May 29, 2024

Success rate the percentage of plays that generated positive Expected Points Added (EPA), which I’ve also adjusted for down and distance and strength of the opposing defense. … By using data such as recruiting rankings, size and a player’s conference, I can incorporate many of the common beliefs we all have about these quarterbacks to produce a baseline career projection before they set foot on campus. From there, I update this projection as they begin to play and slowly place more weight on their actual performance than priors.

My model splits out passing and rushing into two components with their own projections. I then calculate a weighted score from the median projections, with 85 percent weight on a quarterback’s passing and 15 percent on their rushing to produce the rankings.

The model is hardly infallible and should be considered a starting point for debate, rather than the be-all and end-all. Players expected to break out who have fewer career snaps (Drew Allar, Joe Milton) will be ranked lower because the model has more uncertainty about them. The model also doesn’t have knowledge of schematic differences, athleticism or scouting reports. Despite these limitations, I believe this


But where was Kyle McCord?

Well, McCord came after Bo Nix (Oregon), Kedon Slovis (BYU), Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Payton Thorne (Auburn), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), Jaxson Dart (Ole Miss), Spencer Rattler (South Carolina), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), Jayden Daniels (LSU), KJ Jefferson (Arkansas), Quinn Ewers (Texas) and 30 other Power Five quarterbacks.

There he was – all the way at No. 46.


Klaus’ model ranks quarterbacks lower due to inexperience. And while I believe that is fair, it was still an odd experience to see Williams, Rising, Rogers… *scroll*… Nix, Slovis, Hartman… *scroll*… Jordan Travis (Florida State), Emory Jones (Cincinnati), Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota)… *scroll*… before I finally landed on Ohio State’s QB1.

Per the model, McCord ranks in the 82nd percentile overall, the 85th percentile as a passer and the 47th percentile as a runner.


The former five-star recruit beat out Devin Brown to replace C.J. Stroud — at least for Week 1. He’s another player who the model has a wide range of outcomes for due to a lack of playing time, but he has held his own in the snaps he’s received. A 70.7 percent completion rate and 10.4 YPA helps give him the 28th highest ceiling, per the model. That may seem low, but that is a good mark for an unproven but highly touted player.

McCord’s success rate (44.4%) features a ceiling of 48.9% and a floor of 39.9%. With Tagovailoa’s current success rate at 48.9%, that means McCord could perform at a top-five level this season. However, he could also perform at a second-to-last level, as UVA quarterback Tony Muskett ranks 69th with a success rate of 39.5%.

I hope the former comes true. And good news about the latter: Devin Brown is (currently) McCord’s backup, and Day has said he feels confident that Brown could lead the Ohio State offense to a successful season in 2023.

 KIRK HERBSTREIT WAS CLOSE. In the offseason, Kirk Herbstreit shredded the “15 percenters,” a segment of Ohio State fans he believes are overly critical about the Buckeyes and are “a bunch of jackasses.”

“The 15 percenters, they get mad at anything,” he told The Toledo Blade. “That percent is going to be mad at something always. [Ryan Day] could win the Michigan game, go to the playoff and lose, and they’ll be mad about that. That group is just a bunch of jackasses who embarrass all of us as Ohio State fans. So I don’t care, honestly, what that group thinks. But the people who matter, the logical people who have a brain and understand the sport, they love what Ryan Day has done.”

According to The Athletic’s “Hope-O-Meter” survey, 15% was a decent ballpark estimate for always-mad Ohio State fans, as Manny Navarro revealed that 91% of Buckeye Nation is “optimistic” before the 2023 college football season. That leaves 9% for the pessimists, whom Herbstreit calls the “lunatic fringe.”

At 91% optimism, Ohio State ranks 31st among all schools mentioned in the survey. Tennessee, Kansas, Oregon, Washington, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Louisville, Duke and Mississippi State were schools with 100% optimism in their fanbases, while Georgia and Penn State have 99%, Michigan has 98% and Alabama has 92%.

Also, I need to share another piece of info because I find it comical: Stanford fans are down horrendous and have 0% optimism ahead of 2023. That percentage ranks dead last in the Hope-O-Meter survey – even behind Northwestern fans, who have 4% optimism before the season starts despite the program’s disastrous offseason.

But, like Tim May, I digress.

The 9% of pessimistic Ohio State fans should cheer up. Football is back. Marvin Harrison Jr. will score 100 touchdowns, TreVeyon Henderson will rack up 10,000 yards, Tommy Eichenberg will secure 1,000 tackles, the Buckeyes will defeat Michigan in Ann Arbor and Ohio State will win a national championship. Then, we can all be optimists once more.


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