Pac-12: Terrance Cain

What's your quarterback's 'score'?

February, 25, 2011
An interesting post here from the California Golden Blogs on a different way to calculate quarterback efficiency.

It's worth it to read the whole story because it breaks down every FBS conference and has a bunch of cool graphics, but I'm just going to steal borrow the part that focuses on the Pac-12.

The writer, Berkelium97 (is he a Klingon?), feeds numbers into Utah State sports economist David Berri's "more intuitive formula that addresses some of the common criticisms lobbed at the passer efficiency rating." Berri calls his formula the "QB Score" and it looks like this: QB Score = Total Yards - (3 x Plays) - (50 x Turnovers).

The difference in QB Score and college efficiency rating is this:
The traditional passer efficiency rating tends to take on a "more is better" approach: if players throw a bunch of TDs and hundreds of yards, they can get away with a fairly high turnover rate. Berri's measure has a different philosophy: if you generate yards and avoid turnovers, you will be rewarded.

So here's the list of Pac-12 quarterbacks, ranked by their "QB score," which you can compare to their efficiency rating.

You can see one reason folks at Arizona State believed that Osweiler would have beaten Threet out this spring, even before Threet opted to retire due to recurrent concussions.

No surprises with Mansion and Prince ranking toward the bottom -- they also did for efficiency rating. No surprise at the very top either, with Luck and Thomas. And the Locker critics probably will enjoy his mediocre tally.

It's surprising that Scott is ahead of Foles and that Cain is ahead of Wynn, though both the Arizona and Utah backups put their numbers up with a far smaller sample size. Further, guess here is that Colorado fans probably didn't expect Hawkins to rate so highly -- ahead of Locker and Barkley!

Barkley's number is surprising, particularly considering he ranked third in the conference in passing efficiency and threw 26 TD passes, but the Golden Blogs' analysis says this: "he finished in the bottom half because he does not generate that much yardage and he throws a fair number of interceptions. He's much improved over last year, but he still has work to do."

New family member: Utah

December, 22, 2010
Utah will walk onto the field tonight at the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl as a member of the Mountain West Conference. It will walk off as a member of the Pac-12 South.

So, in advance, welcome Utes.

As for the rest of us -- the Original Ten (also known not that long ago as the Elite Eight) -- the matchup between Utah (10-2) with Boise State (11-1) at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN) will be a good preview of a new member of the family, even though the Utes will be without starting quarterback Jordan Wynn, whose season ended with shoulder surgery. Senior Terrance Cain will get the start.

Wynn, who will be a junior next fall, was last seen opposite a Pac-10 team slicing and dicing California in a 37-27 win in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl. That victory, by the way, was the Utes' ninth consecutive bowl win, which is truly impressive and speaks to excellent coaching.

For those who'd like some primers on the game, here's's introduction at the beginning of the bowl season and here's an updated preview. Here are three more keys.

Here's a look from Sports Illustrated's intrepid college football scribe, Stewart Mandel.

And for those who need their updates fast from now on, you should add Lya Wodraska's fine blog to your Internet "favorites" list.

Pac-10 lunch links: Ducks not typical national power

December, 21, 2010
"If I could work my will," said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"

Pac-10 lunch links: Rodgers to NFL draft?

December, 9, 2010
But after I had got them out and shut the door and turned off the light it wasn't any good. It was like saying good-by to a statue. After awhile I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

December, 6, 2009
California (8-4) vs. Utah (9-3)
Dec. 23, 8 p.m., (ESPN)

A bowl win is a great way to send a what-could-have-been season off in a positive way, which is what you have with California's matchup against Utah in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.

These are two teams that probably think they are pretty good, but that failed to win the big games.

Utah played three ranked teams and lost to them all -- Oregon, TCU and BYU.

California played well at times, but when it lost, it really lost, going down by 39, 27, 17 and 32 points this season.

It's unclear whether the Bears will have the services of running back Jahvid Best, who spent the early part of the season as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. He suffered a concussion against Oregon State on Nov. 7 and hasn't played since, in large part because of a back problem brought on by the fall that knocked him out.

Utah is good on defense, particularly against the pass, and fair to middling on offense. The Utes switched from Terrance Cain to freshman Jordan Wynn at quarterback, and that seemed like a good move until Wynn struggled in the finale against BYU.

Cal's defense showed signs of life late in the season until Washington quarterback Jake Locker tore it apart on Saturday, just as it appeared that junior quarterback Kevin Riley had turned a corner before a mediocre effort in Husky Stadium.