10 QB Shockers
5 Pleasant Surprises
- Logan Thomas-VT
Usually a coach would be frantic having to replace the school’s all-time passing leader under center, but Frank Beamer and the VT coaching staff are very excited to see what sophomore Logan Thomas will do as starter this year. The Hokies have a cake-walk opening four games so the first year starter will have all the confidence he needs to face the bulk of the ACC schedule in October. I see Thomas shocking the college football world and turning heads this fall!
- John Brantley-UF
Last year’s mediocre-at-best season for UF was dumped mostly on QB John Brantley. This year Brantley will be back with more experience, a new head coach, and a quarterback guru as offensive coordinator in Charlie Weis. Look for Weis to put Brantley in the same pro-style formations he put Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen in at Notre Dame, and Tom Brady in while coaching fro New England. With more confidence, a playbook molded for his strengths, and a easy opening three weeks, the Gator Nation will finally be able to see the real John Brantley.
- Geno Smith-WVU
With all the supporting elements he has, it was hard to keep Geno Smith off this list. Smith is surrounded by 7 returning starters on offense, including 4 on the line and the Mountaineer’s big play receiver in Tavon Austin. It has also seemed that every question mark about the upcoming season has been fixed during the spring. Smith’s foot injuries are said to be feeling fine, sophomore receiver Ivan McCartney has filled the void at the third receiver spot, and gaping whole left West Virginia’s all-purpose yards leader Noel Devine has been somewhat plugged by junior, Shawne Alston. With everything surrounding him, I will be shocked to see Geno Smith fall short of a superb season.
- Kirk Cousins-MSU
Heading into his senior year, Kirk Cousins is due for a stellar season. With a great running back beside him, and a medley of play-making receivers, Cousins is surrounded by more talent than ever. The 6″3′ pocket passer has an abundance of weapons with him that will make it a whole lot easier to make plays: receiver BJ Cunningham is a few catches away from holding the Spartans all-time record, Keshawn Martin is a senior with great hands, and Bennie Fowler is a sure goal-line target.Cousins will begin the season 2-0 before he enters a crucial games against Notre Dame, look for this game to be a proving ground for the senior QB and his big-time receiving core.
- Bryant Moniz-HWI
You may not know who he is now, but when Bryant Moniz and the Hawaii Warriors go into Washington and knock off the Huskies in week 2, you will be hearing his name.Last year Hawaii had only one loss as Moniz passed for over 5,000 yards and nearly 40 touchdowns! Now, Moniz enters his senior year with virtually a whole new offense, only two other starters from last year return. If Hawaii’s offensive line can hold their own and Moniz avoids injury, look for the senior leader to rely on experienced players to step up and make plays as Hawaii attempts to defend it’s WAC title.
- EJ Manuel-FSU
There is only good ahead for the Seminoles of Florida State, but I do not see EJ Manuel playing a prominant role in that success. Having lost the leader of the offensive line in a four-year starter, the ‘Nole’s offense will receive a whole new identity this fall. Everytime I read of Mauel’s predicted success i think back to the ACC Championship game where the ‘dual-threat quarterback’ displayed scenes off inafficiencient leadership, poor judgement and lack of ability as he led his team to a double-digit loss. This year I see the Seminole Nation hoping for more as they feel the same knot in their stomach after expiriencing dejavu on September 17 against Oklahoma, the same team that stomped FSU last year. With opposing defenses taking away Manuel’s #1 target Bert Reed, he will be forced to make difficult and risky plays as he finds himself without help from a shakey backfield. All in all I see EJ Mauel unable to hold his own, producing far too many turnovers for the Seminoles this season.
- Denard Robinson-Mich
Turn out the lights-the show is over,Denard’s gig has come to an end. The secret(if it was even a secret in the first place) is out, Denard Robinson will kill you running the ball. Every single team Michigan faces this year, including Western Michigan in the opener, will force Denard to hurt them through the air. Although the junior quarterback has both of his top receivers from last year, the Michigan offense is crippled without number 16 being able to run the ball, to say the least. Account for a sub-par backfield and a difficult last half of the season, if the Wolverine’s opponents can even slow down Denard Robinson and force him to be a pocket passer; forget the Heisman buzz and the hopes for a great season for Denard and his ‘maize and blue’ brothers.
- Brandon Weeden-OSU
With arguably the best receiver in the nation on his side and protected by a line that has all returned from last year, the only reason Brandon Weeden is on my disappointment list is because his expectations are so high. Last year Weeden snagged 6 OSU records as he led the cowboys to an 11-2 season with the only two losses coming from close games against Nebraska and Oklahoma.Even if Weeden is on fire I do not see a way that he can live up to the bar set by the Cowboy faithful this season.Weeden will have some challenges when he faces the defenses of Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma this fall, so overall the baseball player turned QB may have some good looking statistics but will not come close to his expectations this fall.
- Matt Barkley-USC
Despite having an offensive guru as head coach and having a skillful combination of playmakers lined out wide, Matt Barkley will consistently put up numbers but will surprise the nation with his inability to produce wins. Not only will the junior QB be forced to react quickly due to a young and inexperienced offensive line but the Trojans will go up against a handful of ferocious defenses this season. The defensive-back corp of Oregon is enough for one QB to handle, now throw in a handful of other Pac-12 defenses and Matt Barkley will without a doubt be tested this season. What looks to be a difficult schedule will mix with an untested offense to create nightmares for Barkley and the Trojans this fall.
- GJ Kinne-Tulsa
Most people have never heard of GJ Kinne yet college football analysts across the map have claimed that the Tulsa QB will be one of the nation’s finest come game-day this year. Even with a returning offensive line and an playbook molded for his abilities, Icannot see Kinne having any success with a schedule that contains Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State. That right there is three sure losses, add in an upset and I cant imagine a sports fan that would call a four-loss senior season a success, let alone that of a highly praised prospect. With that reasoning alone, Ipronounce GJ Kinne and the Tulsa Hurricanes a one-hit-wonder of the college football world.