It is off-season, so I decided to shamelessly piggyback off of James' recent post about 2005's SEC coaching situation, and where each current coach was a decade ago. The next logical step was quarterbacks, because there were a few notables that year. And everyone remembers the QB.
I remember watching most of these guys play, but I am certainly no expert, so we reached out to Twitter. This is more of a behind-the-music-style look back at the quarterbacks of yesteryear with insight from fans of each school regarding who was helming their team's offense ten seasons ago. Buckle up.
THE EAST: A STAR IS BORN...SOMEWHERE
South Carolina: Blake Mitchell
Punched a goddamn bouncer in the face. Softened the HBC up for eventual superstar Stephen Garcia. Made quite an impression on the Gamecock faithful, apparently.
Tennessee: Rick Clausen/Erik Ainge
The Vols were coming off a huge Cotton Bowl blowout win over some Big 12 team, but Phil Fulmer fell victim to the two quarterback system and a losing season. Was this popular with fans?
@GBHunting probably not— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) April 7, 2015
@GBHunting not in any kind of language that would suit work twitter. sorry y’all, I got a plane to catch— Holly Anderson (@HollyAnderson) April 7, 2015
Vandy: Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler was the cream of the 2005 SEC QB crop when you speak of MEASURABLES and other professional football things. He's still an NFL star today. He was the SEC Offensive POY in 2005 for a perennial doormat team. His efforts and the attention he got for the program would catapult them into relevancy for several years after he left.
So I tried. I really did try.
@DrNorrisCamacho no.— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) April 7, 2015
Florida: Chris Leak
@GBHunting "I wish Ron Zook were here. He wasn't great at his job, but he always brought fruit roll ups."— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) April 7, 2015
Georgia: DJ Shockley
It's a good thing they're not bitter.
Kentucky: Andre Woodson
This is apparently a painful subject. We were lucky to get this much.
@GBHunting Well, in 2005, Kentucky won 3 games, and Woodson was a soph. Is that really the year you want me to talk about?— A Sea of Blue (@ASeaOfBlue) April 7, 2015
Mizzou: Brad Smith
Brad Smith is probably my favorite QB of 2005. He was one of those quietly efficient and infuriatingly effective QBs that don't come around very often: a combination of very good, very calm, and very smart.
@DrNorrisCamacho He (almost) literally won all of Mizzou's games in 2005 by himself. Led the Big 12 in rushing & threw for 2,300 yds to boot— Jack Peglow (@JackPeglow) April 6, 2015
THE WEST: HOW FAR WE'VE COME
Alabama: Brodie Croyle
What a hell of an SEC name. And nothing butters our toast more than Alabama Football Haikus.
@DrNorrisCamacho I offer this Haiku: Cannon for an arm Attached to a frail, thin frame. Oh God. Sacked again.— Ricky Muncie, RBR (@RickyRBR) April 7, 2015
Auburn: Brandon Cox
He had a tough act to follow as an underclassman after the undefeated year.
@drnorriscamacho Cox's 2k5 season is a true sophomore effort in that he was a sophomore & he was following AU's undefeated 2004 season.— Philip A. O. Whiskey (@theoscarwhiskey) April 7, 2015
LSU: JaMarcus Russell
Moving pictures are worth lots of words. Is it bad that Les Miles somehow had a more stable QB situation in his first year than he does now?
Ole Miss: Michael Spurlock
@DrNorrisCamacho 2005 propelled 11 game starter Michael Spurlock to an eventual 8 year NFL career...returning kicks. 3 wins was a miracle.— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) April 6, 2015
Mississippi State: Michael Henig*
The Bulldogs currently have the unquestioned dean of SEC quarterbacks. Don't think for a moment they don't appreciate it.
@DrNorrisCamacho I don't know if I can without crying— cristilmethod (@cristilmethod) April 7, 2015
*In 2005, SEC QBs in the state of Mississippi combined for a total of 19 TD passes and 28 interceptions.[ 10/10 (MSU) and 9/18 (OM) ]
Arkansas: Casey Dick
Doc Harper has the whole scoop:
@DrNorrisCamacho Comes in as true freshman, beats Ole Miss. Nutt on winning pass "that was a called play, and I called it!" Instant infamy.— Doc Harper (@doc_harper) April 7, 2015
@DrNorrisCamacho full Nutt quote "That was a called play, and I called it, Chuck! hahahaha I called some good plays today, brotha!"— Doc Harper (@doc_harper) April 7, 2015
@DrNorrisCamacho Mustain heard that over the radio, called him "a dork" and that got published in a book a year later when he was a freshman— Doc Harper (@doc_harper) April 7, 2015
@DrNorrisCamacho Nutt never got over it and then a bunch of bullshit happened.— Doc Harper (@doc_harper) April 7, 2015
A&M: Reggie McNeal
Expectations were high heading into 2005. Reggie possibly had more hype around him than any previous Aggie QB at that point after his breakout 2004 season. He was a dark horse Heisman candidate. A smooth, polished, lightning-quick senior. He's should have been our version of Brad Smith. Instead...
Well-said. Haiku isn't the only poetry in the industry.
McNeal was a smooth street-illegal Lamborghini kill machine until he was drivin by a fat, glue-sniffing coach who used molasses for gasoline— Jimmy Gards (@jimmygards) April 7, 2015
Thanks a ton to everyone who joined in the responses. We hope you've enjoyed this trip down memory lane, or at least weren't scarred too badly by it. It's a testament to how far QB play has come in this league. Unless you're Vandy. Sorry, Vandy.