I heard someone say the Southeastern Conference has the best collection of quarterbacks it has had in 10 years.
Wait until the SEC defenses get hold of these QBs. The shine will come off pretty quickly. This crop might not look so special in three or four weeks.
Sure enough, Auburn’s defense and LSU’s defense roughed up the two Tiger quarterbacks, LSU’s Joe Burrow and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, last Saturday.
There is not safe spot on the field for quarterbacks against the Baddest Men on The Planet. That’s what an Auburn offensive lineman called SEC defensive linemen in 2011 as I wrote my SEC book “How The SEC Became Goliath.” The marauders on defense in the SEC have no mercy on quarterbacks.
That’s why you will look around the SEC and never, ever see the phrase Quarterback U. The quarterback doesn’t shine very long in this conference.
The fierce defenses of the SEC, filled with NFL prospects the last 15 years, have become nearly permanent obstacles to stardom for SEC quarterbacks. There has been Florida’s Tim Tebow, Auburn’s Cam Newton and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, each who won the Heisman Trophy, and Alabama’s Jake Coker and AJ McCarron, who had their shine moments, but for the most part the films for SEC QBs have been disposable the last 10 years.
So hold your hosannas for this current crop. SEC defenses are just getting warmed up.
Newton, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, and Jay Cutler are the only SEC quarterbacks in the last 20 years who have amounted to anything in the NFL. One of the reasons you can count these guys on one hand is that high school quarterbacks of any merit ___and common sense___head for safer territory, like the ACC, Big 12, or Big Ten. The SEC is no place to play pitch and catch and build stats.
The really bad news for the SEC is the next terrific quarterback in the SEC might be Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama. His pocket presence just obliterates Jalen Hurts’ pocket presence. Hurts could never anticipate a receiver coming open. Tua sees the receiver coming open and throws on time. Hurts just never had that capacity.
I still remember sitting in an SEC press box last year during the regular season and telling a colleague Alabama needed to make a change at quarterback; Hurts was not the guy that was going to lead the Crimson Tide to a championship. He scoffed because, at that point, Hurts was 24-1 as a starter.
When I get around to it I’ll make sure to write down all those times I have not been so smart……when I get around to it.
Image credit: Wikipedia Commons – Frank12, Monte17, Pharos04