This week on SEC Football Tonight we discussed the value of a backup quarterback in college football. With the uncertainty at Texas A&M, it makes you wonder who they would go to? Could a team survive an injury or even a suspension to their starter and still win?
The game is so competitive and with the level of play in the Southeastern Conference it’s really hard to develop a backup. Most teams end up seeing a top prospect transferring because they lose the starting job. Just check Alabama (Phillip Sims) Florida (Jacoby Brissett) or Texas A&M (Jameill Showers).
The question is different for each team’s goals, for example: Alabama wants to win a National Championship and without AJ McCarron they cannot do so. They could win a game or two without McCarron depending on the opponent, but long-term success would not be achievable. Teams that just want to become bowl eligible could maybe lose a starter and still make it to postseason, because it only takes six wins to be eligible for a bowl.
Here are the best five backup quarterback situations in the SEC.
- South Carolina - Dylan Thompson. He spent the entire spring as the starter and has shown the ability to come in a win a bowl game. He may play anyway, but he is a luxury for Steve Spurrier.
- Auburn - We still don’t know who the starter is (I say Nick Marshall), but Kiehl Frazier and Jonathan Wallace have experience and could lead the offense.
- Georgia - Hutson Mason. He is an older but talented kid that many around the program say can be a legit NFL guy when Aaron Murray’s days are done. He is just 27-for-37 in his career.
- Missouri - Maty Mauck. The freshman was so impressive in the spring that he jumped Corbin Berkstresser as the No. 2 guy. If James Franklin’s injury woes continue, this mobile freshman could be in the mix.
- Ole Miss - Barry Brunetti. He lost the job to Bo Wallace, but is still athletic enough to make plays, and they have packages for him in the system. He could lead the team for a short period of time and has experience.
Teams that could see the season spin downward with the loss of their starting quarterback.
- Texas A&M - Johnny Manziel
- Alabama - AJ McCarron
- Florida - Jeff Driskel
- Mississippi State - Tyler Russell
- Arkansas - Brandon Allen
This and that…
- The Aggies attempted 492 passes last season and all but 14 were by Johnny Manziel and Jameill Showers. With Showers transferring it could be up to junior Matt Joeckel should Manziel miss any games. Texas A&M also has Matt Davis, a redshirt freshman ready to go as well.
- Missouri is quietly going about its business in Columbia. With a healthy James Franklin and Henry Josey there is reason for optimism. The Tigers have one of the raw talents in the league in wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, and if the offensive line can stay healthy they could make some noise this season. Gary Pinkel has taken a different approach to camp in 2013 to try and limit injuries for the upcoming season. Missouri could open the season 4-0 before traveling to Nashville to face the Commodores.
- Jeremy Hill was reinstated to the LSU football team by a vote among his peers. Whether or not he plays versus TCU will be a coach’s decision. I’m OK with the team vote for one main reason. Peer pressure is the number one way to keep guys from crossing the line. Hill now must face 84 teammates should he make another mistake.