Michael Vick was first. Then Vince Young.
Then it was Tebow, RG3, Johnny Football and Super Mariota.
The super quarterback is a relatively new phenomenon in college football that changed the way game is played forever.
With new rules and new offensive innovation, the quarterback has become even more important — and it was already the most important position on the field.
Despite some major names leaving for the NFL, the 2015 season is loaded with elite QB matchups that could decide championships. Here are the best quarterback matchups to look forward to in ’15:
Note: This is based on pure athletic talent, raw entertainment value and potential gravity of the situation.
1. Connor Cook at Cardale Jones
Michigan State at Ohio State (Nov. 21)
Two potential first-round NFL draft picks will likely go head-to-head for the division, conference and potential national championship in the penultimate weekend of the year. Jones hasn’t taken a snap against a Spartans defense while Cook has topped 300 yards in two meetings with the Buckeyes.
2. Dak Prescott at Jeremy Johnson
Mississippi State at Auburn (Sept. 26)
Prescott is a Heisman candidate whose resume speaks for itself. Johnson is poised to explode onto the national scene in Gus Malzahn’s offense. With these two meeting in September, both should be unbeaten and ranked in the top 15. Both defenses will be better later, so this early-season matchup should provide plenty of chances for both signal-callers to make plays.
3. Christian Hackenberg at Connor Cook
Penn State at Michigan State (Nov. 28)
Hackenberg could be the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft or at least the first quarterback taken. He doesn’t have the support of the rest of the names on this list but his talent speaks for itself. Cook is a star in his own right who will spend his final season at MSU proving his first-round grade is accurate.
4. Cody Kessler at Mike Bercovici
USC at Arizona State (Sept. 26)
The de facto Pac-12 South championship game should feature the best two quarterbacks in the division and possibly the conference. This game was a scorcher last year that featured a successful Hail Mary, 510 yards and five touchdowns from the big-armed Bercovici. Kessler is a preseason All-American and has elite weaponry around him this fall. Buckle up, folks.
5. Cody Kessler at Jared Goff
USC at Cal (Oct. 31)
The first- and second-team All-Pac-12 quarterbacks meet on Halloween in the Bay Area this fall. While Cal isn’t going to contend, the aerial shootout between these two should be plenty entertaining. These are the top two most efficient returning passers in the Pac-12 after a combined 74 passing touchdowns and only 12 interceptions a year ago.
6. Brad Kaaya at Deshaun Watson
Miami at Clemson (Oct. 24)
These are two really special talents. Watson and Kaaya proved as freshmen last year that they belong among the nation’s best. Kaaya posted 3,198 and 26 touchdowns while Watson delivered 19 total touchdowns and two interceptions in just eight games. These two sophomores could take the ACC to a different level at the position.
7. Christian Hackenberg at Cardale Jones
Penn State at Ohio State (Oct. 17)
Both Jones and Hackenberg could be first-round picks and no one at either school will forget the epic battle between these two programs a year ago. Ohio State’s toughest test all year outside of Virginia Tech was Penn State. That said, the Bucks will be a heavy favorite at home.
8. Seth Russell at Trevone Boykin
Baylor at TCU (Nov. 27)
Russell is a first-time starter but there is no reason to think he won’t be electric in Art Briles’ system. He threw for 801 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception in backup duty last fall. In what could be the biggest game of the year in any league — one that featured 119 points and over 1,200 yards of offense last season — these two should put on a show.
9. Dak Prescott at Kyle Allen
Mississippi State at Texas A&M (Oct. 3)
Allen proved in the second half of the 2014 season that his five-star recruiting hype was warranted. He is now the clear starter in an offense loaded with elite playmakers and great schemes. Both defenses should allow for plenty of space for both to operate early in October.
10. Jeremy Johnson at Kyle Allen
Texas A&M at Auburn (Nov. 7)
These two guys are more projections than others on this list but few rivalries have been more entertaining over the last three seasons. Both Johnson and Allen are dripping with elite upside and both play in elite offensive systems. There is no reason TAMU-Auburn IV won’t be another high-scoring affair.
Related: SEC win total projections for 2015
11. Mike Bercovici at Jared Goff
Arizona State at Cal (Nov. 28)
USC's Cody Kessler gets the nod as the first-team All-Pac-12 signal-caller but Bercovici and Goff are hot on his tracks. Goff has blossomed into a potential superstar and Bercovici posted over 1,200 yards in three starts last fall. If the game held more importance, it would be higher on this list.
12. Cody Kessler at Vernon Adams
USC at Oregon (Nov. 21)
Oregon isn’t bringing in Adams from Eastern Washington to sit on the bench. So the question isn’t if he’ll start but it will be how good is he? He threw for over 10,000 yards, rushed for over 1,200, and accounted for 121 total touchdowns in three seasons on the FCS level. If he comes close to that, both his big-time matchups will outperform this ranking. This is a Pac-12 title game preview.
13. Trevone Boykin at Mason Rudolph
TCU at Oklahoma State (Nov. 7)
The first- and second-team All-Big 12 preseason quarterbacks will battle in Stillwater to begin November. Rudolph has the makings of a star and Boykin is already one. TCU won’t have many hurdles to clear this fall but a road trip to Oklahoma State might be one of the biggest of the year for Gary Patterson’s bunch.
14. Vernon Adams at Connor Cook
Oregon at Michigan State (Sept. 12)
As explained earlier, projecting Adams is difficult but he has the keys to a Rolls Royce offense and should be the guy taking snaps. Going into East Lansing and winning is much more difficult a task. Cook put on a show in a loss in Eugene last year and should be extra motivated in Week 2 at home.
15. Gunner Kiel at Taysom Hill
Cincinnati at BYU (Oct. 17)
It doesn’t feature a Power 5 team and it isn’t a conference game, but the fireworks will be on full display when the Bearcats visit the Cougars. Hill was scorching the earth before being lost for the season with a broken leg early in the year last fall. Kiel has blossomed into the five-star prospect he was supposed to become after 3,254 yards and 31 touchdowns as a sophomore.