What makes the Manning award stand out among the other major college football quarterback awards is that it takes into account a player's postseason performance.
Celebrating the careers of both Eli, Peyton and Archie Manning, the 2015 watch list features 30 quarterbacks, two of which are Penn State's Christian Hackenberg and Tommy Armstrong of Nebraska.
The other nominee from the Big Ten is none other than Michigan State's Connor Cook, the fifth year senior who has appeared on three other preseason watch lists, Davey O'Brien, Walter Camp and the Maxwell award.
Cook, who has a 23-3 record as a starter for the Spartans, is five wins shy of being the winningest quarterback in the program's history, surpassing Kirk Cousins' record of 27 wins. He also needs 3,100 yards to become the team's all-time passing leader.
A 10-member pairing will be notified on Nov. 25, three days prior to Michigan State's season finale against Penn State in East Lansing. The winner is to be announced on Jan. 13, two days after the National Championship game.