Breaking (down) Brady Quinn

November 27, 2006 – 10:23 pm by Ryan Phillips

Well, in case you haven’t been paying attention I was at the Maui Invitational last week and in the interest of Karma, I ended up having to fly back on Saturday at 3 p.m. Hawaii time (8 eastern). That’s right when the USC-Notre Dame game kicked off. It’s a seven-hour flight to Chicago, so I had to rely on McD text messaging me throughout the flight to get updates (yeah I know it’s illegal and supposedly dangerous to have your cell phone on, but this was an important game). But, thanks to ESPNU I’ve now had a chance to watch SC’s 44-24 drubbing of the Irish, and I think it’s time to come out and say it: Brady Quinn might be the most overrated quarterback in NCAA history.

In the interest of full-disclosure, I’m a HUGE USC fan. I went to school there and though I graduated from Indiana, I’ve remained a loyal Trojan even through the Paul Hackett years.

Now bear in mind, I’m not talking about Quinn’s skill as a quarterback. He’s got a great arm, is accurate, has a decent head from what I’ve seen and is likely to be the No.1 pick in the NFL draft. What I’m going to point out here is that when hack broadcasters like Brent Musburger, Bob Davie, Tom Hammond and Lou Holtz expound on how much Quinn has accomplished in his career and how he’s etched his name into “Irish lore” repeatedly, they’re lying to you.

Here are the facts:
In four years at the helm of Notre Dame’s offense, Brady Quinn is 29-18 as a starter. Not too bad huh? Well, when you take out Stanford, BYU and the service academies that record changes to 18-17* (corrected from 17-18). That’s legendary?

Quinn has never won a bowl game (0-2) and has never beaten USC (0-4). And while he’s racked up tons of yards (11,614 career) and touchdowns (93 career) those numbers don’t mean much without big victories. Hell, Timmy Chang put up huge college numbers, but he isn’t considered an all-time great.

I looked long and hard for big wins in Brady’s career and found two. Both over Michigan. But he only threw for a combined 318 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in those games. And the 2005 win was over a Wolverine team that ended up 7-5. To be fair, they beat an 8-4 Penn State team this year, which is a decent victory. And in 2004 he led the Irish to a 17-13 road win over a No. 11 ranked Tennessee team.

So that’s maybe four decent wins in four years? And he’s supposed to be a storied quarterback. If you’re not convinced that wins make great quarterbacks and want to point out Brady’s statistics here’s something to think about: People fail to mention how horrible he looked against Georgia Tech and UCLA this year, in games the Irish should have lost. In the Georgia Tech game he finished with a 79.5 rating, UCLA forced him into a 95.0 rating, and against USC last weekend, Quinn ended up with 48.9% completions and a 90.4 rating.

So why does Brady Quinn get tons of love heaped on him by the public? We think it’s because Notre Dame fans have been searching for a hero for so long that he sort of fell into the role. Things have been bad in South Bend for years and the notion of someone coming in to save the program has hung over the town for a while and Charlie Weis and his quarterback have both been labeled this way. And since Notre Dame fans know everything (just ask them) I guess broadcasters just joined in on the fun. That said, if Quinn didn’t play for the Irish people would be dwelling on the fact that he’s an incredibly talented player who has never become a big game player. But for some reason they don’t talk about that. Instead they call his losing performance against USC “courageous,” I call it awful.

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  1. 58 Responses to “Breaking (down) Brady Quinn”

  2. Your an idiot

    By Anonymous on Dec 10, 2006

  3. good comeback u stupid D-Bag!

    Quinn is too hot for u to handle!

    By Hagan963 on Dec 12, 2006

  4. I’d just like to point out that by saying Brady isnt overrated youre simply saying that Notre Dame as a whole is largely overrated; which it really is. Have fun with LSU. 9 Straight bowl losses will be the new NCAA record. Talk about tradition…

    By Anonymous on Dec 30, 2006

  5. I think this is a Tom Brady vs. John Elway/Peyton Manning argument here. Peyton Manning and John Elway (for the first 14 years of his NFL career) were considered “big game losers” in the same way that Brady Quinn has gained this notoriety as a QB who can’t win a big game.

    But let me mention that have forgotten a few key statistics and numbers in your argument here.

    -There are 24 key players on a football team, the QB is only one of them.

    -Over the last two Notre Dame seasons, there has only been one four-star (out of five stars) recruit on the team, and that was Brady Quinn. I’d love to see the numbers of 4 and 5 star recruits that USC, Ohio State and LSU have on their team

    -Sure, you put constant pressure on Brady Quinn and he’ll make mistakes. But you failed to mention that if you put constant pressure on Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or John Elway or Joe Montana and they too will make mistakes and toss up some INTs. That offensive line of Notre Dame’s is downright pitiful, and so when they go up against the powerhouse defenses like Ohio State and LSU, Quinn is not going to have the necessary time. Have you ever heard the saying “game are won and lost in the trenches”? That is more deeply ingrained into football coaching than “good quarterbacks win big games” and I’ll tell you that you’ll likely find a lot more statistical proof backing that up than your argument that QBs are responsible for their defense’s play as well as how their offensive line blocks for them.

    You know what, let’s look at the NFL for a second, focusing in the teams that gave up the fewest sacks:

    1. 12-4 Indianapolis 15 sacks
    2. 13-3 Baltimore 17 sacks
    3. 5-11 Washington 19 sacks**
    4. 10-6 New Orleans 23 sacks
    5. 8-8 Green Bay 24 sacks
    6t. 13-3 Chicago 25 sacks
    6t. 8-8 NY Giants 25 sacks
    8. 14-2 San Diego 28 sacks
    9. 10-6 Philadelphia 28 sacks
    10t. 8-8 Tennessee 29 sacks
    10t. 12-4 New England 29 sacks

    Does this list look familiar? It should. Eight out of these eleven teams were in the playoffs. And all four of the remaining teams playing for the Conference Championships are on this list.

    **Washington ranked dead last in defensive sacks and surprisingly had the highest QB rating against. The offensive line did its job in the trenches, but the defense failed in that department, thus proceeding with a 5-11 season.

    So here, my point is that you cannot tack the losses in the big games solely on Brady Quinn’s back. His offensive line is the group who kept letting defenders through and into Quinn’s face. Brady Quinn is only one man on a team with 22 starters and football, more than any sport, is a team game. When your team’s talent is overmatched so greatly, how can you be expected to win?

    By Nobodyinparticular on Jan 21, 2007

  6. I love how Brady Quinn is referring to himself as “the most prepared quarterback for the NFL in the draft.” Most prepared to do what, get his butt kicked on a weekly basis by defenses far better than the ones he struggled against this year? If you ask me, JaMarcus Russell, Drew Stanton, Kevin Kolb, and John Beck are all better pro prospects than Quinn. He does great against the JV, but is crap against anyone with a decent defense.

    *As for the Stanford/BYU being left out of the stats, Quinn even managed to lose to BYU in 2004, the year their coach got fired for a ridiculous losing season. The score was 14-10. Yeah, Quinn’s a real winner.

    By Anonymous on Apr 3, 2007

  7. I just wanted to come back and laugh by ass off at Brad Swint for saying, “You’re an idiot. One key fact that you mentioned….he is going to be the number one pick in the draft. I guess you’re smarter than pro scouts?”

    Who is the idiot now, yardboy?

    By Trendon on Jul 31, 2007

  8. Only a usc fan would think that brady quinn is overrated, if not for reggie bush illegally pushing matt lienart into the endzone we would have won that game, and lets not forget that brady quinn never had the defensive talent nor the receiving talent that troy smith and matt lienart did. Also, peyton manning never won the “Big game in college either. What is USC and Ohio states records not including their cup cake teams? Forgot to mention that didn’t you!

    By irish fan on Jul 18, 2008

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