List of NCAA major college football yearly passing leaders

Last updated
"Slingin" Sammy Baugh Sammy Baugh NYWTS.gif
"Slingin" Sammy Baugh

The list of college football yearly passing and total offense leaders identifies the major college passing leaders for each season from 1937 to the present. It includes yearly leaders in three statistical categories: (1) passing yardage; (2) passing touchdowns; and (3) passer rating.

Contents

Overview

The NCAA record for passing yards in a single season has been broken nine times since 1937: by Davey O'Brien in 1938 with 1,457 yards; by Stan Heath in 1948 with 2,005 yards; by Don Trull in 1963 with 2,157 yards; by Jerry Rhome in 1964 with 2,870 yards; by Billy Anderson in 1965 with 3,464 yards; by Jim McMahon in 1980 with 4,571 yards; by Andre Ware in 1989 with 4,699 yards; by Ty Detmer in 1990 with 5,188 yards; and by B. J. Symons in 2003 with 5,833 yards.

Only seven players have led the NCAA in passing yardage in multiple seasons. They are Brandon Doughty in 2014 and 2015; Case Keenum in 2009 and 2011; Graham Harrell in 2007 and 2008; Colt Brennan in 2005 and 2006; Tim Rattay in 1998 and 1999; Ty Detmer in 1990 and 1991; and Robbie Bosco in 1984 and 1985.

Three programs in the post-1936 "modern era" have had different players lead major-college football in passing yardage in consecutive seasons. The first was Tulsa in 1964 and 1965, respectively with Jerry Rhome and Billy Anderson. BYU has accomplished the feat twice—first with Marc Wilson in 1979 and Jim McMahon in 1980, and then with Steve Young in 1983 and Bosco the following two seasons. The most recent, Texas Tech, is the only program to have had three different players lead in consecutive seasons, doing so from 2002–2004 with Kliff Kingsbury, B. J. Symons, and Sonny Cumbie.

Leading programs

Case Keenum Case Keenum.jpg
Case Keenum

Programs with multiple passing leaders (in any of the three categories) include:

Passing leaders

Key
= Winner of that year's Heisman Trophy
* = Winner of that year's Sammy Baugh Trophy as the nation's top college passer
# = Winner of that year's Davey O'Brien Award as the best NCAA quarterback
Bold = Figure established an NCAA major college record

YearNamePassing yardsNamePassing TDsNamePasser rating
1937 Billy Patterson [2]
(Baylor)
1109
1938 Davey O'Brien [3]
(TCU)
1457Davey O'Brien19 [4]
1939 Kay Eakin [5]
(Arkansas)
962
1940 Johnny Supulski [6]
(Manhattan)
1190 Paul Christman
(Missouri)
13
1941 Bud Schwenk [7]
(Wash. U.-MO)
1457
1942 Paul Governali [8]
(Columbia)
1442
1943 R. Hoernschemeyer [9]
(Indiana)
1133
1944 Paul Rickards [10]
(Pittsburgh)
997
1945 Al Dekdebrun [11]
(Cornell)
1227
1946 Bobby Layne [12]
(Texas)
1122 Bill Mackrides [12]
(Nevada)
17Bill Mackrides [13] 176.9
1947 [14] Fred Enke
(Arizona)
1406 Charlie Conerly
(Ole Miss)
18 Bobby Layne [13]
(Texas)
138.9
1948 [15] Stan Heath
(Nevada)
2005Stan Heath22Stan Heath157.2
1949 [16] Tom O'Malley
(Cincinnati)
1617Buddy Lex
(Wm. & Mary)
18 Bob Williams [13]
(Notre Dame)
159.1
1950 [17] Don Heinrich
(Washington)
1846 Babe Parilli
(Kentucky)
23 Claude Arnold [13]
(Oklahoma)
157.3
1951 [18] Don Klosterman
(Loyola-LA)
1843 Babe Parilli
(Kentucky)
19 Dick Kazmaier [13]
(Princeton)
155.3
1952 [19] Zeke Bratkowski
(Georgia)
1824Johnny Borton
(Ohio State)
15 Ron Morris [13]
(Tulsa)
177.4
1953 [20] Bobby Garrett
(Stanford)
1637Bobby Garrett17Bobby Garrett [13] 142.2
1954 [21] Paul Larson
(California)
1537 Len Dawson
(Purdue)
15Pete Vann [13]
(Army)
166.5
1955 George Welsh
(Navy) [22]
1319Tie8George Welsh [13] 146.1
1956 [23] John Brodie
(Stanford)
1633John Brodie12 Tom Flores [13]
(Pacific)
147.5
1957 [24] Lee Grosscup
(Utah)
1398Ken Ford
(Hardin-Simmons)
14Lee Grosscup [13] 175.5
1958 [25] Randy Duncan
(Iowa)
1397Randy Duncan12John Hangartner [13]
(Arizona St.)
150.1
1959 [26] Dick Norman *
(Stanford)
1963 Charley Johnson
(New Mexico St.)
18Charley Johnson [13] 135.7
1960 [27] Norm Snead
(Wake Forest)
1676 Charley Johnson
(New Mexico St.)
13 Eddie Wilson [13]
(Arizona)
140.8
1961 [28] Ron Miller
(Wisconsin)
1487 Chon Gallegos
(San Jose St.)
14Ron DiGravio [13]
(Purdue)
140.1
1962 [29] George Mira
(Miami-FL)
1893Tie15John Jacobs [13]
(Arizona St.)
153.9
1963 [30] Don Trull *
(Baylor)
2157Tie16 Bob Berry [13]
(Oregon)
164.0
1964 [31] Jerry Rhome *
(Tulsa)
2870Jerry Rhome32Jerry Rhome [13] 172.6
1965 [32] Billy Anderson
(Tulsa)
3464Bill Anderson30 Steve Sloan * [33]
(Alabama)
153.8
1966 [34] Mark Reed
(Arizona)
2368 Bo Burris
(Houston)
22 Dewey Warren [33]
(Tennessee)
142.2
1967 [35] Sal Olivas
(New Mexico St.)
2225 Steve Ramsey
(N. Texas)
21Bill Andrejko [33] [36]
(Villanova)
140.6
1968 [37] Greg Cook
(Cincinnati)
3272Greg Cook25 Brian Dowling [33]
(Yale)
165.8
1969 [38] Dennis Shaw
(San Diego St.)
3185Dennis Shaw39Dennis Shaw [33] 162.2
1970 [39] Jim Plunkett
(Stanford)
2980 Brian Sipe
(San Diego St.)
23 Jerry Tagge [33]
(Nebraska)
149.0
1971 [40] Gary Huff
(Florida St.)
2736Gary Huff23 Jerry Tagge
(Nebraska)
150.9
1972 [41] Don Strock *
(Va. Tech)
3243 Gary Huff
(Florida St.)
25 John Hufnagel [33]
(Penn St.)
148.0
1973 [42] Jesse Freitas *
(San Diego St.)
2993 Danny White
(Ariz. St.)
23Danny White [33] 157.4
1974 [43] Steve Bartkowski
(California)
2580Tie23 Steve Joachim [33]
(Temple)
150.1
1975 [44] Craig Penrose
(San Diego St.)
2660 Steve Myer
(New Mexico)
21Jim Kubacki [33]
(Harvard)
147.6
1976 [45] Gifford Nielsen
(BYU)
3401Gifford Nielsen30Steve Haynes [33]
(La. Tech)
146.9
1977 [46] Doug Williams
(Grambling)
3286Doug Williams38Dave Wilson [33]
(Ball St.)
164.2
1978 [47] Mike Ford
(SMU)
3007 Steve Dils *
(Stanford)
22 Paul McDonald [33]
(USC)
152.8
1979 [48] Marc Wilson *
(BYU)
3720Marc Wilson29 Turk Schonert [49]
(Stanford)
163.0
1980 [50] Jim McMahon
(BYU)
4571Jim McMahon47Jim McMahon [49] 176.9
1981 [51] Sam King
(UNLV)
3778 Dan Marino
(Pittsburgh)
37 Jim McMahon *# [49]
(BYU)
155.0
1982 [52] Todd Dillon
(Long Beach St.)
3517 John Elway *
(Stanford)
Jeff Tedford
(Fresno St.)
24 Tom Ramsey [49]
(UCLA)
153.5
1983 [53] Steve Young *#
(BYU)
3902Steve Young33Steve Young [49] 168.5
1984 [54] Robbie Bosco *
(BYU)
3875Robbie Bosco33 Doug Flutie [49]
(Boston College)
152.9
1985 [55] Robbie Bosco
(BYU)
4273Robbie Bosco30 Jim Harbaugh [49]
(Michigan)
163.7
1986 [56] Mike Perez
(San Jose St.)
3225 Vinny Testaverde *#
(Miami-FL)
26Vinny Testaverde [49] 165.8
1987 [57] Todd Santos
(San Diego St.)
3932Todd Santos26 Don McPherson *# [49]
(Syracuse)
164.3
1988 [58] Scott Mitchell
(Utah)
4322Scott Mitchell
Steve Walsh *
(Miami-FL)
29 Timm Rosenbach
(Washington St.)
162.0
1989 [59] Andre Ware #
(Houston)
4699Andre Ware46 Ty Detmer [49]
(BYU)
175.6
1990 [60] Ty Detmer #
(BYU)
5188 David Klingler *
(Houston)
54 Shawn Moore [49]
(Virginia)
160.7
1991 [61] Ty Detmer *#
(BYU)
4031 Troy Kopp
(Pacific)
37 Elvis Grbac [49]
(Michigan)
169.0
1992 [62] Jimmy Klingler
(Houston)
3818Jimmy Klingler32 Elvis Grbac * [49]
(Michigan)
154.2
1993 [63] Chris Vargas
(Nevada)
4265Chris Vargas34 Trent Dilfer * [49]
(Fresno St.)
173.1
1994 [64] John Walsh
(BYU)
3712John Walsh
Mike Maxwell
29 Kerry Collins *# [49]
(Penn St.)
172.9
1995 [65] Mike Maxwell
(Nevada)
3611 Danny Wuerffel *#
(Florida)
35Danny Wuerffel [49]
(Florida)
178.4
1996 [66] Josh Wallwork
(Wyoming)
4090 Danny Wuerffel #
(Florida)
39 Steve Sarkisian * [49]
(BYU)
173.6
1997 [67] Ryan Leaf *
(Wash. St.)
3868 Chad Pennington
(Marshall)
42 Cade McNown [49]
(UCLA)
168.6
1998 [68] Tim Rattay
(La. Tech)
4943Tim Rattay46 Shaun King
Tulane
183.3
1999 [69] Tim Rattay
(La. Tech)
3922 Chad Pennington *
(Marshall)
37 Michael Vick [49]
(Virginia Tech)
180.4
2000 [70] Chris Weinke *#
(Florida St.)
4167Chris Weinke35 Bart Hendricks [49]
(Boise St.)
170.6
2001 [71] David Carr *
(Fresno St.)
4839David Carr46 Rex Grossman [49]
(Florida)
170.8
2002 [72] Kliff Kingsbury *
(Texas Tech)
5017Kliff Kingsbury45 Brad Banks [49]
(Iowa)
157.1
2003 [73] B. J. Symons *
(Texas Tech)
5833B. J. Symons52 Philip Rivers [49]
(NC State)
170.5
2004 [74] Sonny Cumbie
(Texas Tech)
4742 Omar Jacobs
(Bowling Green)
41 Stefan LeFors * [49]
(Louisville)
181.7
2005 [75] Colt Brennan
(Hawaii)
4301Colt Brennan35 Rudy Carpenter [49]
(Arizona St.)
175.0
2006 [76] Colt Brennan *
(Hawaii)
5549Colt Brennan58Colt Brennan [49] 186.0
2007 [77] Graham Harrell *
(Texas Tech)
5705Graham Harrell48 Sam Bradford [49]
(Oklahoma)
176.5
2008 [78] Graham Harrell
(Texas Tech)
5111 Sam Bradford *#
(Oklahoma)
50Sam Bradford [49] 180.8
2009 [79] Case Keenum *
(Houston)
5671Case Keenum44 Tim Tebow [49]
(Florida)
164.2
2010 [80] Bryant Moniz
(Hawaii)
5040Bryant Moniz49 Kellen Moore [49]
(Boise St.)
182.6
2011 [81] Case Keenum *
(Houston)
5631Case Keenum48 Russell Wilson [49]
(Wisconsin)
191.8
2012 [82] Nick Florence
(Baylor)
4309 Geno Smith
(West Virginia)
42 A. J. McCarron [49]
(Alabama)
175.3
2013 [83] Derek Carr *
(Fresno St.)
5083Derek Carr50 Jameis Winston # [49]
(Florida St.)
184.8
2014 [84] Brandon Doughty *
(Western Kentucky)
4830Brandon Doughty
(Western Kentucky)
49 Marcus Mariota # [49]
Oregon
181.7
2015 [85] Brandon Doughty
(Western Kentucky)
5055Brandon Doughty
(Western Kentucky)
48 Seth Russell [49]
Baylor
189.7
2016 [86] Patrick Mahomes *
(Texas Tech)
5052 Logan Woodside
(Toledo)
45 Baker Mayfield
(Oklahoma)
196.4
2017 [87] Mason Rudolph *
(Oklahoma State)
4904 Drew Lock
(Missouri)
44 Baker Mayfield #
(Oklahoma)
198.9
2018 Dwayne Haskins
(Ohio State)
4831Dwayne Haskins
(Ohio State)
50 Tua Tagovailoa
(Alabama)
199.5
2019 Joe Burrow †#
(LSU)
5671Joe Burrow†#
(LSU)
60Joe Burrow
(LSU)
204.7
2020 Mac Jones#
(Alabama)
4500 Kyle Trask
(Florida)
43 Mac Jones #203.1

Pre-1937 unofficial data

Before 1937 the NCAA did not compile official statistics. This chart reflects unofficial passing statistics compiled by historians mostly from newspapers accounts.

YearNamePassing yardsNamePassing TDsNamePasser rating
1936 Sammy Baugh [88]
(TCU)
1261
1935 Sammy Baugh [88] [89]
(TCU)
1241Sammy Baugh18
1934
1933 Doug Nott [88]
(Detroit)
1092
1932
1931
1930 Ray Forsberg [90]
(Utah)
11
1929
1928 Lloyd Brazil [88]
(Detroit)
997
1927 Bill Spears [91] [92] [93]
(Vanderbilt)
1207Bill Spears9
1926 Benny Friedman
(Michigan)
562Benny Friedman9
1925 Benny Friedman
(Michigan)
760 Swede Oberlander [94] [95]
(Dartmouth)
14
1924
1923
1922
1921 John Mohardt [88] [96]
(Notre Dame)
995John Mohardt9
1920 George Gipp [88] [96]
(Notre Dame)
709
1919 George Gipp [88] [92]
(Notre Dame)
727 Ira Rodgers
(West Virginia)
11
1918
1917
1916 Pudge Wyman
(Minnesota)
1915 Pudge Wyman
(Minnesota)
1914
1913 Gus Dorais [97]
(Notre Dame)
510+
1912
1911
1910
1909
1908
1907
1906

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References

  1. All eight BYU passing leaders were during LaVell Edwards' tenure as head coach. Edwards' quarterbacks led the NCAA in one or more passing categories for a record 12 seasons: Sarkisian in 1996; Walsh in 1994; Detmer in 1989, 1990 and 1991; Bosco in 1984 and 1985; Young in 1983; McMahon in 1980 and 1981; Wilson in 1979, and Nielsen in 1976
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