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Phil Steele Is A Bit of an Idiot

Normally, I revere Phil Steele. He is a one man wrecking crew when it comes to college Football. The depth and breadth of his knowledge, the complexity and accuracy of the formulas he devises should be admired. The date that his preseason magazine hits the stands is something of a holiday for me. The first real sign that there really is light at the end of the tunnel, that Football is indeed coming again. But every once in a while he completely misses the boat on a subject. Like in 2007 when he predicted that the Matt Ryan led Boston College Eagles would finish dead last in the ACC's Atlantic division. They actually won the the division in 2007 rather handily. So yeah he isn't perfect, but he is about as good as it gets.

So imagine my surprise when perusing my usual post class links to find that his all-america and all-conference teams had found their way to the light. The only thing about the all Big East teams I don't understand is the quarterback position.

Steele also came out with his All-Big East team, which has some interesting selections. He picks South Florida's B.J. Daniels as the first-team quarterback, with Rutgers' Tom Savage on the second team. Cincinnati's Zach Collaros is Steele's third-team choice.

The reaction in my brain once a I comprehended those two sentences was this.

I was positive that I had just entered into a parallel dimension. For it is only in a parallel dimension where the selection of BJ Daniels and Tom Savage over Zach Collaros makes any sense at all. Both Daniels and Savage started more games than Collaros and have larger numbers accordingly, but neither are really better players than Zach is. To wit look at the per start statistics between the three of them

  • Tom Savage, 21.9 attempts, 11.5 completions, 52.3 completion percentage, 7.8 yards per attempt, 170 yards, 1.3 TD's and .5 INT's.
  • BJ Daniels, 21.2 attempts, 11 completions, 51.9 completion percentage, 8.5 yards per attempt, 180.4 yards, 1.2 Td's and .9 INT's
  • Zach Collaros, 26.5 attempts, 20.8 completions, 78.3 completion percentage, 11.6 yards per attempt, 308.3 yards, 2 TD's and .25 INT's

The numbers are staggering. Even beyond the numbers just watching the three quarterbacks play even the most casual fan can tell the difference between the three. As a avid watcher of nearly all things college football I watch Savage and Daniels and think in time this guy can be a really good player, but that means in time. As in a point in the near distant future. The first time watching Zach Collaros I was worried for about for about 10 minutes because Zach isn't Tony Pike, then this happened and a dreamlike sense of calm prevailed for the next 5 weeks. A period where the thought "We don't need Tony Pike to win" frequently crossed my mind. A thought that would have been insane circa last August. Of course that was a bit of hyperbole, we very much needed Tony Pike but Zach was nothing short of incendiary in his time. Brian Kelly managed Collaros for the most part but Connecticut challenged Zach to beat them and Kelly set him free, with staggering results.

So, in summation, this guy

Is better than these guys

Just imagine what Collaros will do when he is in an offense that is designed by Butch Jones to take advantage of a guy like him. A player with multiple skill sets who can beat a team either running or throwing. No way that Savage or Daniels have better seasons than Collaros. It isn't said often, particularly by me, but Phil Steele is completely wrong on this.

Update: I finally tracked down the Phil Steele's list, here it is in all its mind numbing glory.