Top 25 SEC QBs of all-time: No. 15-11
Who are the top quarterbacks in SEC history?
We’ve spent the last several weeks flipping through team-specific media guides, glancing over highlight film and nearly coming to blows at our home office determining this 25-member comprehensive list of the league’s best defensive linemen.
Editor’s note: The SDS staff weighed multiple factors during our SEC’s all-time quarterback rankings process including career statistics, individual awards, importance to their respective team and the era in which they played.
15.) ELI MANNING, OLE MISS (2000-03)
A three-year starter in Oxford, Manning holds nearly every career passing records with Rebels and as a senior, led Ole Miss to its first 10-win season since 1971. He was a Heisman finalist, the recipient of the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas awards and named SEC Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts during that special 2003 campaign, a 3,600-yard, 29-touchdown masterpiece.
Only five quarterbacks have thrown for more touchdowns than Manning (81) in SEC history.
Manning has been named Super Bowl MVP twice since beginning his NFL career with the Giants in 2004 and is well on his way to putting up Hall of Fame numbers at the next level.
829-1,363, 10,119 yards, 81 TD, 35 INT
All-SEC (2003); SEC Player of the Year (2003); Maxwell Award (2003); Unitas Golden Arm Award (2003); Conerly Trophy (2001, 2003)
No. 1 overall in 2004
14.) DAVID GREENE, GEORGIA (2001-04)
This Bulldogs record-setter in several categories pre-Aaron Murray was the SEC Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore on an SEC Championship team and later achieved a league-best 214 consecutive pass attempts without an interception during the 2004 campaign.
He is the only quarterback in program history to be named All-SEC three consecutive seasons. Greene’s 42 career wins is the most-ever by a Georgia quarterback and set the NCAA record previously held by Peyton Manning before it was eclipsed by Colt McCoy at Texas five years later.
Upon his departure in 2004, Greene was the SEC’s all-time career leader in total offense, a feat broken by Murray. Greene was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks during the third round in 2005, but never made an NFL start and retired in 2009.
849-1,440, 11,528 yards, 72 TD, 32 INT
SEC Freshman of the Year (2001); All-SEC (2002-04); Citrus Bowl MVP (2004)
No. 85 overall (third round) in 2005
13.) TOMMY HODSON, LSU (1986-89)
The only player in LSU football history to be selected first team All-SEC all four seasons as a starter, Hodson was the strong-armed pocket passer of the future for the Tigers, becoming the league’s first quarterback to surpass 8,000 career yards through the air.
The Tigers’ all-time passing yardage and touchdowns leader was 31-14-1 as a starter and helped LSU win two SEC championships during his tenure. As one of college football’s brightest freshmen in 1986, Hodson led the Tigers to their first Top 10 finish and first league title since 1970.
Though he received much Heisman buzz during his career, Hodson was never a finalist. His NFL career was brief, lasting four seasons after being drafted by the New England Patriots in 1990.
674-1,163, 9,115 yards, 69 TD, 41 INT
All-SEC (1986-89); Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
No. 59 overall (third round) in 1990
12.) TIM COUCH, KENTUCKY (1996-98)
In just two seasons as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, Couch accumulated 73 touchdown passes and over 8,000-yards through the air, SEC records for a two-year stretch during his time at Kentucky in the late 1990s.
Air Raid guru Hal Mumme helped Couch become college football most prolific quarterback in 1997 as the leader of pass-centric offense. Couch still holds the NCAA record for single-game completion percentage in one game, finding his mark on 44-of-53 passes against Vanderbilt in 1998. Couch’s 4,275 yards passing in 1998 remains a school record.
After earning consensus All-American honors as the SEC’s Player of the Year his junior season, Couch skipped his senior season for the NFL Draft. He was selected No. 1 by the Cleveland Browns and played five seasons.
795-1,184, 8,435 yards, 74 TD, 35 INT
All-American (1998); All-SEC (1997-98); SEC Player of the Year (1998); Heisman Finalist (1998)
No. 1 overall in 1999
11.) AARON MURRAY, GEORGIA (2010-13)
The SEC’s all-time leader in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes, Murray was one of the league’s rare four-year starters after redshirting in 2009, mastering Mike Bobo’s play action-friendly offense between the hedges.
Murray holds the school record for pass efficiency despite making over 40 career starts. Before tearing his ACL late in his senior season in 2013, Murray surpassed the 3,000-yard mark for the fourth consecutive year, making him the SEC quarterback to every accomplish that feat.
Along the way he shattered ever previous Georgia record held by David Greene, but never captured that elusive SEC Championship, coming up a few yards short against Alabama during a 12-win season in 2012. Murray was drafted in the fifth round of last year’s draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
921-1,478, 13,166 yards, 121 TD, 41 INT; 396 yards rushing, 16 TD
Freshman All-American (2010); All-SEC (2010-11); Capital One Bowl MVP (2013)
No. 163 overall (fifth round) in 2014