Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is generating buzz left and right as Stanford continues to post big wins. He has been spectacular on the field, and he is drawing attention at even the professional level as winless NFL teams start duking it out in the "Suck For Luck" sweepstakes.
A lot of the attention is warranted. He has all the tools of an NFL quarterback and scouts have referred to him as the biggest pro prospect since Peyton Manning. In his past two games, Luck has checked in with about an 80% completion rate, and he has powered the Cardinal to become the seventh-most prolific offense in the country (averaging 46.2 points per game).
But those numbers need to be put into perspective. Stanford has faced light competition so far this season (San Jose State, Duke, Arizona, UCLA and Colorado): none of those teams have a winning record aside from Duke (3-2). None of those teams rank better than 74th defensively in the nation, either.
Regardless, the media is going crazy about Luck. Take this piece from ESPN, for example, that compares Luck to a fine European painting. It's a great testament to his skill, but at this point- given the competition that Luck has actually faced- its all hype.
Before Luck can be judged as a fine work of art, we need to see him play against better competition. If Luck puts on a show against No. 9 Oregon later this season, against a legitimate squad that handed him a lopsided 52-31 loss last year, then we can start comparing him to the likes of a speedy and stylish Porsche. If Luck can lead his team to an undefeated season and a potential BCS national title, then we can compare him to the likes of the impressive Harry Houdini.
For now, though, Luck is doing what he should: picking apart inferior competition. He won't actually be tested and we won't actually know the extent of his ability until he faces the better teams on the back end of Stanford's schedule. It is entirely possible, though, that Luck ends up being Houdini: saving his best tricks for last, when he faces teams like USC, Oregon and Notre Dame in near succession.