Tate vs Leak? We Give

No matter how hard we try, we cannot help but compare Drew Tate and Chris Leak. The two took a visit to Iowa on the same weekend back in 2002 and one man's decision altered the course of two programs...HN.com takes a look at the two gunslingers and compares their stats and accomplishments in advance of the 2006 Outback Bowl.

I know that the Chris Leak-Drew Tate thing is something that is noteworthy enough to write about. I get that.

And far be it from me to tell papers what they should and should not write, that is not it, either.

It's just that both players are juniors, and though Leak did come visit Iowa on one of the last allowed private-jet boondoggles before the NCAA changed those rules.

Perhaps I am wrong, but was Leak even in Iowa City for 24 hours? 16 hours? For a cup of coffee?

I don't think that he was, because he flew in on a Saturday after one of his high school football games and had to get back quickly.

Sure, it was a big deal that he chose Iowa as one of his official visits, and were it not for then Florida coach Ron Zook promises (wink-wink), he may have been more open minded.

But now that we have the last three years of history to lean on, we have Tate to Holloway, we have a Big Ten title to look at, we have three straight January bowl games to point to, so what?

Tate certainly didn't want to talk about it last week in Iowa City.

"I don't know anything about him (Leak)," Tate said.. "He's doing a good job at Florida, that's all I know. What he does doesn't bother me; it doesn't reflect what I do or anything. I play at Iowa, I play with the guys I play with, in the scheme that we play with. He does what he does, I do what I do."

I understand if Tate does not care about that topic. You dance with the one that brung ya, and Tate has brought Iowa to a Florida Bowl for the second straight year.

All of this being said, and since it IS a front burner topic pretty much everywhere leading up to the game, lets take a look inside the numbers of these two players.

2004

Leak was 238-399 (59.65%) for 29 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. He racked up 3,197 passing yards along the way. Florida finished a disappointing 7-5.

Tate was 233-375 (62.12) for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He threw for 2,786 yards and his team won a Big Ten title, won the Cap One Bowl, won 10 games and he went into Hawkeye lore. He also did all of that being a marked man as Iowa was down to its fifth-string running back.

2005

Leak is 210-334 (62.87) for 18 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has thrown for 2,361 yards, leading his team to an 8-3 record.

Tate is 187-297 (62.96) for 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has thrown for 2,482 yards and Iowa is 7-4.

Tate is 1-0 as a starter in bowl games where Leak is 0-2.

Though he did not have the hype that Leak had coming out of high school, Tate has more than held his weight against Leak, if not setting the bar.

On a side note, were it not for Leak's record setting career happening at the same time as Tate's high school career, Tate might have gotten all of the national attention for the career that he put together in big class Texas. As you know, he owned ever high school passing record in the Lone Star state when he left. It's just that Leak's records were national. But then again, Tate probably faced better competition.

Alas, I have been dragged into this debate when it was not my intent. I just go where the keyboard takes me.


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