I knew I’d catch flack for it, but did it anyway because I believe in his substantial development.

On the surface, few consider Brandon Allen to be one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks. His arm strength is limited, mobility is an issue and he doesn’t put up the crazy stats often indicative of high-powered, sexy offenses.

Placing Allen in the No. 2 slot behind Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott in our post-spring SEC quarterback rankings surprised a bunch of folks and almost instantaneously flooded my inbox with interview requests asking for my reasoning.

One reader even messaged me to say he didn’t think I had ever watched football. I chuckled.

The truth is that after Prescott, the next handful of SEC quarterbacks in the Nos. 2 through 7 range are interchangeable mysteries heading into August, some obviously more talented than others but all mired by relative inexperience (sans Maty Mauk) at the position.

Allen, however, is the league’s only passer heading into his third season as a starter under center. Still wondering how a passer plagued by inconsistency throughout his career can suddenly lift his game to another level as a senior?

In brief, I tried to deliver my reasoning on various shows but it all came back to experience for me and the fact Allen has already faced the pressure associated with big-time situations and knows how to handle himself as a leader with a competitive work ethic.

The kid’s been through four different offensive coordinators during his career and has been forced to play for his job in front of new staff members every offseason and yet, he’s never once griped.

Allen has garnered his teammates’ confidence and there’s no longer any finger-pointing going on with the Razorbacks’ passing game. Passes being skipped to the feet of wide receivers as ugly incompletions have ceased as have throws to the other team.

Allen’s certainly earned Bret Bielema’s backing as the facilitator in what should be an impressive balanced attack.

“Any time you have a fifth-year quarterback who’s a multi-year starter, it’s unprecedented what can happen,” Bielema said in a recent interview with ESPN. “We’re so much better around him. It’s our best offensive line, two tight ends, a couple wide receivers that I think are exceptional and two great running backs. The sky’s the limit.”

Most importantly, Allen knows he’s not a gunslinger and has worked on fine-tuning his approach since the end of an above-average junior season that included a West-leading 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He doesn’t have to be Jeremy Johnson or Mauk or even Prescott for Arkansas to contend for a league championship this season, Allen just needs to be turnover-free and it’s first-year play caller Dan Enos’ job to put him in position to be successful.

In the spring game, the first real taste we saw of the Allen-Enos tandem, he completed 17-of-21 throws for 230 yards and three scores. Three of his four incompletions were drops — that’s how accurate Allen has become as a much-improved passer.

How will Allen’s numbers look at season’s end with an actual pass rush? We like projecting here at SDS and though Allen’s passing totals may pale in comparison to others at his position, the Razorbacks will benefit from his efficiency as a senior.

Best-case for Allen: Becomes a weapon from the pocket and play-action extraordinaire behind two 1,000-yard running back for the Western Division champions. Wins a couple games down the stretch in the fourth quarter, making up for late-game struggles in the past. (2,700 yards, 27 TD, 7 INT)

Worst-case for Allen: He regresses into 2013 form as a questionable decision-maker who often tries to fit untimely throws into windows that aren’t open. Turnovers numbers increase and Arkansas struggles to a .500 record as a result. (2,100 yards, 15 TD, 12 INT)

Realistic goals for Allen: Blossoms into a second-team All-SEC quarterback with a game manager persona who can take over a game on third down with smart, quick decisions through the air. Exceeding last season’s touchdown total is a possibility as long as the Razorbacks’ receiving corps helps him out down the field. (2,500 yards, 23 TD, 5 INT)

Keep doubting Allen as one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks in 2015.

He’s out to prove you wrong.