Another year has passed and no Big Ten QB has made any kind of national impact...or at least a positive one. Terrelle Pryor was on the tail end of some Heisman lists, but the USC game quickly bucked him off those. Daryll Clark found himself spewing astronomical stats in almost every game...except the ones that mattered on a BCS level.
One obvious observation - the quarterback play was improved all the way across the Big Ten. In fact, let me illustrate this:
Improved QB Situation from 2008: Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, NW, Wisconsin, Indiana,
Declining QB Situation from 2008: Illinois, Minnesota
Similar QB Situation of 2008: Penn State, OSU, Iowa
In the running back focused league of 2008, QB's struggled with injuries and consistency. Although two of them (Painter, Hoyer) made it to 3rd string status in the NFL, the ratings were horrendous and offenses stagnated badly when the run game was slowed. Last year, only four quarterbacks had a 126 QB rating or higher. This year, that number rose to nine.
Our group of QB's here, who mostly avoided injuries, consists of four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and one freshman. Since none of the seven non-seniors are good enough to jump to the NFL right now, that's a good amount of returning starters for next year. Weber and Forcier will face major challenges to their hold on the starting job. Without further adieu, enjoy the 2009 Big Ten Quarterback Rankings, Final Edition.
|#1||Daryll Clark||PSU||Destroyed Michigan State last week. Rivals has him as the 27th best QB in the nation, for what it's worth. Since this rankings inception in 2008, has always been #1 in my rankings.|
|#2||Mike Kafka||NW||Played his best game of the year versus Wisky, a mistake free 326 yard, 2 TD performance. Ran the NW Spread well all year and would have semi-torched PSU if not for injury.|
|#3||Kirk Cousins||MSU||Laser-rocket armed Baptist boy will be an asset for the Spartans for the next two years. Hit a bit of a sophomore wall toward the end of the year, running into Penn State and Purdue defenses who confused him into picks and incompletions. Cousins v. Western: 22-25, 353 yards, 2 TD's. Nice.|
|#4||Terrelle Pryor||OSU||All he does is win games, right? That's bullshit. He would have won more games if he didn't go noodle armed against Purdue and USC. Does TreS misuse him? Yes. But when Pryor get's unleashed, things get wild. TP is almost impossible to slow on the ground, as witnessed in AA Saturday.|
|#5||Joey Elliot||PU||A great leader and less injury prone than Painter. 22/13 TD/INT ratio compared to 13/11 for 2008 Painter. Also sported a QB Rating 13 points higher. 8 TD's in his final three games. Definitely one of the pleasant surprises in the Big Ten.
|#6||Scott Tolzien||WI||FAR better than the 2008 combo of Evridge/Sherer. Blew apart a couple opponents selling out to stop the run. Things to work on in the offseason: 1) Mobility and 2) Not being so cavalier throwing the ball into coverage. 16/10 TD/INT Ratio.
|#7||Ricky Stanzi||Iowa||Worse QB rating than 2008 and almost lost a couple of games with INT's. After an offseason of Tom Brady comparisons and TRE's orgasmic musings about perfect mechanics, took a step backward by throwing some inconceivable picks. Injury won't affect 2010 performance.|
|#8||Ben Chappell||IND||Another pleasant surprise who made a habit of scaring the hell out of teams in the first half, only to regress terrible in the second half. Stats v. Wisky three weeks ago: 25-35, 323 yards, 3 TD's, 2 Picks. Microcosm of a thoroughly entertaining Hoosier team.|
|#9||Adam Weber||MN||I called for his benching four weeks ago. After torching State like Stewie torching Brian during the "Got My Money" Family Guy episode, had three consecutive bad performances. This offense can't transition to MarQueis Gray quick enough. Threw the single worst Big Ten pass of the year (the pick6 to Derek Domino of South Dakota St).|
|#10||Juice Williams||ILL||Juice shredded Michigan and was generally effective versus NW. Early season struggles are hard to overcome on this list though, especially coming from the main catalyst of the Big Ten's most disappointing team.|
|#11||Tate Forcier||UM||He's not REALLY the worst QB in the Big Ten. But I'm a Michigan fan and he threw four picks against OSU, thus prolonging a 5 game losing streak.|