The Year of Quarterbacking Dangerously

This is a good piece by Bud Elliott, making the case that, indeed, 2018 may be the time when the SEC’s quarterbacks rise up to become a real factor.

It’s certainly been a while since the conference has been in such a lofty position.  We all recognized the fall off in Athens post-Aaron Murray, but Elliott makes the point that the regression was conference-wide.

It’s odd that QB would be the position of weakness, considering how well the SEC recruits every other position.

Much of the recent lull can be tied to a major recruiting failure following the 2013 season, which featured the SEC’s best group of QBs in a while, including Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, A.J. McCarron, and Connor Shaw, all of whom ranked in the top 15 in passer rating.

In 2014, the SEC signed seven of the 11 top-rated QBs in the country, with some of them expected to eventually replace 2013’s stars. None panned out in the SEC.

Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen transferred to Houston. Florida’s Will Grier transferred to West Virginia following a suspension. LSU’s Brandon Harris transferred to North Carolina. Alabama’s David Cornwell transferred to Nevada. Kentucky’s Drew Barker hasn’t found success. Georgia’s Jacob Park transferred to Iowa State. And Auburn’s Sean White was dismissed.

Bad run of luck, or bad player development?  Probably a combination of both, but it looks like the conference is on a real upswing now.

15 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

15 responses to “The Year of Quarterbacking Dangerously

  1. TomReagan

    As much grief as the SEC gets for quarterbacking and offense generally, there have been times when it has been full of very good quarterbacks. The early 2000s and around 07-08 both had a lot of talent if I remember correctly.

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  2. CPark58

    Run. The. Damn. Ball.

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  3. Using Lincoln Riley logic, QB play in the SEC is the direct result of all of the great defensive players. Oklahoma wouldn’t be a top 5 offense if they faced the week to week grind against SEC defenses.

    Seriously, the SEC has never been a QB league except for 2010 with $Cam. The SEC champion has usually been a team with a great running game and excellent run defense.

    The best teams have the best lines of scrimmage.

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  4. MDDawg

    Didn’t Jacob Park also get dismissed from Iowa State or leave that team for some other reason?

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    • Sanford222view

      Yes. He left after having to serve a one game suspension for marijuana. That was why he didn’t play against Oklahoma when ISU upset them. He announced he was going to be a graduate transfer in December. I don’t know where he ended up though.

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  5. ASEF

    Individuals, no matter how blessed or devoted, are erratic. The world’s top golfer can go out and ring up a 6 over par. Won’t happen often, and with 160 rounds s year, no one pays much attention.

    But with a 12 game schedule, making your team too reliant on the QB position can be a disaster waiting to happen. You get tremendous variance (hey Gus, what’s up?).

    Top SEC teams usually aren’t QB-centric, so that translates in the narrative world as below average. Because even when SEC teams feature a number of accomplished players at the position, people don’t see the same sort of reliance on that 1 player as they do at a B12 school. Hence game managers.

    I guess we will know the SEC has arrived as a conference at the QB position when our defenses are so geared to stop passing attacks that they give up 9.32 yards per rush in a playoff game. 🙂

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  6. Go Dawgs!

    Good Lord. I hadn’t really looked at the quarterback recruiting as a full conference over that period. That’s rancid. Will Grier probably really was the best quarterback in that group. Or maybe Sean White. Woof.

    I’m still shaking my head about Jacob Park. I fully expected him to take the job that spring/summer and instead he left town. And then after some moderate success in Ames, he flamed out up there, too.

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  7. UGA '97

    Dig deeper and find that OC/QB coaching turnover didn’t help the cause either. QBs also transferring hurts competetion, not to mention 6 out of 7 EAST HCs are defensive minded and not QBs like Spurrier Richt etc…so schools face guys that recruit develop win, cash in and leave.

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  8. Russ

    The only problem with that article is stating that Jacob Park was a top QB recruit. I’ve read right here that he was a bum that only Richt wanted because Bobo didn’t like Watson.

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    • Jacob Park was a South Carolina Mr. Football. He wasn’t a stiff by any stretch. Still, we screwed up recruiting Watson. I went back and looked at the list of those winning that award … I couldn’t believe AJ Green didn’t win it.

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    • Macallanlover

      Saban wanted him too. After he committed to UGA, Saban took his 2nd choice out of Oklahoma I believe. Wasn’t that Bobo didn’t like him but both Bobo and Watson knew he wasn’t a great fit here, he definitely was at Clemson at that particular time.

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