The quarterback is easily the most important on-field position for any college football team. Signal-callers can truly make their teammates better and enhance their play on the field. While quarterback - especially proven ones - are valuable, this position is not easy to evaluate and the overall performance can depend on some of the help from the supporting cast. These pocket passers and dual-threats are some of the best in the nation and these clashes should make it an enjoyable season in the American Athletic Conference. Here are the top 10 quarterback matchups involving AAC teams for 2016:
AAC's Best QB Matchups of 2016
1. Baker Mayfield (OU) vs. Greg Ward Jr. (HOU) 9/3
Two Athlon Sports All-Americans square off at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on the opening Saturday of the 2016 season. If Ward and Co. can somehow pull off the upset, the Cougars will have a good shot at an unbeaten record.
2. Lamar Jackson (LOU) vs. Greg Ward Jr. (HOU) 11/17
Arguably the best athletes playing quarterback at the Power 5 and Group of 5, these dynamic signal-callers will put up some impressive numbers in the air and certainly on the ground as well.
3. Dane Evans (TULSA) vs. J.T. Barrett (OHST) 9/10
After throwing for 4,332 yards and 25 scores last fall, Evans and coach Montgomery look to pull off the huge upset in Columbus against the All-American Barrett. However, Tulsa's defense will have its hands full trying to stop Barrett.
4. Matt Davis (SMU) vs. Seth Russell (BAY) 9/10
In addition to their success through the air, this duo is also capable of making plays on the ground with their legs. Both rushed for over 400 yards and six touchdowns last year. Davis is more of a threat to run, while Russell will test a shaky SMU secondary.
5. Deondre Francois (FSU) vs. Quinton Flowers (USF) 9/24
Two former 4-star dual-threat quarterbacks have at it in Tampa as the Bulls close out their non-conference play. Can Francois hold off Sean Maguire for the starting nod this fall?
6. Dane Evans (TULSA) vs. Greg Ward Jr. (HOU) 10/15
Ward is the American Athletic's top quarterback, but Evans' 2015 campaign was largely overlooked. With a rebuilt Houston secondary for 2016, Evans will look to test the Cougars early and often on Oct. 15.
7. Greg Ward Jr. (HOU) vs. Hayden Moore (CIN) 9/15
Cincinnati's quarterback situation is a bit of a mystery. Gunner Kiel tossed 19 touchdowns last fall despite missing three games due to injury, but he's not guaranteed the starting nod. Moore seems to have the inside track to start the opener. Regardless of who starts for Cincinnati, its defense is going to have its hands full trying to stop Ward and the potent Houston attack.
8. Quinton Flowers (USF) vs. Hayden Moore (CIN) 10/1
This AAC East matchup will mean a lot to the final results of who makes it to the conference championship game for the American.
9. Kenny Hill (TCU) vs. Matt Davis (SMU) 10/1
Hill and Davis are two of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state of Texas. These two have combined for 1,567 career rushing yards. Can Hill hold off Foster Sawyer for the starting job?
10. Philip Nelson (ECU) vs. P.J. Walker (TEM) 11/26
Nelson returns to the gridiron for the first time since 2013 this fall and could be a huge addition for new coach Scottie Montgomery. And with a tough schedule ahead in 2016, East Carolina may need a big game by Nelson to beat Temple and become bowl eligible.