Kellen Moore tops ESPN's list for best non-AQ player in the country

By Brian Murphy

UPDATE, July 3: It's Kellen Moore.'s Graham Watson posted her No. 1 player from a non-automatic qualifying BCS conference and, to little surprise, it's Boise State's junior quarterback.

Watson writes: "You can’t say enough positive things about Moore and his play during his two seasons as starter for the Broncos."

UPDATE, July 2: Watson has unveiled No. 2 and it's ... Keenum. That's means Kellen should be No. 1, although I'm not sure how Michael Floyd gets left off the list completely. No. 1 will be published on Monday.

ORIGINAL POST, July 1:'s Graham Watson has compiled a list of the 25 best players from the non-AQ conferences. She has yet to release her top two, but it's safe to say Houston QB Case Keenum and Boise State QB Kellen Moore will take the two spots.

But in what order?

Boise State wide receivers Austin Pettis (No. 12) and Titus Young (No. 13) are on the list, as are Nevada running back Vai Taua (No. 5) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (No. 7). Hawaii wide receiver Greg Salas (No. 21) and Utah State running back Robert Turbin (No. 23) are also on the list.

TCU also has two players on the list, quarterback Andy Dalton (No. 8) and linebacker Tank Carder (No. 22). BYU offensive lineman Matt Reynolds is No. 3. He is the only offensive lineman on the list, which includes seven defensive players.

Note: There are more than 25 players on the list because of Watson's creative use of ties.

Back to the question at hand: Keenum or Moore?

Keenum: He finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting last season (37 points, 2 first-place votes) after throwing for 5,671 yards and 44 touchdowns. He threw 15 interceptions in his 700(!) attempts. He had a terrible bowl game against East Carolina, throwing six interceptions. Keenum is a senior.

Moore: He finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting last season (100 points, 10 first-place votes) after throwing for 3,536 yards and 39 touchdowns. He threw just three interceptions in his 431 attempts. He led the Broncos past TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, though he was on the bench for the biggest pass attempt of the game. Moore is a junior.

For what it's worth, Phil Steele projects Keenum as a second-team All-America in 2010. He does not list Moore on his four All-America teams. He also puts Keenum at No. 3 in his Heisman favorites. Moore is No. 6.

I think Watson will go with Keenum as her No. 1 player. But at the end of the year, Moore could change that ranking.

• Our friends over at OBNUG compiled their own list of the 25 best non-AQ players in the country. As expected, it was BSU heavy.

• I posted some questions about the list below, but wanted to put them in the main post for discussion:

1.) Are Pettis, Young and Moore (assuming he's in the top 2), really Boise State's three best players?

2.) Should Taua and Kaepernick be ahead of Pettis and Young?

3.) Are there other WAC players that should be on the list?

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

ESPN love/hate

I don't get ESPN. They love BSU when it comes to television; we pull in viewers, play a great brand of football, and, win, win, win. But save an occasional nod from Lou Holtz, every ESPN talking head especially that horse's patoot Mark May, disses us like there is no tomorrow. I'll bet this Watson guy will do the same, and I would not be surprised if Kellen didn't make the list at all! Keenum better than Kellen...Hah... gag me with a football...


I get your love/hate relationship with ESPN. But Watson is a woman and I guarantee that Kellen is among the top 2. You can't put Pettis and Young on a list that doesn't include Moore.

-- murph

Lets be honest

I have read all of Watson's stuff the last few years and she detests the Broncos. She picked against them any time she could last year and was disappointed thoroughly when we played Nevada and TCU. She knows so very little about a Bronco team ranked again in the Top 20 its embarrassing. Its hard to know if she's just swamped covering all the Non AQ's or if she lets her blatant bias get in the way. Ivan Maisel and Joe Schad of ESPN understand College Football and have nothing but respect for what the Bronco program has done.


Well stated, and spot on IMO...

Ok, Let's be honest

Bronco fans are upset that Graham Watson's list of the 25 best players from the non-AQ conferences didn't include at least 20 Broncos!


it should!

Graham Watson

I actually follow Watson and several other espn commentators simply as a football fan and I can tell you, she does not hate the Broncos. Yes, she has predicted that the Broncos would be upset a few times, because it makes for better reading. Nobody would read her column if it just said "Nevada is doing well this year, but who cares, because the Broncos will go undefeated again."

And if you didn't notice, 1/5 of her top 15 non-AQ players are Broncos. Out of 60 or so teams. That doesn't sound like animosity to me.

so now that we know

that Kellen Moore is Graham Watson's pick for #1 non-AQ player, are we still going to wallow in our belief that she detests the Broncos? If Monday comes and she left him off the list entirely, I'll be the first to concede to your point. But Kellen Moore is practically a household name these days and she'd be a bad journalist regardless of bias not to mention his name.

MichaelLandon, yeah thats gotta be it...

...she's swamped covering all the non AQ's. Like any of them that haven't already joined the conference of champions even matter...BYU, nah, Fresno, not quite, TCU, no and!!!!

What is really amusing, is that all you mules were panicking that moore wasn't on the list of top non AQ players...because you know he couldn't play in a BCS conference...

...So funny to watch the ignorance of donkey nation, calling watson a "he". You turds really are ignant arnt ya?/

the foosball jist aint guud enuf their in boisee

Hey Trolly McTrollerson,

First of all...forgive me... if I use complete thoughts... in my response...Second, come over to OBNUG with your airtight, inarguable comments regarding the "donkeys" and their fans and enlighten us with your preaching. I, for one, have been put in my place by your comment. I used to consider myself a fan of respectable knowledge, but you have now relegated me into fan oblivion. I now see how ignorant I am and that the Broncos, which I will hence forth call donkeys, are not worthy to set foot on the same field with teams such as the UofO Ducks. I will denounce my Bronco faith and follow whomever you serve, sir.

I have a sneaky suspicion that your are, in fact, not a duck fan at all. You come across as a Vandal (notice how I don't even need to use Vandull or the like, because Vandal in and of itself is insulting enough) fan that probably lives here in Boise and enjoys all that the city has to offer. Well, all except the Broncos of course. Yes, you like so many other high school graduates were lured off to U of I for the binge drinking and girls at WSU down the road. You managed to survive fraternity life and then graduated (maybe) and found yourself back in Boise wishing you had gone anywhere but U of I. Vandals in the Treasure Valley have an inferiority complex that causes them to occasionally come out of their holes and troll various message boards and break rooms. You, however, seem to be masquerading as a Duck to somehow give your trolling more credit. Strange choice of disguise considering...all I have to say is scoreboard.

However, I could be way off, and you really are just a frustrated Duck fan who's messiah has been kicked off the team for being a petty thug. I would lash out too, if Kellen Moore was as worthless of a person, and as big of an embarrassment off the field as Massoli is. Really, I've gone way too deep into this and given you far more attention than you deserve (your post wasn't even good, I was being sarcastic earlier). The invitation to troll at OBNUG still stands. Everyone will get a kick out of your trolling over there, so please, grace us with your presence.

don't expect the bumduck anytime soon

he is a weak individual with no interest in actual debate. he is given to outbursts the like of which we have seen on here far too many times. never a well thought out post, he prefers rants. given the hour and nature of them, i suspect most are alcohol fueled. unfortunately for him, they reveal his lack of education and knowledge and his complete lack of objectivity.

Alcohol?...I suspect Viagra...

as much as he Jacks himself _____ (fill in blank).....

She's a She

Watson's not a dude. She's a she. Her job is to cover non-BCS schools. And she has a pretty good history of being a Bronco supporter.

And she also has a really

And she also has a really good history of being wrong.


You CANNOT be serious. Go out to to see what Bronco fans think of Watson and her "pretty good history of being a Bronco supporter". You obviously have never heard her on the radio in the SLC market nor read many of her imbecilic writings. She is in no way a Bronco supporter.

Ahh, BroncoCountry

There's no bigger blue and orange circle jerk on the planet for BSU fans to hang out together.

From what little I've seen, people who post on that site genuinely believe BSU deserves to be mentioned with programs like USC, Alabama, Texas, etc. The last time I made the mistake of visiting that site there was a thread with near 100% agreement that, with USC down due to the recent sanctions, BSU was clearly the premier college football program in the western United States.

I certainly hope the people on broncocountry are not a fair representation of BSU fans, because if it is, wow.

Kinda Like How.....

Duck fans act on this site???

I only speak for myself

not all Duck fans.

I have no illusions about Oregon's football program that anybody here would likely quibble with. It's a solid top 15-20 program with good facilities, but it isn't elite and I don't think it ever will be. It may move up some, or it may slip back down to where it's been through most of its history. In the long run it will always be playing catch-up to USC and UCLA.

Thank You

for an honest, accurate profile of Duck football.
BTW, lot of accuracy in your original post. For conversation, what Western team IS the number 1 program at THIS time?


and it isn't even close, despite the cheating. Tradition, overall wins, championships, signature wins, recruiting, national following, etc. - they've been very good in all respects other than things like facilities (their stadium is a dump in a ghetto).

Take them out of the conversation and it gets muddled. UW and UCLA historically would be the next two teams in the mix, but they've been very bad lately. Oregon has been mostly very good since the mid 90s and as good of facilities as anybody, but they've had some ups and downs and are only 1-1 in BCS games (and they were mostly garbage before '94). California is even more hot and cold than Oregon and they won most of their conference championships when football looked like rugby. Oregon State has been consistent but never great. BYU has historically been very solid but hasn't done much of note in the BCS era. Utah has been very good recently but, opposite of BYU, they've historically been much more medicore. BSU has been very good for several years and has two BCS wins, but they haven't ever had to run the gauntlet of a tough conference schedule (despite what some BSU fans thing, that is a big deal).

In terms of BSU versus Oregon, which is probably where you're going with this, I'd give the nod to Oregon despite the 0-2 record versus BSU (yes, BSU was the better team on both of those days - I've never denied that).

I Wasn't Headed Anywhere with It

I was curious of your opinion as I was sure you'd be more knowledgeable of PAC10 FB than I. I agree USC has been the premier program, while others, as you say, run hot and cold. I do belive if we're only looking at the last 10 years, BSU deserves consideration. BSU fans (and I am a fan) need to realize last years team and possibly this years are the best we've ever had. The Fiesta Team was good, but the D not on a level of last year. Before that. we were not as good as some fans think. Losses to Wa, Hawaii, ECU, Louisville tend to become quickly forgotten...

BSU is in the conversation

But I don't think they prevail in the discussion.

They DO Prevail.

They are legends in their own Donk Minds, tiny as they may be.

I agree. USC is the best in the west

I'll have to disagree with you about Oregon having a better football program than BSU, for starters, the Oregon football program for whatever reason, started to crumble under Bellotti and the promotion of Chip Kelly seemed to accelerate the downfall. Then, there's the head to head competition between the Bronco and the Ducks, and if it were not for that, then I'm sure that we could debate which has the better program, but seeing how there isn't anything better than head to head competion to find out whose better, the edge has to go to BSU.

Oregon won the Pac 10 last year

by two games. That's the first time any team has won the Pac 10 by two full games in 18 years.

They signed one of their best overall recruiting clases (I know it's misspelled - stupid filter) ever last year.

USC loses 30 scholarships over the next 10 years, which will benefit Oregon and the rest of the Pac 10 greatly. It already has benefited Oregon, actually (Oregon and SC were his final 2):

I don't think Oregon is currently in a downward trajectory.

In other news

A Former Oregon, Heisman candidate, SI cover-boy, was spotted LaTech this week looking for a place to play. While back on the Oregon campus, a convicted felon does not miss a single practice while he awaits missing the huge in-state battle with Portland State before he will play the rest of the season.

PS there is no truth to the rumor that future duck uniforms will feature a stenciled eight digit number on the front of the jersey.....

The sad part is

you probably actually think LMJ is a convicted felon and a bad guy.

Read the investigation report. He didn't handle the situation great, but he's far from a monster.

1 out of 2

He plead to a felony, correct. I do not think he's a bad kid, he messed up but he didn't get a parking ticket either and a one game suspension reflects more on the program than him. Then there is the "secret" suspension thing, which would be laughable at any other program. The kid won't even miss a practice, doesn't that bother you in the least? You know, I was one of those pulling for Blount to come back last year because I felt a year suspension was too harsh. This James thing though, is messed up.


He plead guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge. Read this if you want to know about the incident:

They were probably both guilty of misdemeanor harassment, but he was the only one charged with anything. I think a one game suspension is probably about right under the circ.umstances.*

The "secret" suspension thing amounted to Chip Kelly saying publically that he was going to wait for all the facts and then a day later realizing that he really should suspend LMJ while things were sorted out, and he didn't want to go back and change what he'd already said to the media. So he ended up with some egg on his face but I don't view it as a particularly big deal.

* Note to Statesman - your filter sucks. That is all.

That's right

he plead down, got 10 days Jail time which he won't serve because your jails are over crowded as it is. If they were both "probably" guilty, they both would have been charged (that's the way it works here). So you believe an Oregon player sentenced to jail should only be suspended for 1 game? (I'm curious, because many programs suspend players for one game just for missing class).

The "secret" suspension was a joke. He was trying to cover up the fact that he did not suspend him from the outset (which 99% of the programs would have done). Not a big deal, but it does show a lack of back-bone, IMO. I would have had much more respect for your coach had he just come out and "I should have suspended the day I heard of it" instead of concocting a story about some "secret" suspension.

I think under the circu.mstances

that one game seems appropriate. He didn't handle the situation well, but he wasn't the instigator and it's not like he was close to the second coming of Jerramy Stevens.

You have your facts all wrong on the suspension, too. After the news broke Kelly immediately told the media he was NOT suspending James until he had all the facts. He changed his mind and suspended him the next day, but he didn't acknowledge that he changed course to the media despite coming under fire for not suspending James. Then later it came out that James had been suspended the whole time (other than the first day, I suppose).

Be careful.......

you might hurt the delusional dux fans feelers. They are lonely, and can't seem to stay away when it (Bronco football) has NOTHING to do with them.

The Deal is...Monster

that the Ducks have a 10 W reg season for the second time in 8 seasons and 1st in 5 and thay are suddenly "ELITE" again lol.

whatever makes you sleep at night

fine, Oregon is the shiny object in the Pac-10's downward trajectory


evidently the Pac-10 isn't good enough as is so they brought in a Big 12 team and a MWC team and yes...I know...I know....they only brought them in so the conference could get into the mega huge Utah and Colorado TV markets

Oregon won the Pac10 but lost the Rose Bowl while...

BSU beat Oregon ( again) and won their 2nd Fiesta Bowl

fine, Oregon is the shiny object in the Pac-10's downward trajectory

evidently the Pac-10 isn't good enough as is so they brought in a Big 12 team and a MWC team and yes...I know...I know....they only brought them in so the conference could get into the mega huge Utah and Colorado TV markets.

Oregon has Fantastic

facilities. Has to help them recruiting. It's been a few years since they built the training & conditioning center, but I seem to recall at the time it was state of the arts and one of the largest in the country.

I can't put Oregon in the TOP till they quit choking big games and win a Rose Bowl. 1 win in 96 + years of opportunities and that was in 1917, none since. So what if they won the PACX by 2 games. So What.

2001 Fiesta Bowl

That year Oregon was the consensus #2 team but got hosed by the computers (the system was changed after that bowl season).

That was before there was a fifth BCS game for the title. At that time the NC game rotated between the 4 BCS bowls. That year the Rose Bowl happened to host the title game, so the Pac 10 champ (Oregon) was sent to the Fiesta Bowl because Miami and Nebraska finished 1 and 2 in the BCS and got to play in the Rose Bowl. Prior to that year, and under the current system, Oregon would have gotten the Rose Bowl. Obviously they ended up thumping a favored CU squad in the Fiesta Bowl and went on to finish #2 in the nation.

So in effect Oregon's 1 BCS win was a year they should have been in the Rose Bowl, but the situation dictated otherwise. Anybody who drops a Rose Bowl flame on Oregon tends to come off sounding like a butt-hurt husky fan (sorry, I know you're better than that - but this is the generic leg-humper flame).

For the record, I would put Oregon's "big game" record up against BSU's any day of the week and twice on Sundays. They've gone toe to toe against USC and held their own the last 15 or so years and have beaten a several traditional powerhouse programs, in Eugene, on the road and in bowl games. If you want to compare programs, this isn't a good area of debate to get into with me... :-)


How would you compare 15 year history with 100 year history? It would be stupid to try. You think when I point out Oregon Facts I do so to compare U of O with BSU. It's apples to oranges. Fact: Oregon has never won a Rose Bowl since 1917. Fact, they've had aboit 90(minimum) opportunites to get thast done. Ok, so they got musical chaired out of an opportunity. Maybe they win, maybe they don;t. We'll never know. If that's an excuse for their lack of performance given opportunies and losses, it's a weak one. Fact: They have performed well vs USC, kudo's!. Trade-off fact, they can't beat Ohio State. 0-7 in forever, incl Roses Bowl Loss(es).
Big Game record? How the heill would we conmpare that? Much easier to research 10-15 years and pick out the big games than 100 years and pick out the big games.
Fact: Recent times: BCS All Time: LSU 4-0, BSU, Utah, Wisc, WVA 2-0............Oregon 1-1 .....USC 6-1, Florida 5-1, Miami, Texas, 3-1

Am I placing BSU in that company? No, because of conference and short D1 history. But the question is....If BSU can do that, why can't Oregon?? Because they are not in that league of company either....

wisdomlessgirl needs facts...

...factoid Boise 7-16 all time against BCS schools

Factoid, Boise plays 3 BCS schools in the next 4 years

Factoid, Boise's foosball program is whiner central;
WAAAA no one will play us
WAAAA we went 14-0 and didn't get to play for the NC
WAAAA we got punked by the pac 10 and Utah

It never ends...its frighteningly absurd


Showed u Facts Chump

you live in denial of them. Even other Duck fans think you're a moron. They're right=fact


You are right on the money. idaduck lists facts about the ducks and so do you. He then gets upset and starts blabbing about the Broncos when you are talking about the ducks. Thats his tactic. Its overplayed. Good work wisdom on the facts. 90 years of duck mediocrity is well known among college football fans.

Turds, aptly put!

Yes, the facts speak for themselves. The Donks will learn a huge lesson in the MWC next year. .500 team. I can actually see them losing 4-5 games this coming season.

We can stick with 15 years if you want

and I'm still more than comfortable comparing big wins (which aren't limited solely to bowl games, btw).

You wanna?

Didn't think so....stick to the arguments that make sense from your standpoint and you'll come out looking a lot better.

when comparing two programs

head to head is always the first criteria. boise state may not be an elite program yet. oregon definitely is not an elite program. win a rose bowl, then pop off. we win the fiesta bowl twice, it's no big deal according to duck fans. you win one fiesta bowl and it is a big deal? how about that seattle bowl loss to wake forest in 2002? laughable.

East Carolina

and I just had a good laugh at your post.

Neither BSU nor Oregon is elite, but Oregon is certainly closer.

Speaking of that, are you getting stoked about that Tuesday night game against La Tech yet?

i see, oregon is closer than boise state

they just can't beat boise state. makes sense if you are a duck fan. does not make sense for the rest of the world. we respect la tech. they nearly beat lsu at lsu last year. you probably consider lsu elite. you must be excited for portland state, new mexico, wsu, asu & ucla which are all losing programs. oregon cannot beat boise state.


Like my Dad can beat your Dad up.....cept theirs CAN'T....

Wake Forrest

also thumped the Ducks in the 92 Independence Bowl....0-2

Just a quick glance...

at rivals,(they go back to 2003)...

03........Game 5, Lose to WaSt, 55-16, 1st Confernce Loss (you know that's BIG). That game set off a run of losing 4 out of 5...Bowl LOSS to Minnesota..Big Game win, Or State, but the conference was sealed at that point and bowl bids pretty much as well

04........Lost opener to Indiana..thats huge( I was atb thast game..the big IU back ran all over them)lost PAC opener at home vs AzST(huge), if we count the rival game, lost that too to OrSt...OH that loss let them stay home and watch the bowl season...

05......Lost PAC opener to USC at Home(doomed)BIG win season finale vs OR ST got them in Holiday bowl vs OKla BUT...they Lost

06....Drubbed at Cal 45-24 after opening 4-0 AND 2-0 in PAC (huge)..LOss at USC set off 3 final conference losses incl Rival OrST Game...Backed in to LV Bowl vs BYU and got spanked hard

07.......Again, Loss to Cal at HOME after 4-0 and 1-0 (PAC)..huge..BIG win vs USC in middle of 4-0 PAC recovery BUT loss at AZ set off losing final 3 PAC incl Rival OR ST loss again...backed in to SUN Bowl again and BEAT So Fla Bad...(lol)

08........Big loss to BSU at home after opening 3-0. Big LOss at USC, 1sy PAC loss (huge)..Big Win vs UCLA to recover from USC loss...WIN vs Rival OrST to finish...Holiday Bowl Big win vs OK ST.... OH My that USC LOSS was KILLER!

09.......OPENER LOSS to BSU...Grat recovery with BIG wins USC UCLA. ZBig Win to close Rival OR ST and BCS bid lock down.. Oops..Loss to Ohio State...

By the way..overall bowl record 9-14...and since 03, 2 wins, 4 losses, and a stay home and watch.

The more I looked, the more my opinion dropped. They sure drop a lot of games at bad times, which are big games.

Have fun.

Forgot to Note....

7 straight seasons with multiple BIG losses....