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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Critical QB battles at Stanford, Oregon

By Kevin Gemmell

Quarterback competitions are going to be all the rage in the Pac-12 this spring and heading up until the start of the 2012 season opener. Stanford and Oregon will be losing tremendous productivity from outgoing signal-callers Andrew Luck and Darron Thomas.

Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders looked at which quarterback competition battles matter most nationally Insider -- and Stanford and Oregon were right there in the mix.

The article has some interesting stats about which quarterback-reliant teams had a harder time adjusting -- looking specifically at the 2009 and 2010 seasons -- and which ones had easier transitions because the offense didn't rely as heavily on the quarterback spot.

Baylor tops the list as having the most critical quarterback transition -- with Robert Griffin III accounting for 65.4 percent of the Bears' offense.

Here's Fremeau on Stanford and Luck, who accounted for 57.6 percent of the Cardinal offense last season.
[Luck's] contribution to Stanford's total offense falls between the heavy production and light production range, however, and the offense under David Shaw can still be successful, since it is powered by a strong ground game as much as it was by Luck's arm.

Oregon falls under the rating of "less critical QB transitions" with Thomas accounting for 40.5 percent of the Ducks' offense. Fremeau on Oregon:
The Ducks have had sustained success over the last few years, precisely because they distribute the ball to an arsenal of offensive weapons and don't lean too heavily on the quarterback. The Ducks ranked fourth nationally in total offense but didn't have a single individual player rank among the top 50 nationally in total offense last season.