With about a month of the season in the books, it's time to reexamine who deserves to be mentioned when discussing the top quarterbacks in college football.
The state of the race has changed. The list of deserving candidates has grown, and some of the most talked about QB prospects in the college game have encountered adversity almost right out of the gate.
While Oregon's Marcus Mariota is looking as good as ever, Florida State's Jameis Winston, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Baylor's Bryce Petty -- three guys that generated as much buzz as anyone in the offseason -- have each encountered bumps in the road, or at least a slight hiccup, in the first few weeks of the season.
Which QBs have emerged while some of the most well-known commodities have dealt with turbulence? Well, here's a closer look at five guys that I think have earned their way into the conversation when it comes to the best signal-callers in college football. It's no surprise that each of the teams these five QBs lead are undefeated.
Notre Dame's Everett Golson
I don't know that I've seen a quarterback miss a season and show as much improvement as Golson has in his return. He sat out last season while serving an academic suspension but appears to be better in every area of his game. He could have transferred after being suspended, but he stuck around and faced the music, which has earned him points from NFL evaluators. Notre Dame's offense is humming with him at the helm.
Texas A&M's Kenny Hill
Anyone expecting Hill to come crashing back down to earth after his sensational debut has had to rethink that assessment. He's put up three more impressive showings since then and the Aggies' offense hasn't missed a beat following the departure of Johnny Manziel. Some think the offense is actually better off with Hill at the helm because, while he has the athleticism to make plays with his feet, he's more disciplined about playing from the pocket. Hill, just a sophomore, has been very consistent while showing great poise.
BYU's Taysom Hill
Hill started to emerge last season, but he's truly on the map now. His leadership and toughness is off the charts. He has tremendous running ability, but he's a better passer than he gets credit for. With Hill guiding them, the Cougars are battling their way into the College Football Playoff conversation, although they're still viewed as a long shot. They have some very interesting tests coming up, including a Thursday-night game at UCF that should tell us a lot about the direction BYU is heading.
Oklahoma's Trevor Knight
Knight struggled at times last year in his first season as the Sooners' starter before going off against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. He's picked up where he left off, showing he has staying power in this conversation. The redshirt sophomore is playing with a lot of confidence, and he should. I love the fact that his two best performances, yardage-wise, have come against SEC defenses (Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Tennessee earlier this season).
Mississippi State's Dak Prescott
People were talking about Prescott in the offseason as a quarterback to watch -- he's validating the hype. Prescott helped the Bulldogs put an exclamation point on their strong start with a win over LSU last week. He's a load to bring down as a dual-threat QB. I saw him at the Manning Passing Academy over the summer and joked that he looked more like a linebacker -- he probably hears that a lot. He'll need to continue to refine his game, just like all the players on this list, and particularly his accuracy. He's off to a very promising start, though.