Good morning and Happy Hump Day, Cougs! I was going to continue my rankstravaganza this week by talking about the fight songs of the Pac 12. Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that I knew very few of them and the post would have been something like, "USC's is classic and awesome, I love WSU's (obviously) and UW's is stupid and pretentious and I don't know what Dardanelles are, let alone why crossing them belongs in a fight song. At long last, it appears I've run out of ways to talk about the more inconsequential aspects of college football and my greatest fear is realized: I have to go back to actually talking about football. That said, I officially have become addicted to ranking things so that gimmick lives on. As we start inching ever closer to the season, I'll be ranking the Pac 12 teams' position groups. This week I'll start where everyone else does: Quarterbacks. I'm nothing if not unoriginal. I'm jumping...who's with me?
1. USC - Matt Barkley/Cody Kessler/Max Wittek
Matt Barkley is already winning at life. In 2012 he's also going to win a whole bunch of football games and be in a whole bunch of Heisman discussions, followed by a whole bunch of NFL Draft discussions. Good for you, Matt Barkley. I'm not even a little bit jealous. Should something happen to The Golden Child, the two guys waiting in the wings were rated by Scout as the 10th and 11th best QB's in the country in the Class of 2011. So that's pretty good I guess, if you're into that sort of thing.
2. UW - Keith Price/Derrick Brown/?
Believe me, I really wanted to knock the Huskies down the list based on the apparent lack of depth at the QB position, but the lofty ranking is really a testament to the season that Keith Price had last year. I mean, 3,000+ yards and 33 touchdowns? As proven commodities go, Price has to be up there. And besides, what are the chances he gets hurt? A big kid like that, with no injury history to speak of....there's nothing to worry about there Husky fans. Wait, what's that? Ooooohhhh.
3. WSU - Jeff Tuel/Connor Halliday
Can we just pretend I didn't close out the Husky preview by snarkily mocking the injury risk with Keith Price? You may have heard that our Cougs have had a little problem in this regard in recent years (if you consider a broken collarbone and a lacerated liver to be little problems; doctors evidently do not). That said, we all know the story here. Tuel was looking to make "The Leap" following a pretty impressive sophomore season before his clavicle decided to take the year off. After somewhat of a slow start in spring practice, Tuel looked phenomenal in the Crimson and Gray game and put a pretty firm stranglehold on the starting position in Halliday's liver related absence. Should Halliday be 100% in the fall, you've got to like a QB2 who has led his team to a win and threw for nearly 500 yards in the process. Another note on Halliday, I watched a replay of the Utah game the other day and looking back, you could really see the amount of pain the kid was in that day, while leading a comeback to get the game to overtime by the way.
4. Oregon - Bryan Bennett/Marcus Mariota
I was impressed by Bennett any time I saw him play and fully expected him to be named the starter going into next season, but Mariota had something to say about that, by all accounts outplaying Bennett this spring. I'm of the belief that either one of these guys will end up being considered a star because that's just what happens in this offense. Darron Thomas, Jeremiah Masoli and Dennis Dixon aren't exactly elite level quarterbacks, but they were elite Oregon Ducks quarterbacks. Whether it's Bennett or Mariota, whoever is next in line will end up a top flight QB in the conference.
5. OSU - Sean Mannion/Cody Vaz/Jack Lomax
Is this officially a down year for quarterbacks in the Pac 12? I mean, Sean Mannion had a nice season, but can his presence really make Oregon State fifth best in the conference at quarterback? I guess so. Mannion was quite impressive at times, particularly when he played against schools from the state of Washington, but he also finished the season with more interceptions than touchdowns and was the leader of a three win team. Lomax and Vaz both arrived in Corvallis the year before Mannion so that tells you about their prospects. I did have some Neil Lomax football cards back in the day, so there's that.
6. Cal - Zach Maynard/Allan Bridgford
When Maynard isn't unleashing some of the worst throws you could ever see a human being make, he's really not so bad. As much as I like to make Maynard jokes, he should be primed for a good season. A returning starting quarterback is always a good thing, especially when he has someone like Keenan Allen to throw to.
7. Utah - Jordan Wynn/Travis Wilson/Jon Hays
Utah's defense is good enough that merely a competent performance at quarterback should be enough for them to have a successful season. I have all the belief in the world that Wynn can at least pull off competent. How's that for a back-handed complement? Wynn did enough in 2010 to get his name thrown into the "Wow, there are a lot of good QB's coming back" discussion going into last season so there is talent there. As for back-ups, you have to look no further than to Jon Hays to see that not being a total disaster is good enough for the Utes to win ball games.
8. Arizona - Matt Scott/Richard Morrison
Unlike when he arrived at Michigan, it appears that Rich Rodriguez has stumbled into a QB who will be a good fit for his offense in Scott. In limited opportunities filling in for Nick Foles, Scott has looked capable, particularly leading the 'Cats to three straight wins in 2010. The concern, though, is that depth at the position appears to be something of a disaster. Morrison looks to be the back-up and he was recruited at quarterback, but was plying his trade at wide receiver last season. Two scholarship quarterbacks transferred last year, leaving Morrison and two walk-ons as the options behind Scott.
9. Stanford - Brett Nottingham/Josh Nunes
There is not much to base a ranking off of here beyond pedigree. Evidently, there was some guy named Luck that had the quarterback position at Stanford pretty well locked down for the past few years. Now that he's off to bigger things, it's time for the next batch of highly touted QB recruits to step in. Whether it's Nottingham or Nunes, the role is likely to involve a lot of handing off this season. If you're looking for candidates to take a big leap up the rankings as the season goes on, Palo Alto would be a good place to look. For now, though, there are only unproven commodities.
10. UCLA - Kevin Prince/Richard Brehaut/Brett Hundley
Generally speaking, it's good to have a known quantity at the quarterback position. When it's known that the guys you have aren't particularly good, it becomes a bad thing. I feel like Prince and Brehaut are both on the Timmy Chang college plan at this point. It seems that they've spent the better part of a decade alternating back and forth, each taking their crack at mediocrity. Prince and Brehaut may have run out of chances at this point as the future could become the present this fall with the talented Hundley taking the reins. He was considered one of the best QB prospects in the country in 2011 and surely UCLA fans will be clamoring for him to take the job.
11. ASU - Mike Bercovici/Taylor Kelly/Michael Eubank
Brock Osweiler's early departure left new coach Todd Graham with a pu pu platter of inexperience to fill the void. The battle appears to still be a three horse race heading into fall camp, which in theory is good unless you like knowing who your starting quarterback is going to be and stuff. Bercovici has a slight edge as of now, having been Osweiler's back-up last year so I'll actively start considering learning how his last name is pronounced, but I'm not fully taking the plunge just yet. For now, I'm rolling with Ber-ko-vicky.
12. Colorado - Connor Wood/Nick Hirschmann
There's also an uninspiring QB battle playing out in Boulder. Nick Hirschmann (picture, because most pictures of Connor Wood feature him in Texas gear) missed Spring practice with a foot injury, all but handing the starting gig to Wood. Wood was an Army All-American who originally played at Texas, but could never crack the depth chart for the Longhorns, where quarterback play has been less than stellar in recent years.
I love it when people ask my why I hate the huskies so much and all I have to do is point them to a thread like this and they totally understand. Thanks Dawgs, you never let me down.
I graduated from the UW in the '70s and agree that the school fight song is a little hard to understand. FYI, although my memory is a little fuzzy these days I recall that Dardanelles was a hamburger joint in the U District that had really good cheeseburgers...
I hope that your assessment of the UW and WSU quarterback combos is accurate because both programs will need strong performances at the QB position. Price should be healthy to start the season but I don't know about the Coug's Tuttle.
@dawgx74 Tuttle? I am a biting at a troll's lure here? Did you just call our QB Tuttle--as in Tom Tuttle from Tacoma?
Dude. I know you don't care about the Cougs, but at least keep enough up to date on your rivals to know their quarterback's name: Jeff TUEL.
You're helping me prove my point, you Genius! WSU typically never plays anyone. If we have the typical Coug non-league, we go 8-5 the last two years. Instead, we grab our sack, and step up to Nebraska twice, and go to LSU this year. Thx for bringing up 7-6 without comparing your whack-arse schedule to ours. That was cute. Go tip over a Cow.
@3whitman If I want to go tip over a cow I'll go hang out at UW's cheerleader pratice :)
@3whitman Who cares if you played a tough team if you lose?
@GeoffONeil Point exactly! Someone was brining up our 7-6 seasons, so I mentioned that I wished we scheduled like WSU typically does, instead of how UW typically does. The scheduling aspect seems to have suggestions as a more prestigious program, which I don't mind rubbing in the face of my Coug buddies :) Unfortunately, it does nothing for our win/loss record...SO, give me more SDSU's, Idaho State's, and UNLV's.
@3whitman I'm really struggling to grasp your point regarding the non-league schedules. The two programs seem to mirror each other's approach when it comes to scheduling. We start at BYU, which if memory serves was exactly how UW started a couple years ago. Granted, UNLV is soft, but Eastern is a common opponent from last season. You guys have SDSU who we played last year. Obviously LSU is a vast difference relative to UNLV, but we do travel to Auburn next year. It seems that whenever possible these days, both schools would ideally have one cupcake, one pretty tough "mid-major" and one legit BCS opponent to make up the three games. We have a home-and-home with Wisconsin scheduled in advance of the Pac-12/Big-10 deal. If the teams swapped schedules over the last decade, I don't think either would see a big swing in their records.
@Huddy It shouldn't be too tough to grasp the point. I only referenced the schedule because a poster mentioned Sark going 7-6 as mediocre, so I took the opportunity to compare the schedules over the last two years. It's safe to assume that if UW had WSU's non league schedule over the last 2 years, they'd be a little less mediocre at consecutive 8-5 seasons. Huddy, although I respect your opinion about the schedules, I believe an unbiased eye would tell you that WSU's non conference schedule over the last 10 years couldn't hold a candle to UW's. I'm not sure it's sure its even close. I obviously wish it wasn't so tough, cause we needed a lot of those cupcake/lesser opponent wins. I understand you're playing Wisconsin, but they are on our schedule as well...looking forward to playing more I-AA teams like WSU has for decades.
@3whitman @Soze @Huddy Uhh... I know you don't care, about Ag Sciences, but just to name one thing I know a lot about: Wazzu's advancements in developing more stress, frost, disease resistant, larger-headed, shorter growing season wheat breeds over the years has directly led to saving lives of people who would otherwise have starved to death -- due to an ever increasing world population.
That's right, buddy. We feed the world. You litigate the world.
@LucasNurmi @Soze @Huddy Yes Exactly! UW needs to schedule scrubs like WSU normally does, so our 7-6 seasons (which you guys like to talk about) can be 8-5 seasons with wins over WSU in the Apple Cup! I understand the concept of WSU though. Get 3 easy wins, then you just have to get 2 terrible teams in the PAC, and get lucky one weekend to go to a bowl game. That math works for me:) Go Cougs ;)
And also, you can talk shit all day about "cow-tipping" until -- well -- until the cows come home. But until you've actually lived the college experience in a college town, you have no clue as to what you are talking about.
For example, I went to WSU. I did not go to UW. Therefore, I will not insult the college life in a big city, because I have no idea what is like. But Pullman was an effing BLAST! Which is why I stayed in college for 6 years.
@3whitman No, we schedule tough. But our opponents usually back out and pay us a buy-out instead of traveling to Pullman.
And the D-bag award goes to........3whitman!
I'll take Leach and a walk-on out of the stands playing QB over Sarksleezian and a 4* any day of the week.
@3whitman Where does the Whitman come from anyway? Any real Whitman County resident would love Wazzu.
So I guess, it must be Walt Whitman, or maybe you're a graduate of the over-priced, hoity-toity, Berkely of the Blue Mountains--Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, eh?
What is it, Whitman? Your last name?
@3whitman Uhh... I don't get it.
I'm guessing YOU have mama problems? No attachment when you were a child?
Seriously, Ambush 184?? Please know what you're talking about before you comment on another school's team...and learn your opponents a little better. Price doesn't have WR's to throw to? Did you watch the AC last season? Remember the kid who JUMPED OVER your sorry-arse DB? He was a Freshman. His name is Kasen Williams. ASJ was a freshman AA tight end, and James Johnson has been in and out of the starting lineup since his freshman year. BTW, you mention UW's stable of WR's. Well, WSU had the same stable returning last year, from the previous year, and they still didn't get the job done! Now what? Also, Huddy (and Ambush), it matters not how big you think Price is...Tuel and Halliday are plenty 'big' enough, and look what happened to them. Huddy, you seem pretty confident about your Cougs, but the reality is, you're an Oklahoma State (a REAL opponent) and miracle at Colorado from being 2-9 (thanks ISU). Before you mention how UW played EWU (the first time playing an I-AA team in 100 years of football...don't!
Lastly, WSU has the best fight song in the P12, has the best WR in the P12 for 2013, but still has the worst FB program in the league, and the most uninformed, and unrealistics fans in America!
Sucks to be a Coug Fan! HA HA! You'll go to a BOWL GAME this year at 6-6 because you guys RARELY PLAY ANYONE in non-league!!
Wazzu football program is a JOKE!
@3whitman Yes, you have Sefarian-Jenkins. He is an animal. I fear him, and I hope that he never finishes school and goes to the draft early.
But, you guys don't have an elite wide-out. I don't know that you need one. Price is excellent, and he'll always have an unbelievable outlet to go to in Sefarian-Jenkins if he's in trouble--or he can just use his legs.
@3whitman Your classy comments make a lot more sense now.
@3whitmanThe only JOKE here are you Queens who wear Purple. Lets see..... who wears purple? Oh ya, Prince and King Friday. Also, Since Sark showed up at UW, and his eyes are WAY to close together BTW, you haven't gone past 7 wins in a season. WOO HOO!!!! Way to reach average. Now being meidocre is something to troll on other schools borads about now aint it? Typical arrogant livin in their moms basement Husky. Who taught you to be so snotty and arrogant? Your husband?
Folks who wear Purple: high school kids in Puyallup, WA, and kids from the Hillman area of Spokane. Go Pirates! UW Hall of Fame Husky Football coach, Dick Baird, also wears Purple...after graduating from WSU where he played football.
@3whitman I think he means Hilliard, but if you're referring to Rogers High School, that's the suckiest bunch of athletes in all sports year in and year out. I feel bad for them honestly. They couldn't come close to getting it done even when Craig Ehlo coach their boys basketball team for a couple years.
@3whitman Hillman? I live in Spokane, and I've never heard of the Hillman area. :)
@3whitman Congratulations, you've out coached Paul Wulff... Mike Leach and Chip Kelly are relative equal offensive masterminds, and how has that gone for UW?
In comparison to Paul Wulff, and Coug football since Sark has been in Montlake...quite well, Thanks.
@3whitman Since 2006 WSU has played Ok. St, Notre Dame, Baylor, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn.
@Tuel4Prez ...OK...what about from 2000? Or what about since 1995? 1990? 1985? I'm talking about typically, which I'm assuming is the 'norm' for Coug football, not just since the last red-shirt Sr class.
For one thing your article about UW QB'S is wrong.Plus Troy Williams(California all state QB/2013 UW commit) that makes 5 QB'S with price being the lowest ranking out of high school of all them(3 star)
@Husky Fan Dear BCC drop out,
Time to start the Brugg Tug fan club!
@Husky Fan Which is why rankings should mean nothing to you or anyone else....Do you really think any of those cats will be better than Price by virtue of their recruiting ranking?
Personally, I'd be spending my time thinking about how to survive the season's first half as well as a tough, tough date @CAL and an equally tough home tilt against Utah..It all could be moot for you by the time you reach us..
It really could.
@Husky Fan Pretty comparable to the 4 out of 5 WSU won from '04-'08. Look, we can go on and on about this. Its pointless.
@Soze OK, how's this 3-0 against the cougs since Sark arrived at UW
@Husky Fan Yep, a big lead thanks to your glory years 30 years ago. Still hanging onto those, eh?
@3whitman You're right again. Darn it! Maybe someday I'll win a consecutive back-to-back in something... Or maybe you can turn me on to another redundant redundancy that I might really good succeed at?
@CPtheCoug @Husky Fan @Sutra @CAL ...and you've also never gone 12-0, won a National Championship, gone to consecutive back Rose Bowls, etc, etc, etc. need I go on?
I think I can speak for must of us in saying that I can't wait until you guys beat LSU in Baton Rouge, Oregon, Stanford, SC and the like.
In fact, you're probably going to go 14-0 and win it all now that I really think about it.....
It really could happen.
It really could.
@Husky Fan OK cool. If Lindquist or Miles plays this year, I'll accept that I mislabeled their depth chart. I'll also reiterate that depth is a concern if they are forced into burning the redshirts off of true freshman. I'm extremely confident that Troy Williams will not do much for the 2012 team. Props to Coach Sarkisian's recruiting, but I was looking more at what will matter this season.