SEC West QB report card: New faces making an impact

With a month of the season in the books, quarterback situations have taken shape. Some teams came in with undecided battles, some knew who their guy was but were unsure of how he would perform, and one came in with a solidified situation with a proven guy. Here’s a rundown and a grade of how every SEC West team’s quarterback situation looks so far:

Alabama: A-

Remember way back in August when there was no chance of a true freshman starting for Nick Saban? Those were the days. Then David Cornwell was eliminated. The Cooper Bateman turned out to be ruse and Blake Barnett just wasn't up for the job. Jalen Hurts, the rookie from Texas, won the job early and won it going away. He bounced back from fumbling the first snap of his career to score multiple TDs against USC, and he's played well ever since. He's still plenty rough around the edges and needs to see the field better, but there's more than enough there to work with. –Alex Scarborough

Arkansas: A

One of the big questions coming into the season centered on how Austin Allen would handle becoming the full-time starter after his older brother Brandon played at such a high level last season. So far, so good. Austin has proven to be a perfect fit for the Razorbacks. He’s accurate (SEC-best 66.9 percent completion rate), has a good touchdown-to-interception ratio (9-to-2) and is tough as nails, as evidenced by his performance vs. Texas A&M. –Sam Khan Jr.

Auburn: C-

This is actually an upgrade over where the grade was after Week 1. Who thought rotating all three quarterbacks was a good idea? Gus Malzahn has finally settled on Sean White, and the sophomore played arguably his best game of the season in Saturday’s win over LSU. He went 19-of-26 for 234 yards, and though he didn’t throw a touchdown, he also didn’t throw any interceptions. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, but a signature win like that can only help White going forward. Plus, Auburn still has the dynamic John Franklin III if it ever wants to give the defense a different look. Greg Ostendorf


It takes more than a few lines to break this one down. Brandon Harris struggled to open the season, LSU lost to Wisconsin and Harris lost his job. Even if the offense has moved the ball at times with replacement Danny Etling, the Tigers are still last in the SEC in passing offense (147.8 yards per game) and failing to put points on the board. We’ll see over the next few weeks whether new offensive coordinator/QBs coach Steve Ensminger can do something with the position that Cam Cameron did not. But whether it was Cam, Harris/Etling or inconsistent receivers, the bottom line is that LSU’s passing game has not been good enough and the Tigers still haven’t gotten strong play from the quarterback position. David Ching

Mississippi State: C-

The good news is that whole multiple-QB idea Dan Mullen floated throughout the offseason turned out to not be true. Playing three guys was never a viable option. The bad news, however, is that Nick Fitzgerald hasn't exactly won the hearts and minds of Bulldog fans yet. There's some talent there, but five passing touchdowns in four games isn't exactly inspiring. Given his propensity to run the football, it's a good thing that Damian Williams could come off the bench. Until State's offense improves, the grade holds. Scarborough

Ole Miss: B

Chad Kelly was never in competition with anyone. He said before the season he was the best quarterback in the country, and while he's 2-2 with six turnovers, Kelly is second in the SEC with 1,235 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's averaging just over 300 yards per game, has a Total QBR of 85 and has converted 59 first downs. Edward Aschoff

Texas A&M: B

The Aggies have a senior as the full-time starter for the first time in the Kevin Sumlin era, and so far it has yielded solid results. Trevor Knight, the graduate transfer from Oklahoma, has been good enough to help the Aggies win, though not necessarily spectacular. His accuracy (53.2 percent) could stand to improve, and after a poor start on third down he took a huge step forward in that area against Arkansas in Week 4. His running ability has been a real asset, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio is about where you’d like it to be (7-to-2). He deserves credit for his leadership, and he’s given the Aggies some stability at the position. Khan