Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Big East quarterbacks: Coyer may be the best

Case Keenum and RGIII have nothing on Chris Coyer in this comparison.

Back in 1979, a tremendous athlete by the name of Brian Broomell led the nation in the then new category of passing efficiency while playing quarterback for Temple University.
Probably not coincidentally, Broomell led Temple to a 10-2 record, the most wins in the history of Temple football.
Since then, passing efficiency has been my most favorite statistic.
Where there is a quarterback who has a good passing efficiency rating, you'll usually find a tremendous won/loss record in his favor as well.
Last year's BE quarterback ratings.

Fortunately, the Owls will enter Big East play this fall with a big known in that area as another tremendous athlete, Chris Coyer, is not only the No. 1 returning in the nation in the terms of passing efficiency, he is also No. 1 in terms of a new category called "yards per play."
A respected California blogger, football fan and math whiz came up with the statistical data and it is intriguing. In fact, yards per play might be a better indicator of a quarterback's overall worth than passing efficiency.
Admittedly, Coyer provides a small sample but it is large enough in my mind to rate him the No. 1 returning quarterback in the Big East by a wide margin.
He has a passing efficiency rating of 177.4.
Compare that to returning South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels (126.7), Louisville's Terry Bridgewater (132.4), Rutgers' Chris Dodds (118.5) and Gary Nova (116.6), Cincinnati's Zach Collaros (131.6), Pitt's Tino Sunseri (124.1) and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (129.9).
Even with a statistical allowance for strength of conference (and let's face it, there wasn't that much difference between the Big East and MAC last year), Coyer comes out pretty far ahead.
Coyer accepts New Mexico Bowl MVP Award.

Plus, he's unbeaten as a Temple starter and put up 31 points as a relief pitcher to the woefully ineffective Chester Stewart in the Ohio game. Had Coyer started against Ohio, I believe the Owls would have won that one, too. Heck, had he started against Penn State I think the Owls would have won that also.
Those hypotheticals will be decided on the field this year, fortunately.
I'm a little concerned about Coyer's backup and Matty Brown's backup, but I'm not concerned at all with the starting offensive personnel.
With Coyer, Brown, Malcolm Eugene, C.J. Hammond, Deon Miller, Ryan Alderman, Alex Jackson, Cody Booth and company (not even mentioning the incoming freshmen), the Owls could turn the Lincoln Financial Field scoreboard into an adding machine this fall.
And it all starts with the trigger man.
Just from the eye test, I think Coyer will be the best quarterback in the Big East this fall.
He throws a nice ball, makes great decisions (nine touchdown passes to zero interceptions), is elusive and has the "it" factor Temple has been looking for in a quarterback since Adam DiMichele sadly departed in 2007.
The two Rutgers' kids, Dodds and Nova, can't even carry his jock strap (nor would Chris want them to). I saw a few RU games and both those quarterbacks struggled.
If he's as efficient as Broomell was some 30 years ago, the all-important stat of 10 wins might be in jeopardy as well.
That's the only stat I really care about.
For the first time since 2007, I'm not going into a season worrying about the most important position on the field.
That's both comforting and exciting.