Matt Barkley or Andrew Luck?
Matt Barkley has reaped all the publicity that comes with an elite program. Andrew Luck has quietly performed for a school more popular for academics than football. Two freshman quarterbacks in two different environments, but which is better?
Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh believes his guy is not only the best in the conference, but also best in the country. NFL draft analysts have already projected Barkley as the No. 1 overall draft selection when he becomes eligible. Is the gap of opinion between a coach and scouts really that far off? The fact is, in statistical comparison, these young guns are closer than most would realize.
Andrew Luck was a 2008 redshirt and had the benefit of a year in the program, unlike the true freshman Barkley who was playing high school football at this time a year ago. In games played through November 7th, these quarterbacks are nearly neck and neck in numbers, with the exception of one.
Matt Barkley has attempted just five more passes than Luck, for a completion rating of 56.6 percent. Andrew Luck’s 126 completions on 216 attempts give him a rating of 58.3 percent. Luck has thrown for a little more than 2000 yards on the season, Barkley has amassed 1,839 yards through the air. Together they have thrown for 21 touchdowns, with Luck tossing 11, and Barkley striking for 10. Barkley’s production comes with one fewer game played, as he did not see action in the loss to Washington.
The largest statistical difference between the two is the amount of interceptions thrown. Andrew Luck has been picked off just 3 times this year, for a passing rating of 153.09. Matt Barkley has thrown 10 picks in his 7 games, shrinking his rating to 135.06.
Is one really better than the other? Maybe we will get that answer on Saturday. And if we don’t, their youth will allow us more years to compare.