"Added the most" is kind of vague, isn't it? Well, let's make it more concrete. For example, Western's Michael Faulds threw for 550 yards in 52 attempts against U of T, which is 10.6 per attempt. But everyone other than Faulds threw for 1624 yards in 174 attempts against the Blues, which comes out to 9.3 yards per attempt. Suddenly that 10.6 isn't so amazing. We can say Faulds was expected to pass for about 485 yards given his number of attempts, so he really added only 65 yards in the Toronto game.
We can do that for all of Faulds' opponents, and for all yards he gained (or lost, on sacks), and furthermore for the two other quarterbacking nominees, Erik Glavic of Calgary and Benoît Groulx of Laval. The same process works for Mount A's do-everything player Gary Ross, who won't have any passing totals of any consequence, but all of his yards gained can be compared to the others who had the same number of opportunities. (Comparing QBs to other positions might be unfair, because a quarterback gets credit for passing yards after the catch...no such equivalent exists for players like Ross.)
But as always, a player's teammates can make that player look better. Like, is Groulx's job so easy on that team, that he doesn't really add much in the end? We can't answer that using this method.
What we can answer is what that player did over and above the average player against that team. The results for each player are summarized below. (Apologies to the Guelph Mercury, whom we probably lost three paragraphs ago.)
- Faulds: 32 rushing yards added in 36 attempts (0.9 per attempt), 680 passing yards added in 310 attempts (2.2 per attempt), as well as four fewer fumbles and four fewer interceptions than expected. Total yards added: 876.
- Glavic: 195 rushing yards added in 51 attempts (3.8 per attempt), 800 passing yards added in 191 attempts (4.2 per attempt), one fewer fumble and three fewer interceptions. Total yards added: 1099.
- Groulx: 14 fewer rushing yards in 10 attempts (minus-1.4 per attempt), 401 passing yards added in 138 attempts (2.9 per attempt), and three fewer fumbles. Total yards added: 355.
- Ross: 78 rushing yards added in 17 attempts (4.6 per attempt), 54 receiving yards added in 60 catches (less than a yard per catch), 105 more punt return yards on 20 returns (5.3 per return), and 68 kick-return yards added in 8 returns (8.5 per return). Total all-purpose yards added: 306.
"Total yards added" for quarterbacks is passing plus rushing minus sack yards, then minus 45 yards for every interception.
Glavic was clearly the best quarterback in this group in 2009: much better than Groulx across the board (which is kind of surprising, frankly) and also much better than Faulds on a per-attempt basis. Where it gets tricky is those three "extra" fumbles for Glavic, but those are just fumbles lost, regardless of whether the defence gained possession. Unless you want to dock Glavic 75 yards per dropped ball (30 more yards than an interception), he still comes out ahead in total yards added, 1099 to 876.
Now, in the case of Gary Ross, you might think it's easy to look at 1099 vs. 306 and conclude he has no business winning over Glavic. But they play different positions; it's not that simple. So the question becomes just how much is a player like Ross worth, when compared against the best quarterback in the league?
And we'll answer that in part two.