Where will Braxton Miller play in 2015?

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for another roundtable here at The Student Section. TSS Associate Editor Bart Doan joins Kevin Causey and a rotating guest in our weekly roundtables discussing all things college football. This week, Associate Editor Terry Johnson is on assignment so Kevin McGuire from NBC’s College Football Talk and Bloguin’s Nittany Lions Den joins us to fill in.

Last week we discussed the best QB groups and Notre Dame’s expections as well as diving into a couple of “fun” topics by talking about our favorite fictional football coaches and players. Earlier this week we discussed impact transfers for 2015 but all of them might take a backseat to Braxton Miller if he makes the decision to change schools this off-season. To discuss Miller’s future, we brought in Andy Coppens of the Big Ten centric site Talking 10 and of Bloguin’s Madtown Badgers.

Question: We’re not saying he’s transferring, but would it be in the best interest of Braxton Miller’s career to transfer to Alabama? 

Andy Coppens:

On Twitter @AndyOnFootball:

Honestly, I think Braxton Miller moving on is the best for all parties involved. For OSU it’s one less QB to talk about in the fall, and will allow them to really move on to the future at the position.

For Braxton Miller it means getting a chance to showcase his skill set with a whole different set of players. Some had begun to believe Miller was a product of a system. If he goes and succeeds at a place like Alabama with the limited time it provides him with the potential to revitalize his image and career.

Besides, it’s not as if Alabama has a legit starting quarterback after this spring, amiright?

Seriously though, look for Miller to likely move on this summer and become the biggest transfer QB since Russell Wilson. The only difference is OSU won’t miss him as much as NC State missed Wilson.

Kevin McGuire:

On Twitter @KevinOnCFB:

If Braxton Miller ends up moving from Ohio State (and I’m not sold this is a given just yet), a transfer to Alabama is certainly not a bad destination. Alabama came out of the spring with a passing game in need of a bit of a jump, and if Miller’s shoulder is in good form I think he could slide in and do some good things for Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin. But I also feel he could be a good fit at a school like LSU, a team with a monster running game with Leonard Fournette and always tough on defense. Of course, the ultimate story would see Miller transfer to Michigan…

Bart Doan:

On Twitter @TheCoachBart

Ohio State’s quarterback situation has become the new Brett Favre, sans the unsavory phone pictures. Everyone seems hell bent that they can’t possibly carry three would-be Heisman candidate quarterbacks into next season, but their coach keeps saying they will and people won’t believe it until they’re all on the sideline for game one. Until then, every time Braxton Miller wears green or yellow, he’s a duck. Or a darker shade of red … Alabama.

I’m probably the wrong person to tell anyone, let alone Braxton Miller, what’s best for his career, but I don’t think transferring is it. He’s been linked pretty much everywhere there’s a high-level program with quarterback questions going into next season, and that’s because folks recognize his talent. And if there’s one constant in sports, it’s that talent always gets found.

Absent of that, it sort of depends on what Miller wants for his career. He above all should know that nothing is guaranteed, so even if he doesn’t win the starting quarterback job, you’re one hit away from getting back in there, so practice like hell and your chance will come. Transferring isn’t good for everyone, but we’ve obviously seen it work spectacularly for some lately, obviously the benchmark for that movement being Russell Wilson of NCSU to Wisconsin.

I’d say sticking around to win a second title potentially and competing with elite college talent at your position can’t be a bad thing. It’s all a mindset. Some guys want the distance between them and their back up to be a wide chasm, others want the pressure of not knowing if they’ll even win the starting gig. One way or another, it’s the NFL, and the talent will get found if it’s there. Kurt Warner was working at a grocery store when he was discovered. The guy that picked off the aforementioned Wilson to win the Super Bowl this past January was an undrafted kid from Alabama A&M (Patriots plug). You’ll get found if you have it. There’s at least comfort in that.

Kevin Causey:

On Twitter @CFBZ

Cardale Jones took Ohio State to a National Championship. On the way to the title, he got better in every single game. I just don’t know how you sit him down this year and don’t play him as your main quarterback.

That leaves Braxton Miller and JT Barrett in a weird spot. Barrett’s just a sophomore so he knows that he has playing time in front of him. With Miller being a senior, this is his last hurrah and potentially not winning the starting job and sitting on the bench the entire season could be a big hit for his pro prospects. Of course, the opposite could be argued that this would keep him healthy and fresh for the NFL. But, I think he needs more seasoning reading defenses and working on his passing game.

With it established that it’s probably in Miller’s best interest to transfer, now the question is if it’s in Alabama’s best interest. Just last year, Alabama accepted a transfer in the form of Florida State QB Jacob Coker. They also have a 5-star recruit (Blake Barnett) and two 4-star recruits (David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman) on campus. If they bring in Miller and start him over these guys, what is the overall message they are sending to recruits and the quarterback position at Alabama? The only way Bama takes Miller is if Saban wants one more crack at the National Championship this year and then rides off into the sunset leaving Kirby Smart and Lane Kiffin to fight it out in a Steel Cage death match to see who is the next head coach (I think we all know who wins that one).

I think a much more likely landing spot is LSU. Les Miles has a quarterback problem on his hands. His problem is that he doesn’t have one but he does have some talented receivers. LSU is also less pressure for Miller to step into as they are flying under the radar and expected to have a “down” season. If Miller can come in and lead LSU to a SEC Championship birth or more then he’s a made man. I do expect Miller to transfer and I think LSU is the right spot.


Previous Roundtables

Which returning starter at QB will show the most improvement in 2015?

Which first year starter at QB is poised to have a breakout season?

Which non-Power 5 QB do you want as the face of your franchise?

Which Power 5 quarterback do you want as the face of your franchise?

If you could have attended any game in the history of college football what would it be?

Reliving our favorite college football memories

Who was the greatest team in the history of college football?

Who was the most underrated team in college football history?

In a one-game scenario, which college football coach would you turn to for a win?

Which coach would you turn to if building a program from scratch?

Which teams have the best QB groups heading into 2015?

What will make 2015 a successful season for Notre Dame?