With last year's and this year's Heisman candidates, much talk has arisen about "system quarterbacks." These individuals are supposedly a product of their system and not of their talent. And this may be true, and probably is, but at least they are in the right system.
All of the quarterback candidates from last season, ultimate winner Florida QB Tim Tebow, Hawaii QB Colt Brennan and Missouri QB Chase Daniel, all came from the vaunted spread attack.
And there is no doubting that Tebow's numbers were inflated by Urban Meyer's style of offense. And the same holds true for Brennan and Daniel. But at least they are in the right system.
Their system allows them to maximize their talents while putting up huge numbers. Mizzou's Daniel is a smaller quarterback and the wide splits his offensive line uses helps to give more vision than usual. Hawaii's Brennan utilized deep passes to his speedy wide receivers to bolster his stats. And they are in the right system.
College quarterbacks in a Pro-style offense (like USC's) are more prepared for the NFL, but not neccesarily the most successful in college (like Duke). But the most important thing in college is not preparation but rather winning by any means neccesary. And that is what these systems have done.
A so-called "gimmick" offense has proved successful thus far, with Florida already winning the national title and the Big XII, the strongest conference, has been dominated by the spread.
Leading Heisman candidates Graham Harrell, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy all come from the spread offense and their teams are in the top 6 in the nation. And they are in the right system.
If quarterbacks not in favorable systems are not putting up big numbers, it shouldn't come as a surprise. But they need to be in a system that favors them.
Because they need to be in the right system.
Thursday Football Games:
Denver @ Cleveland - Broncos struggling defense makes for an easy debut for Brady Quinn while Jamal Lewis pounds away.
The Pick: Cleveland
#23 Maryland @ Virginia Tech - The only two teams left in the ACC that control their own destiny meet in a crucial Thursday night game. Virginia comes into game hobbled at the quarterback position with hurt QBs Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor injured. Both will be a gametime decision and even third stringer Cory Holt might get the nod. The Terps have been a tale of two teams so far, one losing to a Divison 1-AA team while defeating a respectable Cal team. The past few weeks, they have showed up and played well, only with one ACC loss. Despite Maryland's Jekyll and Hyde nature, Virginia Tech's QB woes are too much to overcome.
#12 TCU @ #8 Utah - TCU enters game with one loss, to Oklahoma, and a win over BYU while Utah enters the game undefeated and in the top 10 nationally. TCU's defense, in the top 5, should be able to stop the potent and able Ute offense. TCU's offense is also impressive, as witnessed by the thrashing of BYU. But in the end, the Horned Frog defense will be the difference.