Oh where, oh where did the quarterbacks go? – a follow up

One thing I really like about college football blogging is the feedback.  I tossed out a post yesterday about what appears to me to be a recent dearth of quality quarterbacking in the SEC and that in turn generated this response of Matt Hinton’s at his Dr. Saturday blog.

His basic premise is that, sure, there’s not a lot of depth at the position in the conference right now, but that’s not any different than what we see in every other BCS conference right now, except for the Big XII.  Here’s his breakdown:

I think his point is entirely valid when it comes to his top category (you can see his allocation of quarterbacks to his categories here), but I’m not so convinced about it as you go down the chart.  Even by Matt’s tally, the SEC has more truly bad (“not viable”, in his vernacular) projected starters than the remaining BCS conferences put together.  He seems to acknowledge this when he writes

… If the SEC is at any disadvantage, it’s in the fact that three of last year’s most obviously inept quarterbacks, Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee), Kodi Burns (Auburn) and Mike Hartline (Kentucky), are all scheduled to be back under center this fall. It’s not that other conferences didn’t have their share of terrible quarterbacks, but at least UCLA and Michigan, for example, are going out of their way to get rid of the problem.

But then he tries to soften the blow by adding this:

… It is fair to say that SEC quarterbacks were unusually bad last year — eight regular quarterbacks from four different schools finished with pass efficiency ratings that wouldn’t have qualified for the top-100 nationally — but it’s argue (sic) that’s going to continue in a league that’s sent eight different starters to the NFL since 2005. LSU and Arkansas have made apparent upgrades; Alabama shouldn’t suffer much of a drop off from John Parker Wilson to Greg McElroy; and Vanderbilt is at least trying to move on from last year’s disaster by moving bowl game starter Larry Smith to No. 1, ahead of beleaguered veteran Mackenzi Adams. Even in the cases of Crompton and Burns, who somehow haven’t been supplanted, maybe the new regimes at Tennessee and Auburn will bring some reversal of fate; if nothing else, they can’t possibly be worse.

That’s nice, but who’s to say this isn’t a more accurate assessment of the QB situation at Tennessee?

Position Grades
QB: F / Just horrible.

It’s certainly more succinct.  (By the way, that’s the only failing grade the author of that piece gives to any unit – not just quarterbacks – in the conference.)

Maybe I’ll be more convinced of his argument if some kids step forward in SEC play this season.  Right now, though, it looks like the conference is mired in a slump at that position.

And while we’re on the subject of feedback and the blogosphere, one thing I’m curious about is Matt’s statement that the SEC has sent eight quarterbacks to the NFL since 2005.  I don’t doubt that number, but I do wonder about the context of it in comparison with the other BCS conferences, both in terms of the absolute numbers and also in terms of how many of those players turned into starters.  Anybody care to dig up and share that data?

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UPDATE: Orson jumps in the time machine, sets the dial to 1995 and adds some thoughts here.

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UPDATE #2: Another day, another list.  It’s not the details of the list that are worth mentioning – it’s still the same Tebow-and-Snead-plus-ten arrangement everyone else sees – but rather the analogy used in referring to the great unwashed.

After that, the quality of established signal-callers in the SEC drops off the kind of cliff that Wile E. Coyote made famous.

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