At some point, and who knows when that will be, the Georgia Bulldogs will have a starting quarterback for this season. We’re getting late in August, and to think this is still a question mark, is amazing.
But Georgia is not alone. The same question is being asked at Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. All of a sudden, the SEC has gone from an elite conference to one full of questions about the most important position on the field.
Yes, it matters. Stop trying to convince yourself that a bad quarterback (even if you call him a game manager) doesn’t matter. It does. Not many teams do something special with a quarterback problem.
It might have been OK at first to believe the situation in Athens was not a concern. But if you’ve watched Mark Richt’s two news conferences after the scrimmages, you know this is no laughing matter. And Richt is not one to try and posture or act like nothing’s wrong. He knows this is a problem.
Brice Ramsey should have had this wrapped up by now, but too many interceptions for Ramsey in practice have Greyson Lambert still in the race. How a player (Lambert) who couldn’t even win the quarterback job at Virginia is now in contention for a starting job at Georgia is scary.
Did Lambert improve all of a sudden? Did Lambert push Ramsey to the point where the so-called favorite (Ramsey) buckled and struggled in practice? Or was Ramsey just not very good to begin with?
At least in Alabama, they have a young player who has a future. We know who the future is at Georgia. It’s Jacob Eason, who is still a high school senior in the state of Washington.
But the Crimson Tide might be able to turn things over to true freshman Blake Barnett, who is competing with three others for Alabama’s starting quarterback job. Evidently, head coach Nick Saban is uncomfortable giving the job to a player that young right off the bat. But who will get it?
Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze says he knows who his starter will be, but he’s not telling anyone. It might be Chad Kelly, a former Clemson reject, or Ryan Buchanan. Will the Gators give their quarterback job to redshirt freshman Will Grier or sophomore Treon Harris, who started six games last season?
And at South Carolina, the head coach once known for developing great college quarterbacks is in a mess. Steve Spurrier hasn’t duplicated the quarterback success in Columbia that he had in Gainesville with the Gators. Connor Mitch was named the starter Tuesday, but others are still in the race.
What are these teams going to do? The season starts next week. Could you ever have imagined that a third of the teams in the conference would have unsettled quarterback situations? It’s mind-boggling, really. All these great recruiting classes every February for these SEC teams and to have a hole like this is inexcusable.
Do these story lines give teams like Auburn and Tennessee an edge? The Tigers have Jeremy Johnson, who doesn’t have much experience but at least has the job. And believe it or not, the Volunteers’ Joshua Dobbs might be the best quarterback in the SEC East, even though he only has played in 11 career games.
You wouldn’t want to give that title to Maty Mauk, Missouri’s quarterback, would you? If so, that’s even more of an indictment on the talent at quarterback.
A year from now we’ll likely look back on this and laugh, at least for Georgia, as we’ll be debating instead which game Eason will take over. But for now, this entire conference is a dumpster fire waiting to happen at a position that still matters.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org