At the end of every football season, geeks like me rush to the SEC’s statistical leaders lists. Usually we go straight to the passing numbers.
When it came to quarterbacks in the SEC this year, Ryan Mallett (3,422), Stephen Garcia (2,733), Jonathan Crompton (2,565), Jevan Snead (2,464) and Joe Cox (2,426) were the yardage leaders.
The leaders in touchdown passes were Mallett (29), Crompton (26), Cox (22), Chris Todd (21) and Snead (20).
That’s all well and good, but how did the SEC’s quarterbacks fare against conference competition only?
The SEC is known for having the best defenses in the land, so which QBs were the statistical leaders through the league’s 48-game regular season?
We’ve done the math and below you’ll find the answers, based upon total yards. We only include those passers who threw for more than 1,000 yards in SEC games… and there were nine of them.
We list each man’s completions, pass attempts, interceptions, total passing yards, touchdown passes, completion percentage, and the telling “Yards Per Pass Attempt” which is often a more accurate gauge of success than the bulkier QB pass efficiency rating.
QUARTERBACKS VS SEC OPPONENTS ONLY
* When it comes to passing, Mallett is the SEC’s standard-bearer. He threw for more yards than anyone else, had an excellent 8.04 YPPA despite throwing the ball so much, and his TD-INT ratio was an outstanding 16-5. But there was one obvious flaw in Mallett’s game… and it’s something pro scouts will notice if he comes out: He has to improve his overall accuracy. A 51.1% completion percentage in SEC games will be a red flag to pro scouts.
* Garcia threw a lot of passes and his YPPA suffered for it. His 11-7 TD-INT ratio was also less than the 2-1 that most coaches look for. That said, Carolina’s QB did show major signs of improvement in 2009 and stands to be the most experienced passer in the SEC East next year. Could next year be a breakout year for Garcia?
* If you take away his interceptions — and you can’t — Georgia’s Cox had one of the best seasons in the SEC. His YPPA was the best in the league (aided by AJ Green) and his completion percentage was very good. Ironically, it seems that when Cox would miss, he would miss right into the arms of an opposing defensive back. But his season from a purely statistical standpoint was actually a pretty good one.
* If before the season I had projected Crompton and Snead to have their numbers — only flip-flopped — many folks would have believed it. But by year’s end, it was Crompton who had the higher completion percentage and the 14-6 TD-INT ratio. Meanwhile, Snead was the only QB on the list to throw more interceptions in SEC play (15) than touchdowns (10).