Robert Griffin

Is Baylor pumping out system QBs? Bryce Petty doesn’t think so

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Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is moving on to the NFL, where he has a chance to be the second first-round quarterback drafted out of Baylor under head coach Art Briles. The first was Robert Griffin III. Petty may not be receiving the hype quarterbacks like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are receiving for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is Petty is labeled by some as a system quarterback from his time spent at Baylor, and that scares some people.

With the NFL Draft coming up, Petty is not afraid of addressing the idea he may be a system quarterback. He doesn’t see it that way.

“You’re dealing with hypotheticals when you say he can’t transition because of the system he plays in,” Petty said during a radio interview on ESPN (transcribed by The Dallas Morning News). “If you look at a spread vs. a west coast, it’s still a system. It’s not that I couldn’t do the things you’re asked to do in the NFL, that’s just not we were asked to do.”

Petty played at Baylor at a time when the Bears were essentially taking to the air and playing an up-tempo style of offense. It worked, with Petty guiding the Bears to two straight Big 12 championships, and appearances in two New Years Six bowls (Fiesta Bowl and Cotton Bowl). Along the way Petty was generally viewed as a player who would put up heavy passing stats without establishing much of a profile for the pro game. Whether that is fair or not may be answered best by seeing what Petty does later in the NFL. If he wins, who will care about Petty’s label?

“At the end of the day, it’s whatever gets you Ws, whether it’s defense or offense or field goals,” Petty added. “At some point you’re going to have to score points. People want to see that, no one wants to see a 6-3 game where everyone’s running the whole game.”

At Baylor the focus shifts to the next starting quarterback. Will Seth Russell, who tossed four touchdowns in Baylor’s spring scrimmage a few weeks back, also receive the label of system quarterback?

Oregon fans petition to retire Marcus Mariota’s No. 8

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The impact Marcus Mariota had on the Oregon program has been a tremendous one. The Oregon program had been building for years even before Mariota was recruited by Mark Helfrich and former head coach Chip Kelly, but Mariota helped lead Oregon to a Pac-12 championship, a Rose Bowl victory and an appearance in the first College Football Playoff national championship game. Along the way he won the school’s first Heisman Trophy and represented the school and program as well as the state of Hawaii with great pride. Loved by Oregon fans of all ages, Mariota fans are now asking for his uniform number to become the first retired number by Oregon.

As usual these days, there is an online petition for the cause.

“This is a petition to encourage the University of Oregon to retire the #8 jersey of Marcus Mariota,” the online petition states. “He has selflessly brought so much to the school and has held a special place in the household of all Ducks fans. Let us honor him and his legend by retiring his number.”

“Being here now and watching what Mariota’s able to do, I don’t think there’s ever going to be a quarterback like him,” said Oregon student Shane Higgins said in a report by NBC affiliate KMTR in Eugene, Oregon. “I don’t think there’s ever going to be another player like him.”

This may be true, but is it too soon to retire a player’s number out of college? Some feel there should be some time before doing such a gesture that is uncommon in college football. Of course, Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow already have statues outside their old stomping grounds, so Mariota’s number being retired may not have to wait all that long if Oregon chooses to listen to the fans.

Now that Oregon has a Heisman winner, what power schools are still looking?

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The Oregon Ducks have risen as a football power over the last decade, and now the program has a Heisman Trophy winner to brag about. Quarterback Marcus Mariota brought an end to the Oregon Heisman drought. No longer in search of a Heisman Trophy to add to its football pedigree, Oregon now shifts its sights on winning its first national championship in the College Football Playoff.

The Heisman pursuit continues for 34 other programs from traditional power conferences. Some of the programs may be surprising at first glance. Among them, Tennessee, home to future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning came in second in the Heisman voting to Charles Woodson of Michigan in 1997.

Clemson, Georgia Tech, Michigan State and West Virginia are among the other notable programs without a Heisman Trophy.

Here is a list of schools from power conferences, listed by conference, still waiting for the first Heisman Trophy winner. Also included is a mention of the last Heisman Trophy winner from each power conference. The Big Ten has the longest Heisman drought going right now.

ACC: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Last ACC Heisman Trophy winner: 2013, Florida State QB Jameis Winston

 

Big 12: Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, West Virginia

Last Big 12 Heisman Trophy winner: 2011, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III

 

Big Ten: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers

Last Big Ten Heisman Trophy winner: 2006, Ohio State QB Troy Smith

 

Pac-12: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Utah, Washington, Washington State

Last Pac-12 Heisman Trophy winner: 2014, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota

 

SEC: Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

Last SEC Heisman Trophy winner: 2012, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Former Wisconsin RB Montee Ball calls Heisman a “QB award”

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A quarterback has won the Heisman Trophy each of the last five years and 13 times dating back to 2000. The game of college football has evolved to see quarterbacks pile up stats and gather plenty of notoriety during the course of the season, so it may not be a surprise to see the Heisman Trophy slant in favor of high-profile quarterbacks winning the award with regularity.

On Saturday night, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota continued that trend by running away with the 2014 Heisman Trophy. Mariota pulled away from the nation’s best wide receiver, Alabama’s Amari Cooper, and the nation’s leading rusher, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Gordon not winning the award did not seem to sit well with another former Badgers running back, another Heisman Trophy finalist.

Montee Ball, a 2011 Heisman finalist after rushing for 1,759 yards and 32 touchdowns, shared his reaction to his Wisconsin successor getting passed over for another quarterback.

Ball finished fourth in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting. That year’s award went to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. Stanford’s Andrew Luck finished second, followed by Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

This was a strong year for running backs, but Mariota entered the year as a Heisman favorite and did nothing this season to detract from his Heisman track. Is the Heisman Trophy a quarterback award, or did the voters get it right this year?

How does Marcus Mariota stack up with recent Heisman QBs?

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Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is going to win the Heisman Trophy tonight. The only question, they say, is by how much. (And if he doesn’t, some say, the award means nothing.)

We’re not here to speculate about vote totals – the Heisman folks have put that cottage industry out of business – but we can see how Mariota stacks up again recent Heisman-winning quarterbacks.

For purposes of this study, we’ll look at Heisman winning quarterbacks since 2000 and, to account for different styles of offense and the overall evolution of football over the past decade and a half, try to measure things on a per play basis as much as possible.

First, let’s recap the Heisman-winning signal callers since 2000, when college football’s most prestigious honor shifted to becoming a much more quarterback-centric award:

2000 – Chris Weinke, Florida State
2001 – Eric Crouch, Nebraska
2002 – Carson Palmer, USC
2003 – Jason White, Oklahoma
2004 – Matt Leinart, USC
2006 – Troy Smith, Ohio State
2007 – Tim Tebow, Florida
2008 – Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
2010 – Cam Newton, Auburn
2011 – Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2012 – Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2013 – Jameis Winston, Florida State

Without further ado:

Passing Efficiency
1. Griffin – 189.5
2. Mariota – 186.3
3. Winston – 184.9
4. Newton – 182.1
5. Bradford – 180.8

Yards Per Attempt
1. Griffin – 10.7
2. Winston – 10.6
3. Mariota – 10.2
Newton – 10.2
5. Bradford – 9.8

Completion Percentage
1. Griffin – 72.4
2. Mariota – 68.3
3. Manziel – 68.0
4. Bradford – 67.9
5. Winston – 66.9
Tebow – 66.9

Touchdown Percentage
1. Newton – 10.7
2. Bradford – 10.4
3. Mariota – 10.2
4. Winston – 9.6
Smith – 9.6

Interception Percentage
1. Mariota – 0.5
2. Griffin – 1.5
Leinart – 1.5
4. Bradford – 1.7
Tebow – 1.7

Yards Per Carry
1. Manziel – 7.0
2. Mariota – 5.7
3. Newton – 5.6
4. Crouch – 5.5
5. Tebow – 4.3

Rushing Touchdown Percentage
1. Mariota – 12.0
2. Bradford – 11.9
3. Tebow – 11.0
4. Manziel – 10.4
5. Crouch – 8.9

Yards Per Play
1. Mariota – 9.1
Winston – 9.1
Bradford – 9.1
4. Weinke – 8.8
5. Griffin – 8.6

(Mariota breaks the tie by averaging 9.11 yards per play, slightly ahead of Winston at 9.08 and Bradford at 9.06.)

Touchdown Percentage
1. Mariota – 10.8
2. Bradford – 10.5
3. Tebow – 9.8
4. Newton – 9.3
5. White – 8.3

For the record, Mariota’s stats this year stand at 254-of-372 passing for 3,773 yards with 38 touchdowns and two interceptions to go with 117 rushes for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus one reception for a 26-yard touchdown. While his total numbers don’t stack up to every-snap workhorses like Tebow, Newton and Manziel – Manziel averaged a full 10 more touches a game than Mariota this season, and Newton had twice as many rushes – Mariota gets more done with the touches he gets. Mariota nearly produces a first down every play, and registers a touchdown every 10 touches.

Mariota is the only quarterback to show up in all nine of our hand-picked statistics. All in all, No. 8 either holds his own or surpasses the very best quarterbacks that the Golden Age of Offense has to offer, and his 2014 campaign sets a new standard for dual-threat efficiency.

Oh, and one more thing. Taking the spread offense back a decade is just simply unfair, like bringing an AK-47 to the Revolutionary War.