Ranking the SEC quarterbacks after Week 2
The criticism of the SEC throughout the spring and summer months was obvious. The league’s detractors shouted it from the rooftops. Even the conference’s supporters quietly agreed. It was hushed, whispered tones, but still agreement.
It is a sad admittance, but one that needs to be made before the season gets too deep.
The SEC is not the best conference for quarterbacks in college football.
It isn’t the worst, either. But there were plenty of games in Week 2’s slate that confirmed, certainly, the best quarterbacks in the country do not belong in the Southeastern Conference. Not top to bottom, anyway.
Take, for example, at Auburn. The man most thought would be the second- or third-best in the league, through two weeks, has yet to even crack the top 10.
Through those two weeks, here are the top 10 so far. The previous week’s ranking is in parenthesis.
10. Maty Mauk, Missouri (9)
Game management is a Mauk specialty. He is known for it. Coach Gary Pinkel knows it’s true. Everyone knows it’s true. But when the entiriety of the offense is struggling to score points against Arkansas State, game management might not be enough. Unless Mauk improves, or a the running game develops a quicker pace, Missouri will not make a third straight trip to the SEC title game.
Last week: 16-36-2, 148 yards, 3 touchdowns
Season: 28-58-3, 329 yards, 5 touchdowns
9. Greyson Lambert, Georgia (10)
Lambert didn’t mess up Georgia’s chances of winning Saturday. That’s something, anyway. The junior continues to be less-than-inspiring running the signals for the Bulldogs. It also doesn’t seem to matter. Georgia dispatched Vanderbilt in the conference opener for both by 17 points. Whatever works in Athens.
Last week: 11-21-0, 116 yards, 0 touchdowns
Season: 19-33-0, 257 yards, 2 touchdowns
8. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee (2)
Dobbs had the largest movement in either direction from any quarterback last week. Don’t expect him to stay at No. 8 for long, though. It’s just that Oklahoma made him look confused. Dobbs led the Volunteers on scoring drives three of their first five series, but none of those drives were longer than 55 yards. In fact, not a single Tennessee drive was longer than 55 yards the whole game. There are things to fix.
Last week: 13-31-1, 125 yards, 1 touchdown; 14 rushes, 12 yards, 1 touchdown
Season: 28-53-1, 330 yards, 3 touchdowns; 26 rushes, 101 yards, 2 touchdowns
7. Jake Coker, Alabama (8)
There wasn’t quite as much sizzle from Jake Coker against Middle Tennessee State as he had against Wisconsin. Not that there was a ton to begin with, but flashes were there against the Badgers. That’s not a knock on Coker, though. The Crimson Tide’s second game didn’t feel like one in which fireworks would ever be necessary. Coker’s improvement was modest, if at all. He was and is capable.
Last week: 15-26-1, 214 yards, 1 touchdown
Season: 30-47-1, 427 yards, 2 touchdowns
6 and 5. Treon Harris, Florida (6) and Will Grier, Florida (5)
Sticking the two Gators quarterbacks side-by-side is even more apropos this week. Grier, the starter, played more of the game against East Carolina than did Harris. Harris was moderately more impressive. Neither is dominating. Neither is taking the job and running away. That would be the preference in Gainesville. But for now, given expectations, they’re OK doing what they’re doing.
Harris last week: 5-8-0, 54 yards, 0 touchdowns
Harris season: 19-27-0, 269 yards, 2 touchdowns
Grier last week: 10-17-1, 151 yards, 2 touchdowns
Grier season: 26-35-1, 317 yards, 4 touchdowns
4. Brandon Allen, Arkansas (1)
For the second consecutive week the Razorbacks fifth-year senior set a career-high in passing yardage. He actually threw for more yards than any Bret Bielema-coached quarterback ever. That includes Russell Wilson. Allen also didn’t throw a touchdown with his 400-plus yards. Arkansas was 1 of 5 in the red zone against Toledo and lost to the Mid-American Conference favorites. Thus, the drop.
Last week: 32-53-1, 412 yards, 0 touchdowns
Season: 46-71-1, 720 yards, 4 touchdowns
3. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M (7)
There is not a lot of flair to Kyle Allen’s game. Or maybe it just looks that way given his back-up, Kyler Murray, is loaded with it. Allen calmly collected three touchdown passes on 10 completions against Ball State on Saturday and a modest 126 yards. Given his coaches, the numbers will increase. For now, the Aggies are simply happy with the wins.
Last week: 10-13-0, 126 yards, 3 touchdowns
Season: 25-39-1, 324 yards, 5 touchdowns
2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (3)
Prescott was putting together a comeback for the ages, an instant-classic type of game. Until the end. His delay-of-game penalty on the Bulldogs’ final drive was a costly one. It might (or might not have) cost Mississippi State a win against LSU. Instead, coach Dan Mullen’s team missed a 50-plus-yard field goal and the Tigers escaped Starkville. Prescott finished with 335 yards passing against one of the league’s best defenses. It’s been said Prescott will have to will Mississippi State out of the expected SEC West cellar. Mostly it looked like that will be possible. Mostly.
Last week: 34-52-0, 335 yards, 1 touchdown
Season: 56-90-0, 572 yards, 3 touchdowns
1. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss (4)
Talent has never been the question with Chad Kelly. Fortunately for him this list is all about talent. And he’s at the top. Yes, the Rebels have played two bad football teams in Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State. But a 72 percent completion percentage, more than 550 yards and 6 touchdowns through those two games are bonkers totals. Figure, too, Ole Miss has scored more than 70 points each time out. It’s a pace that cannot be continued, but it’s fun right now.
Last week: 20-25-0, 346 yards, 4 touchdowns
Season: 9-15-1, 557 yards, 6 touchdowns