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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

July 23, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Rating the quarterbacks

The season is almost here, so time to get to our previews of all the Pac-10 positions.
We’ll start today with the quarterbacks, a position Ted Miller of ESPN.com addressed the other day.
I helped compile the position ratings for Lindy’s magazine (and also wrote this feature on Jake Locker as part of the Lindy’s package.) But the final rankings are a group effort with editors there. Lindy’s ranked the quarterback position this way (and remember, it’s for the position as a whole, not necessarily just the starter, though the starter obviously is a huge part of it).
1, Stanford
2, Washington
3, USC
4, Arizona
5, UCLA
6, Cal
7, Oregon
8, Oregon State
9, Arizona State
10, Washington State
If I had to do it today, I’d probably actually go USC-UW-Stanford as 1-2-3, with the rest the same. While I don’t think Matt Barkley is better than Jake Locker or Andrew Luck, I do think Mitch Mustain is a better (or especially, more ready to play) backup than what UW and Stanford has right now, and that would put the Trojans at the top.
Neither Stanford nor UW has much (or anything) in the way of an experienced backup, something that can also be said for most of the rest of the conference other than USC (Mustain was the starter for most of a year at Arkansas before transferring to Troy).
Oregon would have likely been at the top before Jeremiah Masoli was kicked off the team. Now, the Ducks becomes one of the teams with questions at the spot.
While depth seems an issue for almost everyone in the conference, the overall position seems a lot better this year than last season. Luck and Locker are obviously thought to be two of the top five or so NFL Draft picks next year (if Luck decides to come out). Barkley also could be a future first-rounder and Nick Foles might be the best QB prospect Arizona has had in years, if not decades. Kevin Prince now has some experience at UCLA and not hard to see him taking a quantam leap in improvement if he adjusts to the new offense.
And while Kevin Riley remains an enigma at Cal, but it’s worth nothing he’s entering just his second year as the full-time starter — he wouldn’t be the first guy to suddenly thrive in such a situation.
The latter four teams will each go with a QB who has relatively minimal starting experience (or none at all, in the case of OSU’s Ryan Katz), though all also have reasons for optimism.
It’s also a relatively young position — only Locker, Riley and Oregon’s Nate Costa are seniors of likely starters — meaning the Pac-10’s rep as the “conference of quarterbacks” could again ring true for a while now.

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