College Football 2014: Power Ranking Nick Marshall and the SEC Quarterbacks

Power Ranking Nick Marshall and the SEC Quarterbacks

5/7/14 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Nov 30, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) throws the ball in the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY SportsThe lineup at quarterback in the SEC in 2013 was rather special. Names like AJ McCarron, Johnny Manziel, and Aaron Murray ruled the offensive landscape in the league with their superb play under center.

But 2014 will be a different year for the SEC at the most important position on the field.

That's because those big names, along with a few others, have moved on to the next level, leaving their teams with a huge void to fill.

That means certain quarterbacks around the league will find themselves embracing a new role as a starter, and as if that isn't hard enough in a major conference, they'll have to try and produce the way that their predecessors did.

It's hard to see any of the new QB faces overshadowing those that came before them, but there's plenty of talent around the league at this position.

With all the spring games in the books, let's rank the SEC's projected starting quarterbacks as things stand right now.

1. Nick Marshall (Auburn)

We've already discussed reasons why Marshall is a legitimate Heisman candidate next season. He'll be the primary focus of Gus Malzahn's prolific offensive attack once again, and with Marshall's improvement in passing the ball, he's going to give the Tigers a shot at another SEC title.

2. Maty Mauk (Missouri)

It may surprise some that Mauk is in this spot, but consider how well he played last season in taking over for an injured James Franklin. Sure, Mauk has lost all his weapons from a season ago. However, he's going to play well enough to keep this offense rolling despite the losses.

3. Bo Wallace (Ole Miss)

Consistency is the key for Wallace in the Rebels' offense, and with a potential breakout receiver in Laquon Treadwell on the outside, the senior is due to have a monster season. Wallace's play could very well keep Ole Miss in the SEC West title discussion for most of the year.

4. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State)

Prescott undoubtedly has all the tools to make this year a special one, not only for himself, but for the Bulldogs as well. He might not reach Heisman levels, however, he has a chance to put up some excellent numbers in an improved Mississippi State offense.

5. Jeff Driskel (Florida)

There'a always a lot of risk involved for a player returning from injury. Driskel should be just fine though, and considering that Will Muschamp's job is on the line, he better be because we saw how things turned out without him last season.

6. Hutson Mason (Georgia)

I've already predicted that Georgia will win the SEC East in 2014, and a big reason why is because Mason is going to surprise some people. He looked in control of the offense in the Bulldogs' spring game, so expect that to continue into the fall.

7. Dylan Thompson (South Carolina)

I'm just not as sold on Thompson as others are. Don't get me wrong -- he'll be a solid quarterback for the Gamecocks. But it's going to be extremely difficult for him to do what Connor Shaw did for this team, so perhaps expectations are a little too high at the moment.

8. Jacob Coker (Alabama)

After a horrendous spring for the Alabama quarterbacks, expect Coker to walk right in and take the starting role from Blake Sims. Coker is no McCarron, but he should help make the transition at least a little bit easier.

9. Kyle Allen (Texas A&M)

Although it's still not a lock that Allen wins the position, he certainly has the most upside. The five-star freshman will battle Kenny Hill for the starting spot, but Allen has all the tools to be one of the best QB's in the league sooner rather than later.

10. Anthony Jennings (LSU)

Something tells me that Les Miles will eventually go with the experience of Jennings over the potential of Brandon Harris. If that is indeed the case, Jennings will need to be much better in the fall than he was in the spring.

11. Johnny McCrary (Vanderbilt)

McCrary was simply incredible in Vandy's spring game, which makes it seem like he'll win the starting spot over Patton Robinette. McCrary brings a dual-threat attack that could definitely help give the offense a boost.

12. Brandon Allen (Arkansas)

Even though Arkansas took a lot of beatings last year, the experience could pay off for Allen and this offense. He's shown major signs of improvement, and the Razorbacks need him to be at his best if they are to climb out of the SEC West cellar.

13. Justin Worley (Tennessee)

Despite all the high expectations surrounding Tennessee following the signing of an outstanding recruiting class, problems still persist at quarterback. As with Jennings at LSU, Worley's experience may get him the nod over the other three quarterbacks in the race.

14. Patrick Towles (Kentucky)

Wildcat fans are likely clamoring for freshman phenom Drew Barker to get the start. But Towles looked good in the spring game, and although Kentucky still has ways to go before becoming an SEC contender, it'll be interesting to watch this offense grow next season.

How would you rank the SEC's starting QB's in 2014? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview