Sunday, October 26, 2014

Worst 5 QB's in Gator Football History (Since the 70's)

Gator football has had a proud history of producing some of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history. In my last article, I highlighted some of the best quarterbacks to ever suit up for the Orange and Blue.

This week, I'll be taking a trip down a painful memory lane as I rank the worst five Gator quarterbacks ever. Without further adieu, here they are!

#5 John Brantley IV (2008-2011)

John Brantley IV is a second generation Gator as his father (who we will see later on this list) played at UF in the seventies. He was one of my first clear cut choices for this list as the Gators' slide into mediocrity began with Brantley under center.

Succeeding Tim Tebow for the 2010 season, Brantley managed a 14-10 career record in his two seasons as the Gator starting QB. He was a member of the 2008 National Championship squad as Tebow's backup, but was never able to bring UF to a bowl game of this significance or even to an SEC Championship. The two bowl victories that Brantley delivered were the 2010 Outback Bowl and 2011 Gator Bowl.

Brantley finished his UF career with 30 passing touchdowns, 4,750 passing yards, 18 interceptions, and a 61.7 completion percentage. These stats may not seem too bad compared to others on this list, but it is the performance of the team that I also take into account. Once Brantley took the reigns on offense, the Gators went from National Championship contenders to a middle of the pack SEC team playing in midlevel bowl games.

Brantley would go undrafted in the 2012 NFL draft and signed with the Baltimore Ravens shortly after. He was cut during preseason.

#4 Jeff Driskel (2011-Present)

Oh, Jeff. I'll be completely honest here: I have never been a fan of Jeff Driskel during my time here at the University of Florida. However, after seeing what has been another dreadful season so far in 2014, I have come to realize that Jeff is just a product of terrible coaching. He has had three different offensive coordinators throughout his Gator career so far.

Jeff was the #1 QB recruit coming out of high school and has been an absolute bust here at UF. Currently, he holds a career record of 12-6 as the Gator starting QB. His sophomore year he led the Gators to an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl berth, but many Gators fans are now convinced that season was a fluke.

In 2013, Jeff got hurt in just the third game of the season and the Gators went 4-8 without him at the helm. Regardless, Jeff's career at UF has been a forgettable one as he has tallied 20 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 3,199 passing yards, and a 59.5 completion percentage.

Currently, Jeff has been benched in favor of true freshman Treon Harris for UF's upcoming game against Georgia and will most likely pursue a baseball career with the Boston Red Sox after he graduates from UF.

#3 John Brantley III (1977-1978)

(Brantley is on the far right)

Like I said earlier in the article, here is Papa Brantley. He played two seasons as the Gator starting quarterback and went 10-11-1. He threw 13 touchdowns for a total of 1,515 yards, 14 interceptions, and had a 48.5 completion percentage. The Gators went 4-7 against their six main rivals (Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee, Auburn, Miami, and LSU) and did not make a bowl game with Brantley.

#2 David Bowden (1972-1973)
(No Picture Available)

Similar to Brantley, David Bowden started two seasons for the Gators at QB. He went 12-10-1 and lost the only bowl game he led the Gators to (the 1973 Tangerine Bowl). He finished his career with 19 touchdown passes, 20 interceptions, 2,192 passing yards, and a 49.7 completion percentage.

#1 Larry Ochab (1978-1980)

(Ochab is second from Brantley on the right)

Topping off my list is Larry Ochab. With him as the starting QB in the late seventies, the Gators reached an ultimate low point as they went winless in 1979. Overall, he would post a 4-17-1 record at UF while completing 50.6 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns, 1,466 yards, and 16 interceptions. He is the only QB on this list who never led the Florida Gators to a winning season. 

Dishonorable Mention: Cam Newton, Jacoby Brissett, Tyler Murphy (all transfered)

I hope you enjoyed this article recapping some of the lesser talented QB's to play at the University of Florida. Next week, I will be releasing my next installment of this series as I rank the top five running backs in Gator history! Stay tuned!

*All stats accredited to & College Football @

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