Phil Steele named him First Team All-MAC. Sporting News has him as the Best Passing Quarterback in the MAC and the All-MAC team Quarterback. With all this attention, you'd think Blake Frohnapfel was by far and away the best quarterback in the MAC. With 3,345 yards. 23 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, you can see why he's getting all this praise. I'm here to tell you, though, that Frohnapfel is not the best quarterback in the league. Take this blind resume from a pair of anonymous MAC quarterbacks with their 2014 stats:
For those who missed out on all the MACtion last year, Player A is, of course, Zack Terrell of Western Michigan University, while Player B is Blake Frohnapfel. The scary thing is that Terrell managed to throw almost 100 more yards than Frohnapfel on almost 70 less attempts. Frohnapfel has the counting stats (and in only 10 games to boot), but he had to throw the ball a ton to get there. Only two quarterbacks had more attempts than Frohnapfel in the MAC. The kicker: Blake Frohnapfel was 12th in the MAC in completion percentage of quarterbacks with 100 or more attempts.
|Reginald Bell Jr.||EMU||105||184||57.1||1,297|
That is not the territory of a top tier quarterback. Despite this, Frohnapfel puts together a decent Adjusted Yards per Attempt (AY/A) due to the high yardage total , good for sixth in the league.
Frohnapfel has a second issue, though.
Besides the low completion percentage, Blake Frohnapfel doesn't make plays with his legs. Sure, he does this very now and again, but due to his 22 sacks, his rushing line sits at 41 for -84. The sacks alone aren't an issue; Frohnapfel is right in line with the other top MAC quarterbacks, it's that he takes his sacks incredibly deep in the pocket, and doesn't add any value with his legs. Let's do another blind resume:
In this scenario, you'd either take Player A for the yards or Player B for the better decision making and thus reduced risk. Player A is Zach Terrell, Player B is Drew Hare, and Player C is Blake Frohnapfel, if you combined their rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns with their passing line. After factoring in rushing and passing stats, you can create the following massive data dump:
|PLAYER||TEAM||RUSH ATT||RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||COMP||ATT||YDS||TD||INT||SACK||Total Attempts||Total Yards||Total TD||Total Int||Comb AY/A|
|Reginald Bell Jr.||QB||EMU||133||562||4||105||184||1,297||9||6||22||317||1,859||13||6||5.83|
This table paints a pretty clear picture, and it isn't Blake Frohnapfel being the best quarterback in the MAC. I would say there's a pretty clear number one, Zach Terrell, with a very jumbled two through five, followed by the rest. Add in the fact that the Minutemen are going to have major issues replacing this guy, and I could see the debate that Frohnapfel shouldn't be on any All-MAC team.
Personally, I'd probably tier next seasons starters as follows:
|Tier 1:||Zach Terrell||WMU|
|Tier 2:||Joe Licata||BUFF|
|Tier 3:||Matt Johnson||BGSU|
|Tier 4:||Derrius Vick||OHIO|
|Reginald Bell Jr.||EMU|
|Tier 5:||Colin Reardon||KENT|
* Woodside would probably rank in tier 2 for me, and both Ely or Johnson could either be tier 1 quarterbacks or be replaced if they struggle due to injury.
**Kyle Pohl might not make it through summer camp, Tra'Von Chapman is hot on his heels, I hear
***Miami lost Andrew Hendrix, who would be tier 4 for me.
This is not an indictment of Blake Frohnapfel. This is probably praise for a very deep and talented quarterback class for the MAC this year. Let's not overrate Frohnapfel though. He's a great QB in a deep league, not the most dominant quarterback in the MAC. He might be the most valuable, though, but that's a whole different debate for another day.
Do you agree with Jesse's tiers? Think he's an idiot? Let your voice be heard below!