Utah March Madness: 3 Alex Smith vs 14 Jim McMahon

3 Alex Smith

College Career Stats: QBR 164.4, 8 INT, 47 TDs, 5203 yards, 66.3% completion rate

Awards:

MWC Offensive Player of the Year (2004)

First-Team All-American (2004)

Why vote for him?

Alex Smith is the greatest quarterback in Ute history. He was a huge part of the success of Ute football that, prior to the new millennium, hadn’t had a lot of football success. They were mostly a basketball school. That changed when Urban Meyer coached Smith to win 22 games in his last two years at Utah, including an undefeated season his junior year.

Vote for Smith if you’re a fan of winning of the highest order. The Utes were one of the original BCS Busters as they beat a great Pittsburgh team from a Power 5 Conference. Alex Smith proved he was great at the collegiate level and went on to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

14 Jim McMahon

College Career Stats: 156.9 QBR, 34 INT, 84 TDs, 9536 yards, 61.6% Completion Rate

Awards:

2x Holiday Bowl MVP

Sports Illustrated Player of the Week (1980 following a 485 yard performance over Utah State)

2x All-American (1980-1981)

1981 Davey O’Brien Award Winner

1981 Sammy Bough Trophy Winner

BYU Cougars #9 retired

Why vote for him?

Jim McMahon was one of the first great BYU quarterbacks that went on to have a great career in college and even greater in the NFL behind a vaunted Bears defense. While his numbers weren’t as high as some of his successors (see Ty Detmer) and he didn’t win a national championship (see Robby Boscoe), they were still very high and resulted in winning.

Vote for Jim if you’re a fan of a storybook ending of the punter turned QB. Believe it or not Jim punted first BYU as a freshman in 1978 but replaced the injured Marc Wilson. He became one of the greatest quarterbacks in BYU history which is a hard accomplishment given their history.

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