The Manning Award is going all sabermetric, with an assist from ESPN Stats & Information's new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR).
The award announced its 30-man watch list on Thursday, basing the list on the top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR.
The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
Total QBR measures a quarterback’s contributions to scoring on each play (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, and penalties) accounting for game context (down, distance, yard line, time remaining, and score) and adjusted for opponent strength. It is based on a 0-100 scale where 50 is average.
“Total QBR uses all of a quarterback’s plays and accounts for the context of the game and quality of the defenses faced,” ESPN Stats & Information Sr. Director Jeff Bennett said in a statement. “We are excited to bring a more complete rating system to the fans to allow for fairer comparisons of quarterbacks who play in different types of systems and face various levels of competition. We’re pleased that a national award like the Manning Award has seen the value of our new Total QBR for college.”
The Pac-12 blog chatted with Bennett last week, and he had some numbers that would interest Pac-12 fans.
First, Mariota ranked second in the nation in QBR behind only Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner.
Second, recall the controversy over the Pac-12 blog ranking former Arizona quarterback Matt Scott No. 4 in our postseason top-25 players list?
Consider it no longer a controversy. Consider the Pac-12 blog correct and the Scott critics incorrect.
Scott ranked second in the Pac-12 and ninth in the nation in QBR. Case closed.
The same could be said over the controversy over Matt Barkley at No. 14, though perhaps not as strongly. He ranked third in the Pac-12 and 23rd in the nation in QBR.
So you can now retract all those bad things you said about the Pac-12 blog. And it was Kevin's fault we didn't include Desmond Trufant.
Oh, and here's the Manning Watch List.