1. Brett Smith, So., Wyoming
Smith turned in a spectacular freshman season, completing 61 percent of his passes for 2,622 yards with 20 touchdowns. He was also the Cowboys' leading rusher with 710 yards and 10 touchdowns, finishing with 3,332 yards of total offense. The 2011 MW Freshman of the Year ranked second in MW and 33rd nationally in total offense (256.3 yards per game), he was No. 4 in the MW and 36th in the NCAA in passing yards (201.7 yards per game). He set a new MW freshman single-season record for total offense and had a hand in 30 of the team's 46 touchdowns.
2. Derek Carr, Jr., Fresno State
Carr led the WAC in passing yards (3,544) last season, a total that ranks as the third-most in Fresno State history and the most ever by a Bulldog sophomore. His passing yardage led the WAC and ranked 15th nationally, while his 279 completions and 446 attempts were the second-most in the history of the program. Carr threw 26 touchdown passes against nine interceptions while completing 62.6 percent of his passes.
3. Cody Fajardo, So., Nevada
Fajardo earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors in 2011, finishing with 2,401 total yards and 17 touchdowns in 10 games. Fajardo became the starting quarterback for the Wolf Pack in October and threw for 1,707 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 694 yards and 11 more scores. He ranked third in the WAC in passing efficiency with a 138.2 rating and was sixth in the WAC in rushing with 69.4 yards per game.
4. Ryan Katz, Sr., San Diego State
The void left by four-year starter Ryan Lindley is expected to be filled by Katz, a transfer from Oregon State who started every game for the Beavers in 2010, completing 60 percent of his passes for 2,401 yards and 18 touchdowns. Katz played in 18 games for Oregon State from 2008-11, starting 14 games and throwing for 2,722 yards and 19 touchdowns. Katz is eligible to play immediately at SDSU after graduating from Oregon State this spring. He will take graduate courses at SDSU this fall.
5. Joe Southwick, Jr., Boise State
The Kellen Moore era may be over, but there's no evidence of panic in the streets in Boise. The benefit of the Broncos' ability to build large leads in recent seasons has allowed Southwick to play in 16 games the past two years. He's made the most of it, completing 64.8 percent of his passes (35-of-54) for 400 yards with just one interception. In the Broncos' spring game, Southwick finished 14-of-19 for 145 yards and one touchdown. None of the other three quarterbacks bidding to supplant Moore threw more than eight passes.
6. Connor Dietz, Sr., Air Force
While perhaps not possessing the passing skills of former starter Tim Jefferson, Dietz is more than capable of directing the Falcons' complex option attack, having played in 21 career games with three starts. Dietz has completed 30-of-62 passes (53.3 percent) for 392 yards and three touchdowns with just one interception. A fifth-year senior, Dietz compiled a passing efficiency rating of 198.97 as a junior.