Tourney Bracket Season: The Best SEC QB of All Time
It's March, which naturally means it's time for brackets of all kinds. We have enjoyed the Gump Madness bracket (congrats to Cruz Oxenreider for winning the tournament, and Bon Snow for putting the bracket together) and we'll soon enjoy the Alabama Crimson Tide playing in the NCAA Tournament this weekend.
Of course, these brackets extend to a wide range of topics. Notably a bracket surfaced this week that riled up "Gump Twitter," and for good reason.
If you felt compelled to click on and see what this bracket is about, surely you are aware of this bracket.
Whoever this Marler guy is, went out of his way to put up a bracket that is disjointed and otherwise insulting to the Crimson Tide.
Listen, the bracket should be unbiased, but he only included AJ McCarron for his questionable tattoos, misspelled Tua Tagovailoa and omitted Mac Jones.
The most insulting travesty is that the bracket isn't even being voted on. It just sits on the timeline menacingly to create unhealthy conversation.
So I took it upon myself to create a tournament of the 60 greatest SEC quarterbacks to determine a true SEC greatest QB of all time bracket.
The goal here is to let SEC fans have their say and create a bracket void of biases. With the help of Mason Woods, I tier-ranked 60 SEC quarterbacks spanning several decades. Odds are I missed some names, but the key names over the past 40 or so years are there, objectively when the best quarterback play has been experienced in the SEC. Other than the top tier (which gets a first-round bye) -- Tim Tebow, Joe Burrow, Cam Newton, and Johnny Manziel -- each tier was randomized for the seeding to be as fair and unbiased as possible.
Here's a look at each quadrant of the tournament bracket:
Quadrant one features a few of the older names, including a battle of Gators in Jesse Palmer and Steve Spurrier.
The bulk of the Crimson Tide's representation fell into this bracket, which will thankfully eliminate some top contenders rather early.
We also see some retro names: the all-time passing leaders at LSU (Tommy Hodson) and South Carolina (Steve Taneyhill.)
The first Iron Bowl matchup pits Ken Stabler and Stan White against each other, a most intriguing matchup.
Quadrant two features Joe Burrow at the top, marking a field full of athletic gunslingers including Matt Jones, Nick Fitzgerald, Bo Wallace and Nick Marshall.
Two of the three Mannings appear here as well, marking an interesting mixture of Volunteers and Rebels in Quad 2.
AJ McCarron is the lone Crimson Tide QB in this quadrant and he'll have to hope his career of consistency matches up against many other long-time starters who fill this section of the tournament. Will his three national titles sustain him here?
Or maybe the careers of Chris Leak, Aaron Murray and Jay Cutler are enough to advance, despite a lack of team at the national level.
Quadrant three features many names with exciting college careers that did not translate to the NFL, with the keen exceptions of Joe Namath and Matthew Stafford, while Dak Prescott, Drew Lock and Jalen Hurts's pro stories remain largely unwritten.
Two of the largest quarterbacks in football history, JaMarcus Russell and Jared Lorenzen will square off to earn the right to potentially upset one of the most electrifying, yet under-sized, quarterbacks in football history, Johnny Manziel.
Meanwhile, names like Pat Sullivan and Kyle Shurmer square off alongside Erik Ainge and Mike Bobo to sort out the top early names in SEC QB play.
The way retro and modern players will eventually mix deeper into the tournament here creates an excitement not found in smaller brackets.
Finally, quadrant four features the possibility for an early Auburn battle between top-seeded Cam Newton and Jason Campbell, though Eric Zeier could foil the fantasy battle.
Campbell isn't the only NFL journeyman here: Matt Flynn, Heath Shuler and Zack Mettenberger join the pack as respectable, though unsuccessful pro quarterbacks. Nonetheless, each left an indelible mark on the SEC.
My money is on Eli Manning, who looks to be in a position to pull out the broom all the way to the final four.
The tournament will stretch over the next few weeks on my Twitter account, @JHarrisonOTE. Keep a look out and vote for the most deserving quarterback in each poll to crown the true GOAT of SEC quarterback play.