Stephen Garcia vs. the Pac-10 headliners

Chuck in Atlanta makes a great point concerning South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.

If Steve Spurrier hadn’t spent the offseason publicly questioning Garcia’s commitment level -- and if Garcia played in the Pac-10 -- he might be getting some serious props nationally right now.

The Pac-10 is being hailed as the Conference of Quarterbacks heading into the 2010 season. The collection of talent at that position is impressive, to say the least.

That said, let’s do a little exercise.

Listed below are the statistics from the past season of six quarterbacks -- the five guys generally considered to be the five best quarterbacks in the Pac-10 (Washington's Jake Locker, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Southern California's Matt Barkley, California's Kevin Riley and Arizona's Nick Foles) as well as Garcia.

Can you pick out which statistics belong to Garcia?

A. 2,862 passing yards, 17 TD passes, 10 interceptions, 55.3 completion percentage.

B. 2,850 passing yards, 18 TD passes, eight interceptions, 54.7 completion percentage.

C. 2,800 passing yards, 21 TD passes, 11 interceptions, 58.2 completion percentage.

D. 2,735 passing yards, 15 TD passes, 14 interceptions, 59.9 completion percentage.

E. 2,575 passing yards, 13 TD passes, four interceptions, 56.2 completion percentage.

F. 2,486 passing yards, 19 TD passes, nine interceptions, 63.6 completion percentage.

Would you believe me if I told you Garcia’s stats were A. and that he passed for more yards than any of the five Pac-10 quarterbacks listed? For the record, B. was Riley, C. was Locker, D. was Barkley, E. was Luck and F. was Foles.

All of their touchdown and interception numbers were pretty close, although Garcia was a little behind in completion percentage.

I’m not suggesting that Garcia is pushing to be a Top 10 pick in the next NFL draft like Locker and Luck, but what I am suggesting (and what Chuck in Atlanta is suggesting) is that maybe Garcia deserves a little bit more love than he’s received.

It's also a reminder that numbers from the previous season aren't everything when you're evaluating quarterbacks.