2013 Top Five Game Changers: Quarterbacks
College Football Betting Trends- 2013 Top Five Game Changers; Quarterbacks
A great place to start on this list was 2012’s biggest game changer of them all at any position; Johnny Manziel. Mr. Football led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record which included an impressive 5-1 record in the Aggies’ first season in the highly competitive SEC. Manziel’s thrilling performance in the team’s stunning 29-24 upset of Alabama on the road thrust him into the national spotlight and it went a long way towards securing the first ever Heisman Trophy for a freshman.
He has been opened by BetOnline as a +350 favorite to make it back-to-back Heisman’s but the pressure has been dialed-up to a whole other level for the entire Texas A&M program. Look for Manziel to once again use both his arm and legs to make plays, but it will be hard for him to reach that same game-changing level in 2013.
The next game changer on the list at quarterback is Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. With the Buckeyes serving a one-year suspension from postseason play due to NCAA imposed sanctions, his performance in a perfect 12-0 run in the 2012 regular season tended to stay ‘under’ the radar. That will not be the case this season with Ohio State opened as a +700 third-favorite to win a BCS title this season now that the ban has been lifted.
Miller was another huge duel-threat with 1,271 yards rushing and 13 rushing touchdowns complementing 2,039 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes. These numbers have an opportunity to explode against a Big Ten Conference that should remain fairly watered-down for the second-straight season.
My third game-changing quarterback for this upcoming season is Georgia’s Aaron Murray. Forget the fact that he threw for 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns in 2012 while completing 64.5 percent of his passes. He is very likely to eclipse all three of those numbers behind one of the top offenses in the country. Last season this unit showed tremendous balance between running and passing the ball while racking-up an average of 37.8 points a game.
The Bulldogs are a serious threat to Alabama’s three-peat as a national champion and should get a chance to prove it as +100 favorites to win the SEC East this season. If that happens, look for a rematch of last season’s conference title game where Georgia lost a tough 32-28 decision to the Tide.
The SEC is loaded with quality quarterbacks this season, but if you are looking for another game changer from the South we have to go to Clemson in the ACC. Tajh Boyd threw for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns last season after throwing for 3,828 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2010, which was his first full year as a starter. You can only imagine what will happen to these numbers this year as the Tigers begin their quest for a BCS title as +175 favorites to win the ACC and +1800 to win it all.
Boyd also rushed for over 500 yards last season while scoring 10 touchdowns on the ground, but the most amazing stat for this Heisman hopeful was a 67.2 completion percentage which was a vast improvement from the previous year (59.7 percent).
My final game changer at quarterback for the 2013 season is Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. He is the main reason that the Cardinals are a top-10 favorite at +2000 to win a national title this season. Playing in the Big East has kept him out of the national spotlight for most of his college career, but his secret is out after completing an impressive 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns last season while getting picked-off just eight times.
Bridgewater is the kind of quarterback that can make things happen when his team needs a big play. The Cardinals stumbled down the stretch last season with two conference losses that cost them the outright Big East title. This season, Louisville comes in as the class of what is looking more and more like a Mid-Major conference, which should only result in bigger and better numbers in 2013.
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