Everyone seems to be concerned about what Georgia will do if Aaron Murray gets hurt. Well, not for nothing, but isn’t just about everyone in the SEC in the same boat? Last I checked, there wasn’t an SEC team that was not one injury away from complete and utter disaster under center:
Greg McElroy is going to be the man for Alabama next season. He helped carry his team to an SEC and BCS National Championship, and he is sure to be the favored son to command a repeat performance, but what if he goes down? Who would step up?
A.J. McCarron would seem to be the heir apparent as he has been the most impressive this spring but I'm not altogether certain that he's ready to be both a game-manager and a game-changer. Phillip Sims is the stud five-star product, but he’s still learning.
Either guy might be a capable option behind McElroy, but neither has been through the fire yet.
The Tigers are searching for a capable replacement for the departed Chris Todd. Cam Newton appears to have beaten out Neil Caudle, Clint Moseley, and Barrett Trotter for Todd’s spot. He is athletic and possesses loads of upside, and he has some SEC game experience.
That said, he’s still going to be a bit rusty at the start, and if he goes down or struggles early in the season, will any of the aforementioned be able to comfortably take the reins?
The Hogs might very well be in the best shape right now because Tyler Wilson, the backup to Ryan Mallett, actually has a great deal of talent and fought hard for the starting spot before losing out to Mallett last season. Mallett has the stronger arm and makes for a better pro prospect, but Wilson isn’t chopped liver either.
Even so, no one in Razorback country hopes to see Wilson standing under center anytime soon, as many feel this could be Arkansas’ year to make some noise in the west, and that will be a lot less likely to happen without Mallett at the top.
John Brantley may be a “real quarterback,” but he has yet to be tested as a starter. His numerous appearances, mostly in mop-up duty, aren’t likely to have prepared him for the SEC—particularly on the road
He will take his lumps as he grows into his new role, but he’s also the only guy capable of stepping into that spot for the Gators, as the others will be true freshmen.
The Wildcats have warm bodies on the depth chart, but truly, it’s Mike Hartline or Morgan Newton—with Newton being the most likely candidate.
Even still, neither guy was lights out last season, and the play of either/or will not inspire fear in the hearts of many.
6) Ole Miss
Jevan Snead is gone, and his replacement will likely be Nathan Stanley now that Raymond Cotton’s shoulder has decided to go south on him. Stanley has imposing size which will help him in seeing the field, but he’s got issues with his accuracy and may need to quicken his delivery if he doesn’t want to get pummeled by the SEC's big time defensive linemen.
7) Mississippi State
Okay, seriously? I doubt they know who can play quarterback. At this point, they are just hoping to find a competent arm to complement the talent at wide receiver. In any case, they aren't very deep.
8) South Carolina
Stephen Garcia was supposed to be the guy, but somewhere between the Gamecocks' loss to Connecticut and the start of the Augusta National's Golf Tournament, Steve Spurrier changed his mind about Garcia. Now, it’s anybody’s guess who will be taking the snaps.
What that means is either Garcia has regressed back to being awful, or whoever is chosen to take his spot will be on trial by fire. In either case, the Gamecocks don’t look any better at QB than Georgia right now.
Tyler Bray is going to be the next signal-caller to wear a Vols uniform. He’s the only guy with any experience—none of which was in a starter's capacity. His possible replacements are two incoming freshmen.
Who’s afraid of Jordan Jefferson? Raise your hand...okay, well, who’s afraid of Jarrett Lee?...uh huh—next. Okay, I'll expound a little bit.
Jefferson can't figure out if he's ready to be the man in Baton Rouge. On the one hand, he's got talent and he continues to show a little of what he can do, here and there, but for the most part he has been a disappointment.
As for Lee, well, despite the relative mediocrity of Jefferson, Lee can't do enough to take the job away. He's no better equipped to be the man than Jefferson is and that is a problem.
They could be good if they weren’t so bad. It doesn’t matter who their quarterback will be in 2010; they aren’t going to win many games. Sorry. They always field a solid defense with a lot of under-spoken talent, but they don't have enough to compete with the SEC East right now.
Which leads us back to Georgia. The fact that Aaron Murray could find himself backed up by a true frosh is concerning, and it should be. However, Georgia isn’t in this situation alone, and the fact that it’s being made into such a big deal would be comical if it were only a touch funnier.
Look, if Zach Mettenberger had not been dismissed from the team, he would be the backup and NOT Logan Gray. That point being made, if Mettenberger were still at UGA and Gray were making his bid to leave, is would you be more or less concerned than you may or may not be now?
Logan Gray’s future status as a Georgia Bulldog is an inconvenience to those of us who want to know what the heck he’s thinking, but there aren’t many among the Bulldog contingent who ever thought he’d be starting. So, again I say, if Murray stays healthy and performs well, will his backup matter?
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