Thursday, January 16, 2014


Column: Todd-forsaken KU starting QBs rough to rank

Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing throws against Texas in this Nov. 15 file photo at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing throws against Texas in this Nov. 15 file photo at Memorial Stadium.


Reader poll

Seven different QBs have started at least one game for Kansas football since Todd Reesing exhausted his eligibility. Which of Reesing's seven successors — listed in chronological order based on date of first start — has been the best so far?

  • Kale Pick 8% 158 votes
  • Jordan Webb 32% 583 votes
  • Quinn Mecham 3% 56 votes
  • Dayne Crist 2% 51 votes
  • Michael Cummings 6% 124 votes
  • Jake Heaps 24% 436 votes
  • Montell Cozart 22% 399 votes

1807 total votes.

Todd Reesing (2007-2009)

Record as starter: 25-13, .658

Completion percentage: 63.8

Touchdowns/interceptions: 90-33

Yards per pass attempt: 7.7

Yards per rush: 1.9

The No. 7 and the position quarterback. Think about those together and you automatically picture Denver Broncos great John Elway. If you’d like to keep it that way, don’t read on. If you’d rather replace that image with another, continue, but do so with caution and feel free to take the exit ramp at any time.

The Kansas University football program, 9-39 since the departure of the great Todd Reesing, has started seven quarterbacks since No. 5 stopped scrambling and entered the business world.

When compared to Reesing, his seven successors are tied for eighth. When compared to each other, who ranks first? Much, much tougher question. I’m stumped and need your help.

So as not to influence your decision when you cast your vote at on which of his successors you think has been the most effective, the candidates are listed in chronological order by the date each made his first start: Kale Pick, Jordan Webb, Quinn Mecham, Dayne Crist, Michael Cummings, Jake Heaps, Montell Cozart.

In case you were wondering, “none of the above” is not an option in the poll.

Cummings, Heaps and Cozart remain on the roster, but when voting, consider only what they have done so far. Don’t project what you think they might do under new offensive coordinator John Reagan and throwing to wide receiver/savior Nick Harwell.

The statistics listed below were produced at KU, as starters and reserves, but only since Reesing’s departure. (Crist played at Notre Dame, Heaps at Brigham Young. After being shown the door by Charlie Weis, Webb played at Colorado.)

In the case of Pick, the stats exclude those he compiled as Reesing’s backup and as a wide receiver.

Kale Pick

Record as starter: 0-1, .000

Completion percentage: 58.3

Touchdowns/interceptions: 0/1

Yards per pass attempt: 5.4

Yards per rush: 0.9

Jordan Webb

Record as starter: 4-15, .211

Completion percentage: 60.6

Touchdowns/interceptions: 20/20

Yards per pass attempt: 6.2

Yards per rush: 0.0

Quinn Mecham

Record as starter: 1-3, .250

Completion percentage: 60.0

Touchdowns/interceptions: 6/5

Yards per pass attempt: 5.6

Yards per rush: 0.2

Dayne Crist

Record as starter: 1-6, .143

Completion percentage: 47.7

Touchdowns/interceptions: 4/9

Yards per pass attempt: 6.1

Yards per rush: Negative-2.4

Michael Cummings

Record as starter: 0-5, .000

Completion percentage: 47.0

Touchdowns/interceptions: 4/4

Yards per pass attempt: 5.4

Yards per rush: 2.0

Jake Heaps

Record as starter: 2-7, .222

Completion percentage: 49.0

Touchdowns/interceptions: 8/10

Yards per pass attempt: 5.4

Yards per rush: Negative-4.1

Montell Cozart

Record as starter: 1-2, .333

Completion percentage: 36.5

Touchdowns/interceptions: 0/2

Yards per pass attempt: 3.6

Yards per rush: 3.2


Jim Erickson 4 years, 3 months ago

I know Heaps didn't have a great year as far as numbers go, but I would still like to see him enter next season as the guy.

If Harwell does well and another guy (IE McCay) steps up then things could get interesting. Heaps also threw to receivers who dropped a ridiculous amount of balls. My guess is that if he had a normal drop rate, his numbers would have looked a ton better and we might not even be having a QB debate. He has also proven successful at a previous stop when given some weapons.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 3 months ago

If 60% of the drops were caught, Heaps would have had a 60% completion rate. Not stellar for drops or catches, but pretty reasonable it would seem.

Jim Erickson 4 years, 3 months ago

Wow Dirk... Puts things in perspective. Obviously it is impossible to measure, but I wonder what that would have done for yardage and touchdowns.

Jim Erickson 4 years, 3 months ago

By the way... It's the off season and I have read very few posts about upgrading the stadium beyond its current 1935 status. Any updates? Tait? Anyone?

Michael Maris 4 years, 3 months ago

Cairo, I seen a blurb a few weeks ago (on here) about the remodeling of Memorial Stadium. And, it was mentioned that it was still a few years off. Probably still trying to (sadly) replace the $$$$$$$$$$$$'s it took to payoff Mangino and Gill.

Jim Erickson 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for that. I would love an article that discusses how much money it would take to get Memorial Stadium to a "competitive" level. I imagine that number is between $50-$100 million. The concourses, south end zone, and the track alone would have to be pretty pricy.

Matt Tait 4 years, 3 months ago

We can look into that. Bottom line is this (and it's the same as it has been for the past few years): Until the money is in hand, nothing will be done to Memorial Stadium. And, as of right now, the money is not in hand yet.

Trust me, I ask about this and look into its status on a regular basis but, so far, I've gotten the same answer. Now, they are planning things and preparing things behind the scenes so they'll be ready when the money is available, but they're not sharing those things just yet. No reason to, either, when they don't have much of an idea how long it will take to raise the money.

Like I said, though, I'll try to get some kind of update soon. If nothing's new, though, then it's not worth writing the same thing we already wrote.

Michael Maris 4 years, 3 months ago

The thought that prior to Mark Mangino's era at Kansas, there was not nearly as much TV exposure of Kansas Jayhawk football program. Glenn Mason era did get Kansas Football some exposure, but none like we see today. The Orange Bowl victory and other Bowl appearances give Jayhawk football fans something to look forward to (especially during the Reesing, QB years). So, we who follow Jayhawk football now expect far better football teams than what we witnessed during the '70's, '80's and parts of the '90's. The 2014 season better be a whole lot better than what we fans have witnessed since the witch hunt of Mark Mangino took place. Otherwise, Charlie may not see the sidelines of Memorial Stadium in his last season. I look at the recruiting job that Mark Stoops is doing at Kentucky (in his 2nd season of recruiting). Historically, Kentucky football program is probably on the same tier as Kansas football program. Stoops is doing a heck of a job of selling Kentucky Wildcats football program. Sure, it's the SEC. But, the Big XII isn't the AAC or C-USA. Yeah, I know, Kansas may have been in one of those conferences a couple of years ago (had Texas and OU decided to take their show to the PAC, but they didn't). And, I think that Kansas had a lot more attributes to sell to the B1G, than most realize. The fact that Kansas could've been grouped in with Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, etc.... That would've been fine with me. I still think that when the current Big XII TV contracts are done, Texas and OU will decide to take their show on the PAC road anyway.

Charlie, quit messing around. Mark Stoops is out recruiting your Jayhawk program. You might want to take a deeper look at what your strategy really is.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 3 months ago

Without looking at the stats, I voted for Kale because he was less bad - only 1 loss.

In comparing the stats though, Meachem actually has the best stats overall. It's a shame he didn't get more of a chance, which would mean sooner right? Didn't he lose the starting gig when he got hurt?

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 3 months ago

LESS BAD! Love it...but sadly that's pretty much what we're voting on.

Titus Canby 4 years, 3 months ago

If you go strictly by stats, it looks like Webb or Meacham. But I'm convinced that Heaps is the best QB of the bunch. He has the best arm and makes the best decisions. He has good footwork, but not terribly mobile behind a horrible O-line and horrible receivers.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 3 months ago

What's really sad about this is that KU only has 42 TD passes and 51 INT's since Reesing left.

Terry N Tom Denner 4 years, 3 months ago

With an offensive line to protect the QB and open holes for the RB's KU will be feared in the Big 12. Hell, even Dayne Crist would of turned out a lot better if he had a line to protect his ars.

Don Johnson 4 years, 3 months ago

This appears to be an exercise in self torture. I could have as much fun putting bamboo under my fingernails. I know it's off season, but surely the LJW staff could do better than this!

Titus Canby 4 years, 3 months ago

Great column, in my opinion. It's an interesting comparison of the QBs we've had since Reesing. And I love the headline - "Todd-Forsaken."

Yeah, it's torture, but it's our team. There's no avoiding the torture.

Steve Corder 4 years, 3 months ago

Of course it is "rough to rank" seeing that 3 of the 7 have not completed their eligibility. How would you rank Hall of Famer Duke Snider with only his 1st two years with the Dodgers (.241 & .244)? Or Heisman Trophy winner, Paul Hornung, as a sophomore or junior, when he won the award as a senior with 53% completion rate on a 2-8 Notre Dame team? What would you say about Hornung's first two years? Would fans and sportscasters figured that Hornung, as a sophomore, would be a sure fire sucess in the NFL?

You rank athletes when they're finished. Seams like there are more sports media people trashing young prospects only to be embarrassed later, or hailing a 4 or 5 star rated athlete who never gets on the field.

Bryce Landon 4 years, 3 months ago

Throw in the last seven games of Reesing's career, and KU is 9-46. KU football was going south even before Reesing and Mangino left.

Cole Hogan 4 years, 3 months ago

Reesing was playing injured and the team was in the middle of a 'national scandal' revolving around our coach.

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