The guys at And The Valley Shook! assess the SEC quarterback situation, and really don’t see much of a difference between Alabama and Georgia right now.
8 Bama: Saban went into last season with a big question mark under center and ended up with one of the most productive passing offenses in the conference. He’s in the same boat now, but I refuse to bet against whatever guy he decides on this year.
9 UGA: Hutson Mason did his part and gave Richt a bridge to this season after the end of the Murray era. Again, UGA has to replace a productive QB, and he’s got plenty of talent but almost no experience. I’m rooting for Faton Bauta for name purposes, but Brice Ramsey has the inside track. The Dawgs have a stellar QB development track record, but this is one of their steepest challenges.
8 (tie) Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina: To me, these three programs are all in the same boat right now. They’ve all traditionally been able to trot out decent quarterbacks, but they’re all kind of in new realms in terms of a lack of experience. Nobody at Georgia was able to really take the job this spring, and now they’re taking a graduate transfer from Virginia that really struggled. That’s not an indication of confidence…
… In Alabama, they’re facing the greenest QB situation any Nick Saban team has had this century. Jacob Coker has been on campus for all of one year, failed to win the job once (when he was brought in specifically to do just that) and couldn’t distance himself from the rest of the pack in the spring. Behind him are a bunch of freshmen.
As Poseur said, all three of these teams have shown they can transition quarterbacks without too many hiccups. But they’ve never quite had this situation before.
8 Georgia: I like the crew here, and I think Brice Ramsey will end up taking the gig. Georgia rarely has bad QB play, so I doubt much changes here.
9 Alabama: I guess I’m turning the corner on Kiffin a bit? Because I look at this group and don’t see much. There’s not much experience, but there is good talent. But now they don’t have an elite WR talent to bomb it to and pray. This could be the most marginal Bama offense in the Saban era.
Add it all up, and you’ve pretty much got a dead heat there.
Beyond that, it’s more than the quarterbacks who look even. If Malcolm Mitchell stays healthy, he’s the best receiver either team trots out, but you could say both receiving corps have potential – although nobody’s got an Amari Cooper to build a passing attack around. Georgia’s got better depth at tight end, it seems, but if O.J. Howard ever translates his talents into performance, he’s got the makings of an All-American. Running back? For once, it’s Georgia with the advantage, especially from a depth standpoint. And even at offensive line, where it’s almost an automatic to give the Tide the nod, it’s not as if there’s a huge gap between the two.
So, I’m just wondering – are we looking at a situation where the difference is going to be Kiffin vs. Schottenheimer?