With Ole Miss football being 38 days away (a special number for many Ole Miss fans), HottyToddy.com’s staff writer Collin Brister, who was the former sports editor at the Daily Mississippian, ranked SEC West quaterbacks from most to least impactful for the 2016 season. Are you ready?
1. Ole Miss
As we went over yesterday, Chad Kelly is far away the best quarterback in the SEC, let alone the western division.
Kelly gives the Rebels the chance to be an elite football team just by himself. While he’ll definitely miss former first-round draft picks in Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell the Rebels are a serious force to be reckoned with in the college football world with Kelly at the helm.
Yeah, I guess technically someone has to be here.
The league returns very little at the quarterback position, and Brandon Harris at least has a year under his belt in this league. The junior quarterback had an extremely mediocre year in 2015, but having Leonard Fournette in the backfield is never a bad thing.
3. Texas A&M
Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t think Trevor Knight is as bad as his wrap. Sure, he got benched at Oklahoma. Has anyone seen Baker Mayfield play football? He would have benched lots of people.
Knight led Oklahoma to a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama in his redshirt freshman year, so the senior quarterback definitely has the ability. In Kevin Sumlin’s pass-happy offense, maybe he has a big year.
Arkansas will start Austin Allen this year.
Austin sat behind his brother, Brandon for the first few years of his career and learned the reins of the Hogs’ offense. The younger Allen possesses a stronger arm but seems to be more turnover-prone.
The Razorbacks also have former five-star USC commit Ricky Towns waiting in the wings as the backup so Arkansas has decent talent at the quarterback position for a team that runs the ball as much as they do.
The good news for Alabama is it really doesn’t matter who the quarterback is. ‘Bama will probably just load up and win the national title.
The Crimson Tide have made the College Football Playoff the past two seasons with less than stellar quarterback play. Alabama will likely start Cooper Bateman who actually started against the Rebels last year and provides Alabama with a somewhat mobile threat.
Jeremy Johnson has all the skill in the world. We just don’t know if he can stop turning the football over. If Auburn can get good play out of Johnson, the Tigers will be a better football team than people expect.
If the Tigers have to rely on Sean White again, they’ll barely scrap into a bowl. John Franklin III is the wild-card. If he’s Nick Marshall, Auburn has the skillful players to be extremely lethal on offense. If he’s not very good, it’ll be interesting to see how hot Gus Malzahn’s seat gets.
7. Mississippi State
I don’t think Mississippi State is necessarily bad at the quarterback position.
I think Nick Fitzgerald could be a really good quarterback, and Damian Williams is polished enough to help Mississippi State win football games. We just don’t know. The Bulldogs get South Carolina and LSU in weeks two and three, respectively, so we’ll find out soon enough about the Bulldog’s signal caller.
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.