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Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Big 12 claims three of top five active leaders in TD passes

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Will offenses dominate again in the Big 12 next season as they did in 2008?

Perhaps the best reason I expect to see a similar onslaught of big numbers is by examining the NCAA's touchdown passes leaders for quarterbacks who will be returning in 2009. Three of the top five returnees are from the Big 12.

Here's a list of the top 10 active leaders in career touchdown passes who will be coming back for the 2009 season.

Top-10 active leaders in career TD passes
Name School TD passes Games Attempts TD/game TD%
Sam Bradford Oklahoma 86 28 824 3.07 10.44
Colt McCoy Texas 85 33 1175 2.58 7.23
Tim Hiller Western Michigan 76 32 1093 2.38 6.95
Dan LeFevour Central Michigan 74 39 1307 1.90 5.66
Todd Reesing Kansas 68 29 965 2.34 7.05
Tim Tebow Florida 67 41 681 1.63 9.84
Rusty Smith Florida Atlantic 62 38 1108 1.63 5.60
Max Hall BYU 61 26 973 2.35 6.27
Trevor Vittatoe UTEP 58 24 825 2.42 7.03
Case Keenum Houston 58 26 862 2.23 6.73
Note: Touchdown percentage is determined by touchdown passes per 100 attempts. Source: ESPN.com research

Bradford's blistering start in the first two seasons of his career leaves him only 52 touchdown passes from tying Graham Harrell's career FBS record of 138 touchdown passes. He could come close to breaking that record this season if he remains healthy. But a more likely scenario is that it might take him a little more than one season to break Harrell's career TD pass standard.

Would that be enough to convince him to return for a senior season in 2010? Probably not, although most observers were surprised to see him come back for his junior season.

So coming back for a senior season might not be a stretch for Bradford, either.

Particularly if he realizes his chance to make history.