QB Greatness Rankings, Week 7: Iowa State’s Kyle Kempt already a folk hero

Kyle Kempt-Iowa State-Iowa State football-rankings

On the eve of its biggest game of the season, Iowa State was sunk. Starting quarterback Jacob Park had stepped away from the team for personal reasons as the Cyclones finished preparations for No. 3 Oklahoma. Coach Matt Campbell decided to promote fifth-year journeyman Kyle Kempt, who had thrown just two career passes before kickoff Saturday morning.

Four quarters later, Kempt was a Cyclones legend.

He completed 18 of 24 passes for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the winning score. The performance was the greatest of the NCAA season according to our quarterback greatness metric, QBG.

The former Oregon State and Hutchinson (Kan.) CC quarterback shot from unranked to No. 3 in our season rankings, just behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.

A few other quarterbacks had memorable weekends, too. Buffalo’s Drew Anderson and Western Michigan’s Jon Wassink helped their teams combine for 139 points in a single game, the most in FBS history. Arizona’s Khalil Tate came off the bench to set an FBS quarterback record with 327 rushing yards in a win against Colorado. And North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley stormed the Top 10 list with a 367-yard night against No. 17 Louisville.

To give you an idea of how QBG works, here are the core factors:

  • Passing yardage
  • Rushing yardage/sack yardage
  • Total points (touchdowns + team conversions)
  • Interceptions
  • Efficiency (output vs. above-average number of attempts)
  • Win/loss
  • Strength of opponent
  • Era (output pitted against contemporary stats)

Note: This is not a ranking of the “best” quarterbacks with the tightest spirals or the quickest decision-making abilities or the fastest 40 times. It’s about “greatness,” that all-important factor that — until now — was unquantifiable.

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Here’s how the QB rankings shake out entering Week 7 (key below):

⬆️⬆️⬆️ Major mover
⬆️ Notable mover
🔥 Consecutive great games
❄️ Consecutive disappointing games
⛔️ Negative score in most recent game

1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield-Oklahoma-rankings-QBG
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

What once looked like a surefire Heisman campaign is now losing ground. Baker Mayfield’s numbers are excellent — look at the TD/INT ratio! — but his Sooners have been much less convincing the last few weeks. Mayfield’s ability to finally break through in New York likely hinges on whether Oklahoma can win the Big 12 title it’s still favored to claim. Up next: The Red River Shootout vs. a Texas team that just beat Iowa State and Kansas State in consecutive weeks.

2. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Mason Rudolph-Oklahoma State-rankings-QBG
John Weast/Getty Images

A week off did not affect Mason Rudolph’s standing; he was good enough through the first five games to fend off any challengers. But one of those up-and-comers — Baylor’s Zach Smith — has an opportunity to prove himself head-to-head on Saturday. Smith arguably outplayed Baker Mayfield a few weeks ago, and has helped the Bears show some life during a lost season.

3. Kyle Kempt, Iowa State ⬆️⬆️⬆️

Kyle Kempt-Iowa State-QBG-rankings
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Kyle Kempt was interested in playing for Butch Jones at Cincinnati, but when Jones ditched Cincy for Tennessee in late 2012, Kempt signed with Oregon State. He never saw the field and transferred to Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College before working his way onto the Iowa State roster when coach Matt Campbell arrived from Toledo.

His winding road put him in position to start against No. 3 Oklahoma, and he came through with one of the greatest performances in Iowa State history. Kempt’s winning touchdown pass with a little more than 2 minutes remaining was the crowning moment of his triumphant — albeit very delayed — debut.

The victory snapped Iowa State’s 18-game losing streak to Oklahoma, as well as a 27-year drought in Norman.

4. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State ⬆️

JT Barrett-Ohio State-rankings-QBG
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

J.T. Barrett is on pace for another excellent Big Ten season. It’s not often the conference produces passers that crack the 100 mark in QBG, but Barrett did so — barely — in 2014 and 2016. This season, he will likely surpass both of those efforts if he leads the Buckeyes to the conference championship and produces a strong College Football Playoff performance (two things he has yet to accomplish).

5. Kelly Bryant, Clemson

Kelly Bryant-Clemson-rankings-QBG
Mike Comer/Getty Images

Kellly Bryant is a long shot for national awards until he can get his passing numbers up. The first-year starter has tossed just 4 scores in six games (against 4 interceptions), and his rushing stats have not been good enough to drag him into the elite echelon of Heisman contenders. An iffy performance vs. Wake Forest was cut short by a leg injury, but Bryant appears to be healthy going into Syracuse on Friday.

6. Ryan Finley, N.C. State ⬆️

Ryan Finley-NC State-rankings-QBG
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Welcome back, kid. After a few weeks removed from the Top 10, Ryan Finley stormed back in with a 367-yard night vs. No. 17 Louisville. He only reached the end zone once, but his efficiency through the air helped the Wolfpack pick up a big win against the Cardinals. N.C. State has won five straight since dropping its opener vs. South Carolina.

7. Jalen Hurts, Alabama

Jalen Hurts-Alabama-rankings-QBG
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama continues to roll through its opponents, and it’s still anyone’s guess which players will get the bulk of the carries during a particular game. Jalen Hurts didn’t do much at Vanderbilt a few weeks ago, then destroyed Ole Miss before settling somewhere in the middle at Texas A&M. This Saturday, Arkansas comes to Tuscaloosa, which is a good sign for Hurts’ stat line; he posted 4 combined touchdowns against the Hogs last season.

8. Riley Ferguson, Memphis ⬆️

Riley Ferguson-Memphis-rankings-QBG
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Another Top-10 returnee, Riley Ferguson had to work a little harder than Finley to re-ascend into this group. The Tigers quarterback tossed 7 touchdown passes without throwing an interception at UConn. Only 10 days removed from a 3-interception performance at Central Florida, Ferguson needs to show more consistency if he wants to stick around these parts.

9. Luke Falk, Washington State 🔥

Luke Falk-Washington State-rankings-QBG
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Make it four consecutive great games for Luke Falk, who has been tearing up defenses since returning from a concussion in mid-September. The senior is a great fit for Mike Leach’s Air Raid system, and the big numbers should keep coming over the next few weeks against Cal, Colorado and Arizona. After that, a crucial three-game stretch — vs. Stanford, at Utah, at Washington — will determine Wazzu’s title chances and Falk’s Heisman viability.

10. Josh Rosen, UCLA

Josh Rosen-UCLA-rankings-QBG
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Get your popcorn ready. UCLA and its opponents have combined to go for at least 79 points in four of the Bruins’ first five games. Josh Rosen has been slinging the ball all over the field trying to make up for his team’s porous defense, a combination that’s produced varying results for Jim Mora. Look for more madness against Khalil Tate and Arizona this Saturday.

11. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (27.03) ❄️
12. Lamar Jackson, Louisville (25.08)
13. Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech (24.31)
14. Kenny Hill, TCU (22.40) 🔥
15. Jon Wassink, Western Michigan (21.82) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
16. Sam Darnold, USC (21.32)
17. Drew Anderson, Buffalo (19.94) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
18. Brian Lewerke, Michigan State (19.71) ⬆️
19. Nick Stevens, Colorado State (19.37) 🔥
20. Will Grier, West Virginia (18.99) ⬆️
21. McKenzie Milton, UCF (18.82) ⬆️
22. Khalil Tate, Arizona (18.69) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
23. Logan Woodside, Toledo (18.10)
24. Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech (17.09)
25. Zach Smith, Baylor (17.06)

26. Quinton Flowers, USF (16.32)
27. Malik Rosier, Miami, FL (15.67)
28. Nathan Stanley, Iowa (15.22)
29. Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt (14.84)
30. Mason Fine, North Texas (14.54)
31. Kurt Benkert, Virginia (14.33)
32. Shane Morris, Central Michigan (13.92)
33. Manny Wilkins, Arizona State (13.69)
34. Jake Browning, Washington (13.17) ⬆️
35. Trace McSorley, Penn State (13.00)
36. Caleb Evans, UL-Monroe (12.82) ⬆️
37. Eric Dungey, Syracuse (11.38)
38. Arion Worthman, Air Force (11.36) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
39. Shea Patterson, Ole Miss (11.26)
40. Justin Herbert, Oregon (11.18)
41. Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame (11.16)
42. Andrew Ford, UMass (10.47)
43. Zach Abey, Navy (10.44)
44. John Wolford, Wake Forest (10.34)
45. Jake Fromm, Georgia (10.27)
46. Jacob Park, Iowa State (10.12)
47. Ben Hicks, SMU (9.90)
48. Chazz Surratt, North Carolina (9.88) ❄️
49. TaQuon Marshall, Georgia Tech (9.79)
50. Gus Ragland, Miami, OH (9.35)

51. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (9.05)
52. Daniel Jones, Duke (8.92) ❄️
53. Drew Lock, Missouri (8.63) ⬆️
54. Dru Brown, Hawaii (8.59)
55. Tanner Lee, Nebraska (8.47)
56. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M (8.34)
57. Thomas Sirk, ECU (8.01)
58. Chase Litton, Marshall (7.79)
59. Tyler Rogers, New Mexico State (7.10)
60. Brandon Dawkins, Arizona (7.01)
61. Hayden Moore, Cincinnati (6.84)
62. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern (6.44)
63. Keon Howard, Southern Miss (6.22) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
64. Tyrrell Pigrome, Maryland (6.01)
65. Bryant Shirreffs, UConn (5.998)
66. Jake Bentley, South Carolina (5.996)
67. Nathan Rourke, Ohio (5.75)
68. Chad President, Tulsa (5.68) ⛔️
69. Ross Bowers, California (5.60)
70. Stephen Johnson, Kentucky (5.46)
71. Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin (5.14) ❄️
72. Hasaan Klugh, Charlotte (4.97)
73. Keller Chryst, Stanford (4.87)
74. Max Browne, Pittsburgh (4.70)
75. Danny Etling, LSU (4.62)
76. Kendall Hinton, Wake Forest (4.59) ⬆️⬆️⬆️
77. Ty Gangi, Nevada (4.4429) ⬆️
78. K.J. Costello, Stanford (4.4426)
79. Steven Montez, Colorado (4.30)
80. Christian Chapman, San Diego State (4.28)
81. David Blough, Purdue (4.27) ❄️
82. Sam Ehlinger, Texas (4.19) ⬆️
83. A.J. Erdely, UAB (4.018)
84. Max Bortenschlager, Maryland (4.017) ⛔️
85. Montell Cozart, Boise State (3.99)
86. J’mar Smith, Louisiana Tech (3.87)
87. Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State (3.82)
88. Peyton Ramsey, Indiana (3.68)
89. Armani Rogers, UNLV (3.51)
90. Austin Allen, Arkansas (3.49)
91. Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (3.45)
92. Dalton Sturm, UTSA (3.40)
93. Brandon Silvers, Troy (3.35)
94. Jesse Ertz, Kansas State (3.27)
95. Kwadra Griggs, Southern Miss (3.20)
96. Tyler Huntley, Utah (3.11)
97. Kent Myers, Utah State (2.97)
98. Elijah Sindelar, Purdue (2.86) ⬆️
99. Jason Driskel, Florida Atlantic (2.71) ⬆️
100. Feleipe Franks, Florida (2.67) ❄️

101. Mike White, Western Kentucky
102. Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan
103. Thomas Woodson, Akron
104. Damian Williams, Texas State
105. Kyle Allen, Houston
106. Alex McGough, Florida International
107. Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
108. Jonathan Banks, Tulane ⬆️
109. Josh Allen, Wyoming
110. Kyle Postma, Houston ⬆️
111. Conor Rhoda, Minnesota ❄️
112. Ahmad Bradshaw, Army
113. Richard Lagow, Indiana
114. Matt Linehan, Idaho
115. Anthony Brown, Boston College
116. Logan Marchi, Temple
117. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
118. Peyton Bender, Kansas ❄️
119. John Urzua, Middle Tennessee ⬆️
120. Tyler Hilinski, Washington State
121. Quinten Dormady, Tennessee
122. Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State
123. Daniel Parr, Florida Atlantic
124. James Blackman, Florida State
125. Wilton Speight, Michigan ❄️
126. Riley Neal, Ball State
127. James Morgan, Bowling Green ⬆️
128. Jake Luton, Oregon State
129. Jordan Davis, Louisiana ❄️
130. Chason Virgil, Fresno State
131. Tyler Keane, Coastal Carolina ⬆️
132. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
133. Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
134. Shane Buechele, Texas
135. Jackson Tyner, Rice ⬆️
136. Daniel Santacaterina, Northern Illinois ⛔️
137. Josh Love, San Jose State ❄️
138. Gardner Minshew, ECU
139. Zack Greenlee, UTEP
140. Andre Nunez, Louisiana ⬆️
141. Kyle Bolin, Rutgers ❄️
142. Ben DiNucci, Pittsburgh ❄️
143. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
144. Conner Manning, Georgia State ⬆️
145. Kasim Hill, Maryland
146. Troy Williams, Utah
147. Cole Garvin, South Alabama ❄️
148. Lamar Jordan, New Mexico
149. Montel Aaron, San Jose State ❄️
150. Marcus Childers, Northern Illinois ⬆️

Top 25 single-game performances

QB Game PAtt-Yds-TD-INT RAtt-Yds-TD QBG
1 Kyle Kempt, ISU @ #3 Okla. 24 — 343 — 3 — 0 3 — 0 — 0 36.67
2 Baker Mayfield, OU @ #2 Ohio St. 35 — 386 — 3 — 0 7 — -5 — 0 35.95
3 Nick Fitzgerald, MSU vs. #12 LSU 23 — 180 — 2 — 0 14 — 88 — 2 21.24
4 Riley Ferguson, MEM vs. #25 UCLA 38 — 398 — 6 — 1 4 — -4 — 0 20.86
5 Drew Anderson, BUF vs. W. Mich. 61 — 597 — 7 — 0 3 — 13 — 1 19.14
6 Khalil Tate, ARI @ Colorado 13 — 154 — 1 — 0 14 — 327 — 4 18.63
7 Sam Darnold, USC vs. #14 Stan. 26 — 316 — 4 — 2 2 — 4 — 0 17.13
8 Zach Smith, BAYL vs. #3 Okla. 50 — 463 — 4 — 0 7 — -23 — 0 16.03
9 Kelly Bryant, CLEM @ #14 L’ville 32 — 316 — 1 — 0 18 — 26 — 2 15.91
10 Jon Wassink, WMU @ Buffalo 29 — 256 — 5 — 1 8 — 26 — 0* 14.48
11 Nic Shimonek, TT vs. ASU 50 — 543 — 6 — 0 4 — -24 — 0 13.99
12 Josh Rosen, UCLA vs. Hawaii 25 — 329 — 5 — 0 2 — -17 — 0 13.93
13 Lamar Jackson, LOU @ UNC 39 — 393 — 3 — 0 19 — 132 — 3 13.25
14 Luke Falk, WSU vs. #5 USC 51 — 340 — 2 — 1 8 — -9 — 0 13.25
15 Logan Woodside, UT vs. Tulsa 33 — 458 — 6 — 1 2 — -1 — 0 13.23
16 Mason Rudolph, OSU @ Tex. Tech 38 — 376 — 3 — 1 11 — 50 — 2 12.98
17 Kenny Hill, TCU vs. SMU 30 — 365 — 4 — 0 5 — 3 — 0 12.69
18 Shane Morris, CMU @ Kansas 37 — 467 — 5 — 0 8 — 32 — 0 12.40
19 Josh Jackson, VT vs. #22 WVU 26 — 235 — 1 — 0 11 — 101 — 1 12.02
20 Mason Rudolph, OSU @ Pitt 32 — 497 — 5 — 1 1 — 0 — 0 11.79
21 Ryan Finley, NCST vs. #17 LOU 31 — 367 — 1 — 0 7 — 19 — 0 10.96
22 Q. Flowers, USF vs. Illinois 27 — 280 — 4 — 1 25 — 106 — 1 10.86
23 Manny Wilkins, ASU vs. #24 ORE 39 — 347 — 1 — 0 14 — 35 — 2 10.76
24 Brian Lewerke, MSU @ #7 Mich. 22 — 94 — 1 — 0 15 — 61 — 1 10.61
25 Ryan Finley, NCST @ #12 FSU 32 — 230 — 2 — 0 0 — 0 — 0 10.36

*Wassink also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass vs. Buffalo.

The post QB Greatness Rankings, Week 7: Iowa State’s Kyle Kempt already a folk hero appeared first on Diehards.

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