Aug. 2, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming junior quarterback Brett Smith has been named to the 2013 Manning Award Watch List. The announcement was made on Friday by the Manning Award Committee and Allstate Sugar Bowl, sponsor of the Manning Award.
Smith is one of only 30 quarterbacks in the nation named to this year's Manning Award Preseason Watch List. He is one of six Mountain West quarterbacks named to this year's list. The Mountain West leads all conferences with the most QBs named to this year's Manning Award Watch List. The SEC is second with five quarterbacks named, and the PAC-12 has four.
This year's list of quarterbacks was selected in conjunction with the release of ESPN's new Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) - the top 30 returning quarterbacks according to the QBR make up the Watch List. The winner will still be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Mannings, after the bowls.
Based on ESPN's QBR rating, Wyoming's Smith had a ranking of 74.6 from last season, which ranked him 13th in the nation among returning quarterbacks.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.
"This is always an exciting time of year for college football players, coaches and fans," said Archie Manning. "ESPN has come up with an interesting new statistical measure of quarterbacks so we decided to use the QBR to determine our Watch List, but we want to remind everyone that every quarterback in the country remains eligible to win this honor and we're looking forward to seeing how things play out on the field."
Total QBR measures a quarterback's contributions to scoring on each play (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, and penalties) accounting for game context (down, distance, yard line, time remaining, and score) and adjusted for opponent strength. It is based on a 0-100 scale and 50 is average.
"Total QBR uses all of a quarterback's plays and accounts for the context of the game and quality of the defenses faced," said ESPN Stats & Information Sr. Director Jeff Bennett. "We are excited to bring a more complete rating system to the fans to allow for fairer comparisons of quarterbacks who play in different types of systems and face various levels of competition. We're pleased that a national award like the Manning Award has seen the value of our new Total QBR for college."
"College football has needed this for a long time," said ESPN College Football Analyst Brad Edwards. "Finally, we have a way to measure the performance of a dual-threat QB against that of a pure passer. I only wish we could go back in time and use it to see the full impact of guys like Archie Manning, John Elway and Tommie Frazier."
Smith will be a leading All-America candidate in 2013. He ranked among the Top 25 quarterbacks in the NCAA in four different categories as a sophomore last season, despite missing two complete games and part of another due to injury. He led the Mountain West Conference in both passing efficiency and points responsible for, was second in the Mountain West in passing yards and third in total offense.
As a sophomore, Smith ranked No. 5 in the NCAA and No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference in points responsible for in 2012, generating 20.2 points per game. Among FBS players returning for the 2013 season only 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M (21.69 points per game) and Tajh Boyd of Clemson (21.54 ppg) were responsible for more points per game. The other two players who ranked ahead of Smith in 2012 were former USC quarterback Matt Barkley (20.36 ppg) and former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith (20.31 ppg)
Wyoming's Smith ranked No. 11 in the nation and No. 1 in the Mountain West in passing efficiency in 2012 (with a quarterback rating of 157.70).
He ranked 16th in the country and No. 3 in the MW in total offense (308.5 yards per game).
Smith also ranked 21st in the NCAA and No. 2 the conference in the passing yards (283.7 yards per game).
After only two seasons and 23 career starts, Smith already is among the most prolific quarterbacks in University of Wyoming school history. He ranks fifth all-time in school history in total offense, with 6,417 yards; ranks sixth in career passing yards (5,459 yards); and ranks fourth in career touchdown passes (47). His 64 career touchdowns responsible for (rushing TDs, passing TDs and receiving TDs) rank No. 2 in school history and trail all-time leader Casey Bramlet by only six. Smith has averaged 3,208 yards of total offense his first two seasons. A similar season as a junior will make him Wyoming's career total offense leader, as he needs 3,158 yards to break Bramlet's career total offense record. Smith's extremely productive sophomore season, included him throwing 27 touchdown passes, which ranks as the second best single-season total in school history, while throwing only six interceptions. He completed 62.1 percent of his passes (205-330) for 2,837 yards as a sophomore.
He finished the season with 174 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, the second-best mark in Mountain West history and just four shy of the all-time MW record held by former Wyoming QB Casey Bramlet.
Smith threw for 412 yards against UNLV -- a career best. He threw a career high five TD passes in a win at Idaho, and threw four touchdown passes in back-to-back games versus Colorado State and New Mexico. Smith started 10 games, missing two starts due to injury. He led all UW rushers with six TDs on the ground.
Smith was the only sophomore in the nation named to the Manning Award Preseason Watch List in 2012. He was selected as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times during his sophomore season and earned Honorable Mention All-MW honors. He was a two-time Manning Award Star of the Week as a sophomore, a three-time CollegeSportsMadness.com MW Player of the Week, and was selected as the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas MW Player of the Week once. Though just a sophomore, Smith was one of four Cowboys to be selected a team captain for the 2012 season, and was named the team's Offensive Back of the Year.
As a true freshman in 2011, Smith earned First Team Freshman All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com and Second Team Freshman All-America recognition from Yahoo! Sports. The native of Salem, Ore., was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2011. He averaged 256.3 yards of total offense per game to rank No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 33 overall in the NCAA. Along the way, he set a new Mountain West Conference freshman record for total offense (3,332 yards), shattering the previous record of 2,691 yards set by TCU's Andy Dalton back in 2007. Smith ranks third on Wyoming's single-season total offense chart. He also ranks No. 3 on the Mountain West career passing list for a freshman, with 2,622 passing yards. Twice during the 2011 season, Smith was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week for his performances versus San Diego State and New Mexico.
Smith was invited to and attend this summer's Manning Passing Academy. It was the second consecutive year that Smith was invited to the Manning Passing Academy. Smith was originally invited by Archie Manning when the two met at the 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, where Manning was the keynote speaker for the bowl luncheon.