The NCAA football season is just over a month away from the opening kickoff. Teams’ rosters have changed from last year as players have left to enter the NFL draft or graduated and moved on.
If you look at the futures for the College Football Playoff on Bovada or sportsbook.com, you will see most of the contenders have at least one thing in common: experience at quarterback.
One example that jumps out at once is Florida State. The Seminoles on betonline and topbet are No. 1 choice on the futures board.
Much of that is due to Florida State having Jameis Winston last season’s Heisman Trophy winner returning under center.
On the flip side, Winston also is an example that experience does not always matter, since last season he was a freshman and led the team to a BCS National Championship.
Here are 5 schools facing key changes at quarterback and one just might lead their team to a national title:
- Alabama for the past four seasons has had A.J. McCarron under center. However, McCarron has moved on to the NFL and will be replaced by Jacob Coker who transferred from FSU. Coker has good size and can move in the pocket. Coker is surrounded with offensive weapons so he does not have to be great, just limit his mistakes.
- Huston Mason will replace Aaron Murray at Georgia this season. Mason started two games last season after Murray went down with a tear in his ACL. Mason is a fifth-year senior and looked sharp during the spring. He will have help from two, top running backs that will shoulder much of the offensive load.
- Tommy Rees will be replaced as the quarterback at Notre Dame by former starter Everett Golson. Golson as a freshman led the Fighting Irish to the BCS Championship game in 2012, but he was suspended from the team last season. In 2012 when he was a starter, Golson ended the season 10-1.
- Dylan Thompson will take the place of Connor Shaw at quarterback for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Thompson in 2012 threw for 310 yards with 3 TDs against Clemson. His touchdown pass was a game winner against Michigan that season as well. He is filling big shoes, as Shaw had a touchdown to interception ratio in 2013 of 24 to 1.
- Tajh Boyd will be hard to replace at Clemson, but Cole Stoudt will likely get the nod to do so over Deshaun Watson. Stoudt is a senior and will be pushed by Watson a true freshman. Stoudt or Watson will help the Tigers, but the team will not score an average of over 40 points per game as they have done for two straight seasons.