SEC Football Q&A: Florida's QB, Missouri's Bowl Hopes and Signing Day Surprises

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SEC Football Q&A: Florida's QB, Missouri's Bowl Hopes and Signing Day Surprises
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Florida QB Jeff Driskel

Every Friday, we feature questions from the Bleacher Report inboxTwitter and email at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

You have SEC questions, and I have SEC answers. Thank you for your questions. If I didn't get to them this week, they will be saved and used in the future.

And we're off! 

It's going to be Jeff Driskel, for sure. In fact, I don't think it's going to be much of a battle at all.

Nothing against Will Grier. The 4-star prospect is a solid quarterback, has the arm to be successful in new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's offense and the athleticism to make enough happen with his legs to be a threat.

But he's still a true freshman, albeit one who enrolled at Florida in January.

Does head coach Will Muschamp really want to put his job on the line with a true freshman who's going to make true freshman mistakes? 

No way.

Driskel takes a ton of heat in Gainesville, but the struggles of Florida's offense over the last few years aren't all his fault. There was a philosophical problem in Gainesville that was exacerbated by a remarkable lack of development in the Florida wide receiving corps.

It's Driskel's job to lose, and even though he's been more of a game manager than a difference-maker during his Gator career, that doesn't mean he can't change and become a star in Roper's offense.

Roper adjusts his scheme to his players, and Driskel's dual-threat ability and experience in the SEC will be the difference. He will win the job.

Muschamp just isn't in the position to take a big risk with a quarterback right now.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Florida QB Jeff Driskel

 

I see Missouri somewhere between eight and 10 wins next year.

The defense won't be as stout because the pass rush won't be a stout and it's almost impossible to be as opportunistic as that secondary was a year ago. I like Maty Mauk at quarterback and the weapons he has around him, and the team will certainly be competitive in nearly every game.

Tim Sharp/Associated Press
Missouri QB Maty Mauk

If the Tigers finish in that eight- to 10-win range, it could send them to one of six bowls under the SEC's new bowl selection process that starts in 2014.

After teams are selected for the College Football Playoff and/or Sugar or Orange Bowls, the Capital One Bowl will get the first pick of the remaining SEC teams. After that, the SEC will place teams in a pool of six bowls—the Outback Bowl, TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Texas Bowl and Belk Bowl.

Missouri will be in one of those six bowls, and since it's the first year of what will be a new system, it's hard to really predict how that selection process will go.

I'd imagine the Texas Bowl would be desirable for the Tigers, as would the two bowls in the state of Florida for recruiting purposes. How much will that matter to the SEC? We'll see.

It should be interesting to see how that process sorts itself out.

Dave Martin/Associated Press
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel

 

It's certainly Will Muschamp, because he's the only SEC coach who will enter the 2014 season with serious concerns about his long-term job status.

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
Florida head coach Will Muschamp

The Gators currently boast the nation's ninth-best recruiting class, with nine players already enrolled. That's certainly a good start for Muschamp, but what if some of the key players who haven't enrolled pull a surprise and bail on, or shortly before, national signing day?

Depending on the specific player and how it impacts the Gators both short- and long-term, it would be just another mark against Muschamp if it gets to a point where he's fighting for his job.

Florida needs two things on national signing day—hope and athletes. If it doesn't get both, Muschamp is in for a long offseason.

 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

All recruiting rankings are courtesy of 247Sports.com and all stats are courtesy of CFBStats.com.


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