Jalen Hurts keeps climbing, Josh Dobbs keeps falling and — wait, no, this can’t be right — Sean White has slipped into the top five of our SEC quarterback ranking.
We’ve also considered renaming this weekly feature something like Yeah, We Still Probably Aren’t Giving Austin Allen Enough Credit.
10. NICK FITZGERALD, Mississippi State
Last week’s ranking: 10
Stats vs. BYU: 17 of 36 for 214 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 16 for 41 yards, 2 TD rushing
Why he’s here: LSU’s Danny Etling is charging hard for this spot after a 3-touchdown game against Southern Miss, but Fitzgerald did enough in a tough road game to hang on. He’s up to 998 passing yards, 431 rushing yards (second-most by a QB in the league), 10 total touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He is giving the outmanned Bulldogs a chance.
Nick Fitzgerald, more like Nick Flygerald. ? https://t.co/1zgc9vkAgj
— Woot and Wye NFL (@WootandWye) October 15, 2016
9. DREW LOCK, Missouri
Last week’s ranking: 6
Stats vs. Florida: 4 of 18 for 39 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 3 for 18 rushing
Why he’s here: The shine is off Lock and the Tigers offense. He completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 852 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions against Eastern Michigan and Delaware State — but has hit on just 46.5 percent of his passes for 862 yards, 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in Missouri’s four games against Power 5 opponents.
8. LUKE DEL RIO, Florida
Last week’s ranking: 8
Stats vs. Missouri: 18 of 38 for 236 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
Why he’s here: We’ll chalk that last one up to rust. Del Rio, who looked sharp in the Gators’ first three games, went almost a full month between starts because of a knee injury. He opened Saturday’s game against the Tigers 14 of 31 for 167 yards, no touchdowns and 3 interceptions — but he finished 4 of 7 for 69 yards and a TD. We expect him to look better when Florida returns to action Oct. 29 against Georgia.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) October 16, 2016
7. JACOB EASON, Georgia
Last week’s ranking: 9
Stats vs. Vanderbilt: 27 of 40 for 346 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Why he’s here: He’s been so inconsistent it’s almost as if he’s a true freshman playing high-level college football. But he keeps giving us glimpses of the greatness most expect. His two 300-yard passing games have come against good defenses, and now he’s up to 1,366 yards, 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions through his first seven games. Saturday’s 67.5 percent completions marked a career high and a sign of progress.
6. JOSH DOBBS, Tennessee
Last week’s ranking: 5
Stats vs. Alabama: 16 of 27 for 92 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 7 for minus-31 rushing
Why he’s here: After a 4-turnover game at Texas A&M, including the clinching interception, Dobbs netted 61 yards of total offense against the swarming Crimson Tide. He threw his league-worst ninth interception in seven games, which was returned for a touchdown. But the senior still has 19 total touchdowns and a chance to lead the Volunteers to the SEC title game.
— Alex Byington (@abyingtonTD) October 15, 2016
5. SEAN WHITE, Auburn
Last week’s ranking: 7
Why he’s here: Thanks to some abysmal performances by his competition, White managed to move into the top five without even playing last week. He’s hardly flashy — and nearly lost his job earlier this season — but White is rolling now. He leads the league in completion percentage (69.7), yards per attempt (9.0) and QB rating. Taking care of the ball matters, too, and he’s thrown just 2 interceptions in 132 attempts, the best ratio in the SEC among passers with at least 100 attempts.
4. AUSTIN ALLEN, Arkansas
Last week’s ranking: 4
Stats vs. Ole Miss: 19 of 32 for 229 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Why he’s here: Allen just gets it done every week. He leads the league in passing yards (1,861) and passing touchdowns (18), ranks second in QB rating and third in completion percentage (63.0) and yards per attempt (8.5). While not much of a running threat — save that game-winning rumble at TCU — he might be the best pure passer in the SEC.
— SEC (@SEC) October 16, 2016
3. CHAD KELLY, Ole Miss
Last week’s ranking: 2
Stats vs. Arkansas: 18 of 39 for 253 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 14 for 89 yards, 2 TD rushing
Why he’s here: His completion percentage of 46.2 against the Razorbacks was the lowest of his Rebels career. Kelly leads the league in total offense (2,062 yards), ranks second in passing yards (1,849) and touchdowns (14) and is the SEC’s best pro prospect at the position. But he’s also made costly mistakes in all three of Ole Miss’ losses this season.
2. JALEN HURTS, Alabama
Last week’s ranking: 3
Stats vs. Tennessee: 16 of 26 for 143 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT; 12 for 132 yards, 3 TD rushing
Why he’s here: He’s not the best passer and not the best running QB in the league, but he might the best combination of the two skills. He ranks second in the SEC in completion percentage (63.5) and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (8). His 1,813 total yards and 17 touchdowns — with just six total turnovers — have been more than enough to keep the Tide undefeated.
When the professor says "there's no way you'll be able to do this assignment the night before it's due" https://t.co/dDs9LZmN0D
— Drew Whaley (@drew_whaley) October 16, 2016
1. TREVOR KNIGHT, Texas A&M
Last week’s ranking: 1
Why he’s here: Knight delivered 1,500 passing yards, 502 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns — with zero losses — in the Aggies’ first six games. Now, after a week off to get ready, he faces the toughest test of the season at No. 1 Alabama. Knight and Hurts are perhaps the league’s best hopes to produce a Heisman finalist for the 11th consecutive season. The winner Saturday stays in that race.