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How Valuable Is Teddy Bridgewater?

Hannah Foslien

Gotta give a shout out to The Viking Age for having this one before we did, but this is a pretty interesting little tidbit.

Nate Silver, who many people probably know more for his election projections than anything having to do with sports, has done an analysis of college quarterbacks to show how "valuable" they are to their teams. Silver went back through the past nine seasons, nearly seven thousand games worth, and has determined which quarterbacks over that time meant the most to their universities.

According to Silver's research, Teddy Bridgewater was worth 3.8 wins to the Louisville Cardinals during the 2013 season. That is to say that, because of Bridgewater's play at the quarterback position, the Cardinals won about four more games than they would have with average quarterback play.

That level of play was good enough for second-best in the 2013 season (behind only Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston), and one of the top ten seasons of all the quarterbacks in the nine seasons that Silver went through. Bridgewater, according to the study, did more to improve his team than Cam Newton did for Auburn in his Heisman-winning campaign of 2010 and Robert Griffin III did for Baylor in his Heisman-winning season of 2011. His 2013 season wasn't quite as good as Johnny Manziel's 2012 season, but it was pretty close.

This, according to Silver, led to Bridgewater generating an extra $2.8 million for Louisville's football program in 2013. Considering that the Cardinals, who were 12-1 last year with Bridgewater under center, project as an 8-5 team without him. . .good, but not great. . .that seems relatively reasonable. A guy of Bridgewater's caliber would mean more television coverage, among other things.

The bottom line is that Teddy Bridgewater meant a lot to the Louisville football program, both in terms of victories and, apparently, for the University of Louisville's coffers. Hopefully he will be able to transfer that to the National Football League.