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If you look at the position of quarterback at the University of Michigan, historically that player has not been asked to throw for 400 yards a game. The Michigan quarterback must be able to run with the ball, throw the ball effectively, and above all else, WIN.

Since it is difficult to compare players from different eras and coaches, John Kryk, author of Natural Enemies: The Notre Dame-Michigan Football Feud, developed a formula that ranks the Michigan quarterbacks since 1975.

As you will notice, there are no categories for rushing stats, passing stats or touchdowns. The true measure of a great quarterback goes beyond just wins and losses. Accomplishments, not individual stats, are what matters most as far as UM coaches and fans are concerned. That is, did you lead your team to big-game victories? Did you lead your team to a Big Ten Title? Did you win a Rose Bowl? Did you win 80% of your games?

NOTE: The casual fan might question why no points are awarded for a win over Michigan State, but the learned UM fan long has been ingrained with the attitude that a victory over the Spartans is as wholly expected as wins over the Gophers, Badgers, Hoosiers, Wildcats, UNLV, et. al.

If one were to select the greatest QB of the Schembechler years, you would probably choose Leach or Harbaugh. In the Moeller years, Elvis Grbac would be the logical choice. During Lloyd Carr’s tenure, Brian Griese would be the popular choice.

But the question remains, "Who is the greatest Michigan quarterback of the modern era?"

Do you agree with the weighting system in this greatness rating?

You may be surprised at the results……



MICHIGAN QB GREATNESS RATING

x3

x2

x1

2 or 0

x2

x1

x2

1.5 road 1 home

1.5 road 1 home

x1

x0.5

QB NAME

YEARS PLAYED

GAMES STARTED

ACTUAL W - L - T

ADJUSTED W - L - T*

#1

#2-5

#6-10

WIN 80%

BIG TEN TITLES

ROSE BOWLS

ROSE BOWL WINS

OSU WIN

ND WIN

TOP 10 WINS

OTHER BOWL WINS

WIN DIFFERENTIAL**

TOTAL POINTS

GREATNESS RATING

Brian Griese

1.7

21

16-5-0

17-5-0

3

0

0

0

2

1

2

3.5

1

5

0

12

17.50

11.49

John Wangler

1.1

13

10-3-0

11-2-0

0

2

0

2

2

1

2

1.5

0

1

0

9

11.50

11.35

Elvis Grbac**

3.3

39

31-5-3

31-5-3

0

2

2.5

2

7

2.5

2

2.5

1

3

0.5

23

25.00

9.88

Rick Leach

3.9

47

38-8-1

38-8-1

0

4

2

2

6

3

0

4

1.5

4

0

29

26.50

9.69

Jim Harbaugh

2.4

31

25-5-1

25-5-1

0

2

1

2

2

1

0

2.5

2.5

4

0.5

19

17.50

9.19

Demetrius Brown

1.1

13

9-4-0

10-4-0

0

1

0

0

1

0.5

2

1.5

0

1

0.5

6

7.50

7.42

Michael Taylor

1.5

19

14-4-1

13-4-1

0

1

0.5

0

2

1.5

0

1

0

1

0

8

7.00

5.47

Tom Brady

1.0

13

10-3-0

10-3-0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

0.5

7

4.50

5.20

Todd Collins

2.1

25

17-8-0

17-8-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1.5

4

1

9

7.50

4.47

Steve Smith

2.9

35

25-10-0

25-10-0

0

0

1

0

2

1

0

1

1

2

0.5

15

8.50

4.43

Scott Dreisbach

1.3

16

13-3-0

12-3-0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

9

3.00

3.21

B.J. Dickey

0.7

8

7-1-0

6-2-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0.00

0.40

Dave Hall

0.1

1

1-0-0

1-0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0.00

0.10

Russ Rein

0.2

2

1-1-0

1-1-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

Chris Zurbrugg

0.4

5

2-3-0

2-3-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

-1

0.00

-0.10

Rich Hewlett

0.2

3

1-2-0

1-2-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

-1

0.00

-0.10

*Adjusted W-L-T Notes:

Brian Griese gets credit for the 1996 win at Ohio State even though he did not start the game.

John Wangler gets credit for the 1979 Indiana win and does not get the loss for the 1979 Gator Bowl.

Demetrius Brown gets credit for the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl win against Alabama even though he did not start the game.

Michael Taylor does not get credit for the Hall of Fame Bowl win against Alabama.

Scott Dreisbach does not get credit for the 1996 win at Ohio State.

B.J. Dickey does not get credit for the Indiana win in 1979 and gets the loss for the 1979 Gator Bowl against North Carolina.

** Elvis Grbac gets half-credits in 1989 for a Big Ten Title, a Rose Bowl appearance and a #8 finish.

** Demetrius Brown gets half-credits in 1988 for a Big Ten Title, a Rose Bowl berth and a #4 finish.

** Michael Taylor gets the other half-credits in both 1988 & 1989.

*Win Differential Notes:

Total is calculated by subtracting both losses AND ties from win total.