Well, today as we officially end the halfway mark of the 2010 football season, we thought it would be interesting to rate the Pac-10 quarterbacks at the season’s midpoint. To check out where I rank the conference’s signal callers and to provide us with your own takes, then read on.
Followers, when I first came up with the idea of ranking these young lads, I thought doing so would be a relatively easy task. But, when it actually came down to looking at the numbers, well, it’s pretty stinking hard to come up with some objective standard.
So, when you check out where I’ve placed each quarterback, please keep in mind that my rankings are based not only on numbers, but are also based on previous performances (fair or unfair) as well as how each quarterback has met the eye test when I’ve been able to watch them (and yes, I have been able to watch each quarterback at least three times). Let’s get on with it, shall we?
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford. 1538 yards, 16 touchdowns, 4 Ints.
Not much of an argument here, I suspect. Luck has all of the tangibles and intangibles of a great quarterback. Great efficiency rating, great leadership skills, a last second winning drive under his belt, great arm, and he’s mobile to boot. Even in a good quarterback league, he stands out as a cut above the rest.
2. Nick Foles, Arizona, 1529 yards, 9 touchdowns, 5 Ints.
A completion machine. Strong kid with great leadership skills who has two game winning drives against Iowa and CAL under his belt. The only question about this kid is his ability to win big games on the road. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to show his mettle over the coming weeks.
3. Darron Thomas, Oregon, 1213 yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 Ints
Not necessarily a numbers machine, but has already shown the type of grit needed to play on a National Title contender. Last year, Masoli, while FANTASTIC, would fall of the face of the earth when Oregon’s running game slowed and when the Quack had to play from behind. Thomas, on the other hand, has shown that he can beat you with both his arm AND his legs. And the scary part is that he is only going to get better.
4. Matt Barkely, 1517 yards, 15 touchdowns, 4 Ints
It’s easy to write off Mr. Barkely given the Trojans recent woes, not to mention his questionable decision making against WSU. But, those numbers still really pop out at you. While I’m not sure that Barkley is the leader that he needs to be with this group, his strong presence combined with JUST enough mobility, still make him a top-tier guy in my book.
5. Jeff Tuel, WSU, 1478 yards, 9 touchdowns, 5 Ints
Hard to know where to place our Jeffrey, and I’m admittedly giving him a bit of the “homer” nod. That said, while Tuel arguably has one of the better receiving corps in the conference, there is also no other quarterback who has done more with less around him. Tuel’s overall smarts, savvy, and mobility justify him as a top tier guy, at least in my mind. Whether he can stay in the top flight will depend on his ability to handle the myriad blitzes and stunts that he is going to see over the next three weeks.
6. Ryan Katz, 1113 yards, 9 touchdowns, 1 Int
If any of you saw the Arizona game last week, you had to be amazed by the kid’s arm strength—including a scramble where he just winged it 55 yards down field for a touchdown without even stepping into the throw. On top of that, check that interception total. And that comes against defenses like Arizona, Boise State, and TCU. This kid is going to be a thorn in Tuel’s ability to claim first team All-Pac 10 in the coming years. He looks to be REALLY special.
7. Jake Locker, 1145 yards, 8 touchdowns, 3 Ints
We’ll touch on Jake Locker more later in the season. But, at this point, it is difficult to find a more disappointing story in all of College Football than Jake. Granted, his 400 yards + of total offense against USC shows that he may still ultimately belong in the top 2 in the conference, poor showings against BYU, ASU, and Nebraska give rise to serious questions about his ability to help the Huskies turn the corner. And while no player deserves all responsibility for the outcome of a football game, the Dawgs stand right now as the conference’s biggest bust, and Jake bears a fair amount of responsibility for that.
8. Steven Threat, 1719 yards, 11 touchdowns, 11 Ints
Hard to know what to think of this kid. Best in total passing yards in the conference and has looked brilliant in flashes. At the same time, the interceptions have been atrocious, and you have to wonder whether or not his tendency to turn the ball over is going away with no more FCS teams left on the schedule.
9. Kevin Prince, 384 yards, 3 touchdowns, 5 Ints
I know, I know, HORRIBLE numbers by any standard. But the bottom line is that Prince has looked in TOTAL control in victories over two top 25 opponents. And, while Texas and Houston may have been horribly over-rated, his ability to help UCLA right the ship after a dreadful 0-2 start, keeps him out of the cellar. That said, for him to keep the Bruins from falling off the face of the earth in the season’s second half, he must get healthy AND improve his passing at the same time. Tough road, methinks.
10. Kevin Riley, 931 yards, 9 touchdowns, 4 Ints
Its hard to put King Mediocre at the bottom because, in some ways, he’s just not THAT bad. But, when you look at the total body of work, you wonder “What has he EVER done?” to make CAL play championship level football. Moreover, when I imagine how he’d do playing for a team like WSU, I really wonder whether or not he’d be much, if any, upgrade from Ocho Rojo.
So, there you have it. If you have the time, we’d love to see how you rank these QBs. In a conference full of parity, it really seems like quarterbacking may a key reason why.
Enjoy the rest of your Friday and GO COUGS