SEC media days storylines -- No. 6

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 8, 2014 

Editor's note: SEC media days begin July 14. Every year, a theme seems to emerge, whether it's a tiff between coaches or a cause taken up by commissioner Mike Slive. But with less than a week until it arrives, what are the top storylines entering the annual media event? Ryan Black gives his take, counting down from 10-1.

No. 6: The quarterback exodus

If it seems like the lack of experienced returning quarterbacks has been discussed frequently on the War Eagle Extra blog, that's probably because it has. From the series ranking every signal-caller in the league to multiple mentions of it since this series began, it's been a popular topic.

But there's a reason for all the coverage — it's a big deal. And don't expect that to change once media days crank up next week. You'll see plenty of stories comparing this year's group of quarterbacks versus the 2013 crop.

Is it a fair comparison? Of course not.

Few conferences have ever lost the amount of talent at one spot from one year to the next that the SEC is now experiencing at the most game's most important position. Parse away the descriptors normally mentioned about these field generals, from "Heisman winner" (Johnny Manziel) to two-time national champion (AJ McCarron) and take a look at it from a pure numbers standpoint; it's staggering.

With Manziel, McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Connor Shaw and James Franklin gone, the SEC has to replace a whopping 18,210 passing yards, 1,321 completions, and of greatest import, 156 touchdowns from last year.

So brace yourself — the specter of the talent exodus will be juxtaposed against the performance of this year's quarterbacks all season.

And it'll start at media days.

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