Marcus Mariota is obviously the best Oregon Ducks quarterback of all time. He’s the school’s only Heisman Trophy winner, he put together an unmatched stat line over three seasons, and he delivered some of the most iconic performances in team history.
But how do the rest of the Oregon quarterbacks stack up in comparison to the GOAT? Ducks Wire recently took a shot at ranking the nine best quarterbacks in Oregon history, and its list opens the door for plenty of discussion.
There’s never a “right” or “wrong” way to rank players in lists like these; that’s part of the fun. However, as subjective as this power ranking is, there are certainly players who have strong arguments to be ranked either higher or lower based on their resumes and bodies of work.
The most glaring omission from Ducks Wire’s ranking is Darron Thomas. All the two-year starter did during his time in Eugene was lead the Ducks to a 23-3 record (he was inactive for one of Oregon’s victories in 2011), account for more than 70 touchdowns, and lead Oregon to its first Rose Bowl win since 1917. Thomas piloted one of the greatest offenses in the history of the sport, and although he wasn’t the most notable superstar on the field, he certainly was a big part of the unit’s success. Norm Van Brocklin and Norv Turner are NFL legends (and Van Brocklin was no slouch in college, either), but Thomas had more individual and team success than both of them in college. Shouldn’t he be on the list, and quite frankly, rank highly on it?
Additionally, a case can be made for Dennis Dixon to be ranked as high as No. 2, or as low as No. 6, depending on one’s criteria. On the one hand, Dixon’s best season in 2007 was so exceptional that he very well might have won the Heisman Trophy had he not gotten injured late in the year. That singular season was arguably more impressive than any of Joey Harrington’s or Justin Herbert’s. But factoring in longevity and body of work, it’s hard to justify ranking Dixon ahead of Herbert, Harrington, or even Dan Fouts and Akili Smith. So, is he in the right spot at No. 4?
What is your reaction to this ranking of Oregon quarterbacks? What criteria would you use to create a list of your own, and how would your rankings be different?
Morgantown, West Virginia
Top Photo by Amazing Moments Photography
Joshua is an adopted Duck fanatic, originally hailing from southwestern Pennsylvania. His love for the University of Oregon began as a young child when he became mesmerized by the flashy uniforms and explosive offenses of the Chip Kelly era, and now, he follows the team religiously. His fondest memory of the team is seeing De’Anthony Thomas race past Wisconsin defenders back in the 2012 Rose Bowl. A true football enthusiast, Joshua loves studying the intricacies of the game, and he aspires to become a professional sports journalist. Joshua now resides in Morgantown, West Virginia where he works in customer service. When he’s not watching Oregon replays, Joshua loves reading, writing, and spending time with his family. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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