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It all adds up: Grossman is nation's best

UF freshman Rex Grossman, a starter for two games, has the top efficiency rating (too bad the Vols weren't as accurate in their game report to the NCAA).

[AP photo]
Games against LSU and Auburn have established Rex Grossman as the most efficient Gator passer since Danny Wuerffel.

By JOANNE KORTH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


GAINESVILLE -- It took redshirt freshman quarterback Rex Grossman more than a year to figure out the complexities of the Fun "n' Gun offense. Explaining how he became the NCAA's most efficient passer could take a little longer.

Slide rule, anyone?

After plugging his statistics into a complicated formula, Grossman emerged this week with an efficiency rating of 195.69, best among Division I-A passers.

"He's got a real natural feel for where to throw the ball," coach Steve Spurrier said. "He throws it where it's supposed to go most of the time."

Grossman replaced senior Jesse Palmer as the starter two games ago, throwing eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in lopsided victories against Louisiana State (41-9) and then-No. 19 Auburn (38-7).

"Each week I feel a little better in my leadership role," said Grossman, a native of Bloomington, Ind. "I think the team has gotten a little more comfortable that I can do the job."

The last time Florida was ga-ga over pass-efficiency ratings was in 1996, when Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel set the NCAA career record at 163.56. His rating of 178.4 in 1995 is an NCAA single-season record.

So, exactly how does the NCAA measure efficiency? How does it take Grossman's statistics -- 59 of 93 for 938 yards, 14 touchdowns, one interception in six games -- and come up with 195.69? With a formula no less complicated than something you might have learned in algebra class.

The following excerpt is from the 2000 NCAA Football Statistician's Manual:

To determine pass-efficiency ratings points, multiply a player's yards per attempt by 8.4, add his completion percentage, add his touchdown percentage multiplied by 3.3, then subtract his interception percentage multiplied by 2. It is recommended that you use a calculator for computations.

Gee, thanks for the tip.

Maintain the decimal point selector in the floating position and carry out all final percentages to two decimal places.

For those of you computing at home, that's 84.72, plus 63.44, plus 49.68, minus 2.15. Sure enough, it equals 195.69.

A few other fun numbers: Grossman throws a touchdown every 6.6 attempts, while the rest of the SEC averages one every 21.8. Against Auburn, he threw touchdowns on three consecutive attempts in the second quarter. Now that's efficient.

Grossman needs eight touchdowns to tie Wuerffel's freshman record of 22 in 1993. He has not thrown an interception in his past 52 attempts and, something the formula doesn't even care about, he has 15.90 yards per completion.

"Rex is a playmaker," Spurrier said.

There's just one problem.

Anyone scurrying to the NCAA Web site will not find Grossman's name anywhere in this week's statistical report. UNLV's Jason Thomas is listed as the pass-efficiency leader at 170.7, with Florida State's Chris Weinke second at 165.6.

Blame Tennessee.

So stunned were the folks up on Rocky Top when Jabar Gaffney caught a winning touchdown with 14 seconds left that they mistakenly reported to NCAA officials that Grossman played in the Gators' 27-23 victory on Sept. 16. He did not; Palmer took every snap.

In dividing Grossman's 93 attempts by seven games instead of six, he does not meet the NCAA minimum requirement of 15 attempts per game.

Florida officials notified the NCAA of the mistake, but it will not be corrected until the NCAA runs its massive statistical program on Sunday. The good news: Grossman's rating will stay the same because the Gators are idle before an Oct. 28 game against Georgia.

Calculators can have the week off, too.

Mr. Efficiency

Rex Grossman's pass-efficiency rating of 195.69 is best among Division I-A quarterbacks. Crunching the numbers is easy as pi=3.1415926535. Here's how it works: (10.09x8.4) + 63.44 + (15.05x3.3) -- (1.08x2) = 195.69

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