Football season starts in just two days. I don't know about all of you, but I'm nearly bursting at the seams with excitement. That excitement has boiled over into this Big East preview. Instead of going team by team, we are going to go position by position. We start with the signal callers and the clipboard carriers. Every team but Cincinnati will be ranked here. The Bearcats get their own special preview Friday. That's one of the advantages of having a blog named after you, specialized posts.
I'm going off the school released depth charts for week 1. If someone is missing, or anything like that, blame the depth chart, then blame your parents,then your dog, and if it comes to that, blame yourself. You should never blame me, because I'm quite lovable. Anyway, we are going to rank the QBs 1-7, and then get a little more in depth on the situations. Sound good? No, sounds great.
1) Geno Smith - West Virginia. Career stats: 273-421, 64.8%, 3,072 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs, 224 rushing yards
2) Tino Sunseri - Pittsburgh. Career stats: 233-363, 64%, 2,686 yards, 18 TDs, 9 INTs, 106 rushing yards, 2 TDs
3) BJ Daniels - South Florida. Career stats: 269-477, 56.3%, 3,754 yards, 25 TDs, 22 INTs, 1,033 rushing yards, 14 TDs
4) Ryan Nassib - Syracuse. Career stats: 238-426, 55.8%, 2,756 yards, 22 TDs, 9 INTs, -13 rushing yards, 1 TD
5) Chas Dodd - Rutgers. Career stats: 133-223, 55.2%, 1,637 yards, 11 TDs, 7 INTs , -253 rushing yards
6) Will Stein - Louisville. Career stats: 52-92, 56%, 522 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 rushing yards
7) Scott McCummings, Johnny McEntee, Mike Nebrich. Career stats: 0-0 for all 3
Geno Smith is either the best, or the second best, returning QB in the Big East, depending on your take on things. He's expected to flourish under new head coach Dana Horgolson, and his wide open system. I expect Smith to have a fantastic season. His back up is a freshman, Paul Millard. If Smith went down, West Virginia could be in trouble. Then again, you say that about everyone.
Tino Sunseri is in his second year as the full time starter. Under new coach Todd Graham, he's expected to have big numbers as well. Sunseri was bolstered by a strong running game, but he's going to have more pressure on himself this year. His backups are Trey Anderson and Mark Myers, both freshmen.
BJ Daniels has been flashy, and he's been horrible in his time as South Florida Bull. His freshman year performance against Florida State is the stuff of USF legend. His completion percentage went up last season, but his TDs and INTs went down and went up respectively. Daniels has a lot of talent, and a cannon arm, and if he could get above 60% completions, he could be a stud in the league. I'm not giving up on him just yet. His back up is Bobby Eveld, who started and threw 3 INTs in the UConn game last season. Finally a back up with experience.
Ryan Nassib is the QB in the Big East I expect to take the next step. I almost ranked him over Daniels. He's got a couple of experienced receivers, he's got a nice arm, and he makes good decisions. I am going to go out on a limb and say he'll double his career total in yards this season. With at least 2,800, not 5,600. He's not playing for Houston. Nassib will be thrown in the fire early, with games against Wake Forest and USC. If he can play to the standard I think he can, Syracuse might win both. He's backed up by Charley Loeb, a junior who has thrown 5 career passes.
Chas Dodd emerged from the injury of Tom Savage to grab the starting QB job, and not let it go. Dodd had his freshman ups and downs, mainly because he was sacked 294 times. I'm sure many of you remember the big game Dodd had against the Bearcats last season. Dodd's key is consistency. For every Cincinnati or Connecticut start he had last season, he had a Louisville game, 14-32, or a Pitt game, 8-19. If Dodd can find his footing, he could shape up to be a nice QB. He's backed up by, guess, a freshman, Gary Super Nova.
Will Stein may be sunny, but he has started 2 games, both as a freshman, and played once last season. The Cardinals have rallied around Stein, but the future is his backup, Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a highly acclaimed freshman, but not ready to start. He's expected to play in the season opener against Murray State, and many think he'll be the starter at some point this season. Stein is going to get his chance though. His size may be a disadvantage, but size isn't everything. That's what the prostitutes tell me. Stein is the biggest question mark on the offense, which is why I ranked him so low.
Question marks don't even begin to describe the situation at UConn. New coach Paul Pasqualoni hasn't named a starter for the game in two days, and it doesn't even sound like he's going to name a starter after the game. All 3 are expected to get lots of time against Fordham. They all would anyway, because they are playing Fordham. I'm leaning towards Nebrich being the starter, because he's the only one with Mc not in his name. Connecticut has no experience at the position, and fear of the unknown is why many are picking them in the cellar.
The Big East has some very solid quarterbacks, and a lot of question marks. QB play could be the difference between winning and losing the league. If Smith has a down year, West Virginia could be sunk. South Florida could snatch the crown if Daniels becomes the man. The back ups especially have no experience, and are all very young. An injury, and we saw lots of turnover at the QB position last year due to injury, could spell disaster. Or, it could be a blessing and we could see the next Chas Dodd, or Zach Collaros emerge. The Big East QBs, star power and blah power all in one.