Collegiate player poll

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Each season, there is an informal player poll to determine the best active collegiate player to accompany the team poll. Ballots are typically held at the end of the year. The poll was run by Mike Cheyne from 2011 to 2018.

As of the 2019 poll, there are 121 players who have been ranked in the top 25. As of the 2022 poll, seven players have ever been ranked first: Matt Bollinger (5 times), Andrew Yaphe (3*), Jordan Brownstein (2), Jacob Reed (2), Will Alston (1), Jerry Vinokurov (1), and Mike Sorice (1).

Chris Ray has appeared in the Top 25 every year except for 2007. He has been in the Top 10 every year since 2009.

A spreadsheet comparing every player who has ever ranked can be found here.

Other rankings

Multiple parties have made rankings of collegiate players that were not polls.

In 2005, the user "Martin Faber" posted the "Definitive Greatest Players List"; it was written by "A" and "Z", pseudonyms for Andrew Yaphe and Zeke Berdichevsky. The original forum post has been lost.

In 2009, "Theophilius and Philalethe" posted "New Essays on Quizbowl Understanding" in AHAN, ranking the top 20 players.

In 2011, Martin Faber returned as "Martin Faber Redivivus" and posted "Definitive Greatest Players List: Revisited", this time joined by "S" (likely Seth Teitler).

In 2016, Martin Faber returned once more to post "25 for 25: A Definitive List of the Greatest ACF Players", which featured "favorite moments" for everyone who was ranked.

Also in 2016, Mike Cheyne posted The 70 Greatest Players of the Last Eight Years: A Ranking, which was his personal ranking of (roughly) all the players that had appeared in polls between 2009 and 2016. John Lawrence posted a lengthy response ranking in the same thread.



The 2022 poll ranked Matt Bollinger 1st after a six-year hiatus from collegiate quizbowl. This is the longest gap between first-place titles.

Stanford became the first-title winning team to have all four members ranked in the Top 25: Tim Morrison (7), Natan Holtzman (9), Ethan Strombeck (15), Eric Wolfsberg (tied 22). All four members of Chicago A were ranked in 2019, but the team did not win any titles.


The 2021 poll ranked Will Alston 1st. Itamar Naveh-Benjamin was ranked 2nd, despite not playing either national tournament, a situation that had not happened since Eric Mukherjee was ranked 2nd in 2011.

Auroni Gupta's 3rd-place ranking made her the highest-ranked female player of all time.

Naveed Chowdhury, who ran the poll, instituted the practice of throwing out the lowest and highest vote for each player, to reduce variance.

Three members of the Nats-winning Florida team were ranked in this poll: Taylor Harvey (6), Tracy Mirkin (tied 11), and Jonathen Settle (tied 22).


There was no 2020 poll, due to the pandemic.


The 2019 poll ranked Jacob Reed 1st for the second time after Yale won their second consecutive ICT; Yale tied for 17th at ACF Nats when Reed was unable to attend due to the tournament falling on Palm Sunday.

Every member of the Chicago A team was ranked in this poll: John Lawrence (3rd), Kai Smith (11th), Alston Boyd (15th), and Matthew Lehmann (19th).


The 2018 poll was the first year that Jacob Reed was ranked 1st; Reed led Yale to 1st at ICT and 3rd at ACF Nats.

This poll featured a freshman Jakob Myers being voted 11th, as well as Eric Mukherjee being voted 2nd for the 5th consecutive year and seventh time in total - Eric was never ranked first.


The 2017 poll marked the second unanimous crowning of Jordan Brownstein as top player in the nation after placing 4th at ICT and winning the ACF Nats title.


The 2016 poll marked Jordan Brownstein being crowning unanimously as the best player in the nation for the first time, unseating previous champion Matt Bollinger, who graduated at the end of 2015. This came after Jordan scored a supermajority of the points on the Maryland team that placed 4th at both ICT and ACF Nats.

Will Alston earns 14th during his final year at Dartmouth.


The 2015 poll finished with Matt Bollinger earning his fourth first-place ranking after again winning ICT. Unlike the previous year, the vote was not unanimous. One ballot listed Eric Mukherjee in first instead after he led Penn to the team's and his own first title at ACF Nats - Matt's Virginia had placed fourth in a tie with Stanford. Nevertheless, this gave Matt the most 1st place rankings of any player in the history of the player polls; this record still stands.


In the 2014 poll, Matt Bollinger is voted unanimously into his third crown as the best player in the nation after winning ICT while scoring more powers than the entire second place Yale team combined and going undefeated at ACF Nats; this tied him with Andrew Yaphe for the most 1st place rankings.

Perennial rival of Bollinger Matt Jackson receives his final ranking at 3rd after bringing Yale to second at both ICT and ACF Nationals, snagging the undergrad titles along the way.

Matt Weiner is voted 5th seven years after being ranked 3rd in the inaugural poll after enrolling at J. Sargeant Reynolds and placing 7th at ICT on a team of only himself and George Berry.

Rob Carson finishes his two-year stint at Minneapolis Community and Technical College alongside Bernadette Spencer with a ranking of 8th on the poll and 10th at ICT.


The 2013 poll gave Matt Bollinger his second crown despite Virginia finishing in 2nd at ICT and 5th at ACF Nats. Though not top scorer at either tournament, Matt had the most powers at ICT.

Matt Jackson earns 2nd after winning ICT.

Ike Jose is ranked 4th, his highest ever, as lead scorer of an Illinois team that placed 4th at ICT and first at Nats. He is joined by teammate Aaron Rosenberg at 11th.


The poll sees Matt Bollinger narrowly win first over Eric Mukherjee - after exactly tying in points, Matt placed higher because one ballot only ranked him and Eric, in that order. Matt had led the ICT-winning Virginia team in scoring, as well as leading the field in powers (albeit with two additional games played over most other players).

Members of the ACF Nats-winning Yale team Matt Jackson (4th), John Lawrence (8th), and Kevin Koai (17th) were all ranked, with fourth member Ashvin Srivatsa also receiving votes.

Ike Jose was ranked 5th for leading the second place at ICT Illinois team.

Joshua Alman was mentioned on three ballots, though no votes were cast for him, after his remarkable performances at SCT and ICT. It was later revealed that Alman had obtained the questions beforehand and was cheating at both tournaments.


The 2011 poll

Selene Koo's ranking at 10th was the last that someone who publicly identified as a woman during the time of voting was voted in the top 25 until 2021. Eric Mukherjee was ranked 2nd despite playing neither national tournament.


The 2010 poll saw Andrew Yaphe earn his third and final first-place ranking after Stanford won first at ACF Nats - Yaphe would not attend 2010 ICT that year, leading them to place 18th.

Seth Teitler, lead scorer of the ICT-winning Chicago team, wins his fourth* 2nd place ranking. Fellow Chicagoan Selene Koo is ranked 13th.


The 2009 poll


A high school Ike Jose is voted 20th after playing in ACF Nats and winning the DII title.


The original post for the 2008 poll is lost - the records are preserved in a table compiled in 2013.


By earning 7th place, Susan Ferrari became the highest ranked player ever to have publicly identified as a woman at the time of voting.

The first year that Chris Ray was ranked (22th), as well as the first year for Eric Mukherjee (6th). Chris now has the record for the most times ranked, the most times ranked consecutively, and the longest ongoing streak (12), as he has been ranked in every poll since; Eric was tied for all of these records until his retirement in 2018 and was never ranked below Chris.


The inaugural player poll has ambiguous results - Seth Teitler was awarded first over Matt Weiner but two of the six submitted ballots failed to rank Andrew Yaphe because of confusion about eligibility.