Last week's "Fact or Fiction" was such a kick in the pants, the Addicted to Quack editors got together for a Memorial Day Weekend email extravaganza discussing an entirely new topic, one sure to cause saber rattling from all across the Pac-10. A topic so bold, so outside the box, that I shudder even in writing it. We are talking quarterbacks this week. The 2009 season looks to be interesting as several teams will be bringing in new quarterbacks to fill voids left by graduation and the NFL Draft. Oregon has a clearly established number 1 guy but Jeremiah Masoli isn't the only big name coming back as a few other teams will be returning starting signal callers. With all of the set up and pagentry afforded to us by our lush contracts here at ATQ, I give to you this week's question.
Fact or Fiction: Jeremiah Masoli is the best quarterback in the Pac-10.
JConant > FACT
Hmm... There are so many ways to define "best". I'm going to go with who will be the All-Pac-10 QB at the end of the season. So, my answer is FACT, Jeremiah Masoli is the best QB in the Pac-10.
Jake Locker probably should have been, but that's not happening for him at this point. After two seasons of injuries and limited development, Locker can't do it alone. And on that UW team, he's pretty much alone. Kevin Riley (Cal) could pull it off behind a solid line and running game. Whoever QBs OSU could do the same, but only if two guys named Rogers stay healthy all season. Would anyone really be surprised if Aaron Corp is great at USC? Would anyone really be surprised if he isn't great and gets replaced by freshman phenom Matt Barkley?
Stanford - new guy. ASU - new guy. UCLA - new guy. Arizona - new guy. WSU - doesn't matter, they blow.
Masoli wins almost by default, though he's probably good enough to win anyways. I would suggest that the best quarterback Oregon faces all year won't be from the Pac-10.
PaulSF > FACT
Every part of me wants to say FICTION, just to break the cycle, but I simply cannot. This is an absolute FACT, for all the same reasons Jeremy outlined. His only competition will come from a handful of first-year quarterbacks and Locker. I legitimately think Locker is the only guy who could win the award other than Masoli barring something completely unexpected. If Washington wins 5 or 6 games, Locker would definitely be in the running.
But let's be honest: There's no way in hell that is happening.
jtlight > FACT
It would be fun to be contrary, but there is no competition at this point. Masoli will almost definitely be the most productive QB in the Pac-10 this season.
While Jake Locker could be more physically talented, he does not have the consistency even close to necessary to push Masoli. The only player I think have a decent chance to overtaking Masoli is whoever starts for USC, simply because they play for USC. If the USC QB is efficient and productive, he could overtake Masoli simply because scouts don't see much in Masoli because of his accuracy issues and height. This may not be fair, but that's just how things work.
However, at this point, he's the clear frontrunner for 1st team Pac-10 QB.
dvieira > FACT
Tough for me to say fact but the statistics back it up. Masoli was 3rd in the conference last year in total offense, accounting for 205.2 yards per game. The two guys ahead of him, Mark Sanchez and Willie Tuitama, have moved on to try their hands at the NFL. Lyle Moevao from Oregon State was 4th in the list, one spot behind Masoli but he might not even be the starter for the Beavers in the fall. Kevin Craft at #5 won't be the starter for UCLA. Rudy Carpenter is gone to graduation and Tavita Pritchard was more than 50 yards per game behind Masoli on average. The closest competition for Masoli will be whomever starts for Oregon State. Both guys in Moevao and Canfield will be back for their senior years and the offense shouldn't be a question for the Beavs next year. Right now though, Masoli has a clear edge coming back over Moevao because of his injury/job status and Canfield because of consistency.