June 25th, 2010 at 11:57 AM ^

Guys got world class athleticism and if he matures he could be great.  Now I hope he falls apart, but 7th best player in the Big 10 based on his potential seems about right to me.


June 25th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

I'm surprised he's not higher. Everyone, including Phil Steele, has him as a Heisman contender and the best player in the conference. That took some balls by Rittenberg. Most people would have had him #1.

Space Coyote

June 25th, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

Pryor has all the potential in the world physically if he has even an ounce of potential between the ears.  During the last Rose Bowl he showed that he might.  I have absolutely no problem with this ranking, especially because the list is partially based on potential and how good they are now.  Physically, Pryor has probably the most potential in the Big Ten, and he could be a top 10 player as a whole right now.  In all honesty, I'm surprised he isn't higher than seven, as many national people want to put him in the running for Heisman, which seems a bit much, but you understand what I'm saying.


June 25th, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

From the ESPN Adam Rittenberg chat (24JUN):


jimmy (nowhere, kansas)


why do i get the felling that there isnt going to be a michigan player in your top 25?


Adam Rittenberg
  (4:08 PM)


Because there isn't. Guard Stephen Schilling came close, but not enough guys have proven themselves to be elite players.

the whole chat:


June 25th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

Pryor is a very dangerous runner and has developed into a respectable passer. I think Rittenberg has gotten this one right, unlike his #9 ranking for J. Boren.

Pryor will not put up Heisman-like numbers, but I expect him to be the in the Top 3 QB's in the Big 10 next season.


June 25th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

To be honest, outside of the potential in Pryor and the potential UM has in its young/relatively inexperienced QB corps, the Big 10 QBs arent exactly a strong point for the conference. If you line up the QBs top to bottom of the other "major" BCS conferences (not counting the Big East as major despite the autobid) they virtually all beat the Big 10 in both top-tier talent and depth top to bottom (as in the lower end SEC schools have better QBs than the lower end Big-10 schools).

"TL;DR" = Top-3 QB in the Big Ten isn't even close to a big deal this year.


June 25th, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

And that pretty much tells you all you need to know about how good I think Pryor really is. The fanfare this guy got for ONE good game (Forcier's numbers against ND were just as good, btw) in the Rose Bowl when his coaches had a month to break down film and create a gameplan is absolutely insane.

I can vividly recall the media bashing Pryor just a few games earlier in the season because of his lackluster performances and, boom, one Rose Bowl win later he is a Heisman frontrunner.


June 25th, 2010 at 6:06 PM ^

because lower B10 QBs are actually some of the better QBs in the conference, particularly when compared to the bottom of the SEC right now.  Weber is a 4 year starter. Chapell put up very good numbers last year. Marve seems as capable as any of the lower tier teams' guys in the SEC. 
is about the only lower end team in the B10 with unknowns at QB. Compare these lads to guys like Larry Smith at Vandy (Junior with a few starts), Chris Relf at Miss St (Junior who's more of a runner than a thrower and who saw some action last year), Nathan Stanley at Ole Miss (Redshirt frosh), Morgan Newton at Kentucky (true soph who was forced into action last year, so has some PT) and a couple of guys at Tennessee, neither who've played (Simms is a Juco transfer, and Tyler Bray is a true freshman).  

I'm not even sure I'd take the top of the SEC QB's over top of B10. It's pretty close. Take Georgia and PSU out of the equation.
is starting Aaron Murray which is tantamount to starting Kevin Newsome or Paul Jones in my book.

, McElroy, Sr., 1 year experience

Ark, Mallett, Junior, 1 year experience, plus a handful of starts for

SC, Stephen Garcia, Junior, 1.5 years experience

LSU, Jordan Jefferson, Junior, 1 year experience, though did start the last couple of games his freshman year

Auburn, Cam Newton, Juco transfer. People are expecting good things but who knows?

Compare those guys to Pryor, Stanzi, Tolzein, Cousins, Tate ... all these guys have at least one year starting under their belt and in the case of the first three, 2 years.  2 have won BCS bowls.  Three helmed Top 10 teams already. 

This isn't to say that this is a great year for QB's in Big10. But if SEC 2010 is the standard of measurement,  B10's are comparatively good.


June 25th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

Pryor the 7th best player?  I would say that's based on his high school hype more than his performance on the field -- in the Rose Bowl, or anywhere else for that matter.  Even against Oregon's terrible defense he had just a good day, but not a great one.


June 25th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

you can consider being the MVP of a BCS game "just a good day".  Biggest name on the preseason favorite, I echo other's sentiment here that 7th seems relatively low considering the circumstances.  As terrible as you say Oregon's defense was, OSU still won that game and Pryor's performance was a big part of that.   If Adrian Clayborn was #1 and Pryor was #2, I think it would be hard to argue with the league's two returning BCS MVP's being the top 2. 




June 25th, 2010 at 1:36 PM ^

He should maybe even be higher, I don't know. But Rittenberg puts way too much stock in Pryor's performance against Oregon. The fact that he was given the MVP trophy has more to do with the lack of a single standout player on the OSU defense which basically shut down a really good offense in Oregon. Pryor had a really good game, but a number of qbs had really good games against Oregon.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

7.2 yards per pass attempt and 3.6 ypc against a terrible defense is a good day, but not a great one.  The MVP of that Rose Bowl should have been someone on the OSU defense, given the way that they shut down Oregon's potent offense.  Pryor had about the same passer rating as Tate Forcier for the season and Forcier is not even in the top 25.  If he is ranked the #7 player in the Big Ten, it's becuase of his high school hype. 


June 25th, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

I still don't get all of the Pryor hype.  The guy is really athletic, but this isn't the list of most athletic players in the Big 10. This guy had his biggest numbers against the worst teams on his schedule. Here are two sets of numbers:

1105 yards passing with 11 TDs, 6 INTs and 452 yards rushing with 5 TDs

723 yards passing with 5 TDs, 4 INTs and 254 yards rushing with 2 TDs

The first set of numbers are against Toledo, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, and New Mexico State. The second set of numbers are against Navy, USC, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa and Michigan. I realize that Michigan wasn't great last year, but I made a judgement call on where to draw the line down the middle at 6 games. His numbers in the Rose Bowl were the best he had all year against the best competition he faced. Am I supposed to believe that he improved 150% over the course of 2 months or should I believe that he just had a really good game? Don't get me wrong, the kid has a ton of potential.....and I believe that is exactly what I said last year when I didn't think he would improve as a QB. Again, sorry, I don't think the kid is as good as everyone hypes him up to be.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:08 PM ^

Thus the reason I asked the question "am I supposed to believe he greatly improved over 2 months or just had a really good game?" This is why I don't believe that you can say "look, he played really well against Oregon so you can see he is getting better and it will carry into next year." The potential has been there since high school and I would argue that he took a step down as a QB in his second season. He is still leading the team and they are winning, so everyone can say he is a great heisman candidate, but I just don't see it.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

Improvement is improvement. If you're not willing to acknowledge it, good luck watching your team this year. The fact is, at no point in Pryor's career did he look even half as good as he did against Oregon, and Oregon was one of the fastest, most athletic defenses he had to play against all year. To me, that's improvement. Feel free to look at it through homervision all you want, but the Heisman hype - for a guy who lead his team in rushing while passing for 18 touchdowns - is not unwarranted.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

Trying to be as objective as I can as a current UM student. I'll agree the Heisman hype is not unwarranted but I think that's really because the Heisman usually goes to the best "skill" player (almost always RB/QB) on one of the top-3 teams in the nation. If OSU ends up going undefeated (or 11-1 with a spot in the title game) next year it will be hard not to strongly consider Pryor for the Heisman.

That said, the Heisman is SUPPOSED to go to the best player in the country, and I honestly don't consider Pryor to be that guy. Just like Suh got robbed last year (Ingram is NOT a better player, just the best player on an all around extremely good team) I think there could be someone who is a great player on an 8-4 team that loses the Heisman to Pryor on a 12-0 or 11-1 OSU squad.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

Well now you've shifted your argument so much that I agree with you. While I think it remains to be seen whether Pryor is the best player in the country - for all you and I know, he could be Vince Young this year - it's likely that he'll merely be very good while some ridiculous defensive lineman, or even an outstanding, game-changing WR will go unnoticed in the Heisman race because he isn't on a good enough team.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:55 PM ^

Thanks, and just for clarity's sake I havent changed my argument at all I'm merely interjecting my own thoughts as I skim this blog at work (they blocked ALL traditional sports pages so I'm clueless as to the updated World Cup bracket even). It can be very confusing because I refuse to bother uploading an avatar, but I havent really taken a position on Pryor except to the post right above the one to which I'm currently replying.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

Just like last year right? All of that heisman hype was definitely warrented...I mean, he had just led OSU to 10-3 and he was only a freshman! We all know that he has to get better right? Except he really didn't get that much better.....until the last game of the year. Also, if you are judging his improvement from freshman year to sophomore year based solely on the Oregon game where he gets 2 months to prepare, I don't know what to tell you. Also, if you are going to mention him leading the team in rushing, at least mention that OSU had a 2 headed rushing attack and the 2 RBs combined for 1339 yards and 11 TDs.


June 25th, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

The rushing attack was Herron - then Saine while Herron was injured - then Saine because he ended up being better than Herron. Neither was particularly consistent, and Pryor had to shoulder the load. Boom: leading rusher. 

Also, if you are judging his improvement from freshman year to sophomore year based solely on the Oregon game where he gets 2 months to prepare, I don't know what to tell you.

Powerful stuff, broseph. 


June 25th, 2010 at 3:49 PM ^

My point was that to say "Pryor led the team in rushing" is statistically true, but completely ignores the 2 running backs that ended up starting at different times throughout the year. Pryor led the team in rushing because he played every play, not because he was OSU's best runner. He probably would have distanced himself from Herron and Saine if he wouldn't have ducked out of bounds 5 yards before contact.


June 25th, 2010 at 4:07 PM ^

He was the team's leading rusher, its most dynamic player, and the one person every opposing defense took seriously. And he still produced fairly well for a true sophomore and guided the team to a Rose Bowl win. That's a pretty adequate Heisman resume for everyone who isn't a homer Michigan fan.


June 25th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

Show me the last heisman winning QB to pass for 2000 yards and have less than 20 passing TDs to go along with more than 10 INTs. If you want to compare Pryor to Eric Crouch, go ahead. I guess he is an amazing QB. If you want to do total yards, Pat White had 3 seasons better than Pryor's last season and never won the Heisman. Your slurpfest for Pryor is nauseating. I know, now it is time for your dickish response and all of your friends to come upvote you. Way to go brah.


June 25th, 2010 at 4:37 PM ^

We are about three posts away from you challenging me to a fight, aren't we?

I don't want to "do" anything other than get you to understand that Heisman hype is something that is thrown around to every talented quarterback on a top-5 preseason team, and Pryor is neither particularly deserving nor undeserving of said hype. I understand there is a certain level of butthurt coming from you simply because Pryor plays for your chosen team's biggest rival, but eventually, hopefully by the time you graduate high school, you'll realize that giving credit to people you don't root for isn't all that hard, nor does it cast doubt on your MICHIGAN MAN status, "Big Blue".


June 25th, 2010 at 4:48 PM ^

So witty. Ha.

I have no problem giving credit where credit is due. Cousins is a better QB than Pryor. I am also quite glad we don't have Pryor on the roster right now. I admit I would have liked to have him in 08, but if we did, we wouldn't have Tate and Denard now. I get it, you like to ruffle feathers and be a dick and be edgy by saying earth shattering things like "butthurt" and "hurr hurr you haven't graduated high school yet." You are very clever for an OSU fan. Have fun with your heisman candidate. I'll be just fine with our QBs.