John P Lopez over at SI.com delves into a statistical wonderland, in which he believes that he has found a magical combination that predicts the success of college quarterbacks in the NFL.
It's an interesting concept, and I encourage you to check it out. He presents the theory that if a college quarterback meets three statistical categories coming out of college, it translates to a good career. Those that miss on at least one of them will struggle.
The milestones are:
A minimum score of 26 on the Wonderlic
A minimum of 27 college career starts
A minimum of 60% college career passing completion percentage
He presents a list of successful quarterbacks that meet the criteria (Manning, Romo, Brees, Rivers) and a list of ones that failed at least one of the three milestones (Culpepper, Leaf, Couch, Vick). It's a nice snapshot, though I sure would like to see a more complete list instead of a cherry-picked one.
What makes me say that is Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn't mentioned at all in his article, which I found not only annoying, but curious...why would he be left off, since he certainly has to be considered a top-10 quarterback in the league.
So, I set out to research Rodgers stats, and see how he did.
1) He scored a 35 on the Wonderlic. Check
2) He completed 63.8 of his passes at Cal. Check.
Which brings us to his college starts. According to the Packers website, Rodgers started 22 games for Cal, which is about five short of the 27 needed for Lopez's formula. However, if you include the eleven games he started for Butte Junior College as a freshman, he would be up to 33. Do those count in Lopez's formula?
My guess is, looking at Rodgers' success, they sure do. Incidentally, the incumbent starter at quarterback for the Vikings failed the formula, scoring only a 22 on his Wonderlic. Might explain all those playoff interceptions.