Thursday, June 27, 2013
Making the case for Casey Pachall
By David Ubben
It has been a long time since the quarterback landscape across the Big 12 was this unpredictable. Texas' David Ash is the most experienced signal-caller in the league, but he has yet to prove he can be consistently great. There's potential across the league with new faces such as Bryce Petty and Michael Brewer, but only one player has proved he can be great on a weekly basis.
Entering 2013, TCU's Casey Pachall has the most convincing case as the Big 12's best quarterback. He has plenty to prove after missing the final nine games of 2012 to seek treatment for addiction following a drunk-driving arrest. Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson allowed Pachall a road back, and he has continued to meet those requirements following treatment, re-enrolling at TCU as he prepares for his senior year.
Patterson admitted that Pachall was rusty when he returned to practice in the spring and, as a result, he still hasn't officially won his job back. There's plenty of skepticism about Patterson's insistence that the competition between Pachall and Trevone Boykin is ongoing. When you look back at what Pachall has done when he has been on the field, it's easy to see why.
He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first season as a starter in 2011, and looked even better before leaving the team in 2012. Despite completing 38.5 percent of his passes in a torrential downpour against SMU, he maintained his 2011 completion percentage average in the four games he did play.
Without that contest, Pachall would have completed 76 percent of his passes. He had 10 touchdowns and one interception before seeking help, and when he's at his best, he has shown an ability to be better than any quarterback in the Big 12.
For now, the preseason accolades will be minimal for quarterbacks across the Big 12, which is to be expected with modest resumes across the league. By the end of the year, that will likely change.
The only certainty: Pachall will be in any group of Big 12 quarterbacks who have proved themselves by the end of 2013.