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College Hotline - Pac-12 football: Ranking the quarterback comfort levels

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, May 11, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    (Credit: AP Photo)

    We’ll start the quarterback rankings — the second in a post-spring series on the state of Pac-12 football — by repeating a longtime Hotline adage that, to be honest, seems worth repeating:

    The backup quarterback is the least important player on any team …. Until he’s the most important.

    We see it every year, with Oregon, Washington and Arizona providing perhaps the most glaring examples in 2015, when Vernon Adams, Jake Browning and Anu Solomon were injured and the quality of play in their absence was not exactly up to snuff.

    The Quarterback Comfort Quotient (QBCQ) rankings below are based on a somewhat subjective convergence of 1) the quality of the starting quarterback and 2) the options available if the starter goes down.

    The team at the top doesn’t have the best quarterback in the league, but it has what seems to be the best combination of No. 1 and No. 2.

    In many cases, the starting options are uninspiring and the backup situation is either poor or dreadful, with a heavy emphasis placed on experience, not raw talent. (I’d rather have a backup with mediocre ability and 50 career passes than a gifted freshman with zero attempts.)

    Two teams – Cal and Colorado – are awaiting word from Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb, and his arrival on either campus would drastically change the outlook for the sweepstakes winner.

    12. Arizona State: The good news: The Sun Devils have three options in sophomore Manny Wilkins and redshirt freshmen Brady White and Bryce Perkins. The bleak news: Their combined number of passes starts with z and rhymes with hippo.

    11. Utah: Five years in the Pac-12, and the Utes have yet to produce a top-tier quarterback. Don’t bet on that changing in ’16. Junior Brandon Cox (three career passes) is the frontrunner, with Washington transfer Troy Williams and rookie Tyler Huntley in contention.

    10. Cal: In a word: Cluttered. The guess here is that Chase Forrest (18 career attempts) emerges in training camp ahead of Ross Bowers and Zach Kline, who left Cal two years ago after losing the competition with Jared Goff but is back in school. If the Bears land Webb, bump ‘em up to No. 5.

    9. Colorado: In a best-case scenario, Webb arrives as planned and competes with a healthy Sefo Liufau, giving CU two proven options where some teams have none. In a worst-case scenario, Webb goes elsewhere, Liufau is not healthy, and the Buffs are in deep trouble. Consider the No. 9 slot a compromise.

    8. Stanford: If anything, the competition between Kelly Chryst and Ryan Burns tightened during the spring. Neither has much experience. Burns owns a deeper understanding of the offense while Chryst, a former 5-star recruit, has greater physical talent. If only the Cardinal had a decent tailback to take the pressure off …

    7. Oregon State: Darell Garretson, who threw for 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns at Utah State, won the Beavers’ starting job last month. The backup position is hardly comforting, but in all, the situation could be worse for coach Gary Andersen. A lot worse.

    6. Oregon: Dakota Prukop arrived in Eugene without the success against Pac-12 competition that Vernon Adams had in his time at Eastern Washington. Prukop did little during spring ball to allay concerns among the Duck faithful. The other options are redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen, true freshman Terry Wilson and Jeff Lockie, who’s back for what seems like his seventh season.

    5. USC: Max Browne has thrown 19 career passes, which makes him a savvy veteran compared to many quarterbacks competing for jobs throughout the conference in ’16. Browne failed to secure the job during spring ball. (See: Chryst, Stanford; and Prukop, Oregon.) The primary competition comes from freshman Sam Darnold. It’s hardly a reassuring situation for the Trojans, but many teams are in worse shape.

    4. Arizona: The Wildcats could have two top-tier quarterbacks .. or none. Veteran Anu Solomon is the presumed starter, but injuries have prevented him from locking up the gig. Dual-threat sophomore Brandon Dawkins, who threw for 300 yards against ASU last year, is a better-than-average option. Would he be a better-than-average starter? Unknown.

    3. UCLA: A strong case could be made that the Bruins have the most talented quarterback in the conference in Josh Rosen, who threw 23 TDs last year as a true freshman. But UCLA is No. 3 in this ranking because there are no proven passers behind Rosen now that Jerry Neuheisel has moved on. Matt Lynch and Devon Modster are well regarded, but they’re rookies and they’re not Rosen.

    1A. Washington State: The Hotline would take fourth-year junior Luke Falk over any quarterback in the conference with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. And if he goes down, WSU has a viable option: Redshirt sophomore Peyton Bender started the Apple Cup. He wasn’t very good, but he started and threw 58 passes.

    1. Washington: Jake Browning is no worse than the league’s No. 3 quarterback (behind Falk and Rosen). But the reason UW holds the top spot in the QBCQ ratings is the combination of top-tier starter and experienced backup: Redshirt sophomore K.J. Carta-Samuels played in eight games last season, with a significant role in several. Give the Huskies an ever-so-slight edge over WSU.

    And please note: The QBCQ ratings will be updated at the close of training camp.


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    The post Pac-12 football: Ranking the quarterback comfort levels appeared first on College Hotline.

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    by Jon Wilner
  2. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    By this board's standards, 7 staffs should be fired plus UCLA for having no depth chart. 4 are safe for now.

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