QB Ratings in the Pac-12

6 08 2010

I got this idea from the Bill Simmons Sportsguy podcast about rating the NFL teams with a blue-chip rating. They evaluated teams in the NFL based on a point system that Mike Lombardi came up with. I like the term “Blue Chip” because this is the preferred nomenclature for the cream of the crop high school recruits in the country. I’ll be working on my blue chip team ratings in the next couple of days, but while I was searching for the formula online I stumbled upon a QB predictor rating that ESPN uses to predict the success of quarterbacks in the NFL.

The formula takes into account three statistics: Career starts, completion percentage and touchdown-interception ratio. The theory is that experience, accuracy and production versus mistakes can provide substantive indicators for college quarterbacks.

The formula for BCS quarterbacks
(Career Starts x 0.5) + [(Career completion pct. – 60)x5] +[(Career TD/INT ratio – 2.25)x10]

I wanted to see how our Pac-10 QB’s stack up this year so I decided to plug all of their numbers into an excel chart. I added the two newest QB’s in the conference from Colorado and Utah, but I also wanted to see how our QB’s stack up against the top QB’s in the country. There’s been a lot of hype in the off-season about Jake Locker and Andrew Luck so this might be something that factors into their draft status next April.

The biggest surprise to most people will probably be Jake Locker low on this list, but I’ve seen him play at least a dozen times and despite him possessing elite athleticism he doesn’t read defenses quickly or check down as fast as other QB’s in the conference. His accuracy (58.2% in 2009) is the biggest reason that his rating is so low and will need to be above 60% this year to make the Husky offense dangerous.

Looking more closely at Andrew Luck’s rating, you can see that his 56% completion percentage from 2009 needs improvement. For the most part he was consistent, but in the two games that Toby Gerhart struggled to run the ball (Cal & Oregon St) he went 22-60 for 36% completion percentage in losing efforts. I’ve already stated in my conference projections that I think he will have a more difficult time passing the ball this year, but I still think he’s the best quarterback in the conference.

Here are the other top quarterbacks in the country with Greg McElroy being the Leader of the Pac with a great passing percentage and TD/INT ratio. I used his career stats, but his completion percentage in garbage time in 2007 and 2008 inflated his numbers almost five percent. Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State and Christian Ponder of Florida State have 22 starts a piece to go along with solid, but unspectacular completion percentages and TD/INT ratios, but they have better numbers than some of the Pac-10 quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett being at the bottom of this list came as a surprise to me, because he’s regarded as the third best quarterback in the country behind Locker and Luck.

As you can see from this chart, only Nick Foles of Arizona stacks up well with the other top quarterbacks in the country, but Andrew Luck and Jordan Wynn of Utah are right on the cusp. There’s going to be some exciting football to be played in the conference this year with strong quarterbacks and uncertainties in multiple secondaries.

Here’s what some notable NFL players  rated heading into the draft

cores of First-Round Quarterbacks, 1997-2008
Group I: Strong likelihood of success
Player School Draft year Score
Matt Leinart USC 2006 64.04
Philip Rivers NC State 2004 48.44
Tim Couch Kentucky 1999 47.64
Alex Smith Utah 2005 44.88
Aaron Rodgers California 2005 40.58
Peyton Manning Tennessee 1998 39.47
Jason Campbell Auburn 2005 38.75
Byron Leftwich Marshall 2003 36.39
Ben Roethlisberger Miami (Ohio) 2004 33.85
Chad Pennington Marshall 2000 33.53
Daunte Culpepper Central Florida 1999 30.00
David Carr Fresno State 2002 23.97
Joe Flacco Delaware 2008 23.92
Eli Manning Ole Miss 2004 23.14
Donovan McNabb Syracuse 1999 21.62
Group II: Hit-or-Miss
Player School Draft year Score
Brady Quinn Notre Dame 2007 18.93
JaMarcus Russell LSU 2007 18.64
Rex Grossman Florida 2003 18.39
Vince Young Texas 2006 18.21
Carson Palmer USC 2003 16.35
Matt Ryan Boston College 2008 9.14
Patrick Ramsey Tulane 2002 9.06
J.P. Losman Tulane 2004 7.86
Jay Cutler Vanderbilt 2006 2.39
Group III: Busts
Player School Draft year Score
Akili Smith Oregon 1999 0.00
Cade McNown UCLA 1999 -6.41
Joey Harrington Oregon 2002 -6.85
Michael Vick Virginia Tech 2001 -11.32
Ryan Leaf Washington St. 1998 -16.92
Jim Druckenmiller Virginia Tech 1997 -20.25
Kyle Boller California 2003 -50.67

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