Anyhow, so we’re starting a true freshman at QB, eh? What could go wrong? It was fun watching the national media immediately make the obvious Baker Mayfield comparisons and then follow up with HAH GOOD LUCK MINNESOTA YOU’RE SO FUCKING FUCKED. And we, being Pavlovian creatures to the core, took the bait, leapt at their eyes like starving rats and pissed righteous indignation directly into their minds. All of which was hilarious to me, since we’re arguing about something that HAS NO DATA TO SUPPORT EITHER POSITION. Yeah, intuition suggests starting a dude that just emerged from his chrysalis to become a beautiful butterfly might not be the optimal move, but we’re really, really fucking due, man. I particularly enjoyed the line of thought that Fleck should have tried harder to get a quality JUCO QB here and by bringing in Sleeve Tat Leidner instead, murdered any hope for the season. This is one of those situations where it’s way effing easier to be an ink-stained wretch than an FBS coach. V-squared was highly rated and was a quality runner and fumbler of the ball, but he got beat out by Morgan and Annexstad since they were better passers; then he sacked out and left. Burn in hellfire for that, Fleck. ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯
As bad as the media feeding us a fecal soup of opinions were the vacuous SUCK MY DICK NEWS BRAH takes, suggesting concern was for betas and we’re on track for a nine or ten win season. Look, I’ve been singing the bass line in my neighborhood Annexstad Quartet since the spring game and think dude has tons of potential. But, Jesus Tittyfucking Christ, guys, can we not set him up for failure? Yeah, his receiver corps is way better than last year; yeah, he started for not-the-Dutch-bank ING, vaunted nebula of proto(five)stars; yeah, he’s not named Demry Croft; but I am preparing for the season by stretching out my atrophied body to be ready for five surrender cobras a game. There’s a lot of upside, but holy human centipede, there are going to be some moments requiring deep contemplation of the void.
So what are reasonable expectations for him this year? Good question. Have you spent any time looking at our QB stats over the last decade?
First, don’t. Don’t do that. Don’t ever do that.
Second, here they are.
See, I told you not to do that. I’m not sure if Blogger has a text-to-speech plugin so you can listen to the rest of the blog after taking the bleach needle to your eyes, but I can pretty much assure you I’ll write nothing worth reading anyway, so enjoy your new puppy, cane and beeping softball.
I think the main takeaway is that if recent history sets his expectations for the year, we might build a statue of him by week five. How did we live through last season? Did we live through last season? I mean, I remember it being bad, but Demry Croft as your quarterback bad? How are we still fans of this program? Why do we still watch the sport? Our expectations for Annexstad have to be higher than this or they should sink the state and salt the water with cobalt-60 and cancer.
From Leidner through Gray, it’s mostly, “Poop on my chest and call me Sally, I forgot how bad that year was (2011)” to “Meh (2015).” I’ve found myself pining after Adam Weber for the last five years, even though I wanted to set his yard on fire while he was playing. His stats weren’t extraordinary (the median QB rating in 2017 was 136, and he never topped that, though it’s possible the calculation for that changed materially and I’m too lazy to research something that might destroy my narrative welcome to Still Got Hope where quality is an adjective for booze and nothing more), but, you know, we threw the ball and even scored sometimes, which I miss. His two best seasons were probably his redshirt freshman and sophomore years, where he played under prolific/shambolic offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar. So, ten years since we’ve had what might be considered a decent year for the position? Hooray for the new stadium!
I’m not sure if Annexstad will put up numbers comparable with Weber’s first two seasons at the helm: we’re not running a 14-WR set that was Dunbar’s favored formation. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to see some hideous 2009 Adam Weber / 2016 Mitch Leidner frankenquarterback, with a 52-57% completion percentage, 2,000-ish yards, 10 – 15 TDs and 12 – 17 INTs before we end the season by shooting the abomination and putting an end to its tortured existence. And I reckon that will be enough to open up enough space for Rodney to run like a goddamned deer and win us six to seven games.
For what it’s worth, Baker Mayfield’s true freshman stats (at Texas Tech under Handsome Kliff’s Air Raid) were a fairly pedestrian 64.1% / 2,315 / 12 / 9. If Annexstad exceeds those, I’ll start building the Heisman case in December.