In 1992, Washington State's Drew Bledsoe threw for 3,246 passing yards -- third most in the country -- and led the Cougars to a surprising 9-3 record and top-15 finish. His big arm and big-for-the-era numbers earned him the top spot in the 1993 NFL draft. It didn't earn him the national title, though: that went to Alabama and its sensational defense. Bama quarterback Jay Barker (1,614 yards, 7 touchdowns, 9 interceptions) was primarily asked to stay out of the way and did so.

In 2003, NC State's Philip Rivers recorded a 170.5 passer rating while throwing for 4,491 yards -- the seventh- and fourth-best numbers ever, respectively, for a power conference quarterback. The Wolfpack went 8-5 with a Tangerine Bowl win, and Rivers was picked fourth in the 2004 draft. LSU, with head coach Nick Saban and eventual seventh-rounder Matt Mauck (2,825 yards, 148.2 passer rating), won the BCS championship.

It is part of college football lore: Offense pleases the eyeballs and earns the plaudits, and defense wins titles. Flashy quarterbacks might make it big in the pros, but game managers get rings.

Actually, that last paragraph should probably be in the past tense. Defense won championships, game managers got rings. It appears times have changed.

In the nearly four decades from 1965, when one-platoon football officially ceased to exist, to 2003, when Mauck helped Saban to his first title, only four quarterbacks both won a national title for their team and became a first-round draft pick, and it's four only if you count the supplemental draft. Two-time Nebraska champ Jerry Tagge went 11th in the 1972 draft; Penn State's Todd Blackledge went seventh in 1983; and the first two title-winning QBs at Miami, Bernie Kosar and Steve Walsh, went first in the 1985 and 1989 supplemental drafts.