So last Friday brought your attention to a Jon Wilner post on the best Pac-10 coaches of last two years (a list from which Wilner excluded Donahue for all the right seasons). Wanted to bring your attention to another of his list-oriented posts. This time he tried his best to come up the 10 best Pac-10 QBs from last couple of decades. Here is the only Bruin who made the list:
2. Troy Aikman, UCLA: The best combination of arm strength and aptitude since John Elway, but he never won the league, which wasn't so much his fault as Terry Donahue's. (In 1987, the Bruins had Aikman, Gaston Green, Carnell Lake, Ken Norton, Jr. and Darryl Henley, and Donahue still couldn't beat USC.)Couple of quick notes right off the hand.
The QB who was number 1 in Wilner's list was Jake Plummer from Arizona State, who lead the Devils to a Pac-10 championship in 1996, losing a heart breaker to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. ASU finished the season with an 11-1 record, and it was the only double digit winning season Plummer posted at ASU. For some reason the Plummer listing is not showing up on Wilner's post (perhaps it was accidentally deleted). But IIRC (while browsing the post quickly more than a week ago) the main reason for putting Jake on top of that list was because how he was basically the heart and soul of that Devils team, willing them to win after win (which included a heartbreaking loss for us at the Rose Bowl in 1996 - I remember following that game via ESPN ticker in Boston and seeing how Toledo and co. choked away a 4 TD lead).
Also, I think it is worth noting Aikman (I cannot bring myself to write his first name) was the only Bruin QB (from last twenty years) who also made this list of photo gallery from CNNSI, which has pictures of 'UCLA's top-10 athletes' of all the time.
So who is missing from both of those lists?
The guy who holds the all time UCLA record for passing (via the official media guide):
The guy who holds the all time UCLA record for total offense (also from the official media guide):
And the guy IIRC is the only quarterback with a 4-0 record in this game (1997):
Yeah, I's say he was the posterchild of a college quarterback who is the ultimate heart and soul of his team. If you are thirsty for more video evidence of what number 18 did in that specific game here are the links from the games in 1995, 1996, and 1998.
Also please note unlike Jake Plummer, Number 18 posted two double digit winning seasons, and also a victory in a New Year's Day Bowl game.
Nothing against Aikman and the other good QBs in that list and particularly Aikman, but I think it is pretty clear to this Nation (here is our poll from last May), which quarterback is the best UCLA quarterback from last twenty years.