Predicting the Winner of Every Undecided QB Battle Entering 2013 Fall Camp
The end result of a quarterback battle can change a season in college football.
Listed here, you will find a summary of each quarterback battle taking place this fall, who is involved, and who will eventually win.
These bear watching, as the results of the battles currently taking place across the country will have an impact on a national scale.
With the right JUCO transfer, a really good team can transform into a national title winner.
Just ask Auburn fans about some guy named Newton.
Read on for a list of the quarterback battles and who we predict will be the winner of each.
22. Pitt Panthers
Participants: Tom Savage, Chad Voytik, Tra’Von Chapman, Trey Anderson
Tom Savage, who transferred his way to Pitt, seemed to be the guy who would start for Pitt in 2013 heading into spring practice.
Chad Voytik had other things in mind, forcing his way into the conversation by virtue of an excellent spring, and making it difficult for head coach Paul Chryst to make a decision anytime in the immediate future.
Chapman is a true freshman, and a long shot to take over starting duties, while Anderson is an athletic guy that is not necessarily the best candidate for starting under center of the four.
Savage has the ability, but Voytik's steady play in practice and extra year in coach Chryst's system give him a slight edge.
Voytik's ability to extend and make plays with his legs on top of his ability to throw the ball will eventually win him the position.
Starter: Chad Voytik
21. USF Bulls
Participants: Steven Bench, Bobby Eveld, Matt Floyd, Mike White
This one is a mess. All four guys have a shot at winning the starting job heading into the fall.
Two returning scholarship players, Eveld and Floyd, appear to have a slim advantage over the incoming freshman White or Penn State transfer Bench.
Head coach Willie Taggart's West Coast style offense is complicated, and it is easy to see both Bench and White struggling to master it during the fall practices.
Eveld and Floyd have an advantage, having participated in the 15 spring practices that began to implement the new offense.
Neither one of them was particularly impressive when on the field last season, but given the extra opportunities that have been available for Eveld and Floyd to master a difficult offense, they have the definite edge.
Starter: Matt Floyd
20. Indiana Hoosiers
Participants: Tre Roberson, Cam Coffman, Nate Sudfeld
Each one of the three candidates at Indiana has solid experience on the field.
Roberson was the starter when the season began last year, but a broken leg kept him off the field for all but two games.
Coffman completed 60.7 percent of his passes last season for 2,734 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Sudfeld threw for 632 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception while playing in seven games in 2012.
So, the decision for head coach Kevin Wilson is a tough one.
Roberson's ability to make plays with his legs is going to be the eventual deciding factor. In his two games last season, he averaged over 11 yards per carry.
Starter: Tre Roberson
19. Houston Cougars
Participants: David Piland, Billy Cosh, Bram Kohlhausen, John O’Korn, Greg Ward
This is a tough one to call.
Piland started last season, so has that going for him, but finished the year with 12 interceptions and a completion percentage well under 60 percent.
He will be pushed by Cosh, who was solid in JUCO, but a 60 percent completion rate and nine interceptions over the course of 12 games is nothing to write home about.
Ward and O'Korn are intriguing possibilities, but unknown at this point with neither having any experience in the offense.
Given his familiarity with the program, the nod has to go to Piland.
Starter: David Piland
18. Purdue Boilermakers
Participants: Rob Henry, Danny Etling, Austin Appleby
This one is really between Etling and Henry.
Henry has seven starts over the course of his career, but hasn't started a football game since 2010.
Etling forced himself into the conversation with an excellent spring, and head coach Darrell Hazell has stated all three guys have an equal shot at earning the starting nod.
Regardless of who starts, the Boilermakers are in for a mediocre season at best.
Based on that, it would make sense to start Etling and let him get some experience right off the bat.
Starter: Danny Etling
17. Syracuse Orange
Participants: Drew Allen, Terrel Hunt, Charley Loeb
Loeb entered the spring practice session as the favorite to win the starting job in 2013.
My how things change quickly. The spring session ended with Terrel Hunt as the leader of the returning quarterbacks, with incoming Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen ready to battle it out with Hunt for the starting spot.
This is a battle that will be interesting to watch, for sure. Allen's ability to make every throw will earn him major consideration. He's got a cannon, and can make good use of it.
The problem for Allen is that the Syracuse offense will feature some pistol formation, and Hunt is better suited with his mix of athleticism and pure passing ability, to run that style of offense.
Hunt is accurate, can run the ball and has three years of eligibility left.
He will seriously push Allen atop the depth chart until late in practice.
Starter: Terrel Hunt
16. Iowa Hawkeyes
Participants: Jake Rudock, Cody Sokol, C.J. Beathard
The quarterback competition between Sokol, Rudock and Beathard is a difficult thing to watch.
None of the candidates took a snap for the Hawkeyes last season, and head coach Kirk Ferentz has them all listed atop the depth chart heading into fall practice.
Based on the fact that Rudock has two seasons experience with the program, and that neither of the other two has created any kind of separation at this point, he will have the edge this fall.
Unless Sokol or Beathard suddenly transform into the second coming of Ricky Stanzi, this job will be Rudock's when the season begins.
Starter: Jake Rudock
15. N.C. State Wolfpack
Participants: Brandon Mitchell, Pete Thomas, Manny Stocker
It is going to be a difficult season for the Wolfpack, as head coach Dave Doeren inherited little talent on offense, and has limited options at quarterback.
Pete Thomas had earned the starting spot over Manny Stocker heading into the summer, but Arkansas transfer Brandon Mitchell is an athletic player with the tools to excel in the spread.
Mitchell's versatility will earn him the nod this year, but he will just be holding the position this season for Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett, who will take over in 2014.
Thomas is a solid drop-back passer, but the added dimension that Mitchell brings with his legs will win him the job.
Starter: Brandon Mitchell
14. Arizona Wildcats
Participants: B.J. Denker, Jesse Scroggins, Javelle Allen, Anu Solomon
Arizona has a mess at quarterback.
JUCO transfer Jesse Scroggins missed the majority of the spring practice sessions as he recuperated from foot surgery. He then suffered a concussion in one of the first fall practice sessions, and hasn't had much time to make his case.
Anu Solomon, the incoming stud freshman, has struggled thus far in practice.
That leaves B.J. Denker, who backed up Matt Scott last season. Unless Solomon or Scroggins gets it together, Denker has the edge.
He was the favorite coming out of spring practice, and will continue to be the favorite at least until the season starts.
Starter: B.J. Denker
13. Cal Golden Bears
Participants: Zach Kline, Jared Goff, Austin Hinder
None of these three candidates who emerged from the morass of spring practice at Cal have any experience throwing passes at the FBS level.
Kline is a redshirt freshman with a big arm and a willingness to try and make every play. That can be a good or bad thing, especially when he tries to fit the ball in a window that it's not going to fit through.
Goff impressed in spring practice, and finished tied with the other two atop the depth chart heading into fall camp.
Hinder is the most versatile, possessing the ability to run the ball a little more effectively than either Kline or Goff.
This looks to be a battle that will rage until late in the fall, but Kline's extra time with the program coupled with his ability to make all the throws will earn him the starting nod.
Starter: Zach Kline
12. Oregon State Beavers
Participants: Cody Vaz, Sean Mannion
These two have been back and forth since the beginning of last season.
Mannion entered the 2012 season as the starter, but suffered a knee injury, opening the door for Vaz.
Vaz performed well last season, throwing only three interceptions to Mannion's 13. Mannion had more attempts, but Vaz proved to be steady and reliable.
The reality is that Mike Riley is going to start both of them at different points during the season.
For now, Mannion gets the nod, but he won't hang on to the job all year.
Starter: Sean Mannion
11. Penn State Nittany Lions
Participants: Tyler Ferguson, Christian Hackenberg
Look, it's time to dispel the theory that just because a guy is a freshman, he might not perform well.
Marcus Mariota and Johnny Manziel are two of the guys who help prove that this type of thinking is wrong.
So Penn State fans have every reason to be excited about Christian Hackenberg.
While the Nittany Lions are going to have their fair share of struggle throughout this season, and Hackenberg will experience some growing pains facing teams such as Wisconsin and Ohio State, he will be the quarterback of the future.
Ferguson, while talented, will have his work cut out for him trying to hold off Hackenberg, one of the top recruits in the nation.
Starter: Christian Hackenberg
10. TCU Horned Frogs
Participants: Casey Pachall, Trevone Boykin
Casey Pachall entered last season as the starter for Gary Patterson's Horned Frogs.
After the fourth game as the starting quarterback, he left the school to be checked into a substance abuse center and get himself straightened out.
Now, he has returned, and will be fighting to earn back his starting job.
Trevone Boykin took over for Pachall upon his departure in 2012, and filled in admirably with limited experience.
He finished the year with 15 passing touchdowns and over 2,000 yards passing.
But Pachall is the better quarterback, and will eventually win out. With the Big 12 wide open, the potential is there for him to lead the Horned Frogs to a conference title.
Starter: Casey Pachall
9. West Virginia Mountaineers
Participants: Clint Trickett, Ford Childress, Paul Millard
Geno Smith is going to take the starting quarterback job away from Mark Sanchez in New York this fall. This means that he will not be on the field for West Virginia in 2013, nor will the Mountaineers be able to match his production this season.
Smith produced 42 touchdowns, six interceptions and completed over 71 percent of his pass attempts last season.
Big shoes to fill for Trickett, Childress or Millard.
Trickett transferred from Florida State, positioning himself to start this year.
However, Millard is not backing down from the man that spent his entire time at FSU as a backup:
“I want to step up and be the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers this year,” he told The Register Herald.
Given that Millard has spent two seasons as the backup, he may have a slight edge. However, it is tough to see Trickett and his high football I.Q. not taking over the starting job.
Starter: Clint Trickett
8. Michigan State Spartans
Participants: Andrew Maxwell, Connor Cook, Tyler O’Connor and Damion Terry
Mark Dantonio has a decision to make.
Andrew Maxwell started all 13 games last season for the Spartans, but completed only 52.5 percent of his passing attempts. That's not going to cut it in the Big Ten.
Connor Cook can run, is mobile, and though he does not grasp the offense quite as well as Maxwell, injects a level of excitement that will never be a part of Maxwell's game.
So who starts?
Cook's ability will earn him some time on the field. However, Mark Dantonio is conservative and will start Maxwell again when the Spartans open the season.
Starter: Andrew Maxwell
7. Tennessee Volunteers
Participants: Justin Worley, Josh Dobbs
Nathan Peterman and Riley Ferguson are also competing for the job, but Worley and Dobbs have the edge.
Josh Dobbs, a talented true freshman will challenge Worley, as will the other two candidates in fall practice.
That said, the job should belong to Worley, who backed up Tyler Bray, and has put up 738 yards passing in limited time.
Butch Jones inherited a mess, and needs someone with experience to jump in right away. Worley's limited experience will come in useful during a seven week period when the Vols face Oregon, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.
Starter: Justin Worley
6. Kansas State Wildcats
Participants: Daniel Sams, Jake Waters
This one will be a coin flip.
Bill Snyder has two quarterbacks of similar size, with similar rushing ability and passing ability.
Daniel Sams has experience running the Kansas State offense.
Four offensive linemen return, as does John Hubert, who averaged 5.0 yards per carry in 2012.
Waters comes to the Wildcats as the top JUCO quarterback in the country last season, so whichever way Snyder decides to go, expect a solid performance.
Starter: Daniel Sams
5. Wisconsin Badgers
Participants: Curt Phillips, Joel Stave, Tanner McEvoy
Curt Phillips and Joel Stave enter fall camp as the favorites for Wisconsin, but McEvoy is the wildcard.
Stave has a better arm than Phillips, and can scramble when needed.
Phillips is slightly more mobile, and more of the typical Wisconsin quarterback we've seen in the past who is accurate and intelligent, but not a world beater.
McEvoy is one of the top dual-threat JUCO options in the nation, and new head coach Gary Andersen has a history of utilizing mobile quarterbacks with regularity.
While Stave's experience and arm strength will earn him the starting nod, don't be surprised if McEvoy takes over before the season is done.
Starter: Joel Stave
4. Oklahoma Sooners
Participants: Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson, Trevor Knight
This race was wide open until Kendal Thompson broke his foot.
That leaves Blake "Belldozer" Bell and Trevor Knight to battle it out for the rest of the fall.
In spite of Bell's experience with the team and the fact that everybody knows he will start when fall practice is over, Stoops insists that the competition is not over.
What's going to happen is Bell will take over the offense, with the dual-threat Knight coming in at times much like Bell has done the last few seasons, to provide a spark rushing the ball.
That may not hold true for next season, but for this season that's how things will play out.
Bell has the ability to throw the ball well, and his 24 rushing touchdowns prove that he can run it as well.
He will eventually get the starting nod from Stoops.
Starter: Blake Bell
3. Auburn Tigers
Participants: Kiehl Frazier, Jonathan Wallace, Nick Marshall, Jeremy Johnson
Wallace and Frazier have a distinct advantage in this battle.
Each of them was recruited during Gus Malzahn's prior stint with Auburn. Each of them have also had at least a year to acclimate to playing for the Tigers.
Their familiarity with Malzahn's style of offense gives them a leg up heading into fall camp.
Given the fact that both Nick Marshall, who transferred from JUCO, and Johnson, who is a freshman, have limited experience, it's easy to see Frazier or Wallace as the starter.
It is a pick'em of sorts between the two. Neither gained the edge in the spring, and nothing has happened yet this fall to place any separation between them.
Starter: Kiehl Frazier
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Participants: J.W. Walsh, Clint Chelf
The transfer of Wes Lunt opens up this battle for Walsh and Chelf, each of whom have starting experience in Mike Gundy's offense.
Chelf however, seems to have the slight edge. He appeared in the 2012 opener, and threw 13 touchdowns over the Cowboys' last five games.
While this would lead one to believe that he will get the nod, it does not eliminate Walsh at all.
Walsh is the better runner, and will likely be involved in some special packages, or even just during certain drives to spell Chelf in the fast-paced offense.
Unless Walsh has a monster fall, this job should be Chelf's to lose.
Starter: Clint Chelf
Starter: Blake Bell
1. USC Trojans
Participants: Max Browne, Cody Kessler, Max Wittek
Max Wittek was not particularly impressive last season when given the opportunity to take over the offense from Matt Barkley.
When the smoke cleared, he had completed only 52.2 percent of his passes, thrown five interceptions and only three touchdowns. Not exactly numbers to inspire confidence.
That said, he played a tough Notre Dame squad and Georgia Tech in a bowl game that featured gale force winds and didn't give him a chance to showcase his ability.
Heading into the fall, Wittek has the edge, with Cody Kessler not far behind due to his performance this spring, and Max Browne as the wild card in the mix.
Browne may end up as the most talented of the three, but will not be quite ready to start at the beginning of this season.
If Kessler's reliable play continues into fall practice, he will easily win the job. But don't count out Wittek just yet, his year of experience could pay huge dividends during practice.
Starter: Cody Kessler.