College Football: 10 Teams That CANNOT Lose Their Starting QB
No other position on the field is as important as the guy lined up behind the center.
The hopes and dreams of many often fall on the shoulders of one to dissect the defense and deliver the ball accordingly.
So, it is safe to say that should this starting quarterback go down, so goes the team.
While this may not be true in every case, here is a list of 10 teams that would find it pretty difficult to have a successful season should their main hurler go down.
In 2009, Robert Griffin led the Baylor Bears to a victory over Wake Forest, a tough loss to Connecticut, and was well on his way to a dominating victory over Northwestern State when he tore his ACL.
In the two and a half games he played Griffin totaled 481 yards and 4 touchdowns with a 65.2% completion percentage.
With the highly touted Griffin out, the Bears struggled to a 4-8 record, splitting time between senior Blake Szymanski and greyshirt freshman Nick Florence.
Florence eventually edged out Szymansjki, but threw for 9 interceptions, while only tossing 6 TD's.
Robert Griffin has the talent to be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12, and with only Nick Florence behind him on the depth chart in 2010, keeping Griffin healthy is a big concern for Baylor.
Anytime you are expected to replace one of the best college football players of all-time, the pressure is already pretty high.
John Brantley will be trying to do exactly that this year as he replaces Tim Tebow for the Florida Gators.
Brantley mostly saw action in mop-up duty in 2009, but did throw for 410 yards and 9 touchdowns, while allowing zero interceptions.
Brantley was extremely highly touted coming into Florida, and although he doesn't have the mobility of Tebow, he might have the better arm.
Behind Brantley on the depth chart are Trey Burton and Tyler Murphy, neither of whom have any game experience.
The Florida Gators went 13-1 in 2009 and with a healthy John Brantley throwing the ball the hopes are high for similar results.
Last year, Texas A&M operated with having only one back-up for quarterback Jerrod Johnson, and his back-up was the leading receiver from 2008, Ryan Tannenhill.
Had Johnson gone down in 2009, things would have gotten sticky for the Aggies quickly.
Johnson managed to stay healthy, however, and set several school records in the process, including throwing for 3,579 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Tannenhill should pull some back-up duties this year, but is expected to be back on the field as a receiver as well.
Redshirt freshman Patrick O'Quinn and true freshmen Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel will add depth to the unit, but it's safe to say that should Johnson go down this year, the cupboards are fairly bare behind him.
Freshman All-American Andrew Luck returns to a Stanford team that he led to an 8-5 record in 2009, including solid wins over Oregon and USC.
Luck threw for 2575 yards and totaled a 13-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Andrew Luck should be one of the best quarterbacks in the country, not only this year, but for as long as he wears a Stanford uniform.
After losing Toby Gerhart, Luck will be relied upon more this year to make the offense go.
Losing Andrew Luck would be the worst thing that could happen to the Stanford Cardinal this year.
In the stables behind Luck are two redshirt freshmen in Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazzo.
In 2009, Kevin Prince became just the second quarterback to start the season opener as a true freshman for UCLA.
To say Prince was injury prone during his first year would be putting it mildly, as a broken jaw, concussion, and a separated shoulder sidelined him throughout the season.
Despite his injuries, Prince managed to throw for 2050 yards and 8 touchdowns, but also threw 8 interceptions.
Senior Kevin Craft and another true freshman in Richard Brehaut teamed up to play in the games that Prince didn't, but failed to match the starter's production.
Should Prince go down again in 2010, Brehaut would be the leading candidate to take his place, but with limited action in 2009, another drop-off in production could be expected.
Nick Crissman is competing with Brehaut for back-up duties, but Crissman has already had two shoulder surgeries.
In 2008, Jake Locker made national headlines when an excessive celebration penalty on a touchdown pushed the Huskies back just enough for the BYU Cougars to block a game-tying extra point.
Locker injured his thumb against Stanford and was lost for the season.
Washington went 0-12.
Locker made headlines again this year, foregoing the NFL draft to return for his senior season after throwing for 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2009.
Locker is the heart, soul, mind, body, etc. of the Washington Huskies, and as evidenced by their 2008 season, bad things tend to happen when Jake's not available.
Redshirt freshman Keith Price and true freshman Nick Montana are battling for the two spot behind Locker, but the consensus is neither are ready to play big minutes in the event of a Locker injury.
Ricky Stanzi returns to an Iowa Hawkeye team that went 11-2 in 2009 and beat Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl 24-14.
Stanzi threw for 2417 yards on the season, but had a 17-15 TD-INT ratio.
After Stanzi was injured against Northwestern, back-up James Vandenberg stuggled in relief, throwing two interceptions in Iowa's first loss on the 2009 season.
Vandenberg redeemed himself slightly by throwing for two touchdowns and 233 yards against Ohio State, but also threw 3 interceptions, and Iowa eventually lost in overtime.
Vandenberg will be the back-up to Stanzi again in 2010, but the Hawkeyes are 0-2 when Stanzi isn't healthy.
Adding depth will be sophomore John Weinke and redshirt freshman Wyatt Seuss.
Terrelle Pryor was one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the 2008 class and it didn't take long for Coach Jim Tressel to put him on the field.
Pryor continued to thrive at Ohio State, leading the Buckeyes to an 11-2 record and a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon in 2009.
Pryor threw for 2,094 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for a net gain of 779 yards and added 7 touchdowns on the ground.
With nine starters back on Ohio State's offense, the Buckeyes are considered to be a favorite for the National Championship in 2010 and Pryor is garnering Heisman Trophy considerations.
Losing Pryor would be a devastating blow, not only personnel-wise, but mentally to the Buckeyes and their fans.
Junior Joe Bauserman saw limited action in 2009 and freshman Kenny Guiton redshirted, so Pryor will be relied upon heavily to stay healthy.
Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray is expected to be the opening starter for the Georgia Bulldogs, replacing senior Joe Cox.
Seeing as how Murray is a freshman, that means he has zero gametime experience, making Georgia's quarterback situation grave to begin with.
Junior Logan Gray struggled as a back-up to Cox in 2009, throwing two interceptions in very limited action.
The Bulldogs might not rely too much on Murray in the beginning until his feet get wet, but a struggling Murray is better than a stuggling Gray in Coach Richt's eyes.
Behind Gray is true freshman Hutson Mason, making the depth chart extremely young and inexperienced.
The Miami Hurricanes lived up to their name in 2009, coming out of nowhere to post a 9-4 record over mostly ranked teams.
Only Florida State was not ranked at the time Miami played them.
So, with one of the toughest schedules in college football, the Hurricanes were definitely not expected to be an ACC contender.
Jacory Harris set out to change that Miami image back to one with a little more swagger reminiscent, of the days Jimmy Johnson ran the show.
Harris threw for 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns.
AJ Highsmith saw limited action in 2009, even though Harris went through a period with an air cast on his throwing hand.
With only six pass attempts, Highsmith is not ready to take over the Hurricane full-time in the event of Harris' absence.
Adding depth in 2010 is true freshman Stephen Morris, making the depth young and inexperienced.
Should Harris stay healthy, his name could be thrown into Heisman consideration, but an unhealthy Harris could spell disaster for Miami.