When you think of Oregon football, images of trailblazing boldness flash through one's mind. They're easily known as the front-runners in the future of college sports. Flashy, even. These thoughts stem from two basic entities: Nike, and offense.
Having a special relationship with sports apparel shah and alum Phil Knight has had an immense impact on the program in the past 20 years, as detailed by former Daily Emerald editor-in-chief Sam Stites. What has also helped is the athleticism and continued development of their skill-position players, with the quarterback position being the prime example.
Though not considered a traditional "Quarterback U" by college football pundits, the University of Oregon has had more than its share of elite players behind center. What stands out in this list of all-time top QBs is the chronological preference of the 201st decade (such as the ranking placement of Duck greats Joey Harrington and Dennis Dixon). Signal-callers from earlier generations weren't automatically penalized just for playing for Oregon farther from the present day, however. Here is a detailed look at the general criterion taken into consideration for selection:
- Player is top five in QB career passing yards and/or top 10 in QB career rushing yards for UO
- Quarterback's play remembered as trendsetting for future program prominence or was part of transcendent Oregon team
- Played vital role in a signature win for Ducks
Notice the emphasis on rushing yards. This is key, because as the quarterback position has evolved in general on every level, the dual-threat ability of an athlete has changed the way we look at QBs—including those at Oregon. You can thank Chip Kelly and the innovative spread option offense he crafted while in Eugene for helping propel the development of the modern college QB.