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Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Evaluating Big 12 QBRs after Week 1

By Jake Trotter

For this season, ESPN launched a new metric of measuring quarterbacks, called QBR. What exactly is QBR? A quick refresher:
QBR measures quarterbacks on a scale of 0 to 100, evaluating all plays they're involved in that contribute to victories. In other words, how a quarterback factors into wins. QBR factors in such components as where on the field a pass is completed and what the down-and-distance. A 3-yard pass on third-and-two counts for more than a 10-yard pass on third-and-20. Runs, sacks and penalties are also accounted for. And a month into the season, when there is enough information, the strength of the defense the quarterback facing will be factored in, too.

After Week 1, here are the QBRs (remember, the opposing defensive strength is not factored in yet) in the Big 12:
  1. Bryce Petty, Baylor: 92.8
  2. David Ash, Texas: 85.2
  3. J.W. Walsh, Oklahoma State: 83.6
  4. Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech: 78.5
  5. Paul Millard, West Virginia: 62.7
  6. Sam Richardson, Iowa State: 53.4
  7. Jake Waters, Kansas State: 48.1
  8. Casey Pachall, TCU: 45.2
  9. Trevor Knight, Oklahoma: 42.9
  10. Trevone Boykin, TCU: 20.4

A few thoughts and observations:
QBR is useful in determining where quarterbacks struggled and where they succeeded in the first week. But the true value of the formula won’t come to fruition until opposing defensive strength is factored in later this month. It’s a safe bet that quarterbacks such as Boykin, Pachall and Walsh would have scored higher with that component; and others, like Petty and Ash, a bit lower.