Who is the best passer in the PAC-12?


There are eight returning PAC-12 quarterbacks who played in six or more games last season.  Each has a dynamic story to tell, but today, we are out to determine who the best returning passer is.

To do that, we use a simple table that ranks players in four different categories:

Number of games played,   completion percentage,  ratio of touchdowns to passing attempts, and ratio of interceptions to passing attempts.

The player with the lowest average ranking is our simplified winner as the best passing quarterback in the conference.   Here is what we found:

PAC-12 Top Returning Passers     rankings        
      season comp- touch inter-  
      games letion down ception average
Rank school player played % rate rate rank
1 Washington Jake Browning 1 1 4 1 1.8
2 Arizona St. Manny Wilkins 2 4 5 3 3.5
3 Oregon Justin Herbert 8 3 2 4 4.3
4 Stanford K.J. Costello 5 8 3 2 4.5
4 Colorado Steven Montez 2 6 6 4 4.5
6 Arizona Khalil Tate 5 5 1 8 4.8
7 Utah Tyler Huntley 7 3 6 7 5.8
7 California Ross Bowers 2 7 8 6 5.8
Oregon St. *          
UCLA *          
USC *          
Washington St.  *          
  * no returner played six or more games        

We hear so much about Khalil Tate and Justin Herbert, but it’s Jake Browning who has posted the best pass-effectiveness numbers.  Not only is he number one in our over all evaluation, but he’s number one in three of the four categories!

Justin Herbert loses ground because he is dead last in number of games played, but even if he was at the top, he wouldn’t be ranked ahead of Browning.

When it comes to NFL draft appeal, draftscout.com lists Herbert the top dog in this year’s litter while Browning is ninth.  Our second-best passer is only 17th-rated by current draftscout.com measures.

NFL experts believe if Herbert is not prone to repeat injuries, his 6’6″ frame lends better to the NFL game than 6’1″ Browning or 6’2 Wilkins.

All three are spectacular, but for now, can we agree that Browning has clearly been the best passer?   Maybe he’s not flashy, but he’s won 23 games in two years, taken his team to the national playoff, and hasn’t missed a game in over two years.

I’m not a Husky advocate, but isn’t it time we give this guy some love’?