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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Big 12 quarterback famine

The SEC has four teams in the top 10 in opponent-adjusted offensive efficiency (EP3+), and five in the top 11 (Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama, and Georgia; South Carolina is 11th). Even in raw offensive efficiency (EP3), the SEC has three of the top 9.

The Big 12, on the other hand, has Baylor at #1 overall, but then the second best comes in at 25th nationally (Kansas State), followed by Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas at 31, 33, and 34 respectively. Looking only at points per possession, there are 7 SEC teams ahead of the 2nd most prolific Big 12 offense, and three Big 12 defenses rank among the top 20 in defensive efficiency compared to four from the SEC.

What happened to Big 12 offenses? Half of the answer seems to be that Big 12 defenses have improved. The second part of the answer is behind center. After Bryce Petty, who's currently holding off Manziel for the top spot nationally in EPA+ (opponent-adjusted expected points added), we have a run of six SEC quarterbacks before we get to the next Big 12 quarterback. And that quarterback, Davis Webb, like Petty is a first year starter.