Bobby Bowden caused quite a stir the other day when he said that “his guy” Charlie Ward might have been better than Tim Tebow. He might be right. He might be wrong. I know this, if we are talking about the best quarterbacks in the Sunshine State’s history, let’s not forget about the Canes!
Vinny Testeverde, Jim Kelly, Steve Walsh, and Craig Erickson all deserve a mention for their successes, but they aren’t my focus.
I wanna give some love to Ken Dorsey and Gino Torretta!
Some of you are laughing, shaking your heads, cursing me out, or all the above right about now, but let me explain first.
To do this fairly, you can judge talent, but can’t focus on NFL careers because we are talking about college careers. Otherwise, how did the debate even get narrowed down to Ward and Tebow? Combined they haven’t even taken an NFL snap!
Gino Torretta is one of just 5 players since 1950 with 2 national titles and a Heisman trophy. True, he didn’t start and win the first title, but its still one heck of a stat. And he did contribute to the Canes that year. He also had a career record of 26-1 and won not just the Heisman his senior year, but 5 other prestigious awards. His lone loss as a starter was his final game in the Sugar Bowl to Alabama in the national title game. His numbers don’t stack up well against some of the other great quarterbacks in this states history, but his winning percentage is unmatched. Winning has to count for something, right?
Ken Dorsey’s resume is a bit longer, but does not include a Heisman trophy. He went 38-2 as a starter, had a 34 game winning streak, and won a national title. He was denied the opportunity to win one in 2000 by the polls and in 2002 by the Big XII official in the back of the endzone. Not too mention he owns just about every Miami passing record. Physically impressive, he was not. But he was one of the greatest winners in the sports history.
So what is the answer? Who is the best Sunshine State quarterback? Tim Tebow is one great season away from having my vote. For now I’d rank it:
1) Dorsey 2) Tebow 3) Torretta 4) Ward 5) Wuerffel
But as far as the BIGGER picture, who is the greatest college football player of all-time?
The 5 guys with 2 national titles and a Heisman: Torretta, Tim Tebow, Johnny Rodgers, Reggie Bush, and Matt Leinart. And the last two almost had 3 titles if it wasn’t for Vince Young.
BUT, my vote goes to Tommie Frazier.
The Nebraska great quarterback came in as a freshman and played all four seasons. He led the Huskers to 4 New Year’s Day Bowl games. Frazier went 33-3 as a starter, but won his last 25 games to close out his career, and he won 2 national titles in the process. It could’ve been 3, alas it was his kicker who missed “wide right” to give Bobby Bowden, Charlie Ward, and the Noles their first title. He was the Heisman runner-up his senior year, but had the last laugh in a blowout win over the Gators in the Fiesta Bowl capping back-2-back titles and unbeaten seasons.
Feel free to argue, because I know you want to!