Ranking the SEC’s top 10 QBs halfway through 2013


We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the season, and 2013 is absolutely flying by. It’ll be rivalry week in late November before you know it.

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SEC offenses are trending up in 2013. Why? A big part has to do with the elite veteran QBs in 2013. The SEC has as many as six senior QBs who are putting up serious numbers.

Related: 5 biggest surprises of 2013

Here are the top 10 in 2013:

Big three

1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (SO)
2. Aaron Murray, Georgia (SR)
3. Zach Mettenberger, LSU (SR)

Johnny Manziel has been his usual electrifying self through the first half. He’s combined for 2,273 yards and 19 TDs. He’s completing over 73 percent of his passes, and he remains the best player in college football…Aaron Murray has been huge for Georgia through six games. He’s thrown for 1,824 yards and 17 TDs, and he’s won two conference games without RB Todd Gurley – LSU and Tennessee. Murray has elevated his game in 2013, and he’s had a fantastic first half…The most improved player in college football is Zach Mettenberger. Mett leads the SEC in passer rating (184.06) and is second with 15 TDs, and LSU’s offense is scoring over 40 points per game. Mett has made himself several million dollars in seven games.

Related: FoxSports analyst says people are sick of the SEC

Next level

4. Connor Shaw, South Carolina (SR)
5. AJ McCarron, Alabama (SR)
6. James Franklin, Missouri (SR)

The SEC’s most underrated player is the best QB Steve Spurrier’s had since when? Connor Shaw has thrown for 1,146 yards, 10 TDs and zero INTs, and he’s completing over 68 percent of his passes. He’s also added 319 rushing yards and two TDs…AJ McCarron has started to get in a better groove the last few weeks. He’s thrown for 1,407 yards, 11 TDs and just three INTs, leading the Tide’s offense. There’s still plenty of time for him to jump back into the big three by season’s end…James Franklin is out 3-5 weeks with a shoulder injury, but he’s been very good through six games, leading the Tigers to a 6-0 start and a win over a top-10 ranked Georgia Saturday. He’s totaled 1,867 yards and 17 TDs.

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Final four

7. Austyn Carta-Samuels, Vanderbilt (SR)
8. Nick Marshall, Auburn (JR)
9. Bo Wallace, Ole Miss (JR)
10. Tyler Murphy, Florida (JR)

Austyn Carta-Samuels has had a good year, and he’s thrown for 1,561 yards, 10 TDs and six INTs and has completed over 66 percent of his passes, despite taking away his second best option Chris Boyd…Nick Marshall executes Auburn’s offense very well. He hasn’t put up big numbers in the passing game (902 yards), but he’s rushed for 288 yards and two TDs. Marshall has improved every week…Bo Wallace looked like he had made a bigger progression through the first three weeks, but he struggled against Alabama and Auburn before having a better game against Texas A&M. Wallace has thrown for 1,444 yards, nine TDs and three INTs…I’m going to throw in Tyler Murphy at No. 10. Murphy is a better quarterback than Jeff Driskel. He has better instincts and runs the offense more efficiently. He’s completing over 66 percent of his passes for 645 yards and five TDs in four games.

Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell



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  • What do you think of Dak Prescott?

  • I think this article pretty clearly shows why the defenses are so “bad” this year. 6 senior QBs, 3 Juniors and Manziel.

    • That, along with the NFL Draft wiping out so many elite defensive players, too. Just think – next year the SEC will become a defensive league again with so many of these QBs gone.

      • Most of those experience QBs also have really good RBs behind them. Murray with Gurley, Shaw with Davis, Mettenberger with Hill and co. Speaking of RBs, when is the RB ranking coming out?

  • I still love how this season has worked out. Aaron Murray gets the “He’s doing great even without his running backups and some of his wide receivers.”, while McCarron is “just getting into the groove”, despite the fact he played a couple games there without most of his surrounding cast (Colorado State game he was missing, what, two of his best receivers and Yeldon was out the first half?)

    • People hate bama. Not only that, they love to hate them. This list is highly discombobulated. AJ definately shoukd be higher than Zack. I think Murray and AJ shoukd be tied forwhere they belong. Murray definately puts up better numbers in most aspects but AJ has an X Factor in big games that more than makes up for it coupled his accuracy and arm strength makes him formidable. Manziel is a great quarterback sure and probably as a player deserves to be above the two. So personally my ranking woukd be Manziel and 1 and AJ and Murray tied for second.Then Mettenberger, Shaw, and franklin at 4, 5, & 6. I would keep 7-9 the same but as a toss up and 10 is right where he needs to be.

      • lol…hate bama. y’all are crazy. Mettenberger should be #2 based on his numbers this year along. Sure fire 1st rounder who is twice the QB McCarron is…guess we’ll find out in a month.

        • Mettenberger has been pretty good this year but does a good half of a year make someone a “sure fire 1st rounder?” And the reference towards the LSU – Bama game. Last year Mettenberger player the game of his life (I’d argue that over all his games this year too) and still lost to McCarron who led the game winning drive/pass so I’m not sure what we will find out in a month that we already don’t know.

      • I disagree. This ranking system is based off a number of statistics put up by each quarterback. Which is why the quarterbacks are ranked as shown. Yes, AJ is a great QB but his numbers aren’t up there with the listed top 3. Reason being, Bama doesn’t have to rely on their QB to make the big plays through the entire game.

      • AJ has an X factor in big games is basing stuff off of years past. How many big games has he played in so far this year?

        • AJ’s best statistics came against Kentucky. He does play well in big games, but other than Texas A&M, Alabama hasn’t really played anybody.

        • Just because he hasn’t had the opportunity to show it much this season doesnt mean it isnt there. He probed against TAMU that hes still got it. Im sure we will see it again in november and december as well… and if all goes well, january. Point is that he has something none of these other qbs have: championships. And you keep the “weak” schedule or put him in florida’s schedule, my miney is on McCarron.

    • Y’all Bama fans take exception to everything. based on THIS YEAR ALONE, you could argue James Franklin is a better QB than McCarron so far. Mettenberger, Shaw, Murray & Manziel ALL better than McCarron so far.

      • All of the qb’s you mentioned, except James Franklin, are in the Top 15 in the nation in QBR Rating and McCarron trails only Manziel in completion percentage. You could “make an argument” that any of the top 6 SEC qb’s are the best. It could be argued that Mett, Manziel, and Murray all had costly interceptions that were instrumental in losing a game. Manziel threw a bad int vs Bama, Murray against Mizzou, etc. The one thing you can’t say about McCarron is he hasn’t lost a game, but he has won plenty. There is more to football and being a qb than numbers.

        • but who has McCarron played? his toughest game was A&M or that was his only real game

    • Because nobody respects Colorado State as an FCS school…oh, wait…they are FBS?!! Get real. Bama won’t beat LSU WITH their best receivers and running backs. Plus, Bama doesn’t lean on their offense to win games. UGA is not a defensive centered team.

  • Man, was LSU’s offensive coach really that atrocious these past few years? Mett has gone from 12 TDs and 7 INTs all of last season to a future NFL QB in just one year.

    Either Cam Cameron is the single greatest offensive mind in football history, or Les Miles and Greg Strudrawa were two truly terrible offensive minds. I’d say its the second.

  • I think there is a “Big One” (Manziel) and then there are “Five in the Next Level”, Let’s see how the stats look after the complete division round robins and throw out the stats from the cross divisions luck-of-the-draws + rivals

    • I think Manziel .will be a bust in the NFL. but then no one thought Doug Flutie could play in the NFL and he helped more than a couple teams get by until they could get their quarterback they wanted.

  • Jon, I think your ranking is pretty close to correct. However, I would place A.J. McCarron above Connor Shaw. A lot of people discount McCarron because he isn’t as flashy and charismatic as some other QBs. But to paraphrase Al Davis, all McCarron does is “win baby”.

    Also, contrary to some thoughts, TAMU is not the only quality team Alabama has played. As the season is progressing it is becoming obvious that Virginia Tech’s defense is excellent. Bud Foster’s “D” will be tested in the next few weeks but it is one of the better ones in the country.

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