SEC Quarterback Re-Rank

From Pop Warner to the NFL, the quarterback position is the one that makes the team go. The teams that win consistently can just about always point to that fact that they have a leader under center that can make a play when called upon. Fans, analysts and the media all turn to recruiting rankings to project who should and should not win the big games. Let's take a look and see who's doing well.

A third of the way through the season, most of the non-conference games have been played and everyone has played at least one SEC game.

The sledding gets more difficult once the SEC schedule gets rolling and the entire league has more than enough video to breakdown tendencies of every play caller and quarterback.

Top of the Class

1. Blake Sims - Alabama, High School rank: Four stars, 2014 QBR:190.8

Sims waited patiently behind A.J. McCarron for his chance to shine. Many in the media projected that Florida State transfer Jacob Coker would win the job during fall camp. That didn't happen and Sims is now playing at a high level. His performance against Florida two weeks ago should remove any talk of a quarterback controversy.

2. Dak Prescott - Mississippi State, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 178.4

Prescott leads all SEC QBs with 378 yards rushing and has thrown 11 touchdown passes, which is one more than he threw all season last year. Prescott took the Bulldogs on the road two weeks ago and knocked off LSU in Death Valley, something they hadn't done since 1991. Prescott is the straw that stirs the Bulldog drink and the games only get bigger from here.

3. Kenny Hill - Texas A&M, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 175.9

Any talk of an Aggie rebuild in the wake of Johnny Manziel's early departure to the NFL was erased in week one, when Hill burst on to the scene and won on the road at SEC East favorite South Carolina. Hill's 1,745 passing yards and 17 touchdowns both lead the SEC. Hill may not be the the swashbuckling wild man his predecessor was in College Station and that might actually prove to be a good thing.

4. Bo Wallace - Ole Miss, JuCo rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 171.0

Wallace was the top returning passer in the league and he has put up some solid numbers again in the early going of 2014. Wallace does not have the benefit of a strong running game like some of the other top quarterbacks in the league. A lot of the burden for the Rebel offense falls on his shoulders. Wallace's 71% completion percentage is second in the SEC, his six interceptions are a league high.

Middle of the Pack

5. Brandon Allen - Arkansas, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 153.4

Allen has shown some real improvement over last season and as a result the Razorbacks are in the discussion for a potential bowl game. Allen has proven to be effective in play action thanks in large part to a steadily improving ground game. Allen may not be flashy, but he is proving to be more than just a game manager.

6. Nick Marshall - Auburn, JuCo rank: Four stars, 2014 QBR: 143.6

It is clear that Marshall misses running mate Tre Mason. Auburn rode that tandem and some lucky bounces to the BCS title game. Marshall's 548 passing yards is the lowest in the league and that lack of balance may be an issue as Auburn gets deeper into the SEC schedule.

7. Dylan Thompson - South Carolina, High School rank: Two stars, 2014 QBR: 143.4

Thompson is another league veteran who has seen limited snaps, because he elected to stick with it even though he was down the depth chart behind an incumbent starter. Thompson got the keys to the Steve Spurrier offense and the reviews to date have been mixed. While the passing numbers have likely met expectations, two early losses in the conference schedule likely have the Gamecocks out of the SEC title chase.

8. Hutson Mason - Georgia, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 140:5

Mason was a late offer by the Bulldogs thanks to a great senior season. Mason worked his way to the depth chart as the man to replace program record setter Aaron Murray. Mason has been pretty efficient throwing the ball, but most of the game plan has centered around him handing the ball to one of Georgia's talented running backs. Mason's five TD tosses are tied for fewest in the SEC.

9. Patrick Towles - Kentucky, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 140.5

Towles is supposed to be the man to lead the Wildcats out of obscurity and back into the bowl picture. He has the arm to make defenses pay, which opens things up for an improving UK ground game. Decision making his been a bit of an issue for Towles, who takes some chances. He also has a tendency to hang on to the football, which has resulted in ten sacks this season.

Change is constant

10. Matty Mauk - Missouri, High School rank: Four stars, 2014 QBR: 138.6

Mauk had the chance to cut his teeth last year, which enabled him to get comfortable with the Tigers' system. His 2014 numbers are not flashy, but when the game is on the line Mauk gets it done. As we saw in the 4th quarter against South Carolina, Mauk can find a way to win even when he is not having his best game. Mauk and the Tigers are winning, for now.

11. Anthony Jennings - LSU, High School rank: Four stars, 2014 QBR: 137.5

Jennings struggled to find any sense of rhythm and had he not been competing against a true freshman, LSU likely would have had another opening day starter under center. After completing just half of his passes, taking eight sacks and throwing three interceptions, Jennings lost the job to true freshman Brandon Harris who will start for the first time this week at Auburn.

12. Justin Worley - Tennessee, High School rank: Three stars, 2014 QBR: 128.7

Worley won the job in fall camp and the Vol offense seemed to find it's groove against Georgia two weeks ago. Florida comes to town this week in what amounts to a must win for both programs. Worley has taken an SEC worst 11 sacks, which must improve if Tennessee has a real chance at getting back to a bowl game this year.

13. Jeff Driskel - Florida, High School rank: Five stars, 2014 QBR: 111.1

Driskel may have been a tad over rated out of high school, but it is still surprising to see him struggle as much as he has. Kurt Roper was brought in as some quarterback whisperer cut from the David Cutcliffe cloth, but to date things have been a complete mess. Driskell is completing just 56% of his passes despite having the lowest yards per attempt average in the SEC, 5.5

14. Vanderbilt by committee - Three star, two star, 2014 QBR: TBD

The Commodores have played a handful of players under center and it has been quite an adventure. Four different players have taken snaps and have combined to complete just 46.2% of their passes with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. LSU transfer Stephen Rivers was expected to be the guy, but Vanderbilt is looking for "the guy" at a lot of positions.

Summary

As the on the field numbers show us, recruiting rankings are not always an accurate barometer for quarterback prospects. Four of the top five top preforming passers were rated just three stars before signing with their current teams.

Three of the bottom four rated passers were ranked four stars or more.

The coming weeks will likely shake things up, but as we approach the half the point of the season, the players who were so highly coveted have some work to do to prove they were worth all of the hoopla.


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