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The Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament: Brian Kelly Regional Final

The first spot in the Final Four is up for grabs. Voting is now open for the regional final and will be until May 22 at 6 a.m.

Connecticut v Cincinnati Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Quarterbacks are the most recognizable players on a football roster. They touch the ball on every play and when things are going sour, they are usually the offensive player that is blamed first. Its why quarterbacks can both be beloved and reviled. In the Brian Kelly region of the Favorite Cincinnati Bearcat Football Player Since 1997 Tournament, two quarterbacks have risen to the former category and will now clash in the final. Take a look at the updated bracket to see what I’m talking about.


As you might have surmised from the beginning of this post, the biggest lesson from this round was that quarterbacks are king. In the first matchup of the third round, Zach Collaros steamrolled running back Mike Boone. Undoubtedly, the fact that Collaros was the signal caller for some pretty strong UC teams, specifically the 2011 squad, gave him a leg (and an arm) up on Boone, who was marred in the the Tommy Tuberville era for most of his career.

In the second matchup, Gino Guidugli had a bit more trouble with linebacker Jeff Luc, but still won out with 76 percent of the vote. Guidugli just had too much cultural cache at UC to be taken down. He is a member of the program’s athletic’s hall of fame and, as I’ve stated pretty much every week, he is the most productive quarterback in the school’s history.

The Final

Zach Collaros vs. Gino Guidugli

This is an epic showdown with the scale and spectacle of a boss fight from God of War. What will be interesting to see is if Guidugli’s major statistical advantages over Collaros will outweigh Collaros’ edge in terms of wins. Guidugli threw for 11,453 yards and 78 touchdowns from 2001 to 2004. Both of those are program records. However, the Bearcats never had more than seven wins in any of those seasons. Collaros, who is tied for fourth in career passing yards at UC, was part of a four-year stretch when the Bearcacts won 37 games, although Tony Pike was the primary starter for the first two seasons of that run. With Pike no longer in the tournament, this matchup could very well decide the favorite UC quarterback of the last two decades depending on how you best remember Chad Plummer.

No more stalling. It is time to vote. Pick your favorite quarterback.