Ranking the Mannings

I rank the four mannings that have played college football, and the order may surprise you.
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; (L to R) Former NFL quarterbacks Eli Manning, Archie Manning, and Peyton Manning pose with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey (2nd Left) prior to the SEC Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; (L to R) Former NFL quarterbacks Eli Manning, Archie Manning, and Peyton Manning pose with SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey (2nd Left) prior to the SEC Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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Archie, Peyton, Eli and Arch. All four are Mannings that are playing or have played division one college football. And at this moment, three of the four are proven winners and amongst the best to ever do it in the SEC, regardless of position.

I recently posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) asking which Manning people would take as their quarterback between the four. The answers were disbursed mainly across Archie, Peyton and Eli with Peyton taking the bulk of them. However, Archie and Eli did have several.

While debates sometimes get heated over things like this when you are involving fans and the greatest quarterbacks ever for their respective teams, it is still intriguing to think about.

Here are my rankings for the Manning family of quarterbacks

4. Arch Manning (Texas, 2023-Present)

The prodigy is proving to be more than just the last name on the back of his jersey so far during his time in Austin with the Longhorns. Although he has played sparingly, Manning has done his part, and had a fantastic spring game for the Longhorns this past April.

With that being said, he is still unproven at the college level, so will slide in at number four here. Manning is presumed to be the backup this coming season for the Longhorns, but could see his first action as a starter in 2025.

3. Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2000-2003)

Eli spent three seasons as the starting quarterback for the Rebels. This son or Archie followed in his fathers footsteps in Oxford and did not disappoint from the quarterback position. Eli threw for just under 10,000 yards in his final three seasons for the Rebels with 81 touchdowns and only 34 interceptions.

During Eli’s senior season in 2003, the Rebels would turn the corner going 10-3, capping the season off with a victory in the Cotton Bowl over Oklahoma State 31-28.

Eli would go on to be drafted first overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers before being traded to the New York Giants, where he would spend his entire career and win two super bowls.   

2. Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1994-1997)

Peyton took the road less traveled heading to Knoxville to play for the Volunteers instead of following in his father Archie’s footsteps to Oxford for the Ole Miss Rebels.

During his final three seasons as the starting quarterback for the Vols, Peyton would 10,060 yards 78 touchdowns and only 26 interceptions. Peyton commanded the offense so well for the Vols that he was part of an elite club of quarterbacks allowed to call his own plays from the line of scrimmage at the collegiate level.

During his time in Knoxville under head coach Phillip Fulmer, Peyton’s record as a starting quarterback during his final three seasons was an impressive 32-5. The Vols would win the National Championship in 1998, a year after Peyton’s departure. Inarguably to almost everyone, that 1998 team was the team that Peyton built.

Peyton would also be snubbed from the Heisman Trophy in 1997 after it was given to Michigan Wolverine’s defensive back, Charles Woodson. Peyton would finish second in the voting that year.

1.        Archie Manning (Ole Miss, 1968-1970)

Archie completed 52.8% of his passes, throwing for 4,753 yards, 31 touchdowns and 40 interceptions during his time as the starting quarterback in Oxford for three seasons. Manning however was a dual threat quarterback that transcended the game before his time. He also accounted for 821 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground during his time as the starter.

The 25 rushing touchdowns is far more than any of the other Mannings to-date. In modern day, I would compare Archie to the likes of Johnny Manziel or Lamar Jackson.

Although many will disagree, there is more than meets the eye with Archie and the stats he put up. To begin with, Archie was by far the least recent to play the position being one generation before his sons Peyton and Eli, and two before his grandson Arch. Also, Archie played in a different era, so the numbers he put up were still eye-popping for the given time period.

In fact, Archie finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1969, and third in 1970. This should tell you all you need to know about his performance and numbers relative to the time period. Archie had many intangibles that the other Manning’s didn’t have. While the other three are seen largely as pocket passing quarterbacks, Archie was truly a dual threat and a playmaker in both areas.

Next. Ranking the most exciting SEC players of all-time. Ranking the most exciting SEC players of all-time. dark