Shane: Who will be the SEC’s best quarterback?

By Shane from Centerpoint
One of the most accepted doctrines of SEC football is that a team’s most important player is the quarterback. A great signal-caller’s performance is usually the deciding factor in the victory when you review the post game stats, especially after two of the league’s top-tier programs clash. In essence, the fortunes of multi-million dollar organizations and perhaps millions of supporters rest squarely on the shoulders of twelve young SEC quarterbacks who will line up under center when the 2009 campaign kicks off. Some will respond and be very successful – some will fold under the pressure of the extreme brand of defense used throughout the conference. With that said, the following quarterback rankings and opinions that accompany them are based on current circumstances and are subject to change if I’m proven wrong by the evidence:

#1 Florida – Everybody knows Tebow! That’s all I need to say. Big Timbo’s exploits are legendary. He’s a championship-caliber quarterback in linebackers’ clothing. I don’t care whom the Gators play, if Tim Tebow is healthy, Florida is going to be hard to beat. He is the first Bo Jackson/ Hershel Walker type athlete in this league since they left for the NFL many years ago. I could go on, but is it really necessary? By the way, what’s the guy’s name who backs him up?

#2 Mississippi – Houston Nutt walked into an ideal situation when he took over at Ole Miss. He arrived just as Jevan Snead began to develop into one of the best quarterbacks the state of Mississippi has seen since Brett Favre. This guy is only going to improve as he matures. He has a “cannon” of an arm, and he’s deceptively fleet of foot as well. Snead has the potential to lead the Rebels to a BCS bowl berth if he stays healthy.

Note: The rest of the rankings (#3-12) consist of a list of quarterbacks who are either untested, or didn’t have much success last season when they were leading their team. Therefore, these placements are subject to change quickly as the new season progresses.

#3 LSU – Jordan Jefferson looks like he has the potential to be the Tigers’ next star. His performance late in the 2008 season allowed LSU to rebound from a dismal season and have hope for this year. After watching Jarrett Lee almost single-handily destroy the program, LSU fans are probably looking forward to seeing Jefferson develop and Lee riding the pine. If Lee has to play, well, you’ll see why I said this list is subject to change.

#4 Alabama – In a Nick Saban-coached offense, the signal caller has the advantage of a strong running game to create pro-style play-action passing situations. Greg McElroy is yet another very talented Texas quarterback, who ‘s in his third year of Saban’s system. Alabama fans can look for McElroy to exceed the former three-year starter’s performance. He is similar in stature and style to Wilson, but a much more accurate passer and has much better foot speed. If Star Jackson or a “hotshot” true freshman is starting the first game, it means Mac is hurt. It also means this ranking is about to drop.

#5 Vanderbilt – Mackenzi Adams has shown that he has the ability to play winning-football. Coach Bobby Johnson just needs to get him to be more consistent and patient when he drops back to throw. He has a good arm, but tends to flee from the pocket too quickly sometimes. Backup Larry Smith showed flashes of brilliance during the bowl game, but Adams appears to be the man for the job. One more thing to remember folks— at Vandy, the best quarterback may be the last man standing.

#6 Georgia – Joe Cox has been around the Georgia football program for years, waiting for a shot to prove that he is the guy to lead the Bulldogs to victories on the field. He is ranked in the sixth position mainly because of the quantity of superior talent that surrounds him. Much like McElroy at Alabama, Cox can grow into a valuable asset for his Georgia teammates to follow. Without Cox running the show, Georgia is left to rely on defense and special teams.

#7 South Carolina – Head coach Steve Spurrier had two of his three starters bolt for greener pastures. However, the remaining player is very, very talented. In fact, if Steve Garcia would grow up and focus on the task at hand, he could very well be at the top of this ranking. Who knows what Spurrier has behind Garcia? Maybe he’ll find the “magic” with Garcia this year. If not, the Gamecocks will repeat last year’s mediocre output.

#8 Kentucky – Between Mike Hartline (the drop-back passer), and Randall Cobb (the dual-threat), Coach Rich Brooks has a decent one-two punch in charge of his offense this year. Both have been through the SEC at least once and the experience alone will help their play improve this year. Nevertheless, the prospect of their performance leading the Wildcats to success will decrease as they face some of the SEC’s better defenses.

#9 Arkansas – If Ryan Mallet stays away from the bottle and out of jail, Bob Petrino has the capability to coach him up and make him a future star. People who make a living evaluating talent have said a lot of good things about Mallet, but you almost have to question his leadership qualities after his recent arrest. I believe one of the Dick brothers remains on the roster and he might have to run the show. Either way, Petrino’s offense this year will only be a shadow of the product he will eventually put on the field.

#10 Mississippi State – New Coach Dan Mullen is a disciple of Florida’s Urban Meyer. Wesley Carroll never had a chance to get comfortable under the former leadership. Mullen will provide him with a fresh start and even if Carroll isn’t the number one guy, whomever Mullen taps will have a fair chance in his system. Carroll has a chance to reinvent himself with a good coach in place to help him.

#11 Auburn – I hate to be too critical of young quarterbacks, but I must be brutally honest about Kodi Burns; he will never be a competent college quarterback – one who can compete at the high level required to be successful in the SEC. The proof is in the record. The Tiger offense struggled mightily under his guidance last season and it got ugly. Chris Todd may be better, if he can get over shoulder surgery and regain some velocity on his throws. The other two, Neal Cauldle and Barrett Trotter, are still a long way from being ready to face SEC talent. Auburn is in trouble at the quarterback position, and the starter is perfectly healthy. What does that say about their chances this year?

#12 Tennessee – Jonathon Compton is one of the worst decision-makers in the history of the SEC. His performance last year was a total disaster. Without a doubt, he cost Tennessee three or four games with his actions alone. If he is named the starter, the Vol Nation is in for a long season. Newcomer Nick Stephens was a major improvement over Compton, but that’s not saying much. If Kiffin can get Stephens to improve, Tennessee may be able improve their record by a few games, although it’s not likely.

—Shane writes a weekly column for the Capstone Report.
[poll id="25"]

37 Responses to “Shane: Who will be the SEC’s best quarterback?” Subscribe

  1. Bama Fan in NYC April 7, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Hands down: Kodi Burns… but I hear Chris Todd is threatening to beat him out for the starting position!

  2. The BAMMER from St. Clair April 7, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    YO! Jevan Snead has a big opportunity, but the basis of Houston Nutt’s offense is the running game. Don’t look for “eye-popping” results but I feel he will have respectful stats. Bama Fan/NYC made a valid endorsement of Kodi Burns, and he has been “battle tested.” Under the RIGHT management he can be VERY dangerous. As for Greg McElroy, he has good potential but the PROOF is in the PUDDING. He is going to have to produce, and he AIN’T as “battle tested” as some of the other QB’s in the SEC. I like what I’m hearing from T-Town, but its Spring and you expect to hear some of this stuff when a team is breaking in a new starter. The season CAN’T start too soon so we’ll have to be satisfied with what we see & hear on TV & radio. Why can’t we FAST-FORWARD to September? ROLL TIDE! Later.

  3. BamaBrando April 7, 2009 at 6:41 am #

    Kodi Burns will win the Heisman this year.

  4. 36-0 April 7, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    According to the Barnies, he was supposed to win it last year… but then again, that was coming from the same group of folks who claimed Clemson was going to DESTROY us and seven was INEVITABLE (which it was in a way: 5-7), and Tony Franklin was the Bear Bryant of offensive coordinators…

  5. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian. April 7, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    I almost agree with Shane. But a non starter at number 4 ? Dude aint even started one game yet. Dont you guys think that is a little high ? Even a bammer should admit to that. Id have to put Joe Cox , Garcia , and Hartline ahead of McElroy. JMO. But I think McElroy will be good.

  6. 36-0 April 7, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    That’s obviously a biased opinion, Ballplay. In all honesty, none of the teams with new QBs should be ranked higher than the other; however, he may be basing his opinion on what he seen out of McElroy in previous games and in high school because like me, I’ve seen McElroy in action more than I have the other fresh QBs.

  7. BLEEDIN_CRIMSON April 7, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    Didn’t Wesley Carroll transfer to Florida Intl? I believe you are (or should be) referring to Tyson Lee, the diminutive but heady QB for most of last year for MSU.

    He could also get a push from highly regarded Meridian’s Tyler Russell. IMO, Russell may be the first decent QB in Starkville since Wayne Madkin and maybe the only true SEC level quarterback there in most of our lifetimes, if not ever.

  8. Greg April 7, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    I would bump Ryan Mallet up to #5. It appears you are bias for his public intoxication misdemeanor and are ignoring his 8o yard arm strength, HS playing career, size and the fact that some are predicting he will be one of the top newcomers in the nation next year.

    He would probably be starting for a top 10 Michigan team this year if not for Dick Rod’s hiring.

  9. OMNIPRESENT April 7, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    I am just PROUD that Shane didnt use the word “PUNDIT” one time :) But I do think his assumption that McElroy # 4 is off. He based it solely on the fact that its NICK SABANS team?????? But as they Say LET THE GAMES BEGIN! But just as I picked last month Im going with Snead and Miss St, After Superman of course!

    WAR KODI BURNS!!!

  10. mlvikes13 April 7, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Joe Cox is underrated, in my opinion. He will likely be a better quarterback than McElroy will be next year. His protection is likely to be better, and he has more game time experience.

    I hope I’m wrong, of course.

  11. julio April 7, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    I agree with 36 that none of these non-starters should really be ranked ahead of the others. It’s just hard to tell about qb’s until they’ve been in real pressure situations. As to Kodi Burns, I still don’t know. He mostly stunk it up last year, but I really believe that Joe Montana would have stunk it up under the circumstances. He spent 9 months learning a new offense, then the entire system that he just learned was trashed at midseason and backyard football was then implemented by the current offensive coordinator for Smiths Station High School. Amazing that Burns didn’t end up as Heisman finalist under those circumstances. Burns has the physical tools, but the question is whether he has the tools between the ears. We’ll see.

  12. bamasux April 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm #

    Once again, spot on julio. Granted, I don’t believe Kodi is the second coming of Montana, but he does have real game experience. With all phases of the offense moving in the same direction, who knows?
    Shane, nice move not putting the Auburn QB dead last. Does that make you feel like an un-biased “objective” journalist? What a joke.

  13. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian. April 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    Tim Tebow is the best quarterback inCFB for the last 25 years at least. SiO its really not fair to include him in the arguement. Lets say the best in the conference besides Tebow. That would be Jevon Snead in a landslide.

  14. tmc1 April 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    I hope that McElroy oes a good job. He does have better physical skills than Wilson did.

  15. Blue Auburn Fan April 8, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    OH NO, Auburn’s got the second worst QB in the SEC according to the all-knowing Shane from Centerpoint…I AM SOOOOOO BLUE…WE DON”T HAVE A CHANCE!

    Didn’t he say something similar to that about Jason Campbell the year he went undefeated and didn’t choke the SEC Championship or the Bowl Game?

    I’m suprised he put the Bama QB that low…you know that deep down in his bowels he believes any Bama QB is better than Tebow.

    None of it really matters when The Alabama Crimson Sabans get slapped with the Death Penalty for lack of Institutional Control. Little Nicky will probably take the QB with him to Notre Dame anyway…I’m feeling much less blue now!

  16. Blue Auburn Fan April 8, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Plus I get sooooo blue just knowing the hatred Shane has for Auburn and the Auburn family…it’s sad.

    I think Shane rated the QB’s by hatred for the school they attend. That’s the only reason the Vols were at the bottom. He’s such a brilliant ANAList?

  17. LARRY C April 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    KODI BURNS WILL BE 2ND BEST QB BEHIND TEBOW IN THE SEC FOR THE 09 SEASON. uat will have the 10th best. look for auburn to have a great year in 09.lose only to fla if they play them this year. uat will win at best 8 games. with the probation coming down it will be a hard year for shorty.uat gets hit with 3 years of probation for football. no bowl after the 2010 season. 6 lost schlorships.8 recruiting vilations plus the books. i just found out today what uat was being hit with.

  18. Bamaman April 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Larry C and Blue Turd, crack is illegal and yall should really lay off the pipe. What is sad is Aub knows that the only way they can compete with Bama is for us to not be on a level field. Where will you two idiots be when the season starts and once again it is clear that you will not even make a bowl game? I am sure you will go back into hiding like the rest of the Aub cockroaches minus a few. Kodi Burns 2nd best qb behind Tebow. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  19. Bamaman April 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    What you idiots don’t realize, regardless what the NCAA does for this minor incident is that nothing can stop us from whipping your ass at Aub this year, nothing.

  20. Blue Auburn Fan April 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    I’m soooo sad and blue. I haven’t been called a turd and idiot nor accused of smokin’ crack since the time a blind man mistakenly though I was Shane.

    You see Bamaboy, Bama is the one that can’t seem to compete on the level playing field or they would have some type of institutional control on that stinky campus. Cheating, regardless of what you say, doesn’t play well with the NCAA. Just pull out the rule book, I’m sure there is still one in the glove box of Julio’s Escalade.

    Remember Bamaboy, Bama is on a 2 game losing streak. What kind of grand and pompous coach can let his undefeated team loose to a one-man-show (Tebow in case you don’t remember) and then not get a supposed great team up for their first BCS game in years and loose to a team of Mormons. Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched. You too Larry C, you know Urban has never defeated Auburn! I’d heard it was 11 recruiting violations. Also, should Tebow get hurt, Kodi would then be the best QB in the league.

  21. julio April 9, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    BM….ahhh the repeated mantra aboout Auburn not being able to comepte on a level playing field. Tell me, was AU on a level playing field when they beat Urban Meyer both times that they played?? How about Tenn who AU who has beaten 4 straight times since 2003?? Was Saban/LSU on a level playing field when Auburn had a winning record during that 5 year span? I guess this is where we also conveniently forget that Bama was ranked in the top 10 in 02 and 05 when AU won those games. Were you whining about Bama being “crippled by sanctions” 5 minutes before kickoff in those 2 games?? No, you were boastfully predicting a double digit victory. I guess we’ll also conveniently forget that AU had a 4 or 5 year run where it won about 80% of its games against top 10 opponents. Yeah, AU just never could compete with teams on a “level playing field”.

    P.S. I guess Saban wasn’t on a “level playing field” with LaMo a couple of years ago. Is that how you spin that loss, too??

  22. OMNIPRESENT April 9, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    I LOVE JULIO!!!! MAN CRUSH IS ALL I AINT GAY OR NOTHING!!!!

  23. bamasux April 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Julio for President

  24. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian. April 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Bamaman…………julio just kicked you square in the nads.

    julio…….dont expect a response.

  25. Ty from T-Town April 9, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Quarterbacks of Solace:

    Shane, it is hard to disagree with the number one pick. Tebow now has a nice pile of hardware and quite possibly the best resume of any quarterback since Bobby Lane.
    Coach Saban may have a process, but Coach Meyer definitely runs a system.

    The Gaytor’s may have the crystal ball,
    but they don’t have the best quarterback in the league.

    I luckily busted-up on a group of NFL Scouts at a restaurant here in T-town, during the recent pro-day.
    Shane, you know the procedure.
    A little free vodka; and you become privy to the truth.

    Stafford was the best quarterback in the SEC, by their best estimation. Tebow is nothing more than an athletic anomaly.
    Marketing aside. They honestly don’t know what to do with a dude like Tebow.

    The 09 projected starters may be some what of a mystery, but if I were Jevan Snead;
    I would have my mother call Mr. Sexton.

    St.Clair, is right. It’s too bad that we can’t fast-forward to September.

  26. Bamaman April 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Blue Auburn Turd, first for you my little Bama obsessed friend. You speak of cheating not playing well with the NCAA, you idiots should know, Aub leads the SEC in probation and third in the nation, now quick come back with yeah, but Bama was on it last, yawn. And it is typical for an Aub to try and gloat about Bama losing the SEC championship game and their bowl when Aub’s pitiful ass loss SEVEN and sat at home post season. What a joke you are loser. And btw, Kodi looked great last year, bwahahahahahahaha.

    Julio, aka dipshit, Thank you for making my point to everybody about how stupid the Auburn board is, everything you said is true about your record DURING TUBS, then you idiots fire him and hire Mr. 5-19. Brilliant. Then you brag about owning Tenn, wow! You failed to mention Georgia owning Aubs ass, but I expected that. Nowhere did I mention Aub competing with other teams, I only said big brother, but you got a taste of a level playing field last year to the tune of 36-0. So, ride that 80% as long as you want, those days are gone with Tubby, get used to Cheesedicks record for the last couple of years because that what Aub will be looking at.

    Ballplay, my nads are fine, thanks for the massage and like you said don’t expect a response, yeah right.

    Roll Tide Baby!!!

    36-0

  27. Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian. April 10, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    Bamaman says “balbalablablablallblabllablablablablablablabbal (deep breath) blablablablablballablablablablablabla”

    julio still nut kicked you . You kow , facts and all ?

  28. Blue Auburn Fan April 10, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    Little Bamaboy, my my my, Why so vulgar and defensive, not your looks, I mean your demeanor. I must appologize, I didn’t realize stating the obvious could be misconstrued as gloating even by someone as obviously tainted and mentally challenged as you come across as being.

    You are right, Auburn was absolutely terrible/pitiful last year possibly because of too much instituional control (Mr. Lowder), something apparently Bama doesn’t quite have a grasp on. And I must commend you on your ability to shoot off these stats like Auburn being third in the nation in NCAA probations. That’s the only defense you Rammin’ Jammers seem to throw out when the subject comes up. And again, thank you for re-emphasizing the point I’m making that Bama is the most recently sanctioned program because it does matter! Bookgate took place while Bama was still on probation. Can you say “Death Penalty”?

    I don’t frequent this blog on a regular basis…it makes me soooooo blue and sad. I like to check in occassionally to see what kind of crap is being stirred around. Thank you, Bamaboy, for being in the cauldron!

  29. julio April 10, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    BM, you say that your allegation about a “level playing field” only applies to Bama?? Do you mean to say that AU could consistently beat the elite of the SEC over the last 10 years, but would not have been able to do the exact same against Bama?? Of course, that hypothetical first accepts as true the bammer delusion that Bama was “crippled” despite the fact that Bama was ranked in the top 10 during that stretch and managed to beat LSU, Fla, and Tenn each by 3 tds during that period. But Bama was magically “crippled” when the AU game rolled around during those years!! BTW, AU is 5-5 against Ga over the last 10 years, and Tenn was ranked in the top 10 during 3 of those last 4 wins.

  30. Blue Auburn Fan April 10, 2009 at 8:29 am #

    Julio, Auburn is 5-5 against Georgia over they last 10 years! Thank you, that makes me feel much better! According to Rammin’ Jammer Fudge Packin’ Bamaboy, UG had a better record against Auburn than Auburn had against Bama in that time span. Thank you for clarifing. I’m not a stat guru but hasn’t Georgia had one of the best overall records in that time span as well?

  31. bamasux April 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    I like how the “crippled by sanctions, un-level playing field” card is played the day the sanctions were handed down. What about the years that lead to the probation/loss of scholarships? Doesn’t the years of cheating constitute an un-level playing field in bammers favor??? Should the bammer wins of that period be discounted? Can’t have the cake and eat it too.

  32. Bamaman April 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    36-0

    Georgia streak over Aub – ALIVE AND WELL

    AUB 5 and 7
    BAMA 12 and 0

    That does all my talking you Bama obsessed inbred sister humping losers. End of story. bwahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha

  33. Blue Auburn Fan April 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Rammer Jammin’ Fudge Packin’ Bammerboy, one small oversight correction to your last “frustrated by the truth” rant…

    BAMA 12 and 2

    Don’t forget the 2 game losing streak Bama is currently on. You see, in the REAL world of major college football, the entire season counts, not just the games on a weak regular season schedule.

    I hope you and your inbred sister have a great Easter weekend. May all your Easter eggs be Crimson! Give my best to sis!

  34. LARRY C April 11, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    UATMAN ARE TOU AND THE INBRED SHANE

    SISTERS? SHANE HAS SEVERAL NAMES. INBRED,

    RETARD,INSANE,MY FAVORITE IS THAT HE IS

    A uat TOOTHLESS SCUMBAG.

  35. The BAMMER from St. Clair April 13, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    YO! Larry C, YOU NEED HELP!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Shane: Who will be the SEC’s best quarterback? | College Football Rankings - April 7, 2009

    [...] Read more: Shane: Who will be the SEC’s best quarterback? [...]

  2. Where did all the QBs go? « Get The Picture - June 29, 2009

    [...] at lists like this one and this one.  You may quibble a little about the order, but is there any real doubt right now [...]

%d bloggers like this: