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SEC 2015 position rankings: Quarterback

The season is over, which means it’s time to go position-by-position and rank all 14 teams in the SEC by performance during the 2015 season. We begin with a look at the quarterbacks.

1. Mississippi State: If you look back, the Bulldogs began the season No. 1 in our QB position rankings. And thanks to Dak Prescott, the school leader in every category, that’s where they finished. Prescott might not have rushed for as many yards or touchdowns as he did in 2014, but he was a better passer this year than he was a year ago. The senior completed 66 percent of his passes and threw for 3,793 yards with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions.

2. Ole Miss: Some might still argue that Chad Kelly was better than Prescott, and looking at the stats, you’d have a pretty compelling case. The junior college transfer accounted for 4,542 total yards and 41 touchdowns his first year at Ole Miss. His 4,042 passing yards put him ahead of Eli Manning as the school’s single-season leader. The only knock on him was the 13 interceptions, but he protected the ball better as the season went on.

3. Arkansas: Who had Brandon Allen as the SEC’s third-best quarterback this season? He had always been efficient in years past, but he was more of a game manager. Not this year. Allen threw for 3,440 yards and 30 touchdowns, and there were multiple times where he put his team on his back and carried them to victory. In fact, he led the conference in Total QBR (87.8).

4. Alabama: Jake Coker didn’t throw for 200 yards and two touchdowns every game. But would Alabama have won the national championship without him? It’s doubtful. Coker was especially good down the stretch. In the team’s final four games -- against Auburn, Florida, Michigan State and Clemson -- he averaged 251 yards per game and threw seven touchdowns to no interceptions.

5. Tennessee: At times, Joshua Dobbs was sensational. He accounted for 430 total yards and five touchdowns against Georgia. But at other times, like Tennessee’s loss to Oklahoma, he struggled. Still, Dobbs threw for over 2,000 yards with 15 touchdowns and just five interceptions. And he led all SEC quarterbacks with 671 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.

6. Texas A&M: An old adage says, “If you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.” That applied to Texas A&M this year. The Aggies never could settle on a starter, and it cost them. Kyle Allen, who threw for 2,210 yards and 17 touchdowns, had a better year statistically than Kyler Murray, but he still struggled in losses to Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU.

7. LSU: With Leonard Fournette in the backfield, LSU ran 65 percent of the time. That means quarterback Brandon Harris wasn’t asked to do much. And when he was called upon, he wasn’t spectacular. The sophomore averaged less than 200 yards per game and completed just 54 percent of his passes. He threw 13 touchdowns to six interceptions.

8. Florida: With Will Grier under center, the Gators could’ve made a case for being in the top five. The freshman threw for 1,204 and 10 touchdowns in six games before he was suspended. After that, Treon Harris took over and the offense started trending in the wrong direction. Harris managed just one touchdown in the team’s final three games -- all three losses.

9. Georgia: On paper, Greyson Lambert had a decent year. He was ninth in the SEC with 1,959 passing yards, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio (12-2) was solid. But after the first month, his play steadily declined as he struggled against teams such as Alabama and Missouri. Georgia also takes a hit for Faton Bauta's lone start, a four-interception game against Florida.

10. Auburn: Similar to Texas A&M, Auburn couldn’t settle on a quarterback. Jeremy Johnson was benched after he threw six interceptions in the first three games, and though his replacement Sean White protected the ball better, he was 2-3 in his five starts. Neither player could grab hold of the job as they combined to throw as many interceptions as touchdowns.

11. Kentucky: The quarterback position was supposed to be a strength for the Wildcats, but returning starter Patrick Towles struggled with turnovers, throwing an SEC-worst 14 interceptions, and eventually gave way to redshirt freshman Drew Barker. The former ESPN 300 recruit showed flashes, but he too was inconsistent.

12. South Carolina: Who knows what would’ve happened had Connor Mitch not gotten hurt in Week 2? After all, he did win the starting job out of fall camp. But once he went down, the season went south in a hurry. Perry Orth had his moments, including a pair of three-touchdown games, but both he and freshman Lorenzo Nunez struggled in conference play.

13. Vanderbilt: Coach Derek Mason swore he wouldn’t change quarterbacks this year. He was wrong. He made the switch from Johnny McCrary to Kyle Shurmur after McCrary threw 12 interceptions in eight games. The good news is Mason might have found his quarterback of the future in Shurmur, a freshman who threw five touchdowns in the team’s last three games.

14. Missouri: No team in the SEC threw for fewer yards than Missouri, not even Vanderbilt. Obviously Maty Mauk’s suspension played a role in that, but Mauk wasn’t at his best even when he was playing. And maybe Drew Lock will grow from his trial by fire, but the true freshman struggled mightily, throwing twice as many interceptions (8) as touchdowns (4).