NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its preseason Watch List on Friday, featuring five quarterbacks from the Southeastern Conference.
This year’s list of quarterbacks was selected in conjunction with the release of ESPN’s new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) – the top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR make up the Watch List. The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.
“This is always an exciting time of year for college football players, coaches and fans,” said Archie Manning. “ESPN has come up with an interesting new statistical measure of quarterbacks so we decided to use the QBR to determine our Watch List, but we want to remind everyone that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win this honor and we’re looking forward to seeing how things play out on the field.”
Total QBR measures a quarterback’s contributions to scoring on each play (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, and penalties) accounting for game context (down, distance, yard line, time remaining, and score) and adjusted for opponent strength. It is based on a 0-100 scale and 50 is average.
“Total QBR uses all of a quarterback’s plays and accounts for the context of the game and quality of the defenses faced,” said ESPN Stats & Information Sr. Director Jeff Bennett. “We are excited to bring a more complete rating system to the fans to allow for fairer comparisons of quarterbacks who play in different types of systems and face various levels of competition. We’re pleased that a national award like the Manning Award has seen the value of our new Total QBR for college.”
“College football has needed this for a long time,” said ESPN College Football Analyst Brad Edwards. “Finally, we have a way to measure the performance of a dual-threat QB against that of a pure passer. I only wish we could go back in time and use it to see the full impact of guys like Archie Manning, John Elway and Tommie Frazier.”
This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The Mountain West Conference leads the way with six honorees, while the SEC has five quarterbacks on the list and the Pac-12 adds four.
2013-14 Manning Award Watch List
David Ash, Texas
Blake Bortles, UCF
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Terrance Broadway, Louisiana-Lafayette
Kolton Browning, Louisiana-Monroe
Derek Carr, Fresno State
Rakeem Cato, Marshall
Kain Colter, Northwestern
Cody Fajardo, Nevada
David Fales, San Jose State
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Chuckie Keeton, Utah State
Taylor Kelly, Arizona State
Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee State
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
A.J. McCarron, Alabama
Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Stephen Morris, Miami
Aaron Murray, Georgia
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Brett Smith, Wyoming
Joe Southwick, Boise State
Eric Soza, UTSA
Bo Wallace, Ole Miss
“We have had the opportunity to recognize nine outstanding quarterbacks with the Manning Award,” said Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO. “It is truly a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to sponsor this award and we wish the best of luck to every quarterback and team in the country for another great year of college football.”
Additional quarterbacks may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. The list of 10 finalists will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
The Manning Award will be recognizing its 10th winner this year. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn’s Cameron Newton earned the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. The 2012 honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins). Last year’s winner was Texas A&M star freshman Johnny Manziel, who will look to become the first repeat winner in the history of the award. Manziel led the nation in QBR last year.