The Southeastern Conference is one of, if not, the top football conference in the country. Teams in this conference have to prepare for tough games week in and week out. In fact, an SEC team has won the BCS National Championship the last five seasons. The Auburn Tigers won the national championship last season beating the Oregon Ducks in a 22-19 thriller. It is looking to be another great year for the conference as two of the top five preseason teams in the country are Alabama and LSU. Here are my top returning SEC quarterback’s for the 2011 season.
1. Aaron Murray So, Georgia, 2010 stats: 209-342 (61%), 3,049 yds, 24 td’s, 8 int’s. Perspective: I have Murray as the top quarterback in the SEC and he’s only a sophomore. He had a great freshman season and I do not forsee a sophomore slump coming. He loses A.J. Green but he has enough talent around him to have another great season. I think Georgia is good enough to get back into the SEC east title race in 2011 and Murray is one of the main reasons.
2. Stephen Garcia, Sr, South Carolina, 2010 stats: 224-349 (64%), 3,059 yds, 20 td’s, 14 int’s. Perspective: Garcia has a lot to prove his senior season. He’s coming off an indefinite suspension in the spring due to alcohol related activity. He was reinstated just before fall camp started and USC head coach Steve Spurrier believes Garcia is a changed man. Garcia has had a lot of off the field problems in his career at USC. Whether he can finally put it all together on the football field and stay out of trouble off of it remains to be seen. There is not any question regarding his talent, though. I believe he has a chance to have a special season if everything falls into place as noted above.
3. Jordan Jefferson, Sr, Louisiana State, 2010 stats: 118-209 (57%), 1,411 yds, 7 td’s, 11 int’s; 123 car, 450 yds, 7 td’s. Perspective: Jefferson’s career at LSU has been a story of inconsistency. While he has shown flashes of brilliance, he has turned the ball over too much. LSU has great talent at the sill positions and a great defense to support Jefferson. I think he will have his best season yet in 2011.
4. Chris Relf, Sr. Mississippi State, 2010 stats: 129-220 (59%), 1,789 yds, 13 td’s, 6 int’s; 194 car, 713 yds, 5 td’s. Perspective: Relf returns for his senior season at MSU with a lot of high expectations. MSU is a consensus top 20 team in the 2011 preseason polls. A lot will be asked of Relf this season as both a leader and a performer. He has the skills as both a runner and a passer to help the Bulldogs have a balanced offense and compete for an SEC west title.
5. John Brantley, Sr, Florida, 2010 stats: 200-329 (61%), 2,061 yds, 9 td’s, 10 int’s. Perspective: Brantley struggled his first year starting for UF taking over after Tim Tebow. Things should be different in 2010. Urban Meyer retired as UF coach and former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has taken over. Muschamp hired Charlie Weiss as his offensive coordinator, which should help Brantley improve tremendously. Weiss has a history of developing the quarterback’s he has overseen at both the college and professional levels. His offense should fit Brantley’s style more so and that in itself should help him have a solid senior season. Brantley just was not a good fit in Urban Meyer spread offense.
1. South Carolina
3. Mississippi St.
6. Ole Miss