I am beginning a new semi-regular series of articles entitled "Who is K-State's All-Time Greatest _________." While I'm starting with "Quarterback" -- and will also cover a few other football positions -- I will be delving into basketball players, and K-State coaches as well. The format is really quite simple. I use my super-secret formula to come up with a list of candidates for the greatest at the given position. I make a short case for each, you read that case, do any further research you want to, then place your vote, leaving a comment below, so as to convince others to vote for your choice, and to simply show how stunningly astute your sporting analysis is. Voting will remain open for 3 days or so (extended at my discretion, especially if the vote is particularly close). Once the voting closes, I will construct a new post, announcing the "BOTC All-Time Greatest __________", employing the best of the comments written in support of the winner's candidacy in the text of the announcement post.
After the jump, we take a look at the resumes of the candidates for K-State's All-Time Greatest Quarterback. (Please don't vote until you've taken the time to read through their various accomplishments.)
Lynn Dickey (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Widely recognized as the top passing quarterback in the Big 8 at the time, Lynn Dickey held most Kansas State passing records for over 25 years. In fact, his 6,208 career passing yards stood as the KSU record for 38 years, until Josh Freeman (see below) broke it in 2008. After his senior season, in 1970, Dickey finished 10th in the Heisman voting, and was taken in the third round of the NFL draft by the Houston Oilers. He went on to a successful 15-year NFL career, including many years as the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
Steve Grogan (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Grogan was KSU's starting quarterback for his junior and senior seasons. Known as a mobile quarterback, Grogan's duties also included punting for the Wildcats. During his two years as a starter, Grogan accounted for over 2,000 yards passing, as well as almost 600 on the ground. Additionally, he accounted for a total of 18 touchdowns (12 passing, 6 rushing) during these two seasons. Taken in the fifth round of the NFL draft, Grogan -- like Dickey -- went on to a long NFL career (1975-1990), mostly with the New England Patriots, with whom he made it to the Super Bowl in 1985.
Darrell Dickey (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Darrell Dickey was the starting quarterback at KSU for all four of his seasons of eligibility. He is the only player to ever lead the Wildcats in passing yards and total offense for four straight seasons. Darrell Dickey left KSU ranking second all-time in nearly every passing category to Lynn Dickey. What Darrell Dickey is by far best known for is leading the Wildcats to the first bowl game in their 87 year history, an Independence Bowl loss to the Wisconsin Badgers. Dickey's coach at KSU was his father, Jim.
Chad May (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Known for his brash style, Chad May was the first Wildcat quarterback to lead KSU to a victory in a bowl game. as the Cats crushed Wyoming 52-17 in the 1993 Copper Bowl. This was also KSU's first 9-win season (9-2-1), and May threw for a then-single season record 2,682 yards (a mark since broken by first Bishop, then Freeman). This season also included KSU's first win over Oklahoma in three decades, a 21-7 triumph in Manhattan. In his second year, May led the Cats to another 9-win season, this time finishing 9-3, and a Aloha Bowl appearance versus Boston College. May was taken in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, lasting for two years in the NFL as a backup.
Matt Miller (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Though oft-injured, Miller was known for being extremely tough, and playing through many injuries. In fact, he threw a game-winning touchdown (against Cincinatti) to Kevin Lockett, as time expired, after suffering a third-degree separation of his left shoulder on the second play of that game. Often lost in the two years between May's graduation and Bishop's arrival, Miller led the Cats to a record of 10-2 in 1995. Additionally, he led the Wildcats to their first-ever Top 10 finish that same year.
Michael Bishop (Wikipedia article)
Case for: Michael Bishop's time at quarterback saw Wildcat football rise to a different level. Well-established as an annual top-25 team -- and, during 1995 at least, a top-10 team -- 1997 and 1998 placed KSU firmly in conversation as a national championship contender, and true football powerhouse. Bishop went 22-3 as a starter, the best winning percentage ever by a Wildcat quarterback who started for two or more years. A Heisman Trophy candidate during his senior year (he finished second to Ricky Williams), Bishop passed for 2,844 yards (a then-school record), with 23 touchdowns, and only 4 interceptions. As a true "dual-threat" quarterback, he added 748 yards rushing, and 14 touchdowns as well. Taken in the 7th round of the 1999 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, he lasted two years in the NFL, before playing for several years in other professional football leagues around the world.
Jonathan Beasley (Wikipedia article)
Case for: With his Wildcat career falling between two much-flashier quarterbacks, Beasley is sometimes a "forgotten man" of sorts. Yet, Beasley compiled a 21-4 record as a starter, his .840 winning percentage as a starter second only to Bishop's record of 22-3 (.880 winning percentage) amongst quarterbacks who have started for two full seasons or more. Additionally, his pass efficiency rating of 132.7 in 2000 was the top mark in Wildcat history to that point. The Wildcats won their second North Division title with Beasley at the helm in 2000, falling in the Big 12 championship to the eventual national champion Oklahoma Sooners, by the slimmest of margins, 27-24.
Ell Roberson III (Wikipedia article)
Case for: One of only two quarterbacks in KSU history to be responsible for at least 60 touchdowns (the other is Freeman), Roberson was the Wildcats' starting quarterback from his sophomore year onward, leading the team to their only football league championship to-date, a stunning 35-7 upset of the #1-ranked Oklahoma Sooners -- whom many experts had tabbed as one of the greatest college football teams of all time -- in the 2003 Big 12 Championship Game. Roberson also engineered KSU's most lopsided victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a 38-9 romp in 2003 that prompted Nebraska's then-defensive coordinator Bo Pelini to nearly lose his mind.
Josh Freeman (Wikipedia article)
Case for: A rare, true-freshman starter for the Wildcats, Freeman led KSU to a bowl game his freshman year. He also broke Lynn Dickey's career passing yardage record, which had stood for 38 years. He is one of only two KSU quarterbacks (along with Roberson) to be responsible for at least 60 touchdowns. Turning pro after his junior year, Freeman was the first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, and has since established himself as the unquestioned starter for that franchise.