Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Week of 5 (Or 7) QBs

In recent days, a big deal was made out of the fact that there were going to be 5 ACC-pedigree quarterbacks starting games for NFL teams this weekend. (Note that the 5 includes Russell Wilson, who finished his college career at Wisconsin, but let it pass, let it pass.) This was taken by ACC partisans as evidence that the league is indeed a rising football power, as that's a lot of quarterbacks to be starting games. By comparison, the Big 10-ish had 5 (Henne, Brady, Foles, Pryor and Brees), the Big East/AAC had none, and whatever conference Delaware is in had 1. (So did the Ivy League, but don't tell anyone, 'cause they'll freak.)

Of course, the real question isn't "how many of these guys started". It's "How many of them are going to get a chance to start again next week?" With that in mind, let's see how they did:

  • THAD LEWIS (Duke) - Started for Buffalo, acquitted himself credibly, got hurt. Team lost.
  • MIKE GLENNON (NC State) - Started for rudderless Tampa Bay, acquitted himself reasonably credibly against a wobbly defense, did not get hurt. Team lost. 
  • MATT SCHBAUB (Virginia) - Started for Houston. Played terribly, got hurt. Was replaced by TJ YATES (UNC), who played terribly, but did not get hurt. Team lost. Schaub got cheers for being injured from his hometown "fans". And as the Houston fans did this, thousands of Philadelphia fans felt a terrible disturbance in the Force and said, "Dude. Not cool, bro. Not cool."
  • RUSSELL WILSON (NC STATE) - Started for Seattle, played well. Team won. Refrained from mentioning he finished his college career in the Big 10.
  • PHILIP RIVERS (NC STATE) - Played well. Team won. Appears to have gotten over whatever caused him to completely bork my office pool fifteen weeks running last year.
  • MATT RYAN (BC) - Got a bye week with the rest of the Falcons. Team did not lose, though if there were a way to do so, they would have.

So we look at that, and we ask ourselves "What does the data tell us?" 

1-NC State makes as many quarterbacks as the rest of the league put together. 

2-Thad Lewis, in one game, eclipsed Dave Brown as "Best Duke QB in the NFL in recent memory". What, you don't remember Dave Brown? There's a reason for that.

3-The gamut ranges from awful (2, counting Yates) to decent (2) to good (2), plus one guy who spent the entire weekend playing GTA V. In other words, a pretty normal distribution. Which is to say there is absolutely nothing that can be drawn from the fact that a fistful of ACC quarterbacks started this weekend except that there are guys who went to ACC schools who play quarterback. The odds of all three of the trifecta of Glennon, Lewis and Yates making it to the end of the season as their team's starters are pretty slim; it took a combination of injuries, ineffectiveness and Greg Schiano being a complete nutbar to make those stars align for one week. It's a nice talking point, but nothing more - the ACC hasn't suddenly become the creche of QBs, so let's just enjoy this while it lasts.

And if in a year or two, if Tajh Boyd and Jameis Winston and Stephen Morris are making noise on Sundays, we can revisit this. But we're not there yet, and maybe we never will be.
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