Jake Plummer

Jason Steven "Jake" Plummer (born December 19, 1974) is a former professional American football player, a quarterback for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft, and spent his first six seasons with the Cardinals and the last four with the Denver Broncos. Plummer played college football at Arizona State University.

His nickname, "Jake the Snake," was given to him as a tribute to professional wrestler, Jake "the Snake" Roberts. Coincidentally, Roberts adopted that nickname as a tribute to his favorite NFL player, former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who was nicknamed "Snake."

Plummer joined the Pac-12 Network in 2013 as a studio analyst for college football.[1]

Jake Plummer
refer to caption
Plummer at Luke Air Force Base in 1998
No. 16
Personal information
Born:December 19, 1974 (age 44)
Boise, Idaho
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Boise (ID) Capital
College:Arizona State
NFL Draft:1997 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:29,253
Passer rating:74.6
Player stats at NFL.com

Early years

Born in Boise, Idaho in 1974, Jake and his two older brothers spent much of their youth at the family lumber mill and warehouse in Smiley Creek, a town of 50 in the Sawtooths.[2] Plummer attended Pierce Park Elementary, Hillside Junior High, and graduated from Capital High School in 1993. He was a three-sport star in high school, playing baseball and basketball in addition to football. Plummer was selected all-state as both a quarterback and punter and passed for 6,097 yards and 68 touchdowns in his junior and senior years.[3]

College career

Plummer accepted a football scholarship to Arizona State University in Tempe. He did not redshirt and took over as the starting quarterback (from Grady Benton) early in his freshman season in 1993. He had consistent, but not outstanding, statistical output during his career, and never led the Pac-10 in any major statistical category.[4] He threw for an impressive 1,650 yards in his freshman season, but also had seven interceptions to just nine touchdowns. He broke 2,000 yards in 1994 as a sophomore, and upped his touchdowns to 15. As a junior in 1995, his 2,222 yards and 17 touchdowns, many coming at pivotal moments in games, earned him a strong fan-base and all-conference honors despite a lackluster 6-5 record.[5]

His senior season in 1996 was arguably the best in school history. Arizona State attracted national attention on September 21 when they shut out top-ranked Nebraska 19–0 to snap the Huskers' 26-game winning streak. Plummer evaded a sack to toss a 25-yard touchdown on the game's opening drive, and finished 20 of 36 for 292 yards, setting a new school record for career passing yards in the process.[6] He led ASU to an undefeated regular season and a Pac-10 championship, aided in no small part by fellow all-conference linebacker and close personal friend Pat Tillman. In the Rose Bowl, he scored a sensational 11-yard go-ahead touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, but Ohio State responded and won 20–17. A victory likely would have meant a national championship as the only undefeated team in the nation, but their final ranking was fourth.[2] Plummer was third in the Heisman Trophy voting behind Florida's Danny Wuerffel and Iowa State's Troy Davis,[7] was a second team All-American, and the Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Year.

Plummer ended his career with several school records; most have since been surpassed, but his 34 games with a rushing or passing touchdown remains an ASU record. A dedicated student, Plummer was also a two-time Academic All-Conference player. A 2013 review listed Jake Plummer as the 16th-best all-time Sun Devil player.[5]

College statistics

Year Team GP Cmp Att Pct Yards TDs Int
1993 Arizona State 9 102 199 51.3 1,650 9 7
1994 Arizona State 11 159 294 54.1 2,179 15 9
1995 Arizona State 11 173 301 57.5 2,222 17 9
1996 Arizona State 11 179 313 57.2 2,575 23 9
College Totals 42 613 1,107 55.4 8,626 64 34
School rank[8] 4th 3rd - 3rd 4th -

Professional career

Arizona Cardinals (1997–2002)

Plummer was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1997 NFL draft by the hometown Arizona Cardinals. He played behind Kent Graham and Stoney Case at the start of his rookie season. He took his first snap late in the 4th quarter of game 7, and promptly led the Cardinals on a 98-yard drive, going 4-of-6 for 87 yards and capping it with a 31-yard go-ahead touchdown. He led the Cardinals to 3 of their 4 victories that year. Already locally popular from his days at ASU, according to teammate Chad Carpenter he was now treated "like a god. We go to a restaurant and people stand up and clap when he walks by."[2] In 1998, the Cardinals drafted Plummer's friend Pat Tillman, and the two started all 16 games en route to a 9–7 regular season record. In game 10 against Dallas Cowboys, he threw for a stellar 465 yards and three touchdowns. In the playoffs, he led the Cardinals to an upset of the same Cowboys for the franchise's first postseason victory since 1947,[9] before losing in the second round to Minnesota Vikings.

Plummer had a disappointing season in 1999; he went 3–8 as a starter, threw 9 touchdowns to 24 interceptions, and the Cardinals finished 6–10. Regarding Plummer's season, the Football Outsiders commented: "At the start of the 1999 season, Jake Plummer was being celebrated as one of the NFL's best young quarterbacks, the man who would make the Cardinals respectable again. By the end of the 1999 season, Plummer ranked as the league's worst quarterback."[10] His reputation as a risk-taking "gunslinger" became a liability. In 2000 Plummer threw for 2,946 yards, 21 interceptions, and had a 66.0 quarterback rating. Although he reached 10,000 career passing yards (in 47 starts), Plummer compiled a 3–11 record and the Cardinals finished last in the NFC East.

Plummer bounced back in 2001 with his best statistical season with the Cardinals. He was one of only two NFL quarterbacks to take every snap for his team (Kerry Collins was the other), and he passed for 3,653 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. During the season, he had a stretch of 142 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception. Plummer also led the NFL in fourth-quarter passing yards (1,227) and the Cardinals to a 7–9 record.

Plummer's last season with the Cardinals was 2002 and again his statistics were down (65.7 passer rating, 2,972 yards, 18 touchdowns and 20 interceptions). On September 22 against the San Diego Chargers, he eclipsed 15,000 career passing yards.

As of 2017's NFL off-season, Jake Plummer held at least 9 Cardinals franchise records, including:

  • Passing TDs: rookie season (15 in 1997), rookie game (4 on 1997-12-07 WAS)
  • Passer Rating: rookie game (119.1 on 1997-11-30 PIT)
  • Sacked: game (10 on 1997-11-30 PIT), rookie season (52 in 1997)
  • Yds/Pass Att: rookie season (7.44 in 1997)
  • Pass Yds/Game: rookie season (220.3 in 1997)
  • 300+ yard passing games: playoffs (2)

Denver Broncos (2003–2006)

Jake Plummer
Plummer signs a football at Broncos training camp in 2006.

After spending the first decade of his adult life in the Valley of the Sun, Plummer signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2003, replacing Brian Griese. Though the laid-back Plummer would clash often with the domineering head coach Mike Shanahan,[2] his guidance helped Plummer finish with a career-high 91.2 quarterback rating. On September 22, he had the longest run by a Broncos QB on Monday Night Football, a 40-yard scramble in a 31–10 win over the Oakland Raiders.[11] He led the Broncos to a wild card playoff berth, where the Broncos were beaten 41–10 by the Indianapolis Colts.

In 2004 he matched or surpassed several of Broncos Hall of Fame QB John Elway's passing records (including passing yardage and passing touchdowns in a single season). In a game 1 win against Kansas City, he reached 20,000 career passing yards. In game 8, he threw for a spectacular 499 yards and 4 touchdowns against Atlanta. However, continuing a career-long shortcoming, he also threw three interceptions in the loss, and led the league that season with 20. He led the Broncos to a second straight wild card playoff berth, but the Broncos were again beaten by the Colts 49–24, despite Plummer's 103.1 passer rating in the contest.

In 2005 Plummer experienced arguably his best season as a professional. He threw 229 passes without an interception, the longest such streak of his career. He also began serving as Denver's holder, which he would continue to do through the 2006 season, as well. Along the way, Plummer helped the Broncos compile a 13–3 record, a #2 seed, and a first round bye in the AFC playoffs (behind the Colts). The Broncos' first game was against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Game at Invesco Field. Although not outstanding, Plummer's performance (15–26 for 197 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception) helped the Broncos break the Patriots' winning streak of 11 postseason games and gain their first postseason victory since Super Bowl XXXIII. However, Plummer accounted for four turnovers in the AFC Championship game and the Broncos were defeated 34–17 by the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

On November 27, 2006, after a lackluster performance in the first eleven games, and following back-to-back losses to the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Mike Shanahan announced that Plummer would be replaced at starting quarterback by rookie Jay Cutler. The decision to hand a 7–4 team over to a rookie quarterback was met by fans and media with mixed reactions.[12][2] Those who viewed Plummer as inconsistent heralded the change as one that would revive the Broncos' struggling offense;[13] others claimed such a move was ill-advised, especially given that Plummer had guided the Broncos to the AFC Championship game the year before; Plummer had also been 40–18 with Denver in both regular season and playoff games, while leading his teams to 30 game-tying/winning drives in his career, a league high. In the last game of the season, Plummer came off the bench against the San Francisco 49ers after Cutler suffered a concussion. He played the remainder of the first half before Cutler played the second half.

As of 2017's NFL off-season, Jake Plummer held at least 2 Broncos franchise records, including:

  • Passing Yards: game (499 on 2004-10-31 ATL)
  • Passer Rating: playoff season (103.1 in 2004)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007)

On March 3, 2007, Plummer was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2008 conditional draft pick. However, rumors began to surface that Plummer was going to choose retirement over competition with the Buccaneers' four other quarterbacks on the roster (Bruce Gradkowski, Tim Rattay, Jeff Garcia, and Luke McCown).[14] On March 9, Plummer ended the speculation by announcing his decision to retire.[2] Plummer also confirmed his retirement through the Jake Plummer Foundation's website.[15]

Since he was still under contract to the Buccaneers and had already been given his contract signing bonus, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden met with Plummer in July to try to convince him to reconsider and report for training camp.[2][16] However, the attempt was unsuccessful and the team sued for recovery of the bonus. A settlement was finally reached on June 10, 2008 in which Plummer was required to pay back $3.5 million to the Buccaneers.[17]

NFL Statistics

NFL Career statistics
Year Team Games Starts Passing Rushing Rating
Comp Att Pct Yards Avg. TD Int Att Yards Avg. TD
1997 ARI 10 9 157 296 53.0 2,203 7.4 15 15 39 216 5.5 2 73.1
1998 ARI 16 16 324 547 59.2 3,737 6.8 17 20 51 217 4.3 4 75.0
1999 ARI 12 11 201 381 52.8 2,111 5.5 9 24 39 121 3.1 2 50.8
2000 ARI 14 14 270 475 56.8 2,946 6.2 13 21 37 183 4.9 0 66.0
2001 ARI 16 16 304 525 57.9 3,653 7.0 18 14 35 163 4.7 0 79.6
2002 ARI 16 16 284 530 53.6 2,972 5.6 18 20 46 283 6.2 2 65.7
2003 DEN 11 11 189 302 62.6 2,182 7.2 15 7 37 205 5.5 3 91.2
2004 DEN 16 16 303 521 58.2 4,089 7.8 27 20 62 202 3.3 1 84.5
2005 DEN 16 16 277 456 60.7 3,366 7.4 18 7 46 151 3.3 2 90.2
2006 DEN 16 11 175 317 55.2 1,994 6.3 11 13 36 112 3.1 1 68.8
NFL Career Totals[18] 143 136 2,484 4,350 57.1 29,253 6.7 161 161 428 1,853 4.3 17 74.6


Since his retirement from the NFL, Plummer has been an avid player of four-wall handball.[2] He attended his first professional handball tournament in 2007 when he entered the Simple Green US Open of Handball (with brother Eric) in the pro doubles division where the pair lost to future Hall of Fame members John Bike and Danny Bell. In 2008, Plummer hosted his own pro invitational and lost in the finals of the pro consolation bracket to #37 ranked, Jeff Kastner. Also in 2008, Plummer lost in the semifinals of the 2008's Idaho State Singles Championships to his brother (the eventual champion).[19][20]

Personal life

On March 23, 1997, Plummer was accused of fondling three women at the Tempe, Arizona night club, Club Rio. The women stated to police that Plummer reached under their skirts and down their pants while dancing with them and consuming alcohol. When one of the women objected, he allegedly kicked her in the leg. Plummer was formally charged on May 28, 1997, with felony sexual abuse. He later struck a plea bargain, received two years probation, was also fined $1,020, and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.[21] Plummer's off-the-field reputation remained rocky throughout his career, with much attention devoted to flipping off a fan, a loud traffic dispute, and a feud with a Denver gossip columnist.[2] Plummer has also stirred controversy with his support of medical marijuana, which he claims to use regularly to deal with lingering post-football injuries,[22] and hostile reaction to Jerry Jones' dismissal of NFL players with brain injuries.[23] Plummer also started an Alzheimer's foundation, made time during his career to walk dogs at a shelter he donated $10,000 to on retirement, and developed personal connections with children affected by 9/11.[2]

Plummer married former Broncos cheerleader Kollette Klassen on August 26, 2007, who he met in 2005. In June 2010, Kollette gave birth to the couple's first child. On retirement, Jake grew a scraggly beard and moved to Sandpoint, Idaho (though the couple also have a house in Boulder, Colorado) where he lived in relative anonymity. His former agent Leigh Steinberg said he is "one of the minuscule few that I could see living a completely fulfilled life away from sport... he was as close to an egoless major star as I've seen." When a concerned Meals on Wheels supervisor in Sandpoint insisted her jobless, "scruffy", long-time volunteer keep track of the miles he drove for the organization for reimbursement, she was "dumbstruck" to discover he was a former NFL star.[2]

In September 2007, Plummer was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame. Later that year, he made a brief appearance in the 2007 Holiday Bowl, when he introduced the ASU players prior to the team playing game. On October 29, 2010, Plummer was honored, along with all Sun Devil Quarterbacks, at a Legends Luncheon hosted by the Arizona State University Alumni Association and Sun Devil Club. Other honorees included Danny White, Andrew Walter, John F. Goodman, and Jeff Van Raaphorst.[24] Plummer has been an assistant football coach at Sandpoint High School since 2009.[25]

Relationship with Pat Tillman

Plummer was a teammate with safety Pat Tillman, at both Arizona State and the Arizona Cardinals, and the two became close friends.[2] After the 2001 season, while Plummer was still with the Cardinals, Tillman joined the U.S. Army Rangers in response to 9/11. During leave in January 2004, the two showed up announced at a handball tournament in Seattle in support of Jake's brother, Eric.[2]

Following Tillman's death in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, all NFL players wore a memorial decal on their helmets on September 24 in honor of Tillman and the Cardinals continued to wear this decal throughout the 2004 season. Plummer, who by this point was with the Broncos, also requested to wear the decal for the entire season, but the NFL turned him down because his helmet would not be uniform with the rest of his team. For the 2005 season Plummer grew an untrimmed, full beard and wore his hair long in honor of Tillman,[2] who had worn such a style in the NFL before cutting his hair and shaving off his beard to fit military uniform guidelines. Plummer delivered Tillman's funeral eulogy in a suit and flip-flops in honor of his friend's trademark style.[2]

Medical cannabis advocacy

Plummer uses cannabidiol (CBD) to treat the pain, inflammation, and headaches that he has experienced as a result of his years playing football.[26] Plummer says his condition improved so much after he started taking CBD that he considered a return to the NFL, almost a decade after retiring.[27] Plummer has served as a spokesperson for CW Botanicals, a company that manufactures CBD products.[26] He has also helped raise funds for cannabinoid research.[28]

In November 2016, Plummer was among the signatories of an open letter addressed to the NFL, urging a change in the league's policy towards cannabis.[29] The letter was penned by Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and signed by several other NFL players.[30] Plummer is also a member of the Doctors for Cannabis Regulation NFL steering committee.[31]

See also


  1. ^ "Former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer joins Pac-12 Networks". Pac-12 Conference. August 28, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Ballard, Chris (February 14, 2011). "What Was He Thinking?: You have to wonder why a red-blooded American male in his prime would walk away from fame and fortune as an NFL quarterback to play handball and hang with his family and his dogs. Don't you?". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved February 20, 2017.<
  3. ^ Raffel, John. "Player Spotlight: Jake Plummer". Archived from the original on May 20, 2006. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  4. ^ "Jake Plummer College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
  5. ^ a b Crowley, Kerry (August 16, 2013). "'Summer of Legends' No. 16 Jake Plummer". House of Sparky.
  6. ^ "Football: No. 17 Arizona State 19, No. 1 Nebraska 0". www.thesundevils.com. Associated Press.
  7. ^ "1996 Heisman Trophy Voting". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012.
  8. ^ As of 2017; see article Arizona State Sun Devils football statistical leaders or the ASU Media Guide
  9. ^ "Arizona Cardinals Playoff History". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  10. ^ "FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis - 1999 DVOA Ratings and Commentary". footballoutsiders.com.
  11. ^ "Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos - September 22nd, 2003 - Pro-Football-Reference.com". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  12. ^ Mason, Andrew (November 27, 2006). "Cutler to Start". DenverBroncos.com. Retrieved November 29, 2006.
  13. ^ Klis, Mike (November 26, 2006). "Start the Cutler era". denverpost.com. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  14. ^ Bill Williamson (March 2, 2007). "Plummer refuses to take trade". DenverPost.com. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  15. ^ Klis, Mike (March 3, 2007). "Plummer: I'm really retiring". DenverPost.com. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  16. ^ Jim Flynn (July 26, 2007). "Bucs News & Notes July 26, 2007". PewterReport.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
  17. ^ Klis, Mike (June 10, 2008). "Plummer, Bucs reach settlement". Denver Post.
  18. ^ Jake Plummer NFL Profile. NFL.com. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  19. ^ Hammond, Rich (October 19, 2007). "Plummer's handball odyssey". denverpost.com. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  20. ^ Clemmons, Anna Katherine (November 17, 2008). "Where in the world is Jake Plummer? Playing handball". espn.com. Retrieved November 17, 2008.
  21. ^ "Plummer Gets Probation In Sex-abuse Case". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Chicago Tribune.
  22. ^ Cook, Brandon (December 8, 2014). "A Personal Look At Marijuana Policy". Whaxy. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  23. ^ Petchesky, Barry. "Jake Plummer Has Some Thoughts For "Billionaire Asshole" Jerry Jones". Deadspin.
  24. ^ "News". ASU Alumni Association. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010.
  25. ^ "Jake Plummer coaching at Sandpoint High". Sports Illustrated.com. Associated Press. April 17, 2009.
  26. ^ a b Plummer, Jake (July 4, 2016). "Jake Plummer's Plan to Alleviate Pain for Players". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "Jake Plummer pushes NFL to research possible marijuana benefits". Fox Sports. March 16, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki (October 26, 2017). "Jake Plummer, Realm of Caring team up for another Broncos game-day experience to benefit cannabinoid research". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  29. ^ Jhabvala, Nicki (November 11, 2016). "Players, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation pen letter to NFL urging policy reform". The Denver Post. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  30. ^ "An Open Letter to the National Football League" (PDF). Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. November 11, 2016.
  31. ^ "NFL Steering Committee Members". Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. Retrieved February 18, 2018.

External links

1993 Arizona State Sun Devils football team

The 1993 Arizona State Sun Devils football team was an American football team that represented Arizona State University in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) during the 1993 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their second season under head coach Bruce Snyder, the Sun Devils compiled a 6–5 record (4–4 against Pac-10 opponents), finished in a tie for fifth place in the Pac-10, and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 282 to 248.The team's statistical leaders included Jake Plummer with 1,650 passing yards, Mario Bates with 1,111 rushing yards, and Johnny Thomas with 574 receiving yards.

1995 All-Pacific-10 Conference football team

The 1995 All-Pacific-10 Conference football team consisted of American football players chosen by various organizations for All-Pacific-10 Conference teams for the 1995 Pacific-10 Conference football season.

Seven of the conference's teams had at least three players represented on the All-Pac 10 first team as follows:

Conference co-champion USC was ranked No. 12 in the final AP Poll and placed four players on the first team: wide receiver and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year Keyshawn Johnson, offensive lineman John Michels, defensive lineman Darrell Russell, and punter John Stonehouse.

Conference co-champion Washington placed three on the first team: tight end Ernie Conwell, linebacker Ink Aleaga, and defensive back Lawyer Milloy.

Oregon was ranked No. 18 in the final AP Poll and placed three on the first team: running back and Pac-10 all-purpose player of the year Ricky Whittle, linebacker Jeremy Asher, and defensive back Alex Molden.

Fourth-place Stanford placed three on the first team: offensive lineman Jeff Buckley, placekicker Eric Abrams, and return specialist Damon Dunn.

UCLA, tied for fifth place, placed three on the first team: running back Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar and offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden and Mike Flanagan.

Arizona, also tied for fifth place, placed three, all defenders, on the first team: Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Tedy Bruschi, defensive lineman Chuck Osborne, and defensive back Brandon Sanders.

Arizona State placed three, all on offense, on the first team: quarterback Jake Plummer, wide receive Keith Poole, and offensive lineman Juan Roque.

1996 Arizona State Sun Devils football team

The 1996 Arizona State Sun Devils football team represented the Arizona State University in the 1996 NCAA Division I-A college football season. The team's head coach was Bruce Snyder, who was coaching his fifth season with the Sun Devils and 17th season overall. Home games were played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. They participated as members of the Pacific-10 Conference.

1996 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 1996 NCAA Division I-A football season ended with the Florida Gators crowned National Champions, but not as unanimously as the Bowl Alliance would have hoped.

Florida defeated Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, which was the designated National Championship that year. Florida had faced Florida State earlier in the year, when they were ranked #1 and #2, and lost. Were it not for Texas beating Nebraska, then #3, in the first ever Big 12 Championship Game, Florida wouldn't have even been in the bowl game.

And even once they were there, it wasn't certain a victory would mean a national championship. The Rose Bowl game featured #2 Arizona State and #4 Ohio State. Florida St. and Arizona St. were the only unbeatens going into bowl season, so a Rose Bowl victory would give the Sun Devils a legitimate chance on winning the title. This scenario looked plausible as Arizona State's Jake Plummer scored with 1:40 left to play in the game, making the score 17-14. But Ohio State's backup quarterback Joe Germaine marched down the field to pull out a heart stopping 20-17 win.

On the one hand, this meant the national title game the following night would produce an incontrovertible champion. On the other hand, it left doubt to whether or not Ohio State deserved a stake in the national title, as evidenced by the team's 1½ first place votes in the final AP poll. The Pac-10 and Big Ten could no longer afford to hold on to tradition while the rest of the country wanted a clear national champion. Reading the writing on the wall, they would soon join the national championship series with the other major conferences.

The Big 12 (Big 8 + 4 SWC members in Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor) would begin play as a two division conference, with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State joining the South Division, breaking up the classic Nebraska–Oklahoma rivalry, but renewing the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry, known as the Red River Shootout. The first football game in conference play was between Texas Tech and Kansas State. Kansas State won by a score of 21–14.There was a large controversy when #5 BYU was robbed of a spot in a Bowl Alliance game, as they were snubbed in favor of lower ranked teams from Bowl Alliance conferences. This would spur Congress into action, and would eventually be a reason the BCS polls were created.

The 1996 season was also notable as it marked the end of ties in college football, as an overtime system was put into place across all of Division I-A. The 1995 season had overtime rules, but only for postseason games.

1997 Arizona Cardinals season

The 1997 Arizona Cardinals season was the franchise's 99th season, 78th season in the National Football League and the 10th in Arizona. The team was unable to match their previous output of 7–9, instead winning only four games. The Cardinals failed to qualify to the playoffs for the fifteenth consecutive season.

1997 Rose Bowl

The 1997 Rose Bowl was a postseason college football bowl game between the Arizona State Sun Devils of the Pacific-10 Conference and the Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten Conference. The game was the 83rd edition of the annual Rose Bowl Game, held on New Year's Day in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The game resulted in a dramatic 20–17 victory for the Buckeyes when Joe Germaine led a last-minute touchdown drive. Joe Germaine was named the Rose Bowl Player Of The Game. The loss remains infamous among Arizona State fans, as the loss cost them a chance at winning their only national championship. Had they won, they would've been the only undefeated team in the nation, and as a result, would've likely given the Devils at least a share of the national championship.

2003 Denver Broncos season

The 2003 Denver Broncos season was the team's 44th year in professional football and its 34th with the National Football League.

After the departure of Brian Griese, who signed with his father's team, the Dolphins, the Broncos acquired Jake Plummer, who had been struggling in recent years with Arizona.

After two seasons of mediocrity, the Broncos rebounded with a 10–6 record. Denver's season ended with a 41–10 blowout to the Indianapolis Colts in the Wildcard round. Following the season, Clinton Portis was traded to the Washington Redskins, and Shannon Sharpe and Ed McCaffrey both retired.

2004 Denver Broncos season

The 2004 Denver Broncos season was the team's 45th year in professional football and its 35th with the National Football League. Under head coach Mike Shanahan the Broncos equalled their 10–6 record from 2003, and again finished second in the AFC West. In a repeat of 2003, the Broncos’ season ended in defeat to the Indianapolis Colts 49–24 in the AFC Wild Card playoffs.

Starting quarterback Jake Plummer finished the season with 4,089 passing yards (4th in the league). During the offseason, the Broncos traded running back Clinton Portis to the Washington Redskins in exchange for cornerback Champ Bailey.

2005 Denver Broncos season

The 2005 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League and the 46th overall.

The Denver Broncos closed out the 2005 regular season with a 13–3 record, the franchise's second-best number of wins of all time and their third best win percentage ever. They won their first playoff game since their 1998 Super Bowl-winning season. Although they eliminated the defending back-to-back Super Bowl champion New England Patriots to end their hopes of becoming the first NFL team to three-peat, they failed to get to the Super Bowl however, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the eventual champions, in the AFC Championship game. The Broncos were expected by many to make the Super Bowl for the first time in the post-John Elway era. Denver would not make the postseason again until 2011 under Tim Tebow's leadership or another Conference championship until 2013, under the leadership of Peyton Manning whom the Broncos acquired in 2012.

2006 Denver Broncos season

The 2006 Denver Broncos season was the franchise’s 37th season in the National Football League and the 47th overall.

The season began with the team attempting to improve on their 13–3 record and make a return to (at least) the AFC Championship Game as they did in 2005. However, they failed to do so and they finished the season with a 9–7 record, which resulted in the Broncos missing postseason action on a tiebreaker.

Arizona State Sun Devils football statistical leaders

The Arizona State Sun Devils football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Arizona State Sun Devils football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Sun Devils represent Arizona State University in the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference.

Although Arizona State began competing in intercollegiate football in 1897, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1946. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1946, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Sun Devils have played in 10 bowl games since this decision, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.

Kicker Zane Gonzalez is the NCAA's all-time leader in field goals made, with 96.These lists are updated through the end of the 2018 season.

Bruce Snyder

Bruce Fletcher Snyder (March 14, 1940 – April 13, 2009) was an American football player and coach. After playing college football at the University of Oregon in the early 1960s as a fullback, Snyder embarked on a coaching career. He was the head football coach at Utah State University (1976–1982), University of California, Berkeley (1987–1991), and Arizona State University (1992–2000), compiling a record of 125–106–6 (.540) at the three schools.

Snyder's 58 wins and nine-year tenure as head coach at Arizona State each rank second in school history to marks set by Frank Kush, who coached the Sun Devils from 1958 to 1979 and won 173 games. Snyder led ASU to four bowl games including a win in the 1997 Sun Bowl. More than 40 ASU players coached by Snyder were selected in the National Football League Draft, including seven in the first round, and more than 40 others signed free agent contracts in the National Football League (NFL). After his stint at Arizona State, Snyder assisted long-time friend John Robinson at UNLV for one season in 2003. He also served under Robinson as an assistant coach from 1983 to 1986 for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL).

Snyder was twice named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, in 1990 with Cal and in 1996 with Arizona State. He is a member of the Arizona State Hall of Fame. His best Sun Devil team was the 1996 unit. With Jake Plummer at quarterback, Snyder led ASU to an 11–1 record. The Sun Devils stunned the top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Nebraska Cornhuskers in the season's second game. Arizona State reeled off the third undefeated regular season in school history en route 1997 Rose Bowl, where they came within 19 seconds of a victory over Ohio State. Had they won, the Sun Devils would have likely won at least a share of the national championship, as they would have been the only undefeated major-conference team in the nation. For his efforts that season, Snyder won a number of national coaching awards, including the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award.

Snyder was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in June 2008. He died less than a year later on April 13, 2009, at his home in Phoenix, survived by his wife Linda and three daughters.

Keith Poole

Keith Robert Strohmaier Poole (born June 18, 1974 in San Jose, California) is a former professional American football wide receiver in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos from 1997 to 2001. Poole was a stand out receiver at Clovis High School in Clovis, California and played collegiately at Arizona State alongside quarterback Jake Plummer. In 1996, he and Plummer helped lead the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl only to lose to Ohio State 20-17.

Poole was selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL Draft. In his five-year NFL career, Poole caught 96 receptions for 1,734 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In November 1998, he was sentenced to two months of probation for attacking a man with a golf club. He was fined $8,500, team and league officials said.

List of Arizona Cardinals starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Cardinals.

List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.

Pat Barnes

Pat Barnes (born February 23, 1975 in Arlington Heights, Illinois) is a retired National Football League quarterback. He played from 1997 to 2003 in the NFL, XFL, and CFL.

Barnes played as a quarterback at University of California, where he started a couple of games as a freshman and emerged as a budding star through his college career. Barnes played for Steve Mariucci at Cal, where he threw 420 passes during the 1996 season, and learned Mariucci's version of the West Coast offense. Barnes gained the reputation as a QB who spread the ball out to all his receivers, and threw very well on the run. He set a Pac-10 record for touchdowns in 1996, and had a 31-8 touchdown to interception ratio. Barnes finished the year as a second-team All-American selection behind Jake Plummer.

Barnes, a graduate and football standout at University of California, was drafted in the 4th round (110th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He participated in 7 NFL seasons for seven different teams. Though he never threw a pass in the NFL, Barnes played very well in his five seasons playing outside the NFL, throwing 30 touchdown passes in his two seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy.

After four seasons out of the league, he signed with the Cleveland Browns on February 10, 2003. He was released on June 6. His football career ended when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL released him on December 9, 2003, at his request and subsequent retirement from the game.

Pat McPherson

Patrick McPherson (born April 15, 1969) is an American football coach who is the tight ends coach for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). In 2010, he joined the Seahawks after 11 years with the Denver Broncos, where he was the wide receivers coach. He joined the Broncos coaching staff in 1998 as a defensive assistant, and in 1999 became an offensive assistant. He then served as the quarterbacks coach from 2003 until 2006. Under McPherson's guidance, Jake Plummer set several single-season franchise records, including passing yards.

McPherson was a linebacker and captain of the football team at Santa Clara University, where he received his bachelor's degree in English and an M.B.A.. His father, Bill McPherson, was a long-time NFL assistant coach.

Plummer Family Helluva Handball Bash

The Plummer Family Helluva Handball Bash (formerly known as Jake Plummer's Annual Halloween Handball Bash) is an annual American handball tournament which takes place each Fall in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Organized by former NFL Quarterback Jake Plummer, the event was first held in 2008 and now draws many top handball professionals each year. In 2010 the event drew roughly a dozen top professionals and over one hundred amateur competitors. Elite handballers to attend include Emmett Peixoto, who has been the number one ranked Three–Wall Handball player in the United States. Plummer hopes to make the event "the Super Bowl of handball".Plummer attempts to ensure that the event has a low–key atmosphere. Both beer and Gatorade are served as refreshment for the athletes, even during morning matches. The event, which takes place at Peak Health and Wellness Center, also includes a youth clinic. Competitors in the event raise money for local charities.

Sports USA Radio Network

Sports USA Media is the largest independent sports broadcasting radio network in the United States, specializing in live broadcasts of American football, specifically of the NCAA football Division I-A and National Football League. In 2018, more than 450 radio stations across the United States carried NFL and NCAA football games from Sports USA.

Overall (1975–1982)
Offensive (1983–present)
Defensive (1983–present)
Freshman (1999–2008)
Freshman Offensive (2009–present)
Freshman Defensive (2009–present)

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