Cal football: 15 greatest quarterbacks in Golden Bears history

Jared Goff, California Golden Bears. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Jared Goff, California Golden Bears. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Dave Barr, California Golden Bears

Dave Barr played quarterback for the Golden Bears in the early 1990s. He first came to campus in 1991. Cal was electrifying that season with Mike Pawalwski as the starter and Bruce Snyder as the head coach. Pawlawski was named Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Pac-10. The Golden Bears finished the year No. 8 in the country. However, that would be Snyder’s last season in Berkley, as he would leave for another team in the Pac-10 in Arizona State.

After playing very little, Barr would win the starting job in 1992 playing for new head coach Keith Gilbertson. Cal would regress to 4-7 that season, but Barr made the most of his opportunities. He completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 2,343 yards, 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. This would parlay into a very nice 1993 season for him.

In his second year as the starter in 1993, Barr completed 68.0 percent of his passes for 2,619 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Golden Bears would get back to a bowl game, finishing 9-4 on the year. They defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Alamo Bowl to finish the year ranked No. 25 in the final AP Poll.

Unfortunately, that success would be fleeting for Barr and Cal in 1994. The Golden Bears went 4-7 and missed out on a bowl game. Barr split time with sophomore Pat Barnes at quarterback that fall. Though neither performed well, Barr was slightly better in his 11 games played. He completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 1,077 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions.

In three years as the Cal starter, Barr threw for 6,039 yards, 45 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He completed 63.0 percent of his passes, averaged 7.9 yards per attempt and boasted a 140.9 passing efficiency rating during his entire time in college. Barr would go on to be drafted in the fourth round by the New York Jets in 1995 but didn’t make the team out of camp. He briefly spent time with the then-St. Louis Rams in 1995 and the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe in 1997.

In terms of the big passing numbers, Barr ranks seventh all time in Cal history in touchdown passes, eight all time in completions with 481 and ninth all time in passing yardage. While those numbers are certainly worthy of him being in the top 10, his yards per attempt, completion percentage and passing efficiency rating are all top three all time at Cal. The only quarterbacks better than him in any of those departments are Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff and Rich Campbell, all former star Cal quarterbacks taken in the first round of their respective NFL Drafts.