Is it possible that the quarterback of USC -- a tradition-rich, star- driven program -- is having one of the best statistical seasons in the nation and flying under the radar?
Apparently it is, as evidenced by Cody Kessler.
Kessler has thrown for 3,505 yards, 36 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. His plus-32 touchdown-to-interception differential ranks third in the FBS, and his 80.5 Total QBR ranks sixth. His seven touchdown passes against Colorado broke the USC single-game record.
Yet Kessler did not make first- or second-team all-conference, and despite his being named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, some casual college football fans might have a hard time even naming USC's starting quarterback.
The biggest criticism of Kessler is that his team has lost four games -- a valid argument when comparing him with other top quarterbacks. However, when looking purely at season-long statistical trends, Kessler is among the best in the nation in accuracy, poise in the pocket and efficiency.