Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Getting to know your Pac-12 quarterbacks
By Ted Miller
It's a day of considering Pac-12 quarterbacks, so here's "getting to know them" from a variety of angles.
Most likely to become a benevolent world dictator who will save us from all the stupid people: Stanford's Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in the country. He would have been the top overall pick in last spring's NFL draft. He will be the top overall pick in this spring's draft. Further, he's a smart, humble guy with great leadership skills. And his summer beard showed he has a whimsical side! Fathers across the globe: "Hey, Andrew. I'd like you to meet my daughter."
|Behold the Luck beard.|
Best Tweeter: Many athletes who tweet are boring. Matt Barkley is not.
Best Tweeter II: Oregon State's Ryan Katz and Barkley might need to have a "tweet off." Does that exist?
Best arm: Lots of Pac-12 quarterbacks can bring it. But if I had to bet who can throw it the farthest and hardest, I'd lay my $1 on Katz.
Thank you, sir, may I have another: Washington State's Jeff Tuel was at his best at the end of the 2010 season, despite getting sacked 51 times. Fifty-one times! Ouch.
Headline madness! No matter who won the starting quarterback job at Washington, a goldmine for headline writers was at hand. Keith Price? Bring on Bob Barker, because the "Price is right (or wrong)" headlines were coming. Nick Montana? How often do you think his sorta-super famous father, Joe, might come up?
Most likely to throw for 4,000 yards: Arizona's Nick Foles has the skills and experience -- plus the deep, talented receiving corps and scheme -- to be among the national leaders in passing yards. The question is whether the O-line, with five new starters, can protect him well enough.
Tallest QB ... in the nation? Seeing over his offensive line shouldn't be a problem for Arizona State's Brock Osweiler. As best as the Sun Devils' sports information department has been able to find out, the 6-foot-8 Osweiler will be the tallest quarterback in the nation this year.
Toughest encore: As a sophomore first-year starter, Darron Thomas: 1) Threw for 30 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions; 2) Earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors behind Luck and ahead of Barkley and Foles; 3) And threw for 363 yards in the national title game. Golly. Just imagine what it means if Thomas is, say, 10 percent better in 2011.
No pressure: If Cal's Zach Maynard is merely average this year -- say he has an efficiency rating of 130 -- the Bears will have a successful season and play in a quality bowl game.
No pressure II: If UCLA's Kevin Prince is merely average this year -- say he has an efficiency rating of 130 -- the Bruins will have a successful season and play in a quality bowl game. And Rick Neuheisel will keep his job.
Pac-12 competition -- California? -- bah! Utah's Jordan Wynn has started one game against a Pac-12 foe. As a true freshman, he completed 26 of 36 passes for 338 yards with three touchdowns in a 37-27 win over California in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl and won game MVP honors.
Pac-12 competition -- California? -- eek! Colorado's Tyler Hansen has started one game against a Pac-12 foe. Last fall, he completed 18 of 34 for 166 yards with three interceptions in a 52-7 defeat at California. One of his interceptions was returned 41 yards for a touchdown. One of his completions was fumbled and returned 81 yards for another TD.
Separated at birth? Nick Foles and Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass. Brock Osweiler and Frodo Baggins. Tyler Hansen and Captain America. Darron Thomas and Usher. Ryan Katz and Ron Jeremy. Andrew Luck and Josh Grobin. Matt Barkley and William "Cobra Kai" Zabka. Jordan Wynn and Edward Norton. Jeff Tuel and Bill of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."
Best name? Best name? Well, quarterbacks ultimately are all about Wynn-ing, right? But it pays to be a cool Katz. That said, what Price is a quaretrback willing to pay to win? Of course, often a Prince becomes a king. But let's not forget how important it is to have all the Tuel-s. It's probably best, however, to be Luck-y and good.