As the 2015 college football betting season approaches, it might seem like the NCAA’s offenses won’t be quite as flashy, as Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Bryce Petty have all left the college ranks to join NFL franchises. However, there are some quarterbacks who will surprise viewers this fall and may become just as ballyhooed as this year’s heroes were.
Who are the Most Underrated QBs in the NCAA Football Odds Scene
— NFL (@NFL) July 14, 2015
Connor Cook (Michigan State)
After watching Cook slice and dice that suddenly porous Baylor defense in the fourth quarter of the Cotton Bowl, leading the Spartans to an unlikely win, it seems odd that anyone would overlook his talents this fall. It’s not like the Cotton Bowl was a fluke, either as Cook threw for 3,214 yards during the season, with 24 touchdown passes against only 11 interceptions. If he had entered the 2015 draft, he would likely have gone in one of the early rounds, but he chose to complete his senior season at Michigan State.
His arm and physical tools make him a strong candidate in the NFL, even though his accuracy down the field and his footwork still need some seasoning. Perhaps it’s the fact that his completion rate in 2014 was only 58 percent and Spartan wide receiver Tony Lippett is gone. However, if he can find another solid target and become more accurate, don’t be surprised to hear Cook’s name in Heisman conversations.
Cody Kessler (USC)
USC has been out of the championship conversations for several years now, as the school has gone through NCAA discipline and some turmoil at the head coaching position, but as Steve Sarkisian looks to return for his second season, and as Cody Kessler settles into that pro-style offense, expect the Trojans to emerge. Kessler played a little bit under the radar last year, but his 39 touchdowns and five interceptions are eye-opening – as was his 69.7 completion percentage. While Kessler is only 6’1” (well below what NFL coaches like their quarterbacks to be), his efficiency and timing are his strengths. Coming back for his senior year as well, Kessler will surprise a lot of people this season.
Josh Rosen (UCLA)
This freshman phenom could well have a breakout season in the Pac-12. This is a conference that is producing more and more superstars under center. Brady White (Arizona State) and Jake Browning (Washington) are two other Pac-12 freshmen who could surprise a lot of people this year and lead their teams to compete for a division title – if not the whole thing.
Braxton Miller (Ohio State)
If you followed the Buckeyes during their march to the national title, you likely heard how well J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones played for Urban Meyer’s offense. However, the one you may have heard the least about might be the best one of the three. Miller injured his shoulder again during August of 2014, but he was also the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year twice heading into last season. It’s true that Barrett played well – and that Jones played well down the stretch after Barrett broke his right ankle.
However, Miller was seen as one of the nation’s best players coming into 2014 and could play that well again. There were some rumblings that Miller would transfer after seeing the other two quarterbacks play so well, but the latest rumor is that he is staying. It will be interesting to see how well Miller’s shoulder has recovered from multiple injuries. Barrett’s ankle required the insertion of some screws, so his mobility could be an issue as well. If Miller can return to his prior form, expect him to the topic of intense Heisman discussions.