We know that Rich Rodriguez is proud of his teams. He always has been. Now he is taking school pride a step further. Rich Rod claimed that the Pac 12 has the best QB group “of any league in the last ten years.”
Well, we all know that is going to spark some debate.
First of all, let’s take a look at the class that Coach Rodriguez is talking up.
Obviously UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota are at the top of the list. Behind them though, there is still a lot of good arms in the league. Taylor Kelly of Arizona State threw for 3,635 yards last year. Oregon State’s Sean Mannion was fourth in the nation with 37 touchdowns and second in the nation with 4,662 passing yards last year.
That is quite a top four.
Digging deeper, there are still some household names, such as Washington State’s Connor Halladay. With Mike Leach’s Air Raid invading Pullman last year, he put up some pretty good numbers (4,597 yards, 34 TD passes).
Stanford’s Kevin Hogan and USC’s Cody Kessler are also returning starters for their respective teams, though Kessler could lose the job to Max Wittek if he struggles again.
Cal’s Jared Goff was a sensation as a freshman last year, and should only grow. As should Utah’s Tyler Wilson. If both of these guys take the next step, Rich Rod may not be far off. Those guys are eighth and ninth in the conference!
Sefo Liufau of Colorado had a solid freshman season once he worked his way onto the field for the Ralphies.
Washington will replace Keith Price with sophomore Cyler Miles, who was a top 100 recruit and had offers from USC and both Arizona schools before heading north.
Last is Rich Rod’s own Jesse Scroggins. Maybe. There is a four horse race among Scroggins, Anu Solomon, Jerrard Randall, and Texas transfer Connor Brewer to replace B.J. Denker under center. Stay tuned!
So, do you think Rodriguez is right? It’s a little much to declare this before the start of the season, but he may be on to something. There is a lot of talent out west.
Me, I still think the 2008 Big 12 with Graham Harrell, Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, Colt McCoy, Josh Freeman, Zac Robinson, Blake Szymanski, Todd Reesing, and Sam Keller might have them beat. That conference was fun to watch that year!