HOOVER, Alabama -- Over the years the SEC has been known for it's bruising defenses and rugged running games, but, thanks in part to Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel, the league's reputation for quarterbacks is getting better.
This year the league leads the nation with seven quarterbacks on the O'Brien Award watch list, the award given to the best quarterback in college football at season's end.
Johnny Manziel won it last year, and he'll have some stiff competition from his own conference if he plans on winning it again.
"It's a loaded, loaded group from top to bottom," said Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel. "Heisman Trophy winners, you got two-time national championship winners. It's just a great group, and it's a good group of guys. I got a chance to meet a lot of them this past weekend at the Manning camp. It's a talented bunch."
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, who knows a thing or two about quarterbacks and won the Heisman as Florida's QB in 1966, added, "I think there's a bunch of good ones. There's a bunch of good ones. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is a good player. He's breaking all the records at Georgia I believe."
Not only Georgia records, but SEC records as well. Murray needs just 1,438 yards to break the SEC career passing yardage mark and 20 touchdown passes for that career record, but says he'd put shots at records aside to win a conference title and a national title.
"I could throw five touchdowns, not break a record, and we win the national championship and I'd be the happiest guy in the world," Murray said. "I came back to win some championships, to help lead this team to those championship games. Really that's all that's on my list right now. I could care less about the other stuff."
Nine of the top 12 rated passers from a year ago are back, so while the ground and pound is ingrained the the SEC's roots, running and gunning may be the way to go to get to Atlanta in 2013.