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Is This a Great Year for Quarterbacks?

2010 November 17
by Skip Sauer

The Walter Camp Foundation has released a list of 15 “players to watch” for its NCAA College Football Player of the Year Award. If you comb through the list, you can count that two of the fifteen are defensive players. This seems normal, regrettably. But looking more closely, nine of the thirteen offensive players are quarterbacks, which strikes me as abnormal.  Has this ever happened before?

As an avid college football fan, I recognize that Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet, Kellen Moore, and the other listed QBs are exceptionally talented players. But the preponderance of quarterbacks (and the people who sack them: see the two defensive players listed)  suggests to me that the TV cameras, which focus on the QB after each and every snap in the modern game, are dictating the show.

Do you agree that this list is biased?  The idea that 9 of the 15 best players in the game are from 1 of 22 (or more) positions suggests to me that the ability to judge relative athletic talent is extremely difficult,  especially at this level.  The response to this difficulty in the “award market” seems to focus on players in visible positions at the expense of players whose “unseen” contributions are less obvious.  I thought it was the purpose of informed bodies like the Walter Camp Foundation to offset this tendency.  My bad!

5 Responses
  1. Keith Baldwin permalink
    November 17, 2010

    I agree there are a ton of players and matchups one can watch.

    As a Florida Gators and SEC fan I have enjoyed watching our star corner Janoris Jenkins take on the SEC leading receivers – AJ Green at Georgia, Julio Jones at Alabama, Alshon Jefferies at South Carolina, etc.

    Poor ol Offensive Linemen. Rarely do they get any good attention.

  2. Aaron Gordon permalink
    November 17, 2010

    Since quarterbacks touch the ball on every single play, and are always in the camera’s view, it is easiest to play the “VORP” game with quarterbacks; that is, how would the team do if they had an average, or even slightly above average, player in place of that player? Also, fans are always surrounded with critique and criticism of quarterbacks, so the knowledge of proper quarterback play is much better than, say, a left tackle. The average fan likely has no idea what the proper technique for a left tackle is, especially when compared to a quarterback, which makes them harder to evaluate for most people. All this has the cumulative effect that, if the award wants to get national attention, giving it to a quarterback is the best way to do so.

  3. Frank permalink
    November 17, 2010

    I think it’s just a reflection of the offensive systems that are in place in college football today. The spread option (and it’s variants) puts alot of focus on the QB and these award nominations are a reflection of that.

  4. Greg Pinelli permalink
    November 17, 2010

    I’ve never heard such uninformed BS in a while…do ANY of you dweebs actually watch College games????

    Andrew Luck is the finest NFL prospect I’ve seen in nearly 30 has NOTHING to do with hype…it’s all about the reality. There is Luck and NO…ONE else…Cam Newton is Young light.

    IF the 49ers get Harbaugh …and they can possibly get Luck they are the 2012 Superbowl Champs…..

  5. Aaron Gordon permalink
    November 18, 2010

    I’m sure you are more than capable of going into more detail on why Andrew Luck is such a great prospect. But, if you can honestly tell me what makes Ndamukong Suh, from a technical perspective, such a dominating DT prospect, or what made Jake Long such a high OT prospect, I would be ready to consider your evaluation of Luck as “one of the finest NFL prospects…in 30 years.”
    Also, I just think you’re flat-out wrong about Andrew Luck. But that’s just my opinion. He is the best QB in this class, but he will not be better than Bradford.

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