Bryce Petty

Baylor’s Bryce Petty remains on pace for special season


The talk last week by some college football observers was that Johnny Manziel was having such a magnificent season, he just might win a second Heisman.

They compared Manziel’s statistics with other Heisman candidates and concluded that, based on the numbers at least, Johnny Football was a shoo-in for the trophy.

But they seemed to have forgotten about Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty who, upon closer examination, might be having an even better season than Manziel.


— Petty’s 206.23 passer rating not only leads the nation, it would break the NCAA record of 191.78 set by Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson in 2011. Manziel’s rating is also stellar at 186.86.

— Petty throws for 332.4 yards per game, which is a about a yard better than Manziel’s 331.3 average.  But the rub is that Petty is getting his yardage while attempting almost six fewer passes per game. Petty averages 25.9 passer per game while Manziel is at 31.5 per game. Overall, Manziel has thrown 82 more passes than Petty and has just 321 more yards on the year to show for it (he’s played 10 games, Petty has played nine).

— Manziel has 39 total touchdowns in 10 games, while Petty has 34 total touchdowns in nine games. So while Manziel averages 3.9 touchdowns per game, Petty averages 3.8. But, again, Manziel has run 139 more plays than Petty has this year. So Petty produces a touchdown every 8.4 plays that he’s involved in, while Manziel produces one every 10.8 plays. This is where Baylor’s numerous blowouts come into play, as Petty has missed a lot of second-half action as a result.

— Petty has 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games while Manziel has eight in 10 games.

— Petty has just one interception on the year while Manziel has 11.

— Manziel is superior in completion percentage (73 percent to 65.2 percent), total rushing yards (611 to 127) and touchdown passes (31 to 24).

Petty is on pace to have 3,989 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes, 168 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns by the time the Heisman vote is due, while Manziel is on pace for 3,975 yards, 37 touchdown passes, 732 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.

So the two players are pretty much equal when it comes to projected passing yardage, while Manziel will likely have way more rushing yards. But when it comes to total touchdowns, Manziel’s pace is for 47 while Petty’s pace is 45.

But when you consider Petty’s passing efficiency number and his amazing lack of turnovers, plus the fact that he’s almost on par with Manziel despite being involved in far fewer plays, there’s a good argument to be made that, while both players are having amazing seasons, Petty’s is the most impressive overall.

Whatever the case, both of these special players should be in New York City come mid-December.

Wisconsin announces 10-year agreement with Under Armour

Joel Stave
Associated Press

What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.

“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”

The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.

Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:

Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.

“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.

Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

Getty Images

In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.