The Big 12 "Junior Jump" is real. Just look at the numbers.
Justin Ray of ESPN Stats & Info took a look today at the trend of Big 12 passers making a statistical jump from sophomore year to junior year. For many of the league's recent big-name quarterbacks, the results were impressive. Check it out.
Eight of them -- including Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy and Chase Daniel -- put up higher completion percentages and passing yards in year three, and six threw for more touchdowns.
David Ash appears poised to join that rather elite class of quarterbacks. Like the rest of them, he put up a passer efficiency rating of 130.00 or better in his second year, and Ray believes if the trend holds true Ash could be on pace for more than 3,000 passing yards and a 71.2 completion percentage.
The best indicators for hope are what McCoy and Vince Young did as juniors. Young raised his passing yardage 1,187 yards, threw 14 more touchdowns and improved his passer rating 35.5 points in his third year. Of course, he also won a national championship.
McCoy's numbers didn't improve at such a dramatic clip from a yardage standpoint, but his completions went up 11.6 percent, he threw 12 more touchdowns and 10 fewer interceptions and raised his passer rating a similar 34.6 points.
And he ended that 2008 season with a victory in the Fiesta Bowl. If Ash can lead this team back to Tempe, Texas would be just fine with that -- no matter what stats he puts up.