Let’s start with the quarterbacks, which you know means it’s time for my favorite ATVS tool: ATVSQBPI. The big thing to remember is that essentially ATVSQBPI is how many yards a QB is worth each time he calls his own number, whether running or passing.
ATVSQBPI = (passing yards + rushing yards – (30*interceptions) – (30*lost fumbles) + (20*passing touchdowns) + (20*rushing touchdowns))/(pass attempts + rush attempts)
No real surprises at the top, not that you were expecting any.
1. Alabama. Tua was absurdly great last season, and his numbers simply crushed everyone else in the conference. Yeah, Jalen Hurts is off to Oklahoma, but this is still the best quarterback in the SEC, and I don’t think it is especially close.
2. Georgia. The only guy you could put in Tua’s class is Jake Fromm, though I think there’s a pretty large gap. Fromm was in the pack of next best guys in the SEC, but everyone else in that group has graduated. He’s alone now in the pursuit group of Tua. It’s possible he could take another step and catch him, but that’s a lot of ground to make up.
The rest is quite interesting, though, mainly because there are so many candidates in the muddled middle, which is basically the three through eight spots. Poseur sees LSU’s Joe Burrow as the best of that bunch, based on how he finished last season and him being a senior, and there’s certainly some validity to that argument, but for some reason the quarterback I’m keeping an eye on to step up this year — and don’t laugh! — is Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano.
As Poseur notes, Guarantano’s stats last season are pretty damned decent. He’s got some skill position players to work with and he’s got an upgrade at offensive coordinator/position coach directing him. His big problem is that he is going to be working behind a weak offensive line, but that’s something that will be limiting plenty of other peers of his. In fact, I’d probably say that out of the middle bunch, it’ll be the guy who gets the best protection who winds up at the top of the pack. (Deep, I know.)
Your thoughts on this year’s The Year of the Quarterback?