By Brian Murphy
UPDATE, July 3: It's Kellen Moore. ESPN.com'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: ESPN.com'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?
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