In a decision about as shocking as the results of a Russian presidential election, Ryan Katz was named the winner of the Aztecs’ starting quarterback “competition” this week. Basically, being a senior transfer from a power conference school is the equivalent of being the candidate aligned with Vladimir Putin. I’m not saying the fix is in, but smart money’s on that dude.
On a certain level, I still have my reservations about this. Don’t get me wrong, Katz is clearly the best option for 2012. But I dunno … wouldn’t you rather bite the bullet now and have a seasoned quarterback at the helm when SDSU tries not to trip over its dick in Big East play next year? I err on the side of yes. Apparently, Rocky Long errs on the side of considering chronic worriers like me Nancyboys.
Anyway, this is a 2012 projection, so I’ll table my qualms for the future for the time being. My expectations for the Year of the Katz can be summed up by two simple, yet seemingly contradictory claims:
- Ryan Katz is not as talented as last year’s starter, Ryan Lindley
- I expect Ryan Katz to put up better numbers than Ryan Lindley did last year
Part of the reason this is possible I’ve already covered — the receiving corps is better than it was last year. Like “The Wire” versus “Veronica’s Closet” better. But there’s also this: Andy Ludwig finally has his guy at the helm.
Last season, Ludwig’s offense — while putting up a pretty healthy number of points — was more vanilla-y than a Yankee Candle outlet store. The lack of imagination caused no shortage of griping and Al Borges pining from the great unwashed message board masses.
But keep in mind, Ludwig is an offensive coordinator who is known for pulling shit like this:
Maybe the problem last year (and I’m totally guessing here) is that Ludwig never felt confident enough in the passing game to open things up and get weird. In terms of mobility, Lindley was more Brad Johnson than Brian Johnson, and his accuracy was a liability even before all those drops messed with his head.
Katz, on the other hand, can move a little bit. He also has a career completion percentage close to 60 percent. And lest we forget, it was Ludwig who put Katz in his cart this offseason while surfing Overstock.com (sadly, he never did find the right memory card for his camera).
So who knows, we could be in for a bunch of fancy offensive bells and whistles that weren’t there last season. Or we’ll finally confirm that Ludwig is as boring as a Padres intrasquad home run derby. One of those two, for sure.
I also have one last reason for being bullish on Katz. Now, I must warn you: It’s going to piss you off.
We never admit to it in mixed company, but all fans of non-power conference teams in the west revere the Pac 12. We loathe it, certainly, but we also revere it. Their recruits are shinier and starrier than ours, and we understand deep-down that the level of competition is a cut above, too.
Search your soul, you know it to be true.
But there’s good news. Have a look at this
thing I stole from ESPN.com chart I made:
Those are pretty OK stats against teams I’ve seen on the teevee!
Now look at this:
Feeling optimistic yet? Yeah, me too.
3297 yards, 61.1 completion percentage, 25 touchdowns, 12 interceptions
Look Rocky, I know your decision is final. But would it kill you to work in somebody else once in a while? Blowouts at least? Do it for 2013′s sake. I’LL GIVE YOU A DOLLAR.