Is TCU's Andy Dalton the best quarterback Boise State has faced this season?

Andy Dalton, the efficient, dangerous Opie look-a-like who runs the killer TCU offense, has quietly become one of the nation's best quarterbacks. Will he be the best one that Boise State has faced this season?

Join me after the jump for a look back at the Broncos' past QB conquests, and judge for yourself where Dalton ranks. Is Dalton better than Jeremiah Masoli? Does he have Colin Kaepernick beat? Let's find out.

TCU will be the most well-rounded team the Broncos play this year, and you can't have a well-rounded team without a solid quarterback (Fresno State has tried, and it do not work). Dalton, it could be argued, goes above and beyond solid. He is No. 4 nationally in pass efficiency rating, he is a dual-threat QB, and he fits perfectly in TCU's myriad offense. Bronco fans will remember him from last year's Poinsttia Bowl as the clunky white guy who picked up 7 yards a pop. Well, now he can Dave Coulier his way for 7 per AND throw the ball.

 
Dalton will definitely play a key role in the Fiesta Bowl, and Boise State will have their hands full with him. But is he the best QB the Broncos have seen all season? Let's go through the list. Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments.

Jeremiah Masoli, Oregon

Masoli makes for the closest comparison to Dalton if for no other reason than that those two are the most competent of the bunch. Seriously, scroll down a ways and you'll wish you had some college eligibility left.

Masoli was a dual threat in much the same way that Dalton is, but I would be lying if I told you that I thought the Masoli Boise State faced on September 3 was any sort of similar to the Dalton of January 4. If the Broncos had faced the Masoli of, say, the USC game, then maybe we could talk. Then again, was USC Masoli present on opening night and the Boise State defense made him seem all-too human?

Andy Dalton > Jeremiah Masoli

Daniel Raudabaugh, Miami (OH)

The Redhawks' QB moved the ball in spurts against the Broncos, but he is nowhere near the upper ecehlon of college QBs and probably a ways off the upper echelon of MAC QBs.

Andy Dalton > Daniel Raudabaugh

Ryan Colburn, Fresno State

Similar to my reaction to the PT Cruiser, I thought Colburn looked pretty cool until I saw him in person. If Winston Venable could be as effective against DAlton as he was againstg Colburn, I would be a very happy man.

Andy Dalton > Ryan Colburn

Tyler Sheehan, Bowling Green

Take away WR Freddie Barned, and Sheehan is Daniel Raudabaugh.

Andy Dalton > Tyler Sheehan

Greg Denham, UC Davis

Strange as it may seem, Denham was probably one of the five best QBs that Boise State saw this year. Denham's numbers against the Broncos looked good in part because Kyle Wilson did not play, but Denham was still very accurate, smart, and effective in moving his team up and down the field. Still ...

Andy Dalton > Greg Denham

G.J. Kinne, Tulsa

When he wasn't taking sacks or missing wide open receivers, Kinne was alright. Unfortunately, those first two things are kind of important for being a quarterback.

Andy Dalton > G.J. Kinne

Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin, Hawaii

A more interesting debate would be whether Dalton is better than former Hawaii QBs Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan. As a passer, I would say no, but as an all-around QB with the running threat and the ability to lead his team I'd say it was close.

Andy Dalton > Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin

Jordan LaSecla, San Jose State

Uh, no.

Andy Dalton > Jordan LaSecla

Ross Jenkins, Louisiana Tech

Like the Prius, Jenkins slowly sneaks up on you until you suddenly realize, "Hey, that's a car and not some child's play thing." Jenkins surprised some folks by playing coherent football for a half against the Broncos, but his overall QB game is a far cry from those at the top of the heap like Dalton.

Andy Dalton > Ross Jenkins

Brian Reader, Idaho

Didn't Reader turn the ball over 6 times?

Andy Dalton > Brian Reader

Diondre Borel, Utah State

Borel is the quick, elusive version of Dalton, and the USU QB certainly looks like he'll be a good one. However, at this point, Dalton has Borel beat on pure passing. It will be interesting to see where each QB is one year from now.

Andy Dalton > Diondre Borel

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada

Wait, I thought this was a quarterback comparison! [/rimshot] For all the grief I give Kaepernick, he is capable of some great QB performances if the mood and the defense are right. Those performances never seem to come against the Broncos, though, which says a lot about both Kaepernick's talent and Boise State's defense. In reality, Kaep is probably a little overrated, and Dalton proved to be much more effective against BSU in last year's Poinsettia Bowl than Kaepernick has been since 2007.

Andy Dalton > Colin Kaepernick

Jeff Fleming, Trevor Walls, New Mexico State

Even combined, I doubt these two would be better than Dalton.

Andy Dalton > Jeff Fleming, Trevor Walls

So there you have it. By my count, Dalton has every QB on the Broncos' schedule beat. For the record, here is how I would rank the group of opponent QBs.

  1. Andy Dalton
  2. Jeremiah Masoli
  3. Diondre Borel
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Ross Jenkins
  6. Greg Denham
  7. Tyler Sheehan
  8. Ryan Colburn
  9. G.J. Kinne
  10. Bryant Moniz, Shane Austin
  11. Brian Reader
  12. Daniel Raudabaugh
  13. Jordan LaSecla
  14. Jeff Fleming, Trevor Walls

Your turn

How would you rank the Bronco opponents' QBs? Will Andy Dalton be the best one that the Broncos have faced this season? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

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