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Georgia Tech Football: Justin Thomas' Historical QB Efficiency Comparison

Justin Thomas' quarterback efficiency compared to QB's in the Shawn Jones Era (1989-Present). Hint: He stacks up big time.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

So, I did not realize how crazy efficient Justin Thomas has been this season until I saw ESPN's total QBR formula had him at #6 overall in CFB. This formula is super complicated according to ESPN so I just stuck with the traditional NCAA and NFL QB ratings for the purpose of this article. I would not be able to extract the necessary info to calculate ESPN's QBR for any QB's in the pre-internet era or vacated era. First, I want to show you the NCAA and NFL ratings of our modern era primary QB's by coach:


This chart above is broken on an average stat per season basis. No surprises here as O'Leary's QB's were in an era of offensive proficiency at Tech. The average starting QB since 1989 threw 12 TD's and O'Leary's guys averaged 5 more per season than the Tech average. Another interesting tidbit, which will be displayed on the mega graph upcoming, is that Shawn Jones had the most picks of a modern Tech QB in a season (18 in 1991). His modern record was tied by Reggie's sophomore season. Below is a comprehensive breakdown in all major passing categories of Tech QB's from 1989-2014 sorted by NCAA rating:


This chart is quite lengthy but the first thing I will point out is that Justin Thomas is runner-up in NCAA and NFL efficiency to Joe Hamilton's best season of 1999. The next thing is how sad Tech's QB's performed under Gailey. Gailey's best NCAA passer rating was AJ Suggs, who I thought was one of the worst QB's since Tommy Luginbill. I used to give the excuse that Pat Nix's offense was predicated on the playaction pass making Reggie's less than 50% accuracy slightly excusable but when you look at CPJ's domination of the passing efficiency stats, Pat Nix has no excuse. CPJ's QB's own 4 of the top 5 spots. Go big or don't throw!

I wanted to create a rushing rating for the CPJ quarterbacks but fumbles are a fairly poor kept stat so I kept it to total touches = pass attempts + rush attempts. Of the CPJ starting QB's, Justin Thomas gains about 1 more yard per play and is secondbest in touches needed to score a touchdown (plays/td). This is not a great metric for comparing QB's in CPJ's system because it doesn't translate to good reads on the option and backfield talent could take rushing scores from a QB. Retrospectively, I feel bad for complaining about Tevin. He was a statistical oddity in our offense. He performed really well but his teams did not perform up to the offensive output. I think Tevin was truly cursed with a poor defense.


What are you thoughts? Are you mad I left out Todd Rampley?