Ranking the SEC's top quarterbacks after Week 13
It hasn’t been a stellar season behind center in the SEC. By my count, nearly two-thirds of the teams in the league either dealt with an injury to their starter, or simply replaced their signal-caller because of ineffectiveness at some point during the season.
Here’s a partial list — off the top of my head — of people who have started or played significant time at quarterback for an SEC team at some point this season: Perry Orth, Kyler Murray, Sean White, Lorenzo Nunez, Jake Hubenak, Faton Bauta, Drew Barker, Sean White, Cooper Bateman and … Whoever Plays QB for Vanderbilt.
You get the idea. This ranking below is impressive in the first few spots, but finding 10 good quarterbacks in the SEC is a reach this season.
Here’s how things stand for SEC QBs after 13 weeks of football:
10. PERRY ORTH, SOUTH CAROLINA
Orth replaces Kentucky’s Patrick Towles, last seen announcing a transfer after Mark Stoops glued him to the bench in the loss to Louisville. Orth likely won’t have fond memories of 2015 at South Carolina, but played well enough to allow the Gamecocks to hang with No. 1 Clemson on Saturday. He also finished ninth in the league in QBR, though that may be more of a statement about this list than anything else. Maybe his next head coach will actually care.
Last week: 13-28, 219 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Season: 143-261, 1,929 yards, 12 TDs, 9 INTs
9. TREON HARRIS, FLORIDA
And, we’ve run out of nice things to say about Florida and their anemic offense. Your 2015 SEC East champions, folks!
Last week: 19-38, 134 yards, 0 TD 0 INT; 11 carries, minus-5 yards
Season: 102-190, 1,365 yards, 8 TDs, 4 INTs; 73 carries, 193 yards, 0 TDs
8. BRANDON HARRIS, LSU
The Classic Les Miles Game — it is, to quote popular ’90s group TLC, “damn unpretty.” But it is a win. Harris was awful, but the Tigers won anyway.
Last week: 7-23, 83 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 4 carries, 13 yards, 0 TD
Season: 135-254, 1,904 yards, 12 TDs, 5 INTs; 64 carries, 185 yards, 3 TDs
7. GREYSON LAMBERT, GEORGIA
Playing Georgia Tech is almost as much fun as passing a kidney stone. Lambert now gets to finish grad school, and good for him. Do you realize that since UGA inserted him back into the lineup, the transfer hasn’t thrown an interception? I wonder how different their season might have turned out if he had started that Florida game.
Last week: 18-25, 224 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Season: 152-236, 1,844 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs
6. KYLE ALLEN, TEXAS A&M
It’s rough being on the wrong side of history, right? The stat line from Allen’s night in Death Valley Saturday night was non-descript and got lost in all the Les Miles postgame love. He lost his job but got it back. That’s good enough to make the top six on our list. Yikes.
Last week: 15-28, 161 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Season: 160-283, 2,210 yards, 17 TDs, 7 INTs
5. JOSH DOBBS, TENNESSEE
Let’s go ahead and start the hype campaign for 2016, shall we? Tennessee looked great in that final month! If they can only figure out how to finish games next year, they’ll be championship material! (All of that is undoubtedly true, and it’s also exactly what everyone said about the Vols coming into this season.)
Last week: 13-21, 140 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT; 11 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD
Season: 191-319, 2,125 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs; 134 carries, 623 yards, 9 TDs
4. JAKE COKER, ALABAMA
The performance was eerily similar to the one at Mississippi State — Coker didn’t get his team beat, showed some surprising elusiveness running away from defenders, and threw the one pass he needed to throw for his only touchdown. By the way, if Blake Countess catches that interception right before half, this conversation is very different. But he didn’t, and Alabama won, so let’s keep him here.
Last week: 17-26, 179 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Season: 204-312, 2,285 yards, 15 TDs, 8 INTs
3. BRANDON ALLEN, ARKANSAS
Let’s all salute the final month of Allen’s season, when he led his team from the ashes of a broken season to road wins over Ole Miss and LSU, saved them in an OT win over Auburn, and lit the whole world on fire in a 1-point loss to Mississippi State. That he closed it out with a hard-fought win over Missouri is fitting. It seems like Allen has been the quarterback at Arkansas since they joined the SEC in 1992, doesn’t it?
Last week: 11-17, 102 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Season: 224-344, 3,125 yards, 29 TDs, 7 INTs
2. DAK PRESCOTT, MISSISSIPPI STATE
The announcers in Saturday night’s Egg Bowl said Prescott came back to State for his senior season specifically to play against Ole Miss. He’s had some misses during his career, but a slew of highlights. Saturday night he was on the short end, but what a career.
Last week: 31-42, 254 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 21 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD
Season: 291-435, 3,413 yards, 25 TDs, 4 INTs; 148 carries, 541 yards, 10 TDs
1. CHAD KELLY, OLE MISS
In horse racing terms, Kelly’s closing kick has been something extra special. Ssince an embarrassing loss to Memphis, Kelly has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 1,506 yards, and run for an additional 309 yards (over 6 yards per carry). His stats as a runner have been particularly gaudy in the last three games, gaining 110 yards, 81 yards and 74 yards in the three games, with six total touchdowns on the ground. With a big bowl game, he could pass 4,000 yards this season.
Last week: 21-30, 236 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT; 11 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD
Season: 277-425, 3,740 yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs; 97 carries, 427 yards, 10 TDs