College Football's 10 Most Overrated Quarterbacks in 2013
How do we define “overrated?” Well, by definition, you must be highly thought of to be considered overrated. So a name like Andrew Maxwell from Michigan State, for example, isn’t well respected enough nationally to be included. This list features good players who, for a variety of reasons, shouldn't be as highly regarded as they appear in 2013.
Names who would have fit this criterion last year would have been Tennessee’s Tyler Bray, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson or even USC’s Matt Barkley. These were guys who put up big numbers but didn’t win enough big games, didn’t live up to the preseason hype and/or cost some people their jobs.
With that in mind, here are 2013’s most overrated quarterbacks…
10. David Ash, Texas
Many are pointing to David Ash's growth as a huge reason why Texas will not only win the Big 12 but compete for a national title. Some of the hype comes from playing at a major powerhouse program like Texas and some comes from projecting bigger things, but either way, it will be hard for Ash to live up to expectations in 2013. He is just one year removed from a horrendous 2011 season and a big chunk of his production last season came against non-conference opponents. For his career, he has a tidy 10:1 TD:INT ratio in eight non-conference games but a terrible 13:15 TD:INT ratio in 18 Big 12 games.
9. Blake Bell, Oklahoma
The Bell Dozer's resume is well-known: 24 career rushing touchdowns and 20 career pass attempts. He's so well-known, in fact, that he even landed on Athlon Sports' National College Football magazine cover this year. But he also is still so unproven that Bob Stoops refuses to name him the Oklahoma Sooners' starting quarterback. Most think Bell will fare just fine replacing Landry Jones but until it actually happens, maybe Heisman pundits should pump the brakes on the 6-5, 250-pounder.
8. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
If you are widely regarded as the best player in the nation, isn't it, by definition, impossible to live up to those expectations? Manziel posted what many consider to be the best quarterbacking season in SEC history last year. Aside from a perfect 14-0 record, a second Heisman Trophy and a BCS National Championship, Manziel's accomplishments won't be as prestigious this time around.
On top of that, the off-the-field rift growing between himself and his university have and will cause headaches for all parties involved. He is as good as gone to the NFL — where he won't be a first-round pick — and the question is does any of his behavior hurt his team’s chance at a championship? He is a transcendent player, there is no doubt, but can he overcome all of this to stay atop college football?
7. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
Clearly, Wallace's 3,384 yards of total offense and 30 total touchdowns indicate he is fully capable of playing at a high level in the nation's toughest league. However, some are picking Ole Miss to win eight or nine games in 2013 mostly because of his play. He will be solid once again — IF he can return from a devastating off-season shoulder injury that required surgery — but he won't be able to improve on Ole Miss' seven wins from a year ago. Wallace would have to be Johnny Football to carry this team to nine wins and he simply isn't that good.
6. Aaron Murray, Georgia
Much like Manziel, Murray is a victim of his own success. He should be the SEC's all-time leading passer by mid-season and could play in his third SEC championship game in a row. That said, over the last two years he has feasted on non-conference opponents (32 TDs, 7 INTs) while playing much more human football against the SEC (39 TDs, 17 INTs). If he can eliminate some bizarre inconsistencies — the Mississippi State, South Carolina and Florida games come to mind — and finish the season with a win in Atlanta, he won't be overrated at all. Otherwise, the diminutive passer is destined to finish his career without ever being a first-team All-SEC selection.
5. Zach Mettenberger, LSU
He has a huge frame and an arm to match but little to show for all his ability. Many believe he can lead LSU to an SEC title this year but that seems far-fetched to say the least. He threw only five touchdown passes in eight SEC games last year and completed just 54.9 percent of his passes for 205.3 yards per game. He consistently missed wide open receivers (except against Alabama) and completely mangled the end-game situation against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This says nothing of the fact he pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery while at Georgia.
4. Keith Price, Washington
The only Pac-12 passer who was more efficient than Price in 2011 was Andrew Luck. Price set several school records as a sophomore and helped return U of W to the postseason. However, the California native — due somewhat to horrendous offensive line play — came plummeting back to earth last year, finishing eighth in the conference in passer rating. He turned the ball over at a much higher rate and will have to eliminate the mistakes this fall if he wishes to restake his claim as one of the conference's top signal-callers.
3. Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
He is considered the top quarterback in the Big 12 entering this fall and is the leader of the team picked to win the league for the first time in history. But he is largely an unknown to be ranked that highly by pundits. He threw just 19 passes in 2010 and only 30 in '11 before finally getting some regular playing time at the end of last year. Yes, he had huge games against West Virginia, Baylor and Texas Tech and their horrendous defenses, yet he struggled in a loss to Oklahoma. Chelf still needs to prove he is a championship-caliber quarterback on a week-in, week-out basis.
2. David Fales, San Jose State
He isn't playing for Mike MacIntryre any more and he isn't playing in the WAC either. Fales is a solid player but he isn't an All-American or a first-round NFL Draft talent. When phrases like "lacks elite arm strength," "lacks overall athletic ability," "has a bad habit of throwing off-balance," "will lock onto targets" and "lacks elite size for the position" appear in well-respected scouting reports, you are overrated.
1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
Many (myself included) thought Logan Thomas was in for a Heisman-type season last year. After a stellar 2011 campaign and blessed with an NFL-ready frame, Thomas was poised for big things last summer. However, he failed to play efficient football, turned the ball over too much, failed to win games and his numbers took a huge hit across the board. There is plenty of time for Thomas to rebound in 2013, but he will have to take major steps forward to reach the full potential that we all thought he was ready to display last year.