OK, a little prologue. I don’t stay awake at night trying to think of obscure things to research. For one thing, life is way too short. For another, I’d rather sleep.
But while Gazette colleague Scott Dochterman and I were having lunch with two of Scott’s friends in an Evanston, Ill., bistro Sunday afternoon, one of them said Iowa was the only team of the 124 FBS programs that only used one quarterback in the 2012 season.
I wasn’t sure I believed that. And I had to find out, because if true, this would be one of those weird factoids that would fill a blog post on a slow day. So on Monday afternoon I did the tedious research. “Tedious” is an understatement.
Well, as you could tell from the headline on this post, Scott’s friend was right. Barely.
Other than Iowa, every FBS team had more than one quarterback throw a pass. The No. 2 QB for some teams threw a lot of passes. The No. 3 QB for some teams threw a lot of passes. Those generally weren’t good teams.
Three Big East teams were very nearly as reliant on one quarterback as Iowa was with James Vandenberg, who threw 389 passes. Rutgers and Syracuse let their No. 2 quarterback throw one pass. Pittsburgh’s second quarterback threw two passes. The No. 2 QBs at Boston College and LSU threw just two passes.
In the Big Ten, Nebraska and Penn State didn’t stray from Taylor Martinez and Matthew McGloin much. Penn State backup Steven Bench threw eight passes, and Nebraska No. 2 Ron Kellogg II threw nine. If Bench or Kellogg become superstars because they got to throw a few passes in 2012, get back to me on that.
Seven Big Ten teams used three quarterbacks. For some, like Ohio State, it was a luxury. For others, it was a necessity.
Oh, Massachusetts No. 3 quarterback Ian Shultis threw one pass all season, in the Minutemen’s season-finale. It was intercepted, giving him a passing rating of minus-200. Next year, Ian.
This is all for informational purposes only. Please, no wagering.
Now I wait to find out where I’ve erred. One-person research teams are fallible.