Welcome to all NFL fans! We are a few days removed from the scouting combine held in Indianapolis and less than two months away from the 2012 NFL draft. Those of us who cared to watch saw our favorite (and not so favorite) college football players perform in various test of skill and athleticism that to those that actually follow the NFL does not mean squat once those players don shoulder pads and helmets. I thought it would be interesting to write a series of blogs with a focus on former college players that are actually contributing in the NFL. In this blog, I have noted a series of fun facts, statistically speaking, based on the 2011 regular season. And since many of us fans tend to hold allegiance to certain NCAA conferences, these below tidbits will categorize the quarterbacks’ stats by conference. Today will be quarterbacks.
Just so everyone reading this is on the same page, below lists a couple of parameters:
1. In order for any quarterbacks’ stats to be used for this, they had to have started/played significantly in at least 13 regular season games.
2. The fun facts will be based on various stats of the 24 quarterbacks who have met criteria #1 and will be categorized in which ever collegiate conference during the time they played.
FUN FACT # 1: The highest average of years in the NFL for quarterbacks are from the BIG 10.
The average years of experience for the two starting former BIG 10 quarterbacks during the 2011 was 11.5 seasons. The ACC was next with 4 quarterbacks consisting of a total of 9 years of experience. The least experienced starting quarterbacks were from the BIG 12 conference, with an average of only 2 years.
FUN FACT #2: The SEC had the most quarterbacks starting/playing significantly.
The SEC had 5 quarterbacks starting significantly during the 2011 season and four of those five started for NFC teams, with Denver’s Tim Tebow the only AFC starter. The ACC, BIG 12, as well as non-FBS colleges boasted 4 starting quarters apiece. The Big East was the only BCS conference that did not have a quarterback playing significantly.
FUN FACT #3: The BIG 10 was the only conference represented whose former quarterbacks’ average passing yardage was more than 4,000.
Actually, former BIG 10 quarterbacks averaged more than 5,000 yards passing for the season. But when the quarterbacks out of the BIG 10 are Tom Brady and Drew Brees, that’s almost par for the course. ACC quarterbacks barely missed the 4,000 yard mark collectively with 3,919 and the SEC was next with 3,780 yards on average, which would have likely been significantly higher if a certain U of Tennessee quarterback was healthy enough to play. Ironically the former BIG 12 quarterbacks, a conference well-known for running spread passing offensives, did not even average 3,000 yards for the season (2,984).
FUN FACT # 4: The best TD to INT ratio also belonged to former BIG 10 quarterbacks.
I know this fact shocked a lot of you (jk). But seriously, the TD:INT ratio for the two former BIG 10 quarterbacks was a whopping 42.5:13 on average! Maybe not so coincidentally, said quarterbacks were also the most experienced of all the participating conferences (see: Fun Fact #1). I say this because the worse average ratio (15.5:14) also hails from the least experienced conference represented (BIG 12).
FUN FACT #5: Of the 24 quarterbacks that started and/or played significantly in at least 13 regular season games during 2011, 15 were former 1st round picks.
A lot of draft day hype tend to center around quarterbacks, particularly in the first round. Every fan desires their team to draft that ‘franchise quarterback’; the quarterback that will lead their team for the next decade and win multiple Super Bowls. So much hype goes into this that there’s strong reason to believe this obsession blinds people, fans and general managers alike, to the point that some quarterbacks are draft high for simple ‘looking the part’ or because they were ‘dynamic’ in college. Then there are the quarterbacks who are over looked for simply having the misfortunate of being the exact opposite; not looking the part or not dynamic enough. IMHO, for the most part a team has as much to do with a quarterback’s success as that quarterback has to do with the team’s success. That is way…
FUN FACT #6: …of the fifteen former 1st round 2011 starters, only 3 has lead their respective teams to a total of 5 Super Bowl victory.
I realize that several of the 1st round quarterbacks that started in 2011 have been in the league less than 5 years. And quarterbacks picked in the 1st round usually are picked high in that round, which usually consistent of teams that has more needs than simply a quarterback (even though free agency is also heavily involved in the team building process). If you’re a fan of a team that builds well and have a solid foundation in place, not getting a starting quarterback in the first round is not the end of the world because…
FUN FACT #7: …of the nine 2011 starters that were not selected in the 1st round, two of them have won a total of 4 Super Bowls.
And coincidently, both of those quarterbacks hail from the BIG 10. BTW, this is not a Kirk Cousins endorsement…or is it?
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you were at least mildly entertained. I am off to do the next section of this series: Running Backs. Stay tuned…