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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ranking the UK QB’s since Couch

(Curtis Pulley not included)

2004: 54-88, 492 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record)
2005: 146-253, 1644 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT, 1 rushing TD (4-8 record)
2006: 264-419, 3515 yards, 31 TD, 7 INT, 1 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
2007: 327-518, 3709 yards, 40 TD, 11 INT, 3 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
Career: 791-1278, 9360 yards, 79 TD, 25 INT, 5 rushing TD (20-19 record, 2-0 bowl)

Why does Woodson pass Couch?  Because Couch was a huge product of his system.  If Woodson had thrown the ball as many times as Couch did, he would have smashed all UK passing records.  Not to mention, he threw more touchdown passes with far less interceptions than Couch.  Plus, Woodson won 2 bowls and led the resurgence of UK football.  The bowl wins are what really push Woodson ahead.

1996: 32-84, 277 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
1997: 363-547, 3884 yards, 37 TD, 19 INT, 3 rushing TD (5-6 record)
1998: 430-601, 4611 yards, 38 TD, 17 INT, 1 rushing TD (7-5 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: 825-1232, 8772 yards, 76 TD, 37 INT, 4 rushing TD (12-11 record, 0-1 bowl)

Putting Woodson #1 is really more of a compliment to him instead of an insult to Couch.  Couch was maybe the most heralded UK player in history, and he put up gaudy numbers and was a Heisman contender.  But despite all of that, he still only went 12-11 in his career, and never beat a team ranked in the Top 25 at the end of the season.  His impact on football in Lexington is unmatched, but his actual career is.  

1999: 303-465, 3266 yards, 26 TD, 13 INT, 3 rushing TD (6-6 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: Same

-You could argue that canning Bonner for Lorenzen was the beginning of the end for Hal Mumme.  After having a very successful bowl season in his only year, Mumme chose to go with the freshman Lorenzen the next season.  Bonner left, and Mumme was gone (with violations) shortly after.  Plus, Bonner did it following Tim Couch, which put an extra pressure on him.  Bonner’s TD/INT ratio was similar to Couch, he just simply did not throw the ball as often.  You have to wonder just how good he would have been had Mumme stuck with him.

2000: 321-559, 3687 yards, 19 TD, 21 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-9 record)
2001: 167-292, 2179 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT, 2 rushing TD (1-5 record)
2002: 183-287, 2267 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT, 0 rushing TD (7-5 record)
2003: 191-336, 2221 yards, 16 TD, 8 INT, 5 rushing TD (4-8 record)
Career: 862-1474, 10354 yards, 78 TD, 41 INT, 12 rushing TD (14-27 record)

-Lorenzen is a tough guy to evaluate because he may have had more pure talent than any guy on the list.  But his record as a starter is atrocious, which is not entirely his fault.  His stats are very impressive, but simply because he was a 4-year starter.  And he only beat Louisville once in 4 tries, and never made a bowl game.  Lorenzen was a fan favorite, but his actual on the field performance was sketchy.  Thus he doesn’t get above 4th on this list.

2007: 4-6, 34 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2008: 172-311, 1666 yards, 9 TD, 8 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-3 record, 1-0 bowl)
2009: 79-133, 802 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 0 rushing TD (2-3 record)
2010: 268-405, 3178 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-6 record)
Career: 523-855, 5680 yards, 38 TD, 24 INT, 0 rushing TD (14-12 record, 1-0 bowl)

I really considered pushing Hartline above Lorenzen on this list, but couldn’t do it because Hartline really only had 1 good statistical season.  He did beat Louisville 3 times, and lead 2 teams to bowl games, but he missed he very last game because of an arrest.  He performances were wildly inconsistent, and his fan appeal flip flopped several times in his career.  Nobody can complain about his final season in Lexington, sans the arrest, but his time before led to many complaint and headaches.

2001: 85-154, 852 yards, 4 TD, 6 INT, 3 rushing TD (1-4 record)
2002: 10-19, 99 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2003: 15-43, 205 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 4 rushing  TD (Non-Starter)
2004: 138-263, 1328 yards, 7 TD, 9 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-8 record)
Career: 248-479, 2484 yards, 13 TD, 17 INT, 13 rushing TD (3-12 record)

Yuck. 3-12 career record.  Yuck. 

2009: 75-135, 706 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 2 rushing TD (5-3 record, 0-1 bowl)
2010: 25-43, 265 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: 100-180, 971 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 2 rushing TD (5-4 record, 0-2 bowl)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

52 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ranking the UK QB’s since Couch

  1. The Calipari Way
    9:09 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I think a broke wiener is worth more the Boyd was as a QB.

  2. btowncatfan
    9:09 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Ballsy post BTI. Get ready for the haters, of which I am not. I agree. I would take Woodson over Couch without hesitation. His TD/INT ratio in his last two years is ridiculous for a UK QB, hell any SEC QB. Still wish Martz had never got ahold of him in the Senior Bowl preparation, ruined his career.

  3. KyTom
    9:09 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    The Shane Boyd ……..Boyd run right, Boyd run left, Boyd incomplete pass. Punt.

  4. I never learned to read
    9:14 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    …my own post – Woodson did throw the ball as much as Couch + 46 more attempts. I actually agree with Woodson at #1, but BTI you conflicted yourself in your own post.

  5. Bryan the Intern
    9:15 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    4) per season.

  6. Rickforgottowearhisraincoat
    9:17 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    #4 – Woodson threw more total passes, but did it in 4 years whereas Couch in 3. Factoring that, Couch threw about 90 more passes a season.

  7. Quicky Ricky
    9:17 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Very good observation. Couldn’t agree with you more. Andre had big wins in a tough SEC

  8. Buzzard
    9:35 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    the only person Mike Hartline ever hit was a girl

  9. ukfaninohio
    9:36 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Whatever happened to bonner where did he go?

  10. mocha
    9:40 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Why is couch part of qb’s since couch?

  11. JB is my Holmesboy
    9:41 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t think the outcome of the list is all that bad. If I were to rank them, I am sure it would be about the same. But to put almost all your stock in win-lose records is ridiculous. The quarterback has the greatest impact on a game, but there is still a lot more people who have to contribute. I think a more fair way to look at it is how good would Lorenzen or Couch been with the group of Tamme, Woodyard, Johnson, Burton, Little, etc. Putting so much weight on records is kind of distorting the rankings, IMO.

  12. Teague2Davis
    9:42 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Bonner was unbelievable as a QB. I would take Dusty over Jared any day of the week.

  13. shields eyes
    9:43 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t understand why Lorenzen is such a fan favorite. He could have gotten in shape, led UK to more wins, then had a career in the NFL as a starting quarterback. Oh well.

  14. BoDiazSatelliteService
    9:44 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Pookie Jones smokes all those fools!

  15. Teague2Davis
    9:45 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    9) Valdosta State in Georgia. He won the DII equiv of the Heisman two years in a row. Now he is back in Lexington working for a Medical company.

  16. AManFromNantucket
    9:45 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    8) hahahahaha

  17. Bucky Small Hooves
    9:47 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Comment #10, the title of the post is referring to John H. Couch, an American sea captain and pioneer in the Oregon Country in the 19th century.

  18. Hoss
    9:47 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Andre had a better and more complete team around him, too. Totally unfair comparison.

    Tim Couch natural ability > Andre Woodson. All day, every day.

  19. AManFromNantucket
    9:47 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    #8 hahahahaha

  20. Buckets
    9:51 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Here’s to hoping Morgan has the best record of them all.

  21. Evan
    9:51 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Couch was the #1 overall pick. I would think that speaks volumes.

  22. Joe
    9:56 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    The problem with Bonner was that the Mumme offense wasn’t going hide his limitations against good defenses, particularly the SEC. I’m not claiming that Mumme handled the situation well, but he had a point. Here’s what you don’t see in Bonner’s glittery stat line:

    vs. 3 regular season non-conference opponents (UL, a horrible UConn, and a horrible IU):
    92-133 (69%), 1089 yards (8.18 yards per attempt), 12 TD, 3 INT

    That’s very good. You look at these numbers and think, “Why did Mumme dump him for freshman J-Lo?”

    But, as Paul Harvey would tell you, here’s the rest of the story.

    Against 8 SEC opponents and his bowl opponent, Bonner’s numbers:
    211-332 (64%), 2177 yards (6.56 yards per attempt), 14 TD, 10 INT

    Those numbers aren’t horrible, but they’re pretty Mike Hartline-ish really. The keys there are the MUCH lower yards per attempt (not stretching the field), and the relatively low TD count and mediocre TD/INT ratio.

    FWIW, actual Mike Hartline numbers vs. SEC in 2010:
    199-306 (65%), 2226 yards (7.27 yards per attempt), 16 TD, 8 INT

    So there you are. 2010 Mike Hartline was a much better SEC QB than Dusty Bonner. That’s why Mumme made his change. Did he handle it wrongly? YES. Did he make it probably a year too soon? Yes.

  23. Hoss
    9:58 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    21- exactly.


  24. Joe
    9:59 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    FWIW, for me:
    1. Couch
    1a. Woodson (I can’t choose– we got two years of awesome from each guy)
    3. Lorenzen
    4. Hartline
    5. Bonner
    6. Boyd (only because there is no 493rd place)

  25. Hoss
    10:00 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, can we get a person who was actually out of diapers when Couch was playing to give him a fair shake over the players you actually remember?

  26. GummyBear
    10:05 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    where’s the show thread?

  27. bung
    10:06 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Couch wins…

  28. Hoss_Cat
    10:07 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, you are borderline brain dead. Putting Woodson over Couch is insane. You need to quit lol.

  29. Nick
    10:08 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Heads up on a cool graphical look at SEC football power trends over the last 60 years.

    Unsurprisingly, our graph has a negative slope since the Bear.

  30. Randall Cobb
    10:08 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    What about me?

  31. Manbearpig
    10:10 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    That’s it I’m canceling my KSR subscription BTI done lost his damn mind again. Woodson more talent around him then Couch. Who did Couch have really besides Yeast?

  32. ATB (Always True Blue)
    10:21 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    54% of his games were victories – First
    Perfect Bowl record – tied for first
    61% completion percentage – 3rd
    If not for an injury and stupidity he would have had the most
    wins of any starting QB in the last 15 years.

    As far as surrounding talent, both Couch’s teams and Woodson’s teams
    were ranked. Woodson’s team had like two top 10 weeks in the rankings.

    So he had less talent surrounding him than the top two on this list but
    has more victories and other than total yards he ranks up in the top 3
    in most statistical categories. In reality he did this in just 2 actual
    seasons due to not playing his Freshman year and the injury his Junior year
    plus the suspension.

    Like him or hate him, and believe me I am not a Hartline lover.

    He has to finish no worse than 3rd on this list.

  33. Anthony
    10:35 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    BTI, you have a error. Woodson went 3-8 in 2005. College football only had 11 games that season.

  34. Ollie the Weatherman
    10:37 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Great rankings, but you also have to mention that Couch ALSO “led the resurgence of UK football” and led us to the Outback Bowl, far better IMO than any bowl we’ve been to since. (Even though we almost made it back in ’07. Damn Mississippi State loss…)
    It’s tough picking between Couch and Woodson!

  35. YearyCat
    10:47 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Just saying BIG “What If” here, but WHAT IF Couch would have stayed one more year. Give him another 4,000 yards passing and 40 touchdowns. No one would come close to this. Woodson was great, But COUCH was the GREATEST.

  36. Clueless people
    10:55 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Ok obviously you all are not old enough to remember Couch at UK. There is no comparison at all. Tim Couch was the greatest QB to ever play here. You have to factor in that Couch had no team around him his first year and had a coach who wanted to run the option with him and put him in his first start at the freaking swamp of all places. Tim Couch is the greatest QB we have had and Woodson is not even in the same ball park. Woodson was great his last season but had a great team around him for that year. Give Couch that team and results would have been through the roof. You people just are too young to comment on most of this stuff. Once again BTI misses the mark and proves he is a dumbass.

  37. babeking
    10:58 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Talent-wise Couch and Lorenzen are clearly ahead of Woodson. Woodson had pro receivers at every positon. Dusty Bonner had a great tight end that inflated his stats. Look at the number of passes his wide receivers caught. There were not many. Couch and Lorenzen did not have the same level of talent to throw to.

  38. Yesterdays
    11:01 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    How many bubble screen passes will Newton have to complete to get close to Couch and Woodson?

  39. Red Rooster
    11:02 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Rumor has it that Hartline also tried to throw the assault victim into traffic.

    He was 2 yards short though.

  40. BigBlueStreeb
    11:05 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I would take ‘Dre over Couch. Simply because Couch was a douche and ‘Dre was a cool dude. The Cats had a chance to play in the SEC championship game his senior season. Just a few heart breakers away.I would have put them up against any team that season.

  41. KyKid
    11:29 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Well I am old enough to have seen all these guys (as an adult) and I have to agree with BTI. Yes, his surrounding talent was probably better, but a lot of Couch’s stats were little 3 yard dump off passes to Yeast that went for 60 yard touchdowns. By no means am I dogging Couch – great QB – but the system did help him quite a bit.

  42. Joe
    11:36 am August 25, 2011 Permalink

    41, I remember them both and I sure don’t remember that “a lot of Couch’s stats were little 3 yard dump off passes to Yeast that went for 60 yard touchdowns.” Yeah, there were a few of those, but it’s not like Woodson didn’t profit off of dump passes to Little or Burton that went for big plays. Couch was good at dink and dump but he also threw as good of a deep ball as anyone I’ve ever seen. I’m not pretending that Woodson wasn’t amazing, but I’m hard pressed to pick one guy over the other. Both had two amazing seasons.

  43. KyKid
    12:16 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    42, I agree it is tough to pick between the two, and I do think Couch was a GREAT QB – certainly an argument could be made he was the best ever at UK. But, you have to admit that Mumme’s system was taylor made for statistical greatness. And yes, Yeast did take a lot of short passes a long way. True that was the case some with Andre as well. Maybe a stats geek (hey BTI!) could see which had more of those. Not that it really matters I guess – I would be thrilled to have either one of those guys at QB.

  44. Neil
    12:35 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Bonner was not better than Lorenzen….NO WAY! I thought Bonner absoulutely sucked. He could not avoid a pass rush to save his life. 90% of the sacks he took was his own fault, he was the slowest QB ever that had terrible footwork. Bad ranking there.

  45. Nolecat21
    12:59 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Lorenzen played through the probationary period which is why there was no bowl game. (7-5) his Jr year qualifies for a bowl game. Not a fair comparison as mentioned above with the drop off in talent level we faced because of probation. Plus he got screwed by Brooks for Boyd because Brooks wanted to run more option….Brilliant….not!!! Put Lorenzen in Mumme’s offense for 3 years and imagine what his numbers would’ve been. Hell, put him in Woodson’s offense for that matter. He was a product of the run first offense and Brooks & co. didn’t take advantage of his superior arm. He started his freshmen year which is something neither Couch nor Woodson could do.

  46. ATB (Always True Blue)
    1:00 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I’m old enough to remember Couch, was an alum that went to the Outback bowl against Penn State at Raymond James.

    Couch in my mind was the best QB at Kentucky in my lifetime which spans four decades without any question.

  47. ebell55
    1:15 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with this order but I can’t understand all the hate on Shane Boyd. The guy gave his all and played hard. Still remember the UT game we almost won his senior year. He also Hung around many NFL practice squads and in NFL Europe. He felt the effects of probation more than anyone on the list.

  48. Kykidreally?
    1:44 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Are you serious? All couches passes were 3 yard dump offs? That is absurd. Couch had more arm strentgh then Woodson has with both arms combined. Woodson had a very weak arm and def had more dump off passes then Couch ever thought about. Couch was not a system qb he was a freaking stud. They were ranked solely because of him. Woodson is no where the caliber of COuch. Woodson had best collection of receivers we have ever had here so this argument is really dumb you all are trying to make.

  49. ZombieLibrarian
    4:53 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    The Boyd family has a rich tradition of underachieveing at UK.

  50. ZombieLibrarian
    5:00 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    The Boyd family has a rich tradition of underachieving at UK.

  51. thenamerobdigity
    5:53 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    Couch was the # 1 pick in the draft and he left early. Enough said. I love both guys but half of Woodson’s receivers still play football in the NFL. Take Woodson’s senior out, then compare the stats. The biggest factor is the supporting cast.

  52. Bob
    7:46 pm August 25, 2011 Permalink

    #31, exactly!