We are now a month into the season, so now is a good time to take our first look at how the SEC quarterbacks stack up in the ATVSQBPI. For our newer readers, a full explanation of the ATVSQBPI can be found here, but if you're the "TL;DR" type here is the gist: ATVSQBPI is modified yards/attempt, incorporating rushing yards, touchdowns, and turnovers. It is an attempt to place a value on how many yards a QB is worth every time he calls his own number.
ORTiger used to supply me with the numbers and cool charts, but he's dropped off the face of the earth, forcing me to do this myself. Hence why the ATVSQBPI updates being much more infrequent. We'll try to do one every month. But the infrequency should at least help out in the fact I can now deep dive into each player without running out of things to say. So, without further ado, here's the ATVSQBPI chart with a few bonus national players thrown in.
SEC Mean: 7.21
SEC Median: 6.92. The mean and median are pretty high right now, mainly due to schedule effects. However, it's not that far off the scale and it gives us a good benchmark: 7.0. You want your quarterback to be worth 7.0 or better in the ATVSQBPI.
Brandon Allen: 9.28. He's only cleared his averaged once, when he went 20.37 against UTEP, so his league leading ATVSQBPI could be misleading. Still, he has an 8.13 in SEC play, throws for a good amount of yardage on 20-ish attempts, and doesn't turn the ball over. This is not just the ideal for an LSU quarterback, but maybe the whole SEC.
Kyle Allen: 9.22. Struggled a bit against Arizona St and didn't really feast on cupcakes, but then he ramped it up the past few weeks. He's on a pace to run away with first team All-SEC honors. He's thrown for at least 2 TD's in every start, and only has 2 interceptions on the season. He's looking legit.
Chad Kelly: 9.18. He was in double digits for his first three starts, capping it off with a 10.78 performance versus Bama. Since then, he's come crashing to earth with consecutive sub-6.0 games. Tons of attempts, which make his huge yardage totals look deceiving. Teams might be figuring out the Rebels can't run the ball.
Greyson Lambert: 9.06. Only a 7.32 in SEC play, and that's propped up by his torching of South Carolina. Bama held him to 1.83 and Vanderbilt kept him at 5.75. The South Carolina game was the only time he's cleared 150 yards, so it looks like a huge outlier.
Will Grier: 7.97. Let's just look at the progression of his SEC performances: 5.18, 5.86, 11.06. Cue the Sesame Street song. There's some talk that Florida has found the quarterback, but I think it was just one great game from a mediocre quarterback.
Dak Prescott: 7.57. The good news is, he hasn't really had a clunker of a game. LSU held him in check, but he seems to be pretty consistent. The downside is, that baseline in SEC play is 6.25. And he hasn't thrown a pick yet, so he has nothing pulling his numbers down.
Jake Coker: 7.18. A lot like Will Grier in that he had one massive outlier game last week to boost his numbers. Even the barnburner against Ole Miss only resulted in a 5.37 due to turnovers and lack of efficiency. He's averaging nearly a pick a game and he throws a ton of attempts to barely clear 200 yards. I wouldn't be too confident in him.
Brandon Harris: 6.92. Look who is sitting there right at the SEC median. His numbers are actually better in SEC play, where he has a 7.25 rating. Sure, he doesn't throw for many yards, but he doesn't have many attempts so he doesn't turn the ball over either. He also can run, which gives him a boost in the ratings. He seems perfectly mediocre right now which, for LSU, is progress.
Lorenzo Nunez: 6.91. He's only started two games, and was terrible in one of them. In the other one, he had an 8.68 rating against UCF, one of the worst teams in the country. Let's just say I think that number is about to go down in a hurry.
Joshua Dobbs: 6.42. This was supposed to be a team strength. He hasn't been terrible, except for a brutal game against Oklahoma, but he hasn't been great either. He also either can run the ball wonderfully (BGSU and Florida) or not at all. There's no middle ground.
Drew Lock: 6.06. Locktoberfest only has one full start under his belt and the returns are not encouraging. 352 yards of offense on 63 total attempts is not a good sign, especially when you have 11 attempts against SEMO.
Sean White: 5.91. Not a big improvement over Jeremy Johnson's 4.86. In SEC play, they are a near dead heat 4.79 to 4.87. At least Johnson was a threat to run. Not much of one, but still a threat.
Johnny McCrary: 5.81. This is actually progress for Vandy, as they at least aren't playing musical chairs at the position this season. McCrary can run a little bit, and that boosts the numbers a tad, but he has seven picks, which is just killing him. Without the picks, he's at a 6.75 rating. Don't turn the ball over.
Patrick Towles: 5.79. I'm shocked he's rated this poorly. But he failed to pad his numbers against bad teams and he laid one of the worst stinkers of the season against Florida. Also, he's thrown 6 interceptions, which is a big no-no. It's felt like he's played better, but he's been pretty bad so far.
As for the national guys, Seth Russell is breaking the scale, but doing it against a schedule so bad that it almost qualifies as performance art. Cody Kessler is a legit Heisman contender, assuming Fournette is somehow blinked out of existence, even if he ran the worst two-minute drill in human history. The Big 12 has two more contenders, as Boykin and Mayfield are putting up huge numbers against slightly more impressive opponents than Russell has. And I included Cardale Jones so we could all point and laugh.
I won't go team by team for the defenses, but the key number here is the SEC mean of 5.01. That's higher than it has been in the past, probably showing how everyone is playing more effective offenses. Even those rent-a-wins can move the football these days. As the schedule gets more difficult, the average ATVSDPI might go even higher.
That's what makes Alabama (and Mizzou) so impressive. While simply being in the fours is an accomplishment, Bama is down there at 3.56, and that's with facing Ole Miss' video game offense. Mizzou is at 3.61, but that could still be a schedule effect. They had a 6.60 against Kentucky.
It's not a surprise to see South Carolina down there with a 6.32, but it is a bit of a shock to see Arkansas (6.45) and Tennessee (5.81) help bringing up the rear. And for all of the talk of A&M's much improved defense, it is still below SEC average at 5.26. Outside of the ASU game, they have never posted a rating below 5.0. This still isn't a good defense, it just is no longer horrific.
LSU is at a 4.62, and has played pretty close to its average all season. Those fourth quarter lapses show up in the numbers, keeping this team from staking any claim at being elite. It's only game under 4.0 was the EMU game, but the worst effort was a 5.23 against State, which isn't awful. Also, for a team that is usually ahead, LSU's passing yardage allowed is outstanding. That bodes well for games against A&M and Ole Miss.