Allegedly, $200,000 under-the-table can get you a Heisman-caliber quarterback and put you in poll position for the national championship. Given that information, it is possible to determine the market value of Arizona State’s Steven Threet.
There are a lot of similarities between Cameron Newton and Steven Threet. Both were top recruits coming out of high school. Newton left his first college and went on to play in junior college for a year. Threet left his first college and went on to play in the Big 10 for a year. Both entered the 2010 football season with two years of eligibility remaining for two new schools. That is where the similarities end.
Quarterbacks get paid to win games—especially, closely contested games. This year Newton is 5-0 in games decided by a score or less. What’s Threet’s record in such games? 0-3 with another loss to Oregon that was closer than the final score would indicate. Threet threw nine interceptions in those four games and there is an inverse correlation between interceptions and under-the-table money.
Boosters pay the big bucks for program-changers. Last year, Chris Todd was a nice quarterback for Auburn, but Newton elevated the Tigers from being a lower-tier bowl team to being a team with national relevance. Hence, the alleged $200,000 price tag.
The public consensus this year has been that Threet is an upgrade from last year’s quarterback—Danny Sullivan. On closer inspection though, Sullivan—like Threet—beat both Washington schools and Sullivan just didn't win as many close games as Threet has.
Threet still has three big games to increase his under-the-table-value (UTV), but right now, he deserves to be on Sullivan’s pay scale.
Steven Threet’s Current UTV: $0
Threet’s services haven’t been worthy of any NCAA rules violations yet, but with three games still to be played, that can change as soon as this Saturday.
The Stanford Cardinals are coming to Tempe this weekend and they’re bringing a top 10 ranking with them. Arizona State’s record against ranked teams in the Koetter and Erickson eras is awful. Sobriety on Mill Avenue is more prevalent than a Sun Devil victory over a ranked team. If Threet is able to pull off the upset against a legitimate top 10 team, his UTV would rise to $20,000.
The UCLA Bruins pay a visit to Tempe after the Cardinals for the beloved Thanksgiving weekend game. Thanksgiving weekend makes a strong case for being the best four-day stretch of the year. It is four days of gluttony, binge drinking, football, family and friends. But nothing taints turkey leftovers quite like a Sun Devil loss, which is why a victory over the Bruins would be sure to raise Threet’s UTV another $10,000.
The last game of the regular season is on the road against the Arizona Wildcats. Tucson (commonly referred to as “God’s litter box”) is ridden with disease and impropriety and is home to the Wildcats. If Threet goes south of the border and makes Stoops cry, his UTV would increase by $30,000.
If Threet wins all three games, the Sun Devils are going bowling! A bowl appearance bonus is surely worthy of an extra $20,000 and a bowl win can be worth anywhere from $10-20,000—depending on the opponent. That places Threet’s potential UTV for this season at...
Steven Threet’s Potential UTV for 2010: $100,000
Be sure to read next week's "Player Pay Scale" where I will determine whether Arizona State's kicker, Thomas Weber, is worth a quart of melted sugar-free ice cream—the answer may surprise you!
More of my profound insights can be found on twitter @couchcasanova.