Oklahoma Football: Top 10 Quarterbacks in Modern Sooners History

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Nov 7, 2015; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks to pass the ball against the Iowa State Cyclones during the second quarter at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Who are the 10 best Oklahoma football quarterbacks to play in the last 70 years or since the end of World War II? We’ve identified and ranked them for you.

Oklahoma football history is filled with college superstars and national award winners, including five Heisman Trophy winners. Two of the five Heisman winners were  quarterbacks, although historically only seven true quarterbacks in OU football history have achieved All-America status.

When you think of prototypical quarterback play, you think of players who can throw the ball with length and great accuracy. Throughout most of OU football history, the Sooner offense has been dominated by running the football, particularly in the 1970s and ’80s, when Barry Switzer was the head coach and Oklahoma became the team most closely associated with a triple-option style of offense known as the Wishbone. Throwing the football was not an integral part of the Sooners’ football playbook in the Wishbone era.

For most all of the second half of the last century, running with the football and speed in doing do were primary traits the OU coaches looked for in recruiting quarterbacks to Oklahoma. Since Bob Stoops has been in place as head coach of the Sooners, however, the ability to throw the football and operate in the pocket has been the primary qualification of the Sooner quarterbacks, and that has become quite evident in the number of passing records that have been set since the 2000 season. That was the year Oklahoma won its last national championship, with Josh Heupel, a passing quarterback, directing the offense.

Join me in a look back through history at my assessment of the ten best quarterbacks in the modern era of Oklahoma football (1945 to present).

Please note that current OU quarterback was not considered in this ranking, because he is still active, with another season remaining in his eligibility, and he is just in his first season at Oklahoma after playing his freshman season at Texas Tech and sitting out the 2014 season.

Next: No. 10 - Josh Heupel (1999-2000)