Cyclone Football Top 20: Quarterbacks

And…we’re back. This time ranking the top 20 quarterbacks in Iowa State history.  Here is Mook’s submission to get us started:
The quarterback list was a chore. So many numbers to consider for guys that handle the ball on every offensive play, and much like the WR position there wasn’t a great deal of depth at the position. Nonetheless, I’m proud to share my selections for the best signal callers to ever wear the Cardinal and Gold.
Top 20 Quarterbacks All-Time at Iowa State
1. Seneca Wallace (2001-02)… 4th Round NFL Draft Pick and 10+ year career in the league, Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year and named Big 12 Player of the Week three times, holds Big 12 record for highest completion percentage in a game (.917),  won Dury Moss Award and Ray Scott Award twice at ISU … 5,289 yards and 26 TD passing ~ 912 yards and 15 rushing TD as a Cyclone … ISU record for completion percentage (.621) in a season, most ever passing yards (3,245) in a season, #4 on the all-time passing list (5,289) despite playing only two seasons in Ames.
In my eyes and in my mind, Seneca Wallace was the best quarterback to ever play at Iowa State. Naturally, I have him at #1.
2. Sage Rosenfels (1997-2000)… 4th Round NFL Draft Pick and has spent over 10 years in the league, Big 12 Player of the Week, Ray Scott Award … 4,164 yards passing and 19 TD as a Cyclone … ISU bowl record 308 yards passing in Bowl, led ISU to first bowl victory in school history.
First quarterback to ever win a bowl game at Iowa State. That is all.
3. David Archer (1982-83)… Member of the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame, played 6 seasons in the NFL and 6 more professionally in other leagues, Dury Moss and Ray Scott Award at ISU … 4,104 yards passing and 23 TD as a Cyclone … Threw TD passes in 10 consecutive games during 1983 season, had 4th best single season passing (2,639) at ISU and 3rd highest TD passes (18) in 1983, ranks 7th all-time in passing (4,104) and 8th in TD (23) despite playing only two seasons. 
I didn’t expect Archer to be this high on my list, but his professional career along with his ISU Hall of Fame status puts him in elite company.
4. Dean Carlson (1970-71)… Selected in the 7th round of the NFL Draft, played one season with the Chiefs … 3258 yards passing and 25 TD ~ 195 yards rushing and 11 TD as a Cyclone … Led ISU to first bowl game in school history.
Winning means a lot to me, and there hasn’t been too much of it at Iowa State. Taking the Cyclones to their first ever bowl game puts Dean in my top 5. I also had to rank him ahead of George based on when they played together.
5. George Amundson (1970-72)… Played both running back and quarterback at Iowa State, earned All-American as a quarterback in 1972, finished 7th in Heisman Trophy voting in 1972, was the Big 8 Conference Player of the Year in 1972, is the highest drafted Cyclone ever going 14th overall in the 1973 NFL draft, played 3 years in the NFL as a running back, member of the ISU Athletics Hall of Fame … 2,437 yards passing and 24 TD/ 30 INT ~ 2,264 yards rushing and 31 rushing TD as a Cyclone … only player ever at Iowa State to rush and pass for over 2,000 yards, owns the dubious school record for most interceptions (22) in one season but also ranks 4th in touchdowns (17) thrown in that same season, ranks 3rd in career rushing TD (31) and 9th in career passing TD (22), is 6th all-time in total offense (4,798) at ISU.
Was he out of position as a QB? Probably so, but he was still selected All-American! I went on and on about George as an athlete in the RB list so I will just let his place in the Top 5 speak for how highly I regard him.
6. Bret Meyer (2004-07)… Named Freshman All-American by The Sporting News, won the Ray Scott Award three times, 9,499 yards passing, 50 TD/41 INT ~ 923 yards and 12 rushing TD as a Cyclone … All-time leading passer (9,499) in school history at Iowa State, most career completions (820) and TD passes (50) ever at ISU, most career interceptions (41) but also lowest interception percentage (.029) at ISU, school record 155 passes thrown without an INT.
Meyer accumulated video game numbers compared to other quarterbacks on the list, but much like Blythe, I don’t have him on the top because of how he compared to his peers. Passing game numbers have exploded in the last decade everywhere.
7. Austen Arnaud (2007-10)… Pete Taylor MVP Award … 6,777 yards passing, 42 TD/34 INT ~ 1153 yards and 15 TD rushing as a Cyclone … Holds school record for completions in a game (36) and season (247), best career completion percentage (.597) ever at ISU, also school record for most passing yards (440) in a game and lowest interception percentage (.025) in a season, #2 on ISU passing charts (6,777).
Also has career numbers that rank him among the all-time best. When you add in how good of a guy he is, I am comfortable putting him just in front of an All-American.
8. Everett Kischer (1936-38)… Nicknamed “The Rabbit” and was an All-American in 1938, drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1939, was selected All-Big Six Conference twice … passed for 620 yards and 6 TD as a Cyclone … The Rabbit played both side of the ball like nearly everyone during his era, he is tied with Barry Hill for school record 4 interceptions on defense in one g
ame and still ranks 4th in career picks with 11.
All-Americans belong in the top ten of the list, regardless of when they played.
9. Tim Van Galder (1964-66)… Drafted on consecutive days by AFL and NFL, played for the St. Louis Cardinals, named Academic All-Big 8, led Conference in passing both junior and senior years at ISU, Rueben J. Miller Award … 3,417 yards and 12 TD as a Cyclone … Still ranks #9 on the all-time passing (3,417) chart at ISU.
Tops in the league is impressive, but in a time where no one else was throwing it.
10. Bill Weeks (1948-50)… 2,799 yards passing and 16 TD as a Cyclone … First Team All-Big 7 twice, 18th Round NFL Draft Pick, finished 3rd in nation in passing (1,552) for 1950 season.
Very impressive for his era. Had to get him into the top ten.
11. Rich Mann (1951-52) … 1,685 yards passing and 18 TD as a Cyclone … First Team All-Big 7 Conference in 1951 and was 12th in nation with 1,296 yards passing.
One incredible season in 1951 then nothing in 1952.
12. Alex Espinoza (1984-86)… Played 1 year in the NFL and 2 years in the WLAF, twice named Big 8 Player of the Week, led the Big 8 Conference in passing yards for 1986 season, Dury Moss Award … 5,307 yards and 33 passing TD as a Cyclone … Currently is 3rd on the list in career passing yards (5,307) and 4th in career TD (33) at Iowa State.
Good numbers, some time in the pros, and a bunch of losing.
13. Todd Bandhauer (1995-98)… Led the Big 12 in passing yards during 1997 season, Rueben J. Miller Award at ISU … 5,235 yards and 40 TD passing as a Cyclone … Holds school record for most pass attempts (62) and TD (5) in one game as well as TD passes (20) in one season, is 5th on the list for passing yards (5,235) and 3rd in career TD (40) at Iowa State.
Big numbers on really bad teams.
14. Wayne Stanley (1973-76)… 2,649 yards passing and 25 TD ~ 774 yards rushing and 9 TD as a Cyclone … Big 8 Player of the Week, Rueben J. Miller Award, 6th in career TD passes at ISU.
Probably a career that should have achieved much more than it did, but I’d have to hear why from people that were around then.
15. Todd Doxzon (1993-96)… 3,158 yards passing and 21 TD ~ 1,045 yards rushing and 14 TD as a Cyclone … Holds record for longest TD pass in ISU history vs. OU in 1995, played one season with Miami Dolphins and many years in other pro leagues, Dury Moss Award at ISU.
Kermit was a really good dude, and really did put up some numbers – incredible athlete, probably should have been playing another position.
16. John Quinn (1977-81)… 2,721 yards passing and 8 TD as a Cyclone … led the Big 8 Conference in passing for 1981 season
I know Quinn more for his sideline duties with the Cyclone Radio Network, but he had one really nice season under center.
17. Chris Pedersen (1989-91)… 2,258 yards passing and 8 TD ~ 829 yards rushing and 4 TD as a Cyclone … Big 8 Player of the Week after leading ISU to win at Oklahoma in 1989, Rueben J. Miller and Ray Scott Award
One of my most vivid memories from the 80s (granted not much good happened with Cyclone Football in that decade) was listening to Pete Taylor call the Pedersen sneak for the game winner at Oklahoma.
18. Bret Oberg (1988-89)… 3,602 yards passing and 15 TD as a Cyclone … Big 8 Player of the Week, Ray Scott Award, 4th best passing game (411) in school history
Splitting hairs between him and Pederson, but huge passing game in loss to OU comes after big win at OU on my list.
19. Terry Rubley (1977-79)… 2,000 yards passing and 10 TD as a Cyclone … Led the Cyclones to the 1977 Peach Bowl.
Winning means something to me, and that’s why Rubley gets on my list.
20. Howard Tippee (1943)… 637 yards passing as a Cyclone … First Team All-Big 6 selection, led Big 6 Conference in passing and was 5th in the nation, 25th round NFL Draft Pick
Considering how long ago he played and the fact that he was only at ISU for one season (most likely only one semester during WWII) I couldn’t put Howard any higher, but I felt like he belonged on the list.
That was Mook’s list, here is mine:

·         I gave Amundson the top slot almost solely because he was an All-American in 1972 and finished 7th in the Heisman voting.
·         Similarly, Kischer is the only other QB to achieve All-American status so I gave him the next placement.
·         Seneca Wallace’s time speaks for itself.
·         Carlson’s numbers aren’t the most impressive but he was the quarterback on one of Iowa State’s best teams.
·         No matter how the rankings ultimately fell, Stanley and Hardeman were going to go back to back because the spent so much time rotating the job during their careers.
·         Van Galder’s conference leading passing yards numbers in 1965 & 1966 to make the 11 spot.
·         Bill Weeks did the same in 1949 and 1950 but was also 14th and 3rdin passing yards in those years, respectively.
·         In 1943 Howard Tippee led the conference in passing yards and was 5thin the NCAA.
·         I was a bit surprised that Todd Doxzon was so high on my list.
·         Rich Mann led the conference in passing in 1951.

Those are our lists, now where is yours?
This entry was posted in Cyclone Quarterbacks, enCYCLONEpedia, Iowa State Football, Kirk Haaland. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cyclone Football Top 20: Quarterbacks

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amundson and Wallace should be 1 and 2.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great lists! But, I think every Cyclone football fan knows who are 1, 2 and 3 in their hearts–Marv Siler, Jerome Tiller and Jared Barnett! The all-upset slate!

  3. Jcs74 says:

    The fact that Bob Utter is on either of these lists illustrates just how bad the history of ISU football is. Glad we will never have to see those lows again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What does it say about our history when our top 5 QBs with stats all have more ints than TDs? Oh well. We are what we are!

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