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BLOG: Ranking The Quarterbacks of the SEC

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Face it, college football is a team sport, but the team revolves around the quarterback. It's kind of like the old saying "love makes the world go round", but really we all know that "money greases the axle". Yes, I know defense wins championships, but quarterback play is a major factor into that equation as well.  


Here's how I rank the quarterbacks of the SEC:


  1. Johnny "Football" Manziel (Texas A&M) – He led his team to an epic win in Tuscaloosa and won the Heisman; is there any argument to why he's not the top QB in the SEC? By the numbers Manziel was outstanding; passing for 3,706 yards, hitting 68% of his passes for 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. It will be interesting to see how the off-season in the spotlight and investigation effects Manziel. Also this ranking becomes null and void if he is ruled ineligible. 
  2. AJ McCarron (Alabama) - leading a team to a BCS National Championship is hard to do; leading his team to two BCS Titles is near impossible. I look for McCarron to open it up even more as a senior.  
  3. Aaron Murray (Georgia) – Oh so close. Murray led the Bulldogs down the field in the closing seconds of the SEC Championship, but ended up five yards short of the end zone. How will Murray bounce back from the heartbreak of being so close?  
  4. Connor Shaw / Dylan Thompson (South Carolina) – I don't think the "Ole Ball Coach" will ever settle on one guy while at USC. Shaw is a solid passer and offers a dual threat, but Thompson is an even better passer and will see time. Does Spurrier finally have a two-headed monster at QB?  
  5. Bo Wallace (Ole Miss) – The surprise of the SEC last season was the turnaround in Oxford. A lot of credit goes to Hugh Freeze, and it should, but a lot of it should also be on the play of QB Bo Wallace. He's not the best passer, he's not the best runner, but he's scrappy and gets the job done.
  6. Tyler Russell (Mississippi State) – The 6'4" 220 lbs QB has all the tools, but needs to work on his passing game. Last season Russell passed for about the same amount of yards as AJ McCarron, but hit less than 60% of his passes. Could be a big year for Russell, if he gets his completion rate up to 65%.
  7. Zach Mettenberger (LSU) – In the Alabama game Mettenberger looked like the class of the SEC, but what about the rest of the season? Mettenberger was very inconsistent in 2012, but he showed flashes of being a solid SEC QB.
  8. Jeff Driskel  (Florida) – Gator fans miss the great passing QB's, of the 90's or the one and only Tim Tebow. They miss these guys because last year's 11-2 team could have easily been 14-0 if they had good play from Jeff Driskel. I think Driskel can become a good SEC QB, but he has to prove it on the field first. Also it doesn't help that Driskel is missing practice after having an emergency appendectomy. 
  9. James Franklin (Missouri) – Coming into last season he was thought of as a player to lookout for, but looked horrible during a down and injury-prone 2012 season. Last season, Franklin passed for over 1,500 years and threw 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions FYI: that's not good.

The unknowns (in no order)

  • Justin Worley (Tennessee) – During limited play last season Worley looked good. He completed over 65% of his passes, but threw two interceptions with no touchdowns. It will be a good season for the Vols if he can take them bowling. 
  • Auburn's Quarterbacks (Auburn) – The Tigers are better than the 3-9 team they put on the field last year. One of the main reason behind the worst season on the plains in quite some time was the poor quarterback play. Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace have experience, but that's not always a good thing. Incoming JUCO Nick Marshall and freshman Jeremy Johnson are trying to make a push for the starting job. The good news for the Tigers is new head coach Gus Malzahn is one of the top quarterback developers in the country.  
  • Brandon Allen (Arkansas) – He saw playing time in a handful of games last season including a start versus Alabama, but the numbers don't lie and last season was not a good one for Allen. He only completed 42.9% of his passes, but to be fair he was the backup and wasn't getting the majority of the reps in practice; plus John L. Smith was the coach.  
  • Austyn Carta-Samuels (Vanderbilt) – He was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the year when he played quarterback for Wyoming, but this isn't the Mountain West. Still the fact that Carta-Samuels has college football experience is a bonus.
  • Jalen Whitlow / Maxwell Smith / Patrick Towles (Kentucky) – The Wildcats are looking to open it up under first year head coach Mark Stoops. The question is who will be throwing the rock? Your guess is as good as mine, but Whitlow and Smith both looked equally horrible last year. Towels is a trying to make a push, but I don't think he will be named the starter. Whitlow might give the Cats a little more run option.   
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