Ranking the quarterbacks of the Stoops era

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

While putting together a chart earlier this week, I was struck by the unique opportunity Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will have during the upcoming season.

Bradford will obviously have a chance to become the first back-to-back Heisman Trophy winner since Archie Griffin in 1974 and '75. But he'll also be able to become the first player in recent memory to quarterback a team that won three-straight conference championships.

It also got me thinking about the different quarterbacks that have played for Bob Stoops over his coaching tenure at Oklahoma.

Stoops is a wise coach and has never made the comment about which quarterback accomplished the most for him while at Oklahoma.

So I'll take care of it for him. Here are my rankings. Please feel free to comment.

1. Sam Bradford (starter in 2007-08) -- The first quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back Big 12 championships won the Heisman after his sophomore season. And he's poised for even more in the upcoming season.

2. Josh Heupel (starter in 1999-2000) -- The transfer from Snow Junior College jump-started Stoops' tenure in his first season and capped his career by leading the Sooners to the 2000 national championship. He doesn't have the statistics of some quarterbacks I ranked below him, but he has the ultimate accomplishment with the national championship.

3. Jason White (starter for some of 2001, 2003-04) - Stoops' other Heisman winner led his team to back-to-back BCS title games by throwing for 40 touchdowns in 2003 and 35 in 2004.

4. Nate Hybl (starter for most of 2001, 2002) -- Georgia transfer led the Sooners to back-to-back bowl victories and the 2002 Big 12 title.

5. Paul Thompson (starter for one game in 2005, 2006) -- I've got to think that Thompson might be one of Stoops' favorite players. He unselfishly moved to wide receiver in 2005 without complaint. And he pulled together the pieces in 2006 after the Bomar fiasco, an early loss to Texas and a 3-2 start to still lead the Sooners to the Big 12 title. It might have been Stoops' most satisfying title.

6. Rhett Bomar (starter for most of 2005 season) -- Ah, what might have been. But Stoops probably doesn't give too much thought to all of that, considering he's won the Big 12 title every season since Bomar left Oklahoma.