2. More than ever, if you don’t have a great quarterback, it’s over
You had better have a superstar quarterback or you’re hosed.
At the very least, you had better have an efficient playmaker who can consistently keep the offense moving, or you’re hosed.
Not everyone had a Heisman-caliber talent and/or NFL prospect under center, but if you have any serious hopes of being in the College Football Playoff, it’s not happening unless your quarterback in an elite of an elite talent.
The bar has been set at an unreal level over the last few seasons, with Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa all coming up with some of the most efficient passing campaigns in the history of college football.
Joe Burrow had the greatest season by any quarterback ever. He’s going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. LSU was pretty good.
Trevor Lawrence is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Clemson was pretty good.
Justin Fields is going to be a top ten overall draft pick when he comes out, if not No. 2. Ohio State was pretty good.
Georgia’s Jake Fromm will likely be an NFL starter somewhere next year. So will Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts was a Heisman finalist.
Those seven quarterbacks were the starters for the top seven teams in the final Coaches Poll.
Alabama would be up there, but its all-timer of a passer got hurt and knocked out for the year.
Florida’s Kyle Trask isn’t a big name, but he was among the nation’s top 15 most-efficient passers. Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan was the fourth-most efficient passer this season. Utah’s Tyler Huntley was fifth. Brady White from American Athletic champion Memphis was ninth.
But high-end passing quarterbacks are nothing new. Over the last decade, there have been plenty of accurate bombers, and lots of efficient passers were able to go off. There’s one big difference, though – most of the former high-end statistical quarterbacks put up the big numbers for okay teams.
It’s possible to win if your quarterback isn’t ultra-efficient – Auburn’s Bo Nix wasn’t great as he got his feet wet – but going forward, with the transfer portal upping the quarterbacking talent across the board, you can no longer do anything truly special without someone truly special under center.