SEC Teams That Would Love to Start Braxton Miller at QB
Relax, Buckeyes fans, Braxton Miller is not leaving Columbus anytime soon. He will remain on the roster to help put Ohio State in position to compete for a national title.
But if he was a free man, or was considering transferring schools, there are plenty of SEC programs that would be willing to snatch him up.
Teams in the SEC are always searching for the next big thing to put them over the top.
In the most competitive conference in college football, sometimes the quarterback position is the missing piece of the puzzle. If we have learned anything about football over the years, it's that a great quarterback can do a lot for a team’s success.
Here is where each SEC team would sit if Braxton Miller was, in fact, magically under center.
Arkansas would take just about anyone it could get at the moment. I'm pretty sure the Razorbacks wouldn't think twice about adding Buckeyes backup Kenny Guiton if he was willing to take his talents down south.
With Tyler Wilson graduating, running back Knile Davis bolting for the next level and just about all of the productive receivers leaving, Arkansas needs offensive weapons now.
There simply aren't many quarterbacks with more playmaking ability than Braxton Miller. He could instantly make the young guys around him better and help make this at least a respectable offense to watch on Saturdays.
The Razorbacks' depth chart is filled with young and inexperienced quarterbacks, none of which look promising at the moment.
Quarterback is just one of the top concerns with this team, but it certainly isn't helping matters heading into the Bret Bielema era.
The Kentucky offense will get a tremendous boost with Maxwell Smith returning after suffering an ankle injury last year. In the limited playing time, he played surprisingly well, completing nearly 69 percent of his passes and throwing eight touchdowns on only 150 pass attempts.
However, this is a Kentucky football program we are talking about. The offense ranked 13th in the SEC last year, and with barely any elite athletes, those numbers aren't expected to change anytime soon. The Wildcats could use an upgrade at nearly every position. And no one else could help create a turnaround quicker than a quarterback.
If Miller was to join the squad, he could become the best signal-caller in program history and would give Kentucky a puncher's chance to reach a bowl game for the first time since 2010.
LSU has finished no better than ninth in the SEC in passing offense the last four years. Along with questionable time management, Les Miles and his coaching staff have failed to find and develop quarterbacks.
Adding Miller would completely balance out this offense and help put the Tigers over the top. With a physical offensive line, ridiculously deep backfield and a quarterback who could make plays, LSU's offense would force SEC defensive coordinators to work tireless hours game-planning.
If Miller somehow ended up in Baton Rouge, I think it would be safe to consider LSU the national championship front-runner.
Quarterback Bo Wallace actually wasn't terrible last year for Ole Miss. He showed that he could in fact be a good fit for the Rebels.
The problem is that he made way too many boneheaded decisions, throwing 17 interceptions to counter-balance his 24 touchdown passes. Add in that he isn't athletic and isn't a threat to run, and Miller is obviously the better option.
It was only the first season for Wallace, so there is a great chance he continues to develop with even more playing time. After all, the coaching staff obviously believes in the kid, as it allowed him to toss the ball around 368 times.
But Miller would be the quick fix in this situation and give Ole Miss a much better chance to win right away.
With the recruiting class Ole Miss just put together and the hype around the program, a successful year would put this team on the map nationally. Miller would give the Rebels that opportunity.
Word on the street is that Steve Spurrier is thrilled to have two quarterbacks he believes in. I'm not sure what he is seeing, but there is no way I am completely confident in either Connor Shaw or Dylan Thompson.
Also, if you know anything about the Gamecocks' head coach, you would know that his opinion can quickly change, especially when it comes to this position.
Miller is a better version of Shaw. He would be more effective running the read-option plays than Shaw. Miller also isn't as injury-prone as the current Gamecocks' starter seems to be.
With question marks around Thompson and the shaky play of Shaw, I'm sure folks in South Carolina would be willing to make the switch.
Tennessee had an answer at quarterback with Tyler Bray leading the way, but he decided to throw his name into the hat for the NFL draft.
This leaves a wide-open quarterback competition, and every one of the candidates has limited experience. In fact, the most experienced quarterback is Justin Worley, and he only threw 23 passes last year. The other guys are either redshirt or true freshmen.
This is why you throw Miller into the mix. He would be an experienced quarterback who could step into an offense that returns the majority of its offensive linemen and has a backfield with potential.
New head coach Butch Jones would be able to help Miller develop, and Miller would help turn around Tennessee instantly.
Volunteers fans would finally have something to be happy about if the Buckeye made his way to Knoxville.
Vanderbilt has relied heavily on its defense to earn respect in the SEC. But it is the offense that Commodores fans should be thrilled about when it comes to the 2013 season.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews returns for his senior season and is easily one of the best wideouts in the entire country. There are also three solid offensive linemen returning and a decent running back tandem of Brian Kimbrow and Warren Norman.
The pieces are in place for Vanderbilt to continue to surprise folks in this conference. The Commodores just need a quarterback to help lead them in the right direction.
If anybody could help fill that void, it would be Braxton Miller.
SEC Teams That Could Thrive Without Miller
The Crimson Tide has had A.J. McCarron at quarterback for the last two seasons, and all he has done is lead the Tide to two straight national championships. He drastically improved his game in his junior year and seems to only be getting better. He certainly isn't the flashiest player in the world, but he gets the job done at an extremely high rate.
Gus Malzahn will install the spread offense that has been highly effective everywhere he has coached. What do you need for this offense to succeed? A dual-threat quarterback who can kill you with his legs and make smart and quick decisions in the passing game. Miller fits the bill here, but who is to say Kiehl Frazier or Jonathan Wallace won’t do the same?
With two running quarterbacks already on the roster, adding the Ohio State guy doesn't make much sense.
I'm not sure if there is any Florida Gators fan that wouldn't love to have Miller running the offense. But let's not write off Jeff Driskel just yet. Sure, he wasn't great last year and needs to improve as a passer. But this is the same thing that has been said about Miller.
If you watch the high school film on Driskel, you can see that he is incredibly athletic and has probably more arm strength than the Buckeyes' quarterback. Provide this kid with some talent at the skill positions, and he will develop in no time.
Aaron Murray has spent the last three seasons as the Bulldogs quarterback. He has passed for more than 3,000 yards in each year and thrown 95 career touchdown passes. Murray should be high on NFL draft boards heading into the new season.
The only concern most have with Murray is his ability to win the big game. Still, many college teams would love to have this guy.
Tyler Russell isn't the biggest quarterback name in the SEC and is hardly talked about. However, he has as much upside as anybody and showed flashes of what he was capable of last year.
Producing 20 plays of at least 25 yards in the air and throwing for 24 touchdowns, Russell has the ability to rise up the totem pole his senior year. I expect big things next year from this kid, and you wouldn't want to mess that up by adding Miller to the roster.
When James Franklin is healthy, he is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Remember, back in 2011, he threw for 2,865 yards, rushed for 981 yards and scored 36 touchdowns. He did all of this while completing 63.3 percent of his passes, which is much higher than Miller has ever completed.
Missouri is fine at the quarterback position as long as Franklin can remain healthy.
Johnny Manziel. Do I really need to say more?