYLE ORTON, PURDUE

Ranks third in program history with over 9,337 passing yards and 63 touchdown passes.

Purdue’s only quarterback to start four consecutive bowl games

Along with Drew Brees, holds the Purdue record for most passing yards in a game (522)

BRETT BASANEZ, NORTHWESTERN

2005 Big Ten Player of the Year

Holds school record in passing yards (10,580) and total offense (11,576, good enough for second in Big Ten history

Finished four rushing yards short of ending career  as the only players with 10,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards

Northwestern’s all-time winningest quarterback, with 22 wins

JUICE WILLIAMS, ILLINOIS

Finished his career ranked fifth in Big Ten history with 10,594 yards of total offense

Led Illinois to its first win over a No. 1 team since 1956 in a 2007 upset at top-ranked Ohio State

Led Illinois to the 2008 Rose Bowl, the Illini’s first trip to Pasadena since  1984

Threw for 451 yards and 5 TDs in a season-opening loss to Missouri  in 2008

Amassed a Michigan Stadium-record 431 yards of total offense (310 passing, 121 rushing, 4 total TDs) in a 45-20 win over the Wolverines in 2008

Threw for a career-high 462 yards against Minnesota in 2008

CURTIS PAINTER, PURDUE

Threw for more than  11,000career passing yards, second to only Drew Brees in Big Ten history

Tossed 67 touchdowns, good for third in school history and eighth all-time in the conference

Set Big Ten record for most passing yards (3,985) in a season in 2005, breaking Drew Brees’ 3,983 mark

Threw for a Motor City Bowl record 540 yards in the 2007 Motor City Bowl

Completed 38 of 54 passes for 448 yards and five touchdowns in his final collegiate game

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