Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Friday, August 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM
As I was watching Northwestern/Purdue Thursday night on ESPN, it occurred to me that I could present to you an easy but useful way to evaluate and categorize college football quarterbacks. We’ve talked a lot over the years about how to focus on talent and GAMEBREAKING ability. And, we’ve also talked about the importance of avoiding turnovers. Today, we discuss an easy method for categorization that you can use as “homework” as you watch games all weekend.
These are the two basic questions you should ask of every quarterback:
*Can he move the ball downfield?
*Can he avoid turnovers?
Some college quarterbacks drive the field with their arms…some with their legs…some with their brains. But, winners get it done. They move the chains. They find the end zone more often than not once they get to the red zone. Quarterbacks who can’t do this aren’t going to win you any money
The problem with some quarterbacks who CAN move the ball is that they make so many mistakes that it cancels out their positives. A quarterback throwing for 300 yards is probably going to win the game…unless he also throws three or more interceptions! Then he lost you the game, or at least your bet on the favorite. An option quarterback with great speed is useless to you if he keeps putting the ball on the ground with fumbles or bad pitches.
I want you to start thinking about quarterback impact in four quadrants.
Quadrant 1: Elite quarterbacks who move the ball and avoid turnovers
Quadrant 2: Productive quarterbacks who turn the ball over too much
Quadrant 3: Struggling quarterbacks who at least avoid turnovers
Quadrant 4: Struggling quarterbacks who also turn the ball over
Obviously, Quadrant 1 is where you want to invest your money. Though, Quadrant 4 can be just as profitable when you FADE those quarterbacks. A lot of my biggest 100-unit and 200-unit releases over the years have involved fading helpless quarterbacks who are going to lose blowouts.
The tricky part involves Quadrant 2 and 3. The math guys in particular have a problem falling in love with quarterbacks who compile a lot of yardage but screw things up with giveaways. And, that may be the biggest issue tricking the public. They see highlight reels celebrating Quadrant 2 quarterbacks, without also seeing all the interceptions. Even head coaches have trouble with Quadrant 2! They figure the kid will eventually figure out how to avoid mistakes. Many don’t.
In quadrant three, you have some guys who “win” by handing the ball off and staying out of the way. That can actually work against defenses who can’t stop the run. A “struggling” quarterback doesn’t matter if other elements of your team can get the job done. But, he becomes a big problem against a defense that knows how to stop your other facets. Quadrant 3 can be a “take” quarterback in some circumstances, but a “fade” in others.
If you watched Purdue/Northwestern, you know that Purdue had to bench a Quadrant 2 starting quarterback after he threw his third interception of the night. But, the replacement could only safely set up punts for the most part. He was a Quadrant 3. Purdue’s going to have trouble with top Big 10 contenders if they can’t sneak one of those guys into Quadrant 1.
Your homework should be fairly obvious. Use that method to classify every quarterback you watch on TV this weekend. I assume you’ll be watching a lot of games! In the games you don’t watch, use box scores to try to classify as many as you can. Be aware that some quarterbacks can create illusions in their garbage games. Don’t stick somebody into Quadrant 1 just because they won a blowout as a 35-point favorite over Nobody State. Use real tests vs. major conference opponents, or the best mid-majors.
Though, if you see a quarterback having a bad turnover game against a weak opponent, you can probably assume those issues will continue all season. You’ll just need a larger sample size to figure out whether he goes in Q2 or Q4.
I’m very confident this way of thinking about college football quarterbacks is going to help you pick more winners this season. Its very nature points you in the direction of the best investments, and the best teams to bet against. It also forces you to re-think your process regarding turnover prone quarterbacks. Just weeding out 2-3 picks per week with those guys will greatly help your bottom line.
If you’d like more help with your bottom line, KELSO STURGEON’S top plays can always be purchased at this website by credit card. Questions about extended service and combination packages can be answered in the Vegas Sports Masters office by calling office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. Be sure you ask about combination packages with Major League baseball when you call.
The Dean of Sports Handicapping knows how excited you are about the start of the new college football season. Labor Day Weekend is always a lot of fun because we have those extra games Sunday and Monday. You can make a lot of money with smart picks and the right money management. But, if you come in overconfident and too aggressive, you can also lose a lot of money that digs a big hole right out of the gate. Be smart and responsible this holiday weekend. I’ll see you again midday Monday for new coursework here in my Advanced College of Sports Betting and Handicapping.