Originally posted on The Duck Stops Here  |  Last updated 10/10/13

Yesterday on Comcast Sports Northwest, Jordan Kent, Anthony Newman and Joey Harrington were talking about Marcus Mariota. Is it a concern he hasn't played in a fourth quarter this year? Kent asked. Harrington said it was, a little bit, but he went on to say that "I think that he's the greatest quarterback to ever suit up for the Oregon Ducks." Quite a statement, considering that Harrington himself was 25-3 as an Oregon starter, 10-2 in fourth quarter comebacks. Two other Webfoot signal callers, Norm Van Brocklin and Dan Fouts, are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Another one, George Shaw, was an NFL #1 draft pick, first-team All-American in both football and baseball.   Harrington quarterbacked the Ducks to three bowl wins, the 1999 Sun Bowl, the 2000 Holiday Bowl over Texas, and the 2002 Fiesta Bowl over Colorado, their first BCS win. That team finished #2 in the country. Captain Comeback was a Heisman Trophy finalist as a senior. Mariota's 17-1 as a starter, named offensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl win versus Kansas State, a first team all-conference selection as a redshirt freshman. Through the first 18 games of his career, The Flyin' Hawaiian has thrown for 4035 yards, completing 65.1% of his passes, with 46 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He's operated Oregon's spread offense with smooth efficiency, adding 12 tds and 1090 yards on the ground. His career passer rating is 167, 176.3 so far this year, which would be a school record. The Bellotti-coached, Harrington-led Ducks ran a pro set. Harrington threw deep more and ran only occasionallly. In his college career he passed for 6,289 yards, 53 tds, 21 interceptions, 54.3%. A crucial part of the argument is how you define "best ever." For one game or a career? To win a hypothetical matchup for championship of the free world, or based on his Oregon record and Oregon stats? The terms make a vital difference. Few qbs in Oregon history have had a better single season statistically than Akili Smith did in 1998. Smith threw for 3,763 yards, 32 tds, with a passer rating of 167.3, the all-time UO record. He averaged an astounding 17.5 yards per completion. Bill Musgrave is the all-time Oregon passing leader for a career, with 8,343 yards, 60 tds in four seasons, 57.4% completions. Dennis Dixon stands out to many people as Oregon's most talented quarterback. Before he got hurt against Arizona late in 2007 he led the Ducks to a #1 ranking, passing for 20 tds with just four interceptions, cooly mixing deft runs and passes with handoffs to Jonathan Smith. In all that season he threw for 2136 yards and ran for 583.  People forget that DD was a mediocre quarterback before coming under the tutelage of Chip Kelly. As a sophomore and junior he threw 18 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. Van Brocklin and Fouts accomplished the most as pros. Fouts threw for over 43,000 yards in his career with the San Diego Chargers, 254 tds. At Oregon, though, playing on some also-ran teams with limited depth, he's the all-time career leader in interceptions with 54. The Flying Dutchman was 16-5 as a Duck, tieing for a conference title in 1948. He was a 9-time pro bowl selection and won an NFL Championship in 1960. Bob Berry led the Ducks to three consecutive winning seasons in the 1960s, including a win in the 1963 Sun Bowl. Danny O'Neil is second all-time in yards with 8,301, second in career tds with 62. The most underappreciated Oregon quarterback is probably Darron Thomas, the all-time leader in touchdowns with 66, a career 61.3% passer Harrington said best ever to wear the uniform, which makes the terms of the argument fuzzy. Let's say Mariota is the best ever if he completes this season with a national title.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

NHL rumors: Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker