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The SEC’s quarterback play might be really good again, really soon

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!), SB Nation's daily college football recruiting newsletter.

Welcome to the SB Nation college football recruiting podcast, the show in which I discuss college football recruiting, football in general, and gambling on the sport. The show is now available on iTunes.

The SEC’s quarterbacks might soon be really good

I had a long discussion of freshmen Jalen Hurts of Alabama, Jacob Eason of Georgia, Shea Patterson of Ole Miss, and Jake Bentley of South Carolina, plus a few others. Yes, the SEC’s quarterback play has been poor in recent years. And no, it’s not all because of the quality of defenders in the league. That could all be about to change.

Why did Hurts throw 28 passes in the first half against Mississippi State? Why did Ole Miss pull the redshirt off Shea Patterson? I dig into the data a bit.

Also discussed are other freshmen quarterbacks including Texas’ Shane Buechele, USC’s Sam Darnold, and Florida State’s Deondre Francois.

The show opens with Washington head coach Chris Petersen’s comments about recruiting, which followed a loss to the only team in the Pac-12 that recruits like a super elite, USC, which also happens to be the only team in the league that has won a national championship in the last quarter century.

Petersen on recruiting, via Coaching Search and SiriusXM:

“Is he really our kind of guy? Does he truly love football? On a scale of 1-10, does he love it at a 15? I make a big thing about that nowadays, because I think so many kids don’t love football. They love recruiting. They love being recruited. But when it comes down to loving the game when it’s Week 8, you’re sore and tired and you’re going to go out to practice to get better. Those guys are hard to find."


I generally find injuries to be an under reported aspect of college football, so I discussed the big ones I saw this weekend. Baylor’s Seth Russell got hurt, as did three Florida starters. Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson was out with an injury, and Pitt’s Jordan Whitehead left the game with an arm injury so gruesome that ABC didn’t even show the replay.

Emptying the notebook

Finally, I discussed my notes from the weekend of college football, including:

  • The lack of downfield passing in the South Carolina at Florida game and the Michigan at Iowa game.
  • LSU’s sweet setup of defenses faced following the firing of Les Miles. Is the offense really that much better under Ed Orgeron? Or, is it just better statistically because of playing three horrendous defenses, including Arkansas, which is allowing more yards per play in conference than any SEC team in the last decade? What an atypical Bret Bielema team.
  • A rough calculation of the chances that Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State win out.
  • A discussion of the week’s opening betting lines in college football.