Leading the Nation in Completion Percentage/Correlation to Winning

hedonistimpulse

Redshirt Freshman
Jul 29, 2018
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The nation's FBS leader in completion percentage:

2020
Mac Jones: 77.4%
Led team to National Championship

2019
Joe Burrow: 76.3%
Led team to National Championship

2018
Jack Abraham: 73.1%
Southern Miss went 6-5

2017
Baker Mayfield: 70.5%
Led team to College Football Playoffs

2016
Baker Mayfield: 70.9%
Led team to Sugar Bowl win and top-5 finish

2015
Brandon Doughty: 71.9%
Western Kentucky went 12-2

2014
Grant Hedrick: 70.8%
Boise State went 12-2

2013
Joe Southwick: 72.6%
Boise State went 8-5

2012
David Fales: 72.5%
San Jose State went 11-2

2011
Kellen Moore: 74.3%
Boise State went 12-1

2010
Dan Persa: 73.5%
Northwestern went 7-6

2009
Colt McCoy: 70.6%
Texas lost in the National Championship game

2008
Colt McCoy: 76.7
Texas went 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl

2007
Riley Skinner: 72.4%
Wake Forest went 9-4

2006
Colt Brennan: 72.6%
Hawaii went 11-3

2005
Phil Horvath: 70.6%
Northern Illinois went 7-5

2004
Stefan LeFors 73.5%
Louisville went 11-1

Adrian Martinez completed 71.5% of his passes in 2020 which would have led the country in 5 of the last 17 seasons....which is as far back as ESPN lists its data:


There's a significant difference between causation and correlation and the interdependence between certain stats for a quarterback, such as turnovers, tds, passing efficiency, etc., is noteworthy, but if correlation shows us anything it's that if Martinez can lead the nation in completion percentage in 2021 either Nebraska will post a winning record or they'll be the first team in the last 18 years to have the nation's leader in completion percentage and not post a winning record.

I like our odds if Martinez does in fact lead the country in completion percentage and I'd love for "literally" anyone to attempt to quantitatively refute this large sample size of data.
 

Wyldcard

Defensive Coordinator
Gold Member
Feb 12, 2018
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The nation's FBS leader in completion percentage:

2020
Mac Jones: 77.4%
Led team to National Championship

2019
Joe Burrow: 76.3%
Led team to National Championship

2018
Jack Abraham: 73.1%
Southern Miss went 6-5

2017
Baker Mayfield: 70.5%
Led team to College Football Playoffs

2016
Baker Mayfield: 70.9%
Led team to Sugar Bowl win and top-5 finish

2015
Brandon Doughty: 71.9%
Western Kentucky went 12-2

2014
Grant Hedrick: 70.8%
Boise State went 12-2

2013
Joe Southwick: 72.6%
Boise State went 8-5

2012
David Fales: 72.5%
San Jose State went 11-2

2011
Kellen Moore: 74.3%
Boise State went 12-1

2010
Dan Persa: 73.5%
Northwestern went 7-6

2009
Colt McCoy: 70.6%
Texas lost in the National Championship game

2008
Colt McCoy: 76.7
Texas went 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl

2007
Riley Skinner: 72.4%
Wake Forest went 9-4

2006
Colt Brennan: 72.6%
Hawaii went 11-3

2005
Phil Horvath: 70.6%
Northern Illinois went 7-5

2004
Stefan LeFors 73.5%
Louisville went 11-1

Adrian Martinez completed 71.5% of his passes in 2020 which would have led the country in 5 of the last 17 seasons....which is as far back as ESPN lists its data:


There's a significant difference between causation and correlation and the interdependence between certain stats for a quarterback, such as turnovers, tds, passing efficiency, etc., is noteworthy, but if correlation shows us anything it's that if Martinez can lead the nation in completion percentage in 2021 either Nebraska will post a winning record or they'll be the first team in the last 18 years to have the nation's leader in completion percentage and not post a winning record.

I like our odds if Martinez does in fact lead the country in completion percentage and I'd love for "literally" anyone to attempt to quantitatively refute this large sample size of data.
The thing about Colt McCoy, he got hurt in the 1st series of the game driving the field on Bama in the Championship game and more than likely would've been a different outcome had he not gotten hurt.
 

hedonistimpulse

Redshirt Freshman
Jul 29, 2018
769
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Lincoln, NE
Swing passes are kind of cheating the system. But given our propensity to throw them I wouldnt be surprised if Adrian is top 5 in completion percentage.
Top 5 creates an entirely different set of data with an entirely different set of results, but it's clear that there's a pattern of success with having the nation's leader in the statistic.

71.5% is only going to lead the nation roughly 1/4 of the time over the sample size presented, so it's likely not good enough.
 

John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
Jan 10, 2020
6,188
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The nation's FBS leader in completion percentage:

2020
Mac Jones: 77.4%
Led team to National Championship

2019
Joe Burrow: 76.3%
Led team to National Championship

2018
Jack Abraham: 73.1%
Southern Miss went 6-5

2017
Baker Mayfield: 70.5%
Led team to College Football Playoffs

2016
Baker Mayfield: 70.9%
Led team to Sugar Bowl win and top-5 finish

2015
Brandon Doughty: 71.9%
Western Kentucky went 12-2

2014
Grant Hedrick: 70.8%
Boise State went 12-2

2013
Joe Southwick: 72.6%
Boise State went 8-5

2012
David Fales: 72.5%
San Jose State went 11-2

2011
Kellen Moore: 74.3%
Boise State went 12-1

2010
Dan Persa: 73.5%
Northwestern went 7-6

2009
Colt McCoy: 70.6%
Texas lost in the National Championship game

2008
Colt McCoy: 76.7
Texas went 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl

2007
Riley Skinner: 72.4%
Wake Forest went 9-4

2006
Colt Brennan: 72.6%
Hawaii went 11-3

2005
Phil Horvath: 70.6%
Northern Illinois went 7-5

2004
Stefan LeFors 73.5%
Louisville went 11-1

Adrian Martinez completed 71.5% of his passes in 2020 which would have led the country in 5 of the last 17 seasons....which is as far back as ESPN lists its data:


There's a significant difference between causation and correlation and the interdependence between certain stats for a quarterback, such as turnovers, tds, passing efficiency, etc., is noteworthy, but if correlation shows us anything it's that if Martinez can lead the nation in completion percentage in 2021 either Nebraska will post a winning record or they'll be the first team in the last 18 years to have the nation's leader in completion percentage and not post a winning record.

I like our odds if Martinez does in fact lead the country in completion percentage and I'd love for "literally" anyone to attempt to quantitatively refute this large sample size of data.
Please enlighten us now on how many averaged less than 8 yards per attempt (an actually meaningful stat) in those seasons.

Ah, heck, I’ll do it for you.

The answer is 3. Abraham (6-5), skinner (9-4, didn’t we play them that year?) and colt mccoy (2009, on 470(!) attempts)

This exercise is meaningless, folks. Nothing to see here unless AM improves in places that actually matter in winning football games, starting with his yards/attempt. Or if we can get Texas’s talent from 2009.

Mayfield, Burrow and Jones were all easily in double figures yards/attempt, hence their historic success. Our guy is much closer to Abraham than those 3, but then again OP did say winning record, so 6-5 would make him correct, though it (rightly) wouldn’t satisfy the lion’s share of the fanbase. 6-6 is what the gospel of athlon predicted for us.

Too bad we play 12 regular season games, OP!
 
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John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
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I’ll add one thing- last year, which is what OP is basing AM’s numbers on, he was at 7 yards per attempt.

Of this list, only skinner was close to that low (6.8), and he threw for 2,200 yards, 12TD and 13INT. I have no clue how they won 9 games, but it wasn’t because of skinner being a difference maker.

Quite a list, OP! 😂😂😂😂😂😂
 
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John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
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Skinner as a passer is a pretty good comp to AM, actually. AM does a lot more in the run game.

Wake scored 6 defensive touchdowns that year to go 9-4, 3 by 4th overall pick aaron curry, and 3 by 2nd round corner Alphonso smith.

Too bad we don’t have anyone close to their pedigree on D to take the heat off of Martinez and his meaningless (at 7 yards/attempt, at least) completion percentage.
 

hedonistimpulse

Redshirt Freshman
Jul 29, 2018
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Please enlighten us now on how many averaged less than 8 yards per attempt (an actually meaningful stat) in those seasons.

Ah, heck, I’ll do it for you.

The answer is 3. Abraham (6-5), skinner (9-4, didn’t we play them that year?) and colt mccoy (2009, on 470(!) attempts)

This exercise is meaningless, folks. Nothing to see here unless AM improves in places that actually matter in winning football games, starting with his yards/attempt. Or if we can get Texas’s talent from 2009.

Mayfield, Burrow and Jones were all easily in double figures yards/attempt, hence their historic success. Our guy is much closer to Abraham than those 3, but then again OP did say winning record, so 6-5 would make him correct, though it (rightly) wouldn’t satisfy the lion’s share of the fanbase. 6-6 is what the gospel of athlon predicted for us.

Too bad we play 12 regular season games, OP!
This is not a complex concept: complete passes = good, incomplete passes = bad. Make sense now?

6-6? These records all include bowl games, too. Some football pundits frequently note on free message boards that bowl games from years ago are the strongest indication of the strength of a team years after the fact....so if leading the nation in pass completion is any indication, the team with the QB who does will win its bowl game if it ends the regular season 6-6 and if the 2000 Fiesta Bowl is any indication, Nebraska should be really good on defense next year.
 

John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
Jan 10, 2020
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This is not a complex concept: complete passes = good, incomplete passes = bad. Make sense now?

6-6? These records all include bowl games, too. Some football pundits frequently note on free message boards that bowl games from years ago are the strongest indication of the strength of a team years after the fact....so if leading the nation in pass completion is any indication, the team with the QB who does will win its bowl game if it ends the regular season 6-6 and if the 2000 Fiesta Bowl is any indication, Nebraska should be really good on defense next year.
High completion % on low yards/attempt, as you can clearly see, means little.

Sort by yards/attempt every year, you’ll get 2 things: low samples (<200 attempts), and the best quarterbacks in the country.

Sort by completion percentage, you get a hodgepodge that tells us exactly nothing predictive.

AM is Riley skinner with running ability. Nothing close to the guys who led their teams to meaningful success.
 

hedonistimpulse

Redshirt Freshman
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High completion % on low yards/attempt, as you can clearly see, means little.

Sort by yards/attempt every year, you’ll get 2 things: low samples (<200 attempts), and the best quarterbacks in the country.

Sort by completion percentage, you get a hodgepodge that tells us exactly nothing predictive.
Hodgepodge? Sort by completion percentage and look at the teams in the playoffs every year and get back to me if you see one without a QB in the top 30. That tells you plenty, especially if you're a wins/losses guy, eh.

I'm not saying other stats don't matter...it was noted in my OP in fact...I'm saying you'd have to be a football noob to think completing most of your passes is unimportant.
 
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Spectrumalaska

Redshirt Freshman
Oct 6, 2012
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Does not matter how many passes he completes when he is going to fumble, throw int, or run out of bounds short of a first down on 4th.....

I hope yo Adrian improves, but am really not expecting anything from him we have not seen before.
 

John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
Jan 10, 2020
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Hodgepodge? Sort by completion percentage and look at the teams in the playoffs every year and get back to me if you see one without a QB in the top 30. That tells you plenty, especially if you're a wins/losses guy, eh.

I'm not saying other stats don't matter...it was noted in my OP in fact...I'm saying you'd have to be a football noob to think completing most of your passes is unimportant.
Not all completions are equal (obviously)

I agree if AM leads the nation in completion % our floor *should* be 6 regular season wins. If he repeats his paltry yards/attempt number, our ceiling is 7-8 regular season wins.

There are 3 ways we can raise that ceiling to 9-10 regular season wins:

1. AM adds 2 yards to his ypa. 70%+ completions on 9+ ypa is truly elite quarterback play that *always* leads to more wins.

2. Elite scoring defense. 2007 Wake’s was 29th nationally, allowing 22.2 ppg.

3. Elite rushing offense. AM can help here.

Bonus: Crazy outlier found offense. Skinner’s Wake team score 6 defensive touchdowns, which was enough to mask his 2020-like Martinez-level ineffectiveness, despite his high completion percentage.
 
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x35goahs

Walk On
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Feb 4, 2005
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A key difference with a large majority of those quarterbacks is they had those great completion percentages while throwing the ball down the field. Adrian Martinez’s completion percentage should have an Asterix next to it because we were one of the worst teams in the country at throwing the ball down field. I don’t care if his completion percentage is 80%, if we can’t throw the ball further than 7 yards we aren’t going to win many games in the Big Ten.
 

John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
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A key difference with a large majority of those quarterbacks is they had those great completion percentages while throwing the ball down the field. Adrian Martinez’s completion percentage should have an Asterix next to it because we were one of the worst teams in the country at throwing the ball down field. I don’t care if his completion percentage is 80%, if we can’t throw the ball further than 7 yards we aren’t going to win many games in the Big Ten.
His yards/attempt would’ve trailed all but 1 QB on OP’s list, by .2 yards.
 
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Crazyhole

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A better metric for success is total pancakes per game. Another one that is equally applicable is total pancakes eaten before the game. The real predictor though, is whether Mountain Dew wins the race around Nebraska. Diet Pepsi winning always means we lose.
 
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SWIowahawks

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Sep 2, 2006
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A key difference with a large majority of those quarterbacks is they had those great completion percentages while throwing the ball down the field. Adrian Martinez’s completion percentage should have an Asterix next to it because we were one of the worst teams in the country at throwing the ball down field. I don’t care if his completion percentage is 80%, if we can’t throw the ball further than 7 yards we aren’t going to win many games in the Big Ten.
Bingo. Mac Jones ranked 9th in yards per completion and Martinez ranked 99th. Out of 108 QBs. A full 5 yards per completion fewer than Jones. Martinez isn’t close to Mac Jones, like Op is trying to say.
 

hedonistimpulse

Redshirt Freshman
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Bingo. Mac Jones ranked 9th in yards per completion and Martinez ranked 99th. Out of 108 QBs. A full 5 yards per completion fewer than Jones. Martinez isn’t close to Mac Jones, like Op is trying to say.
I'm not saying anything about Martinez being like Mac Jones.

The QB who led the nation in YPCompl. played on a losing team in 2020. No QB that's led the nation in completion percentage has done that as far back as the stat is tracked on ESPN's page.

Martinez is only mentioned for two reasons, one being he's the QB at the University of Nebraska and the other being that his 2020 completion percentage would have placed him 1st nationally multiple times over the recent past.
 
Oct 31, 2017
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Your head
The nation's FBS leader in completion percentage:

2020
Mac Jones: 77.4%
Led team to National Championship

2019
Joe Burrow: 76.3%
Led team to National Championship

2018
Jack Abraham: 73.1%
Southern Miss went 6-5

2017
Baker Mayfield: 70.5%
Led team to College Football Playoffs

2016
Baker Mayfield: 70.9%
Led team to Sugar Bowl win and top-5 finish

2015
Brandon Doughty: 71.9%
Western Kentucky went 12-2

2014
Grant Hedrick: 70.8%
Boise State went 12-2

2013
Joe Southwick: 72.6%
Boise State went 8-5

2012
David Fales: 72.5%
San Jose State went 11-2

2011
Kellen Moore: 74.3%
Boise State went 12-1

2010
Dan Persa: 73.5%
Northwestern went 7-6

2009
Colt McCoy: 70.6%
Texas lost in the National Championship game

2008
Colt McCoy: 76.7
Texas went 12-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl

2007
Riley Skinner: 72.4%
Wake Forest went 9-4

2006
Colt Brennan: 72.6%
Hawaii went 11-3

2005
Phil Horvath: 70.6%
Northern Illinois went 7-5

2004
Stefan LeFors 73.5%
Louisville went 11-1

Adrian Martinez completed 71.5% of his passes in 2020 which would have led the country in 5 of the last 17 seasons....which is as far back as ESPN lists its data:


There's a significant difference between causation and correlation and the interdependence between certain stats for a quarterback, such as turnovers, tds, passing efficiency, etc., is noteworthy, but if correlation shows us anything it's that if Martinez can lead the nation in completion percentage in 2021 either Nebraska will post a winning record or they'll be the first team in the last 18 years to have the nation's leader in completion percentage and not post a winning record.

I like our odds if Martinez does in fact lead the country in completion percentage and I'd love for "literally" anyone to attempt to quantitatively refute this large sample size of data.
What’s his completion percentages on passes downfield ?
 

John_J_Rambo

Recruiting Coordinator
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Bingo. Mac Jones ranked 9th in yards per completion and Martinez ranked 99th. Out of 108 QBs. A full 5 yards per completion fewer than Jones. Martinez isn’t close to Mac Jones, like Op is trying to say.
yards/attempt is the most telling stat for a quarterback's skill set.

2020 yards/attempt leaders (>200 attempts):

Mac Jones - 11.2
Zach Wilson - 11
Sam Howell - 10.3
Matt Corrall - 10.2
Grayson McCall - 10
Kyle Trask - 9.8
Spencer Rattler - 9.6
Trevor Lawrence - 9.4
Justin Fields - 9.3

all but maybe McCall will surely collect NFL paychecks, and his Coastal Carolina team is coming off an 11-win season. 6 of 9 are or will be first rounders.

it's the same every single year. by far the most important statistic when comparing QBs, and far less noisy than something like completion percentage or yards/completion, which can be highly impacted by style of offense or outliers.

adrian martinez's 7 ypa tied him for 80th in the nation last year.

fwiw - in scott frost's only winning season as a head coach, mackinzie milton completed only 59.2% of his passes, but did so at 9.2 yards/attempt. 100% of people would take those numbers over 71% at 7 ypa, and every composite metric (QBR, etc.) agrees that is more valuable.
 
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hedonistimpulse

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yards/attempt is the most telling stat for a quarterback's skill set.

2020 yards/attempt leaders (>200 attempts):

Mac Jones - 11.2
Zach Wilson - 11
Sam Howell - 10.3
Matt Corrall - 10.2
Grayson McCall - 10
Kyle Trask - 9.8
Spencer Rattler - 9.6
Trevor Lawrence - 9.4
Justin Fields - 9.3

all but maybe McCall will surely collect NFL paychecks, and his Coastal Carolina team is coming off an 11-win season. 6 of 9 are or will be first rounders.

it's the same every single year. by far the most important statistic when comparing QBs, and far less noisy than something like completion percentage or yards/completion, which can be highly impacted by style of offense or outliers.

adrian martinez's 7 ypa tied him for 80th in the nation last year.

fwiw - in scott frost's only winning season as a head coach, mackinzie milton completed only 59.2% of his passes, but did so at 9.2 yards/attempt. 100% of people would take those numbers over 71% at 7 ypa, and every composite metric (QBR, etc.) agrees that is more valuable.
You always get 0 yards per attempt on an incompletion.

2AM ranked 25th nationally in QBR. I don't think it's weighted as heavily as you think to ypa. I believe you're speaking about passing efficiency or efficiency rating.

 
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John_J_Rambo

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You always get 0 yards per attempt on an incompletion.

2AM ranked 25th nationally in QBR. I don't think it's weighted as heavily as you think to ypa. I believe you're speaking about passing efficiency or efficiency rating.

Completions > incompletions

Medium completions > short completions

Long completions > medium completions

The more ypa, the more valuable you are to your team. Short completions (AM’s forte) are the least valuable, above only incompletions. So, sure, he completes gimmes, but the defense is happy to allow those & make us run 10+ plays to score.

AM’s completion percentage last year was largely empty, just like Riley Skinner’s was in 2007 (his closest comp on your list. 71% for 2,200yds, 12TD/13INT). We are atrocious in winning situations (3rd down/red zone efficiency) when passing, mainly because of being forced to rely so heavily on RAC. Hence the W/L record. Let’s not forget QBR doesn’t account for total turnovers. More lipstick on a pig.

It takes quite a bit of digging/applying blinders to find much positive to say about AM as a passer. Maybe he will shock the world and do his best Josh Allen impression this season.
 
Oct 12, 2016
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Swing passes are kind of cheating the system. But given our propensity to throw them I wouldnt be surprised if Adrian is top 5 in completion percentage.
Do backward swing passes count? What about shuttle passes to little scat backs on short yardage and goal line plays?
 

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