The SEC has ruled college football for half a decade, winning each of the last five BCS National Championship games (Florida, LSU, Florida, Alabama, Auburn).
Despite all the coaching shuffles and the dozens of players entering the draft, the SEC will look to continue their run of dominance in the NCAA.
Here is a list of the top 10 signal callers in the Southeastern Conference.
Larry Smith will have to put up a solid performance in 2011 if he wants to keep his job. Looming in the shadows is junior Jordan Rodgers. Rodgers, as in the little brother of Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers. Yes, there may be a lot of hype in just the name, but it is enough to make Vandy’s coaches want to give him a shot.
Last year Smith threw for only 1,262 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions in 11 games.
Other option: Jordan Rodgers (Jr.)
Chris Relf is coming off a stellar 2010 season, in which the Mississippi State went 9-4 and earned a trip to the Gator Bowl, defeating Michigan 52-14. Last season, Relf threw for 1,789 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. If the Bulldogs can get a bit more production out of Relf, they could be a serious contender in the SEC West
Other options: Dylan Favre (So. and nephew of Brett), Tyler Russell (So.)
Garcia had a solid 2010 season, throwing for 3,059 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He threw at least two touchdowns in eight games last season before a disappointing zero touchdown, three interception performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Steve Spurrier hopes to see more touchdowns and fewer interceptions this season, or else Garcia could see his snaps decrease.
Other options: Connor Shaw (So.)
Tyler Bray is coming off a great freshman season, going 1,849 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He even had a four-touchdown performance in the Music City Bowl loss against North Carolina. Bray can’t do it alone though. The Vols will have to do better than the 6-7 they earned last season.
Other option: Matt Simms (Sr.)
McCarron seems to be the guy for the job this year in Alabama, after the departure of Greg McElroy. McCarron played in eight games last season, throwing for a total of 48 passes. However, he did complete 30 of them for 389 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
McCarron will have his work cut out for him on a team full of talent and looking to get back to the top.
Other option: Phillip Sims (Fr.)
Cam Newton has left some big cleats to fill. Trotter is said to have the best shot at securing the role. However, the team could have a short leash on him, as freshman standout Kiehl Frazier will be arriving this summer. All Trotter has to do is win the Heisman and the National Championship and Tiger fans will be all good to go. Realistically, Auburn has a good team in place and will expect to be in the championship discussion again next season.
Other options: Kiehl Frazier (Fr.), Clint Moseley (So.)
Aaron Murray is coming off a fantastic freshman season. He completed 61 percent of his passes, threw for 3,049 yards, 24 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. The main drawback for the Bulldogs is that they underachieved in 2010, going only 6-7. If Murray can improve upon last year, this team will be giving defenses fits all season long.
Other options: Hutson Mason (So.), Greg Bingham (So.)
Ryan Mallett is gone for the next level. In comes junior Tyler Wilson. Wilson came in for an injured Mallett against Auburn last season and turned some heads. In two and a half quarters against the eventual national champs, Wilson went 25-34 for 332 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. The job is essentially his, and with a full offseason of preparation, he could put up some solid numbers in 2011.
Other options: Jacoby Walker (So.), Brandon Mitchell (Fr.)
Jefferson had some good performances at the end of the 2010 season . In his final four games, not counting the cupcake Louisiana-Monroe, he threw for 737 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. This includes the three touchdown performance in a 41-24 Cotton Bowl victory over Texas A&M.
Other options: Jarrett Lee (Sr.), Zach Mettenberger (So.)
Brantley has all kinds of talent. Although he’s yet to have a real breakout season, look for 2011 to be a big season for the senior. He has a brand new coach and coordinator. The coordinator is Charlie Weis. Yeah, Weis had his problems at Notre Dame, but remember, he was the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots when Tom Brady broke onto the scene.
Other options: Jeff Driskel (Fr.), Jordan Reed (So.), Trey Burton (So.)
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