|Former Iowa State quarterback, Jared Barnett, will transfer|
to Illinois State and play for the Redbirds next season.
(Photo: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
The talent gap from playing in the Big Twelve to the Missouri Valley Conference bodes well for Barnett, considering--of course, that he displayed periodical flashes of brilliance against Big Twelve foes; most notably (as stated previously) his three touchdown, 376 yard day he had against Oklahoma State in 2011. Of course, this type of transfer quarterback has happened before. Rhett Bomar transferred from Oklahoma to Sam Houston State in 2007 where he would end up breaking the school record for career passing yards (5,564) in two seasons. Joe Flacco transferred from Pittsburgh to Delaware in 2004, although, his situation might not be compatible with Bomar's or Barnett's; Flacco completed one pass during his tenure at Pittsburgh. I'm sure there are multiple more stories of BCS QB's dropping down to FCS schools and finding success; but it is late and I've mentioned the three I can think up off the top of my head--that should be good enough to make my point.
Another topic to note is that teams do not necessarily automatically become wildly successfully and turn into powerhouse teams overnight after they land a transfer like this. I'll continue with my Bomar-Flacco comparison. Bomar, who started 10 games with Oklahoma before being released from the Sooners led Sam Houston State 4-4 start in 2007 before going down in the Nicholls State game. In 2008, his last season, the Bearcats ended 4-6. Flacco, as most of you know, had an awesome career at Delaware and led them to the FCS National Championship game in 2007.
The most influential aspect for these transfers must come from the level of comfort and the confidence they have in fitting into the offensive playbook that already exists, in other words; coaching. How will Jared Barnett fit into the offensive style at Illinois State? Well, I've extensively seen both Iowa State and Illinois State play the past few seasons and it is clear the difference some confidence makes. For Cyclone fans, watching Iowa State try to run the ball is like hitting your head against a metal pole; it is literally painful. All of Iowa State's quarterbacks had trouble running the Cyclone offensive sets; because all of the pressure was on their back--the Cyclones had no balance. Although the stats will show you that Iowa State averaged 4.2 yards per rush attempt; consistency was nonexistent. On the contrary, Illinois State's offense has the ability to play smash-mouth football with alot of success. Now, Matt Brown stole the show, but Darrelynn Dunn quietly ran for 1000 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012. With a steady, traditional, power-backfield, Jared Barnett could easily find the balance that allows him to blossom into a very, very effective quarterback.