Like it or not, some teams' win-loss record rides on the shoulder of the man under center. If he gets hurt or has a bad year, that team could go from having 10 or 11 wins to only 7 or 8 wins. Looking through the teams, I have found at least 5 quarterbacks who have to stay healthy all year if their teams want to have a chance at success this season.
|Gator Fans cringe at the
thought of a hurt Tebow
Question, how do you go and find a replacement for someone who threw for 3200 yards, 32 touchdowns, ran for 895 yards and 23 touchdowns? The answer is you don't. With an improved defense, the Gators have all eyes set on the SEC Championship and another BCS Championship. The one person that could derail all of those plans is the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
With the type of offense that Urban Meyer runs, Tebow takes a lot of hits. Luckily last season, when Tebow had his broken, non-throwing hand, the Gators had a few weeks off before their Bowl Game. I suspect this year, Meyer might not be as liberal with Tebow late in games with the lead. He might come out and rest because as Gator fans know, he is the horse that will pull Florida's buggy this season.
On the same lines as Tebow, this player led his team in both rushing and passing in 2007. Pat White threw for 1700 yards and 14 touchdowns while running for another 1300 yards and 14 touchdowns. Under new head coach Bill Stewart, the Mountaineers can expect to run the same type of offense as in years past with the coach whose name I will not mention. West Virgina did lose Steve Slaton to the NFL draft, but expect Noel Devine to pick up on his missing productivity.
Now if you take a look at the two losses West Virginia had last season, South Florida and Pittsburgh, there is one thing that stands out in each of those losses. In both of those games, the Mountaineers lost Pat White for the majority of that game due to injury. That right there tells you how important he is to their offense. In those two games they combined to score 22 points. So needless to say, Patrick White must stay healthy this season if West Virginia wants to go BCS bowling and possibly play for the BCS Championship.
One final, dual threat quarterback that has to stay healthy this season is Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour. The Chippewas were the 2007 MAC Champions and it was due mainly to the play of LeFevour. In 2007, like Pat White, he was the leading passer and rusher for the team throwing for 3600 yards and 27 touchdowns while rushing for 1100 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The Chippewas have three decent BCS teams on their schedule, at Georgia, at Purdue, and at Indiana. If LeFevour can put a good showing up against those teams, he will get some serious main stream media attention. Even so, with him in the lineup, one would have to expect that CMU is one of the favorites to win the MAC this year and head back to the Motor City Bowl. Without him and his offensive production, Central Michigan will be lucky to get the needed 6 wins to become bowl eligible.
|Tech fans hope Harrell's arm doesn't
fall off from all the passing
Moving away from the running and passing quarterbacks, to the traditional drop back quarterbacks, the first person on this list is Texas Tech's record setting passer Graham Harrell. Harrell's passing numbers last season are seriously mind boggling. In 2007, he threw for 5700 yards, 48 touchdowns, and a 71% completion percentage. It helps to have a great go to receiver like Michael Crabtree who caught 134 balls for almost 2000 yards.
It isn't a secret that the Red Raiders are going to air the ball out when you play them. Sometimes Harrell will put the ball in the air upwards of 70 times in a game. They use the short passes to supplement their lack luster running game. This will be Graham's 3rd year as starter for Texas Tech, and it would be hard to believe that their backup could put up numbers half as good. The Red Raiders are on a lot of lists to be a surprise team this year, and the only way they will do that is if Harrell stays healthy all season.
Moving from a possible surprise team of 2008 to one of the surprise teams of 2007, the Arizona State Sun Devils. It was a big joke around the college football world when former coach Dirk Koetter listened to his players and named Rudy Carpenter the quarterback in 2006. Koetter got fired after the season, but Carpenter continued to shine. In 2007, Rudy threw for 3200 yards and 25 touchdowns for an Arizona State team that went 10-3.
Carpenter is back for his senior season and the Sun Devils are hoping not to repeat the end of the 2007 season where they lost 3 of their last 5 games. One can't really blame Carpenter for those losses because he played well in all of those games. He brings 3 years of starting experience to the table for Arizona State and with a schedule that has Georgia coming to town and traveling to USC and California, Carpenter has to stay healthy for the Sun Devils to come close to repeating what they did last season.