Alabama has not needed Jalen Hurts in the same way it did last year, and Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald is back to his touchdown scoring ways. That combination resulted in a change atop the “greatness” leaderboard this week.
Other notable quarterbacks include Missouri’s Drew Lock, who continues to climb despite his team’s subpar performance, and Ole Miss’ Shea Patterson, who is done for the season with a torn PCL.
To give you an idea of how our custom formula (QBG) works, here are the core factors:
- Passing yardage
- Rushing yardage/sack yardage
- Total points (touchdowns plus team conversions)
- Efficiency (output vs. above-average number of attempts)
- Strength of opponent
- Era (output pitted against contemporary stats)
Note: This is not a ranking of the “best” quarterbacks with the tightest spirals or the quickest decision-making abilities or the fastest 40 times. It’s about “greatness,” that all-important factor that — until now — was unquantifiable.
Here’s how the SEC QB rankings shake out entering Week 8 (key below):
⬆️⬆️⬆️ Major mover
⬆️ Notable mover
🔥 Consecutive great games
❄️ Consecutive disappointing games
⛔️ Negative score in most recent game
1. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State ⬆️
National ranking: No. 9. Fitzgerald has been Superman in Mississippi State’s five victories, but has disappeared during the Bulldogs’ two losses. His numbers in MSU’s defeats (3.9 yards per throw, 1 total touchdown, 4 interceptions) have been abysmal, and threaten to keep him behind Alabama’s Jalen Hurts in the All-SEC race. For now, though, he’s back in the national top 10 thanks in part to a few quiet weeks from Hurts.
2. Jalen Hurts, Alabama
National ranking: No. 12. Alabama continues to dominate its opponents, and it’s doing so without major contributions from its starting quarterback. At this time last year, Hurts had recorded 21 total touchdowns and at least six games of 250-plus combined yards. Compare that to this fall (15 scores and three such games) and it’s clear the Crimson Tide are not leaning on him like they used to.
3. Drew Lock, Missouri ⬆️🔥
National ranking: No. 20. Lock is in the midst of an impressive offensive explosion. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes against 2 interceptions over the past three games, including a strong performances against pass defenses (Kentucky and Georgia) that have not yielded nearly as much to other quarterbacks this season. His numbers against Idaho (467 yards and 6 touchdowns) were inflated, of course, but it’s clear the Tigers offense is dangerous again.
4. Shea Patterson, Ole Miss ⛔️
National ranking: No. 32. Is this a forever kind of goodbye? Patterson tore his PCL against LSU and is done for the season. But looming NCAA sanctions — and a potential coaching change at year’s end — might mean the sophomore is done at Ole Miss, period. Rebels fans hope Patterson and his family will remain loyal to the program despite the troubling number of unknowns at the moment.
5. Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt
National ranking: No. 39. Shurmur has been streaky and mostly unable to match scores with opponents as Vandy’s defense has fallen apart. But the bye week might re-focus the Commodores, especially given that South Carolina has a less-than-potent offense. This weekend looms large as Derek Mason’s once-promising team attempts to earn bowl eligibility.
6. Danny Etling, LSU
National ranking: No. 42. Danny Etling, touchdown machine? The fifth-year senior has never been much of a points producer, but he accounted for 3 scores Saturday, the first time he’d done so since last October vs. Southern Miss. It had been nearly four years since he accomplished the feat against a Power 5 opponent (in November 2013, he threw 4 touchdowns in a Purdue loss to Indiana).
7. Jake Fromm, Georgia
National ranking: No. 53. In an effort to keep up with Drew Lock and the Missouri passing offense, Georgia opened its playbook a bit in a 53-28 win over the Tigers earlier this month. Fromm hit the 300-yard mark for the first time (he had never thrown for more than 201 yards in a game) and — outside of an ugly interception — mostly had his way through the air. Florida’s defense presents a tougher challenge, though, and the Bulldogs are likely to return to a run-heavy approach in Jacksonville.
8. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
National ranking: No. 60. Stidham is not doing the heavy lifting for run-happy Auburn. He’s averaging 1.25 touchdowns per game, and has not hit the 20-completion mark or 300-yard passing mark against an FBS opponent. That could change following the bye week, as Auburn travels to Texas A&M on Nov. 4 and hosts Georgia in a heavyweight matchup Nov. 11.
9. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
National ranking: No. 65. Outside of a fun final 17 minutes against Alabama, the Texas A&M offense has been disappointing over its past two games. The Aggies managed just 1 touchdown against Florida, relying on defense and special teams to carry them to a last-minute victory. Mond and his offensive companions have a chance to reverse course this weekend against Mississippi State, which has already allowed Auburn and Georgia to run wild.
10. Jake Bentley, South Carolina
National ranking: No. 78. Bentley has struggled to carry the Gamecocks since do-it-all star Deebo Samuel went down in September. He’s been solid, but his play has failed to cross into “spectacular” territory in any one game. His performance two weeks ago at Tennessee (5.3 yards per attempt, 129 passing yards, zero touchdowns) was particularly troubling, though a matchup against Vanderbilt’s porous defense this Saturday could provide a spark.
11. Stephen Johnson, Kentucky (5.52)
12. Austin Allen, Arkansas (3.49)
13. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (2.95) ⬆️
14. Feleipe Franks, Florida (2.83) ❄️
15. Quinten Dormady, Tennessee (1.96)
16. Cole Kelley, Arkansas (1.55)
17. Keytaon Thompson, Mississippi State (1.19) ⬆️
18. Malik Willis, Auburn (0.91)
19. Luke Del Rio, Florida (0.58)
20. Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee (0.47) ❄️⛔️
21. Myles Brennan, LSU (0.29)
22. Deuce Wallace, Vanderbilt (0.27)
23. Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss (0.234) ⬆️
24. Malik Zaire, Florida (0.230)
25. Jake Hubenak, Texas A&M (0.11)
26. Nick Starkel, Texas A&M (0.09)
27. Micah Wilson, Missouri (0.048) ⬆️
28. Jacob Eason, Georgia (0.046)
29. Drew Barker, Kentucky (0.016)
30. Devin Adams, Auburn (0.011)
31. Shawn Stankavage, Vanderbilt (0.00)
32. Brice Ramsey, Georgia (-0.33)
Top 10 greatest single-game QB performances
|1||Nick Fitzgerald, MSU||vs. #12 LSU||23 — 180 — 2 — 0||14 — 88 — 2||21.24|
|2||Drew Lock, MIZ||@ #4 UGA||25 — 253 — 4 — 1||2 — 15 — 0||11.05|
|3||Jalen Hurts, ALA||vs. #3 FSU||18 — 96 — 1 — 0||15 — 55 — 0||9.86|
|4||Shea Patterson, OLE||vs. Vandy||35 — 351 — 4 — 0||7 — 8 — 1||9.45|
|5||Jalen Hurts, ALA||vs. Col. St.||17 — 248 — 2 — 0||11 — 103 — 1||9.26|
|6||Shea Patterson, OLE||vs. So. Ala.||35 — 429 — 4 — 0||6 — 6 — 0||8.74|
|7||Jalen Hurts, ALA||vs. Ole Miss||19 — 197 — 2 — 0||10 — 101 — 1||7.68|
|8||Danny Etling, LSU||vs. #10 AUB||24 — 206 — 1 — 0||6 — (-9) — 0||7.64|
|9||Drew Lock, MIZ||vs. Idaho||33 — 467 — 6 — 1||2 — (-2) — 0||7.32|
|10||Kyle Shurmur, VAN||vs. #18 KSU||23 — 205 — 1 — 0||2 — 0 — 1||6.76|