One of the big stories to watch in the Southeastern Conference this season will be several new starting quarterbacks on SEC teams that are expected to contend in the national picture.
In Missouri, the oft-injured but beloved James Franklin has joined the ranks of another SEC quarterback, Matthew Stafford, as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions.
South Carolina lost what was probably the best quarterback of the Steve Spurrier era when Connor Shaw left. He’s now fighting the odds to make it as a member of the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent.
In Alabama, three-time BCS National Championship winner (twice as a starter) A.J. McCarron has turned in his Crimson Tide togs for Cincinnati Bengals stripes, after being taken in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Georgia has lost their SEC record-setting quarterback Aaron Murray, who now is learning under one of the best quarterback developing head coaches in the business, Andy Reid, with the Kansas City Chiefs.
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger is staying in the Southeast, but not in the SEC, now working for a roster spot with the Tennessee Titans.
And of course, Texas A&M poster boy Johnny Manziel is part of the new power couple in Cleveland, joining LeBron James in a resurgence of big time stars with the Browns and Cavaliers.
All of these quarterbacks were huge parts of their respective teams success, and to say they will be difficult to replace would be the understatement of the year. While some of these programs have a quarterback who has been groomed and waiting to take over, others are having a more difficult time finding a new signal-caller.
So which of the new (probable) starting quarterbacks will have the best season for their team in 2014? Here’s some predictions.
Keep in mind, these are not predictions of where the teams will necessarily finish, but just the type of season the starting quarterback will have.