6 Pre-season SEC takes compared to the week 5 reality by Tom Borrett

After joining the College Football writing team at TheFull10Yards I immediately got to work on my 2019 SEC season preview. I think it’s safe to say there weren’t too much many shocks, Alabama v Georgia in the SEC championship game, Arkansas and Vanderbilt propping up the table, Tua continuing his form from last season, but what about the ones that were wide of the mark?

A few of my takes have turned out to be slightly wrong. A few takes have been proved completely wrong. Then again, there are a few others that make it seem like I may actually know a little something about SEC football. This week I’m bringing you a comparison article, a look at six takes from my sneak peek preview and how they have aged through week four of CFB150. So, pour that fresh cup of coffee, sit back in your chair and enjoy laughing at, and agreeing with me.

Take 1 – Georgia to win the SEC East

I think It’s safe to say that as long as we don’t see a couple of freak upsets I will have got this spot on, not that that’s necessarily an impressive take, if you asked any SEC fan pre-season, in fact most college football fans preseason, who would win the East? I think UGA would have been the clear leader.

The Bulldogs defence did a great job this past weekend at holding – still top ten ranked – Notre Dame to a total of 46 yards on the ground and as discussed on Tuesday night’s CFB pod, my guy Jake Fromm continues to lead from the front.

The Georgia schedule isn’t particularly difficult between now and the SEC championship game, they will have to face a Mizzou team and Kelly Bryant who seem to be growing and improving by the week, TAMU and Kellen Mond who I’m sure will continue to improve as the season goes on and a Florida team who are still unbeaten but have some injury problems.You may ask why I have ruled out 4-0 and 9th ranked Florida from the East title race, but it’s simple. They are yet to play Auburn, Georgia and LSU. I know that Georgia has tough match ups remaining but the likelihood of Florida beating those three? Very slim in my opinion. I could however put forth an argument for each of those other three teams beating one and other, I just can’t see Florida doing so.

Take score: 9/10

I’m pretty confident Georgia wins the East.

2 – Alabama to win the SEC West

I never thought I’d say this but I’m slightly less confident in Alabama reaching the SEC championship game than I am Georgia right now… although, when you look at the strength of the West that’s not surprising.

Alabama are 4-0 and haven’t moved from their pre-season national ranking of #2, however they have two conference rivals who have climbed the rankings and are snapping at their heels (If only that could have been a Gators reference). #4 LSU and #7 Auburn both look strong.

Auburn have beaten a very good Oregon team on a neutral field and most recently and perhaps more impressively, a win on the road in College Station against, despite two losses (Clemson and now Auburn) a very good Texas A&M side.

Over in Death Valley, LSU have gone off so far this season, they have had a strong defence for a long as time but have been very one dimensional in simply running the football down the oppositions throat. Enter the 2019 Joe Burrow, this kid is on fire, he is throwing TD’s for fun and is currently a stand out Heisman candidate. This means I have the West as a three-horse race, and the great thing about it is they all have to play each other! Imagine an unbeaten Alabama v unbeaten LSU on November 9 or an unbeaten Auburn v Bama in the Iron Bowl in the final game of the season – madness!

Take Score: 7/10

I still think Alabama have the best chance of going unbeaten with Tua and his WR group but this may be closer than first expected!

3 – Georgia to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game

It’s clearly still way too early to deliver a more informed take on this, what I would say is that after watching the Bulldog’s performance against Notre Dame, they may be getting there defensively but they would definitely need to score more points against the Crimson Tide.

Tua and his group of receivers; Jeudy, Waddle, Smith and Rugs III are elite and no matter how good your secondary they will score points on you.Currently I’d be more confident in an LSU win over Bama simply for that reason and their ability to score points through Burrow so far this season.

Take Score: 5/10

Too early to call really however if they played tomorrow, I’m not sure UGA would win.

4 – Tennessee to be the most improved team in the conference

If we could swiftly move over this point that would be great… to be fair I said in my pre-season review that I had no idea which way to go with the Vols, they have had a couple of really strong recruiting classes and I was hoping it was going to start to click. However; an opening loss to group of five opponent Georgia State followed by and OT loss to BYU proved I may be very wrong on this call. Tennessee went on to beat Chattanooga convincingly – as you’d expect any SEC team to do – yet showed no signs of improvement at all against Florida at the weekend leaving them 1-3 for the year. To add insult to injury Jeremy Pruitt announced on Wednesday that WR Jordan Murphy and CB Terrell Bailey would be red-shirting the rest of the season and entering the transfer portal. So with seven out of their eight remaining fixtures being against SEC competition the rest of the season doesn’t look bright for the Vols. Let’s take a moment to pray for the Tennessee football fan base as two of those remaining SEC fixtures are against Alabama and Georgia.

Take Score: 0/10

I had a shocker with this one.

5 – Missouri to be 8-0 before playing Georgia and to finish with 9 wins.

So this looked like a terrible call week one as Mizzou went 0-1 in a 37-31 defeat at the hands of Wyoming. Yet since then, they have beaten West Virginia convincingly, blown out SEMO (as to be expected) and last weekend took a big W over SEC rivals South Carolina. I said at the start of the season that I really liked Kelly Bryant at QB and I thought Mizzou would go 8-0 before Georgia. This team is certainly growing and learning how to play with each other. Bryant has looked sharp since week two and I am fairly confident that they will beat; Troy, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky which will take them to 7-1 before the UGA game as oppose to my predicted 8-0.

I like this team and I think 7-1 compared to an 8-0 preseason call isn’t bad going, we’ll have to sit tight and see how the Tigers go but I’m pretty happy with this take.

Take Score: 7/10

If they get to 7-1 before UGA I’m almost certain they will end win at least 9 wins (Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas left to play) If they finish with 10 wins I’m upgrading this to a 9/10 score!

6 – Texas A&M to win at Clemson week two

Shall I just score this 0/10 and leave it there….?

To be fair, whilst it was a bold call, I don’t think it was one that was completely unbelievable. If you believed the Aggies pre-season hype and listened to Kellen Mond at SEC media day, you’d have every right to think there was a small chance. Plus; they ran them very close last season, Trevor Lawrence didn’t have the greatest game week one and I do think Jimbo’s Aggies will be a very good team in the next season or two. TAMU also kept it at 0-0 in the first quarter, held them to 7 in the third and 0 in the fourth. It was the Second Quarter where they conceded 17 that killed the game for them. The problem here was Mond didn’t have a great game, Clemson weren’t incredible, but their defence was as solid as usual. Overall a very hopeful but poor take from me.

Take Score: 2/10

I’m giving myself a two because I tipped TheFull10Yards family to back Texas A&M +17.5 and they did only lose by 14.

So there you have it, six preseason takes compared with the current reality of the 2019 College Football season. Huge thank you for the support you’re showing the Full10Yards CFB guys, we’re really enjoying putting the weekly pod out and providing you with some College Football Content. Give us a follow on twitter @Full10yardsCFB – you can find me at @BlogsBoz for more SEC content and general College Football chat.

Kash Daniel – Where do you draw the line? By Tom Borrett

I think it’s safe to say we are all fans of CFB players that have that little extra something; intensity, a competitive edge, supreme physicality however where do you draw the line? Should the desire to win and temptation to cheat ever outweigh the core values of sport? I think not.

Kash Daniel LB University of Kentucky is an outstanding player, a team captain and has a reputation of let’s face it, being absolutely mental. He is fearless, he leads from the front and he is definitely not one to shy away from contact.

In last Saturday’s matchup between UK and Florida Kash was caught on the skycam seemingly twisting Kyle Trask’s ankle. Trask reacted in a way that certainly made me, as a viewer, sit back and take note. On being asked about the incident since Saturday Kash has stated that his arm was stuck under one of the linemen and the ankle twist was unintentional. He stated he would never intentionally twist someone’s ankle or injure a fellow player.

On Thursday however, new footage emerged. A side-line camera angle was able to show the full incident as it occurred on the ground. Trask was stopped on a 3rd and short QB keep just two yards from the Kenutcky endzone, Danielsl is involved in the tackle and ends up on top of him.

You can quite clearly see from the footage that not only is Kash’s arm free and clearly not stuck underneath the lineman as he initially suggested but he uses BOTH hands to grab the boot/ankle of Trask, he then proceeds to forcefully twist his ankle.

Now I’ve played contact sports my entire life and have played Rugby to Academy level and represented the region where I grew up. I have seen red on the pitch before, I have been in rucks where foul play has occurred and I would be a liar and a hypocrite if I said I hadn’t retaliated myself.

I get it.

The adrenaline is pumping, you are in a physical battle, you feel like perhaps you’ve been wronged, and you want some revenge. This isn’t it though.

The issue I have with the Kash situation is he has obviously seen the sky cam footage, which is a little inconclusive, he obviously doesn’t think there is another angle and he has then lied to the press, teammates and coaching staff. 

He clearly knew what he was doing, it was unprovoked, but to potentially injure a fellow young athlete is wrong, to then lie and say it was unintentional knowing full well what he did is a straight red.

I wouldn’t go as far as some commenters saying he should lose his scholarship or anything like that, as mentioned I would be a hypocrite, he’s an athlete playing at the highest level and he plays on the edge anyway, these thing happen, people lose control. The lying about it is the main issue I have.

Kash should definitely serve some form of ban – three matches for me. 

CFB Team Preseason Top 25’s

With the week 1 schedule of games kicking off later on tonight, the college football team have put together their Top 25’s and some of them even threw in their final four and bowl game predictions.

Let us know what you think!

 Preseason Top 25

  1. Alabama 
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma 
  4. Georgia 
  5. Ohio State
  6. Oregon
  7. Notre Dame 
  8. LSU
  9. Utah
  10. Florida
  11. Washington
  12. Texas
  13. Auburn
  14. Stanford 
  15. Virginia 
  16. Miami 
  17. Michigan State 
  18. Texas A&M
  19. Michigan 
  20. Iowa
  21. Syracuse 
  22. UCF
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Boise State 
  25. Cincinnati 

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB  Playoff

#1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon – Peach Bowl

#2 Clemson vs. #3 Oklahoma – Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State vs. Utah – Rose Bowl

Georgia vs. Texas – Sugar Bowl

Miami vs. LSU – Orange Bowl

Notre Dame vs. UCF – Cotton Bowl

Preseason Top 25

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. LSU
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Florida
  9. Oregon
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Washington
  12. Michigan
  13. Auburn
  14. Utah
  15. UCF
  16. Texas
  17. Iowa State
  18. Missouri 
  19. Michigan State
  20. Penn State
  21. Minnesota
  22. Syracuse
  23. Iowa
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Boise State

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB Playoff 

#1 Clemson vs #4 Alabama – Peach Bowl

#2 Ohio State vs #3 Georgia – Fiesta Bowl

Notre Dame vs UCF – Cotton Bowl

Virginia Tech vs Florida – Orange Bowl

Minnesota vs Oregon – Rose Bowl

Oklahoma vs LSU – Sugar Bowl

Preseason Top 25

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. LSU
  6. Ohio State
  7. Oregon
  8. Texas
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Florida
  11. Michigan
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Utah
  14. Washington
  15. Auburn
  16. UCF
  17. Penn St
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Michigan St
  20. Iowa
  21. Syracuse
  22. Washington St
  23. Iowa St
  24. Missouri
  25. Stanford

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB Playoff

#1 Georgia vs. #4 Clemson – Peach Bowl

#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Alabama – Fiesta Bowl

Ohio St vs. Oregon – Rose Bowl

LSU vs. Texas – Sugar Bowl

Miami vs. Florida – Orange Bowl

UCF vs. Notre Dame – Cotton Bowl 

Preseason Top 25

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State
  6. Texas
  7. Michigan
  8. Oregon
  9. LSU
  10. Utah
  11. Florida
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Washington
  15. Auburn
  16. Penn State
  17. UCF
  18. Syracuse 
  19. Michigan State
  20. Wisconsin 
  21. Iowa 
  22. Washington State
  23. Iowa State
  24. Stanford
  25. Nebraska 

No NY6 Bowls Predicted. 

Follow us on Twitter @Full10YardsCFB

Follow the boys on Twitter:

Lee: @Wakefield90 | Tom: @BlogsBoz | Thomas: @Rowberry_ | Trevor: @tgriswold1

SEC Preview by Tom Borrett

The SEC Preview

The Southeastern Conference, where do I begin? I mean, it just means more right? Both the West and the East are absolutely stacked with talent. 11 of the 13 teams went bowling last year, six teams are present in the CFB coaches’ top 25 preseason rankings and results last year show that anyone can beat anyone on their day. We have a vast amount to get excited about this season; multiple players who will be competing for the Heisman, Coaches hoping to prove they now own their programmes and can produce the results needed, as well as talented players joining the conference through the transfer portal. 

Sooo many questions…

Will Alabama and Georgia meet in the conference decider again? Can Jake Fromm finally take the Bulldogs past the Crimson Tide? How will Kelly Bryant perform going home to Missouri? Will Jimbo and the Aggies be able to safely navigate their way through their extremely tough schedule? Can Auburn and Florida live up to expectations and challenge this year? Will Joe Burrow and the offense at LSU be able to produce the same quality produced by their awesome defence? Can Kentucky back up 2018 without Josh Allen & Benny Snell Jr? Will Coach Muschamp deliver in his fourth year at SC? I could go on for hours… but let’s get into it  

Looking back at 2018

So 2018 was dominated again by those boys from Tuscaloosa. Alabama won the SEC West and went 14-1 with their only loss coming to Clemson in the National Championship Game. Georgia gave them a close-run SEC championship match-up where Alabama needed an intervention from back-up QB Jalen Hurts to take the OT win, but apart from that, no one in the SEC really looked like challenging.

Elsewhere in the West there are notable mentions for LSU and Texas A&M, not only because they treated us to a 72-74, seven OT thriller but they finished second and third respectively. Both finished with conference records of 5-3, LSU didn’t lose a non-conference match and also defeated the 25-0 UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl whilst TAMU finished nicely with a four-game win streak.

Over in the East, Georgia dominated, (apart from that championship game against Bama and their away loss in Baton Rouge) they made light work of the rest of the conference. Georgia went 7-0 at home last season plus Jake Fromm firmly confirmed that the Bulldogs are his team.

Big shout out in the East goes to Florida and Kentucky, both teams finished with a 5-3 conference record like their 2nd and 3rd place equivalents in the West and took some significant scalps along the way. Florida were unbeaten on the road at 4-0 and UK made Kroger Field a fortress going 6-1 with the only loss coming to that strong Georgia side.

Oh… and just to reiterate my point that on their given day anyone really can beat anyone in the SEC, last season; LSU beat Georgia, Texas A&M beat LSU, Auburn beat Texas A&M while Tennessee beat Auburn. Tennessee also beat Kentucky, but UK had a great season and beat Mississippi State, Florida and South Carolina. Mississippi State beat Auburn but lost to Florida, and then Tennessee got beat by Missouri, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. It’s a madness!

What should you expect for 2019?

I’m coming straight back at you with an Alabama v Georgia SEC championship game, what a surprise…. In fairness there has been a lot of talk about Florida taking Georgia in the East this year however come the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on November 2 I think the Bulldogs will prove too strong for the Gators. 

Alabama are still the football powerhouse they always have been under Nick Saban, the depth down in Tuscaloosa means even when they lose good players to the NFL guys are lining up and ready to be counted. The have last season’s Heisman Runner-up Tua Tagoviloa returning in the QB spot, Tua told the press at SEC Media day that he is arguably in the best shape he’s ever been in having dropped down to 215lbs from 230lbs before Spring-practice begun. His eye will be set firmly on the National Championship and the Heisman trophy in what will be his last season before heading to the draft.

Elsewhere on the roster there are studs everywhere you turn, Jerry Jeudy is the best WR in the nation in my opinion and if he can have a season with even better stats than 68 receptions for 1315 yds and 14 TD’s he may even put himself in Heisman contention with the pool of talented QB’s around the nation. 

Defensively’ players like Xavier McKinney and Raekwon Davis will keep this strong Alabama defence hard to beat and keep an eye out for LB Dylan Moses, wow, ranked as the no.1 recruit in his 2017 class, Moses will be key to the Bama D. Check out Lee’s article on Supply lines and Alabama LB’s here.

As mentioned, I think they will meet the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship decider. If there is a season that Georgia are going to go all the way, it’s got to be this one, right? Jake Fromm returning, Heisman hopeful, arguably the best leader in the country – Check out my piece on the race to the Heisman here – and with the experience of a National Championship and SEC championship loss in consecutive seasons at the hand of Alabama you’d hope this time he will be able to deliver… third time lucky?

The Bulldogs lost some seriously talented receivers in Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin but in my opinion they have the best O-Line in all of college football. This is going to create space for elite running back De’Andre Swift and five-star recruit Zamir White who was the number one ranked player in High School Football 2018. The O-Line should also allow Fromm a little extra time on the ball to pick out those less experienced receivers. 

Florida were the most improved team in all of the SEC last year and are heading in to year two of Dan Mullen’s reign off the back of a ten-win season. Feleipe Franks has shown us he can throw the football and seemed to be a new, much more confident, man at SEC media day. Whilst I think Franks and the Gators will get the better of many next season, I have Georgia down in Jacksonville on what I’m sure will be the SEC East decider.

Looking back to the West

Both LSU and Texas A&M have strong teams again. Coach O is in Baton Rouge to stay and Jimbo moves in to year two of his programme, but how will they fair?

Firstly I’ll touch on TAMU, despite really liking the Aggie’s I am finding it hard to see them winning the magic 10 games this season. Matches against Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and LSU stand out as to reasons why it may be unfeasible. I think they can definitely get one win out of these four and I have a sneaky feeling it may come against National Champions Clemson. TAMU pushed Clemson very close at Kyle Field last year and they play them early on again this season, if they hit the ground running, they could cause an upset that will have a dramatic knock on effect on the College Football Playoffs. 

When it comes to LSU, well, I think their schedule means they won’t finish top of the West with tough matches against Texas, Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M – I certainly don’t think they will win out – However I do think they will be a top ten team this season and with Joe Burrow returning perhaps they do have a recipe for an attack on that top spot… because the LSU Defence is outrageous!

Keep a particularly close eye out for Safety, Grant Delpit – Coach O said at SEC media day that he genuinely believes Delpit is the best Defensive Back returning to College Football and boy does his stats from last season prove it. He had 46 solo tackles, 9.5 for a loss – as a Safety! – 5 sacks and 5 interceptions. He will be a first round NFL pick for sure.

Sleeper team 

There has been a lot of talk about Auburn being the sleeper team in the SEC West but again I think their schedule will prove too tough. They have one of the best Defensive units in the nation with a line led by seniors Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson as well as Junior Nick Coe. 

They are going to have either a redshirt or true Freshman at the helm, personally I think Bo Nix wins the battle this season but whether he has what it takes against an experienced Oregon side and first round NFL prospect Justin Herbert opening day will be another story. They also have to navigate their way past Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Alabama. I think their absolute ceiling is 8 wins this year.

For my sleeper pick in the SEC this year you have to look East to Missouri, bold take but I genuinely believe they could be 8-0 before they have to play Georgia and Florida back to back. Mizzou aren’t bowl eligible this year and many players were targeted in the transfer portal… but they remained. Not only did players remain but they have star quarterback Kelly Bryant joining from Clemson who, let’s be honest, has only moved on because a certain Trevor Lawrence seems to be on another planet.

Bryant is going to offer much more than an improved passing game, he’s a dual threat QB who has the ability to take off and make things happen on the ground. If key defensive players like LB Cale Garrett play to their potential, then Coach Odom and Mizzou’s nothing to lose attitude may upset the apple cart this season.

What’s your take on these?

Kentucky obviously had a great season in 2018, they only lost at home once and that was to Georgia and they went on to beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl to top off a successful 10-3 season. This year however, may be a bit of a challenge. Kentucky had five players drafted in to the NFL, that’s the most in one draft since 1979 where eight players were selected. They lost defensive powerhouse and leader Josh Allen who was drafted 7th overall, along with RB Benny Snell Jr who went in round 4. Lonnie Johnson Jr., Mike Edwards, and George Asafo-Adjei made up the five and I simply cannot see Kentucky filling these very big shoes. Kentucky to fall in the rankings this season.

Will Muschamp feels that he has his strongest side to date and as he moves in to his fourth year programme at South Carolina, he now has a full squad of players recruited by him and his staff. One date you should definitely add to your diary is November 30th where the Gamecock’s host rivals Clemson. Muschamp was asked about being the ‘little brother’ now to Clemson and his response was clear – We are not the little brother, OK – don’t miss that one folks.

Mississippi State have a relatively straight forward schedule this year, so I have the over under on wins this year at 7.5. I don’t however think they will be good enough to beat Auburn, LSU, Bama and TAMU so they won’t be in contention in the SEC West.

Help me on the Vols!

Tennessee are driving me mad this pre-season! Obviously, they will hope to be an improved team and I think they could potentially be a surprise package this season. Moving into the second year under Jeremy Pruitt the Vols will be looking to improve on their 5-7 record last year. The only way is up right? Well… maybe not, there is a more-than-likely chance they will lose to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and my sleeper team Missouri… that’s four L’s right there.

But will they? There is a lot to get excited about, they beat Auburn and an in-form Kentucky last season and they have lured in a top-quality recruiting class ranking 10th in the nation. Included in that is Henry To’oto’o who they have stolen from Alabama and they also have Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright who are both five-star offensive tackles. 

Propping up the bottom

Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas…. I’m conscious that this piece is getting pretty lengthy now, so I won’t keep you much longer. For me I can’t see vast improvements at Vanderbilt, Ole Miss or Arkansas, I mean… Arkansas will improve I’m sure after an 0-8 conference record last year, but I think their absolute ceiling is 6-5. Ole Miss are going through a bit of a rebuilding patch and Vandy aren’t getting more than 6 wins. 

To conclude…

Breaking it all down, and making ridiculously early predictions for this season I’m taking;

  • Georgia to win the SEC East
  • Alabama to win the SEC West
  • Georgia to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game. 
  • Tennessee to be the most improved team in the conference
  • Missouri to be 8-0 before playing Georgia and Florida and finishing with 9 wins
  • Texas A&M to beat Clemson (I know that’s technically non-conference)

Thanks for your time in reading this piece, I will be covering the SEC this season so please feel free to tweet me at @BlogsBoz with anything you’d like me to cover.

Follow @Full10YardsCFB on Twitter

QB1 Its impact on the transfer portal, the QB race for the Heisman and the Fromm effect – By Tom Borrett

The 2019 College football season will see a pool of very talented Quarterbacks, some who will be looking to build on their successes last year, as well as a number of guys hoping to have that all important breakout season. There are at least four QB’s playing at typically top 25 ranked teams that have benefitted from the transfer portal and when delving deeper into their stories I became fascinated by the role players featured in the Netflix documentary QB1: Beyond the Lights have played in this particular crop of QB’s.

QB 1: Beyond the Lights gave us an insight into some of the highest ranked High School Quarterbacks in the country all playing in their senior year before heading to college. It’s interesting to see how three of the stars from series one and two are going to have a big impact on the 2019 college football season.

In fact; two stars of the show have been heavily involved in much of the talk around the transfer portal and the other has quite frankly had a direct impact on both of those two moves. 

Season one of the show introduces Gatorade high school player of the year Tate Martell, demonstrating his flashy skills, electric pace and confident personality coming out of High School Football powerhouse Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas. The Ohio State commit seemed destined for greatness and glory; well his ego certainly lived up to the hype as Tate didn’t lose a single High school match.

Also featured in season one was Georgia native Jake Fromm, a natural born leader with an extremely competitive edge who’d committed to Kirby Smart’s Bulldog’s and has since fended off tough competition but made the QB1 position his own.

Tate Martell redshirted his first year with the Buckeyes preserving his 4 years of eligibility having had no game time in the 2017 season but hoped to battle it out with Dwayne Haskins in 2018.

Meanwhile Back in Athens, Jake Fromm – who took over from the injured Jacob Eason after game one – made the starting spot his own, eventually leading the 12-1 (regular season) Georgia Bulldogs to the National Championship game where they faced Alabama. Georgia lost in OT due to some late magic produced by another freshman Tua Tagovailoa (you’ll see how he’s affected this year’s transfer portal shortly).

The outstanding break out season by Fromm led to the previous starter Jacob Eason – also a five star high school recruit – submitting a transfer request out of Athens to go and join the Washington Huskies. Eason’s transfer to the Huskies meant he would have to redshirt the 2018 season as per NCAA rules, interestingly that same rule hasn’t been applied to the two high profile QB1 transfers this season…

As we moved on to the 2018 season, college football was introduced to star of season two of QB1: Beyond the Lights – Justin Fields. As the number one ranked high school player in the country, Fields – also a Georgia commit – followed Jake Fromm to Athens to compete for the top spot with the goal of pushing his competition to the side.

Despite a few snaps, Justin Fields had no luck in displacing Fromm from his starting spot at Georgia – Jake continued to show dominance and this ultimately led Fields to make the decision to leave for the 2019 season – ‘and then there was Fromm’.

Back in the Big Ten Tate still had no success in Columbus as the Buckeyes were led by the man who would become last year’s Heisman third place recipient, Dwayne Haskins. Haskins of course has gone on to be drafted as the number 15 overall pick by the Washington Redskins, the third QB in the draft, runner up only to Daniel Jones and last year’s Heisman winner Kyler Murray.

Two years on and as we approach the start of the 2019 FBS season the stories behind the stars of QB1 become even more intertwined. You’d think that with Haskins out of the picture Martell would step up and be the man for the Buckeyes but with Urban Meyer retiring and Justin Fields deciding to head to Columbus, Martell’s uncertain future meant that he was looking for a way out.

Tate entered the portal and it wasn’t too long before he’d committed to heading to Coral Gables in an attempt to bring back the U.

Jake Fromm’s dominance at Georgia had now forced two five star recruits out of Athens, with one heading to Washington and one to Ohio State, the knock on effect of the later meaning QB1 star Tate Martell was now being pushed out to Miami. 

See, it all comes back to Fromm.

Elsewhere, the transfer portal has also been put to good use across the conferences. Tua Tagovailoa’s 3,996 passing yards and 43 touchdowns at Alabama meant that Jalen Hurts would be on the move for his graduate year. Over at Clemson, Trevor Lawrence pushed starter Kelly Bryant in to the Portal with an outstanding freshman season seeing him throw for 3,280 yards, 30 TD’s, only 4 interceptions and a win in the national championship game – all of this despite him not being named the starter until game five of the regular season. 

Kelly Bryant is going home to Missouri and I doubt he’ll pose much of a threat when it comes to the Heisman however; I am really excited to see what happens with Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma.

Hurts was the ultimate team man last year. After being replaced by Tua in the 2018 National Championship Game he spent the season in a supporting role but boy did he deliver when he needed to most. With the Crimson Tide trailing to (that man again) Jake Fromm and the Bulldogs in the SEC championship game, Hurts was rotated in and lead Nick Saban’s men to victory. 

Hurts is heading to arguably the best programme in the country for a college football Quarterback, after all Oklahoma have produced the previous two Heisman trophy winners and number one overall draft picks for the NFL in; Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray – with a strong offensive line and QB coaching expertise, could we really see Oklahoma and Hurts make it three in a row?

(If you would like to read more about the Sooners lineage of QB’s, including Jalen Hurts’ potential Heisman bid, have a read of this)

As you can see; the QB contest and potentially the battle for the Heisman is going to be an exciting one to watch this year. You don’t have to look too far around the conferences to find some other stand out QB’s – whilst I don’t think their programmes, twinned with excellence at other schools, will be good enough to get them near to the top spot, keep an eye out for likes of; Kellen Mond, Justin Herbert and Sam Ehlinger.

Kellen Mond was impressive at Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher’s men played some great football last season proving to be tough competition for Clemson – if you want to go by SEC media day, Kellen has already said ‘he is the best QB in the SEC’.

Pay attention to Justin Herbert at Oregon, Justin returns to the Ducks after speculation that he would enter the 2019 NFL draft and comes off of the back of a 3,159 passing yards season with 29 touchdowns, not to mention he also has the size and stature of a prototypical NFL quarterback on his side.

Sam Ehlinger will also be a legitimate Heisman contender and has already been named in the All-Big 12 selection as voted for by those in the media that cover the league, he also set a school record last year of 16 rushing touchdowns as a QB.

Despite this class selection of talented Quarterbacks, ultimately I think that the race to the Heisman Trophy will be decided between Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, Jalen Hurts and Jake Fromm – I give an outside chance to Justin Fields at Ohio State but we really won’t know how the Buckeye’s will look until we see them tested. It’s an unpopular opinion but if Manny Diaz really can ‘bring back the U’ who’s to say that Tate Martell won’t throw his hat in the ring? He clearly has the pedigree to be a top college QB and if he wins the starting spot at Miami and is given protection up front he will most certainly be an exciting watch this year.

Personally however, for me, it all comes back to Fromm.

Whilst Jake may not have put up as impressive numbers as favourites Tua and Lawrence last year, he is arguably the best leader in the country. If Georgia continue to win game after game and are able to defeat Alabama in the SEC championship Jake will definitely be in contention. He has fought off two five star recruits in Eason and Fields forcing both in to the transfer portal, he led the Bulldogs to the National Championship game as a freshman and only just lost out in the SEC championship game to arguably one of the best Alabama teams we have seen last year. The Georgia Bulldogs really are his team.

Even though it’s too early to call, my money is on one man lifting the prize in Manhattan next December, and that’s Jake Fromm.


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