Turn on the tube some Sunday afternoon this fall, and you're likely to see a former Big Ten quarterback throwing deep.
In the NFL, they're as common as tipsy tailgaters and Terrell Davis touchdowns.
For starters, you've got Timeout favorite Jeff George (Oakland), Michigan men Elvis Grbac (Kansas City) and Jim Harbaugh (Baltimore), Michigan State's Tony Banks (St. Louis), Penn State's Kerry Collins (Carolina), Ohio State's Bobby Hoying (Philadelphia) and Indiana's Trent Green (Washington).
"The Big Ten's done a good job developing them," said NFL draft expert Gil Brandt, who spent 29 years as the Cowboys' chief scout. "It's like 7-foot centers and pitchers: there aren't enough good quarterbacks to go around.
"You have to be selective in who they recruit, and once you recruit them, you've got to make them into a better quarterback.
Of college conferences, only the Pac-10 has more alums with starting QB jobs, its Pro Bowl bunch featuring John Elway, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Brunell, Warren Moon, Troy Aikman, Jake Plummer, Rob Johnson and Ryan Leaf (for now).
But while the Pac-10 continues to pump out the prospects – UCLA's Cade McNown and Washington's Brock Huard are next in line – the Big Ten could be in for a down cycle starting soon.
After Ohio State senior Joe Germaine, analysts don't see a sure-fire NFL quarterback in a league full of young pups.
Not even a sub, like Todd Collins, Brian Griese, Kent Graham, Mike Tomczak and Wally Richardson.
"I think Joe Germaine's the clear-cut favorite to be the best quarterback in the Big Ten this year and I think he'll definitely get a shot at the next level," said ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback. "After that, I don't know. It's up to whoever you like."
Pro Football Weekly's Joel Buschbaum could learn to like Purdue sophomore Drew Brees, who he says "could grow into a pro."
Brandt wouldn't be surprised to see both Michigan quarterbacks – junior Tom Brady and freshman Drew Henson – make it. One reason why: Wolverines quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish, like Indiana's Cam Cameron one of the best in the business according to Brandt.
Just look what he did last season, on Michigan's road to the national championship.
"There was no way in the world that Brian Griese was going to start, and win 12 games, and be drafted in the third round, until that senior year," Brandt said. "What Stan Parrish did with him after his junior year was unbelievable."
The league's brightest young quarterback prospect – Henson – may wind up throwing baseballs for bucks. The Yankees are banking on their draft pick as the third baseman of the future.
But if he sticks with football, Henson could be the Big Ten's next pro quarterback after Germaine. Between the two: Brees, Indiana redshirt freshman Antwaan Randle El, Iowa redshirt freshman Kyle McCann, Michigan State junior Bill Burke, Minnesota junior Billy Cockerham and Penn State's rotating quarterbacks – sophomore Rashard Casey and junior Kevin Thompson.
None has made an NFL impression on Herbstreit.
"Henson, I'm sure if he wants to be, will be an NFL guy," Herbstreit said. "It's just a matter of him getting more and more experience. Once he does, he'll be one of the best quarterbacks in the country."
A few Brandt sleepers: freshmen Kurt Kittner of Illinois and Tommy Jones of Indiana.
Brandt's heard good things from Cameron about Jones, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Eaton, Ohio, who passed on offers from Ohio State, Tennessee and Penn State. And Kittner's the UI's first true freshman starter since 1946.
"Those are kind of pie-in-the-sky type of guys," Brandt said. "Anytime you're aware of a Kittner or a Jones before they've played a game, they've got some special ability."