The Golden Age of CFL Quarterbacks

Here's a topic I haven't seen discussed before. At what point in time do you think the CFL fielded its best-ever crop of quarterbacks? While I don't remember anything pre-1980s, I'm still putting forward a few possibilities:

1950s. Sam Etcheverry, Jackie Parker, ... (sorry)

Mid-to-late 1960s. Ron Lancaster, Russ Jackson, Bernie Faloney, Kenny Ploen, Joe Kapp, Joe Zuger, Eagle Day.

1970s: Doesn't seem so golden. Tom Wilkinson, Sonny Wade, Joe Theismann (briefly). Clements, Holloway, Brock, Moon, and arguably Lancaster, all peaked in other decades.

Early 1980s. Warren Moon, Dieter Brock, Tom Clements, Condredge Holloway - all at their peaks. Also Hufnagle, Paopao, DeWalt, JC Watts.

Early-to-mid 1990s. Doug Flutie, Matt Dunigan, Tracy Ham, Damon Allen, still at their peaks. Danny Mac, Dave Garcia and Anthony Calvillo - all just getting started. Kent Austin, Tom Burgess, Danny Barrett - just wrapping up. (List includes 7 of the top 10 passers ever, by yardage)

Early 2000s. Five of the top 10 passers ever: Calvillo (at his peak), Damon Allen (still winning Grey Cups), McManus, Ricky Ray, Henry Burris. Also Dave Dickenson, Khari Jones (briefly), Kevin Glenn (just getting started), and a historical footnote named Printers.

Here's a link with some good (though slightly dated) stats: [url][/url]


2010, we have a number over QB's rated right around the 100 point mark or better, including our own Kevin Glenn.

100 in QB ratings represents less than two-third efficiency. The maximum score is 158.3. Aside from stats, there is no way that 2010 represents a golden age of QBs. Only one in the league right now (Calvillo) is assured of the Hall of Fame. Burris, Ray and Durant have HoF potential, none of the others are likely to get there. Compare that to the 1990s with Flutie, Dunigan, Ham, Austin and Allen, all pretty well guaranteed to be inducted.

Actually, the guy who developed the formula made it so that 100 is an "excellent" rating. For an explanation of the formula, quotes from the guy who made it, and the rationale behind it, see

100 is an excellent QB rating. It means your one of the best, period!
Why is Calvillo 109? His O-line has a lot to do with it.


3 of them are even better than guaranteed, they're already in. :wink:

Ham (Class of 2010)
Dunigan (Class of 2006)
Flutie (Class of 2008)

Personally, I associate Dunigan more with the 80s than the 90s, even though his career spanned significant chunks of both.

I think just about everyone would agree Allen is a lock for the HOF. Austin could be a little more borderline. He has great numbers and played a winning Grey Cup game [spit], but I never thought of him as a game-changer in the same way as the three HOFers above. I also think Allen has been a bit over-rated, but earns the HOF for maintaining a high level of play for so long on different teams. I think Dunigan would have trounced Allen in the record books if injuries hadn't ended his career with lots of good years left.

can you imagine the numbers if flutie had played over 20 yrs in the CFL?? woo boy

Good point. I tend to think of Allen and Dunigan relative to each other due to their career starts close together with Edmonton, but Flutie was in a class all by himself. Interesting that all three are within three years of each other in age.

I thought it was hilarious how in Flutie's HOF induction speech he acknowledged that his infamous fumble in the 1997 Grey Cup game truly was a fumble and he was not down by contact as it was ruled at the time. If I recall correctly, the replays made it pretty clear, but it was neat to hear him mention it. Even though he followed the admission up with something like (paraphrasing): But the game's over, so what you gonna do? :smiley: Classic.

That's an interesting piece, PiCat. In it he says: "Only the excellent have had ratings over 100 for a full season." Looking back over the CFL stats to 2002, that seems to be borne out. So I stand corrected.

There are only two QBs this year over 100 (Calvillo and Jyles). Three others (Glenn, Burris and Pierce) are close to 100 and two of those could conceivably get there by the end of the season. Nonetheless, even if Glenn, Burris, Calvillo and Jyles all end up over 100, I would not rate this year as the golden age of CFL QBs.

You might not, but others would!


mostly under 20's who didnt see or dont remember the previous decades.

Can't think of any other reason, that's for sure.