I was doing some browsing around on the college football section of sports-reference.com, apropos of nothing, this morning. I was looking at some Heisman winners and finalists from the past, and that eventually led me to Peyton Manning's page.
One thing jumped out at me more than anything else: the guy was remarkably consistent in the realm of passing efficiency. Putting everything else away, here's how he progressed in his career:
Across four years of school and 1381 passes thrown, Manning's passing efficiency stayed in the same window of about 2.5 in width. He didn't have a bad freshman year followed by growth like with Matthew Stafford, nor early success with a late taper on the end as with Tim Tebow. Manning just got the job done at a good rate his whole career without a lot of ups and downs.
Besides Manning's obvious brilliance, I think Tennessee fans would take someone like him who gets the job done without a lot of fluctuations these days, no?