Once again, the trend continues of the SEC's quarterback numbers improving drastically over last year. In 2008, an ATVSQBPI of 6.0 yards per touch would have been considered firmly in the top half of the conference, while a 7.0 yards per touch would have been at near elite status. This year, a 6.0 has been merely adequate.
Remember, the formula is (yards passing + yards rushing + 20*(touchdown passes+touchdown runs) - 3*interceptions)/(pass attempts+rush attempts). You get a measure of yards per touch, with a 20 yard bonus for scoring a touchdown and a 30 yard penalty for throwing an interception.
Check out last week's numbers here, and here are the numbers for Week 4:
Analysis and year-to-date numbers after the jump
Jonathan Crompton, who had the ignominious distinction of having a negative ATVSQBPI last week, go back into the positives this week, but his production is still dragging his team down. After all, they were playing Ohio this week. Not Ohio State. Ohio. And while he finished with a respectable 222 yards, he did it on 34 pass attempts, had an interception along with 2 touchdown passes, and was sacked 3 times.
Auburn's passing offense continues to be stellar. Who are these guys and what did you do with last year's Auburn offense? OK, it was Ball State, but they've been doing this sort of thing to everyone. I think this makes Auburn a really dangerous team.
This week, we saw Ryan Mallett and Mike Hartline come down to earth. Mallett was leading the SEC in ATVSQBPI, and we'll have to see where he finishes this week after the drubbing he took in Tuscaloosa.
Speaking of Tuscaloosa, Greg McElroy put in his bid for ATVSSECOSPPOW with his outstanding performance against Arkansas. He had almost 300 yards passing and 3 touchdowns without an interception. Very nice work.
As a side note, everyone from Jonathan Crompton on down had negative rushing yards except for Tyson Lee, who had 10 rushing yards total on 5 attempts. Everyone above Jonathan Crompton had positive rushing yards, though only Tebow gained appreciable yardage on the ground. While there are some mobile QBs in the conference this year (Larry Smith, Jordan Jefferson, Tebow), there are also a bunch of bad offensive lines.
Now let's go through the season-to-date numbers.
One thing about these numbers that we need to keep in mind, Jonathan Crompton padded his stats against Western Kentucky and Ohio. In games when it's mattered, he's had 186 yards on 45 attempts with 0 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and -2 yards rushing on 10 attempts. That's an ATVSQBPI of below 1.0, which is bad. Tennessee is probably the team suffering the most from poor QB play right now.
Overall, I think we are really starting to see the development of an upper class, a middle class, and a lower class. Jordan Jefferson at 6.8 yards per attempt is firmly in the middle class. The upper class is Auburn, Alabama, Florida, and Arkansas. It's interesting that Jevan Snead and Ole Miss aren't in that group at this point. The middle class is Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Call Georgia "upper middle" right now and call Kentucky "lower middle". After that, we have Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Vandy who are having trouble getting production from their QB spot. In Vandy's case, I think it's more of an offensive line and receiver problem, because I actually really like Larry Smith.
I think we'll still see some mobility among the classes here. Someone's going to start lighting it up and someone's going in the tank. We'll just have to see who.