AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 10: Quarterback Barrett Trotter #14 of the Auburn Tigers throws a pass while under pressure from defensive lineman Fletcher Cox #94 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first quarter on September 10, 2011 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Auburn had a three-way race for its 2012 quarterback job, but now looks to be down to two.
Monday night, Auburn Tigers quarterback Barrett Trotter announced his exit from the team, saying he intends instead to pursue his Master's degree. His departure means Auburn will have its seventh starting quarterback in seven years in 2012, with rising junior Clint Moseley taking on rising sophomore Kiehl Frazier and incoming freshman Zeke Pike.
Moseley started the latter portion of Auburn's 2011 SEC schedule, performing ... well, how would you perform against a run that included the LSU Tigers, Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide? He threw some picks and didn't make very many big plays, but he completed passes at a decent clip (61 percent) and tore up Ole Miss, for what it's worth.
But Trotter retook part of the spotlight during the Chick-fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Cavaliers, throwing 18 times for almost 10 yards an attempt, along with a touchdown and no picks. His early season woes, which ended with him getting benched against the Florida Gators after throwing six INTs in his previous five games, seemed to rule him out of serious future playing time, but that plastering of the Cavs may have made him the front-runner for 2012.
Lest we forget Frazier, the Cam Newton Lite who hasn't shown he's a passing threat yet. He rushed for 327 yards in spot duty during 10 games. The loss of Gus Malzahn seems to damage Frazier's chances of starting, though we still have no idea who Auburn plans to bring on as its offensive coordinator for next year.
Early assumptions would have to lean Moseley's way for the time being, but Auburn's OC hire could help clear things up.
For more on the Tigers, visit Auburn blog Track 'Em Tigers.