Best Texas Tech Quarterbacks in Program History – Our Top Five
The Texas Tech Red Raider football team has been known for having great quarterbacks through the years, especially the years under the high power offense of Mike Leach. The passing is still a key weapon under Tommy Tuberville with Seth Doege now under center. There have been quite a few talented quarterbacks for Tech before the Mike Leach era too. That got us thinking at The Fan. We decided to sit down and hammer out our list for the 5 best quarterbacks in the history of Texas Tech football. Here is our list in no particular order.
Joe Barnes was the quarterback of the Red Raiders in 1973 and led them to one of their best seasons in program history. The Red Raiders finished the 1973 season at 11-1 including a victory in the Gator Bowl and a ranking of 11th. Joe also had 19 career wins in the two seasons as the starter for Texas Tech. He went on to have a successful career in the CFL playing 11 seasons for multiple teams.
Rodney Allison was the quarterback of the Red Raiders from 1975-77 and led the Red Raiders to one of their most successful seasons in 76 when they finished 10-1 and was ranked 4th at one point. Allison was also named All Southwest Conference in 76 and Offensive MVP of the Bluebonnet Bowl. Allison would find successful on the field after his playing days concluded, but as a coach. Allison would coach many teams including a head coaching job at Tennessee Chattanooga.
Kliff Kingsbury was the first quarterback under Mike Leach. That meant Kliff broke every record imaginable in the high powered offense of Leach. Kliff left Tech as the career leader in many categories including passing yards, passing TD's and others, marks that wouldn't be broken until Graham Harrell played. Kingsbury also spent time in the NFL with the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. He's now a coach at the University of Houston.
Billy Joe Tolliver was the quarterback for the Red Raiders from 1985-88. Tolliver was a two-time All Southwest Conference quarterback and led the Red Raiders to a 17point 4th quarter deficit for a 33-32 comeback victory over Texas in 1988. Tolliver would go on to have a successful career in the NFL including stints in New Orleans, San Diego, Houston, Kansas City and Atlanta.
Graham Harrell is considered by many fans to the be best Texas Tech quarterback of all time. His stats would agree with those fans. Graham set the NCAA career touchdown record in 2008 and holds just about every record there is at Texas Tech. He led the Red Raiders to one of their most successful seasons in history in 08 with an 11-2 record, a share of the Big 12 South, a Cotton Bowl appearance and the highest ranking in Tech history at #2. Graham is currently a member of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.