Ever since news broke of quarterback Everett Golson's decision to transfer from Notre Dame after graduating, the Golson-SEC rumors exploded -- especially for South Carolina and Georgia.
It really shouldn't have come as a surprise, considering all the SEC quarterback unrest, but is Golson really a quarterback SEC teams want to go after? Let this slosh around your brain a little: He was benched before the bowl game (against an SEC team, mind you), is leaving because he probably won't win the starting job this fall, and accounted for 22 turnovers last season. If Golson was his own team, he would have tied for 75th nationally in turnovers lost in 2014.
Before we dive further, no matter what Internet rumor you've heard since Thursday, nothing could even happen with any SEC schools unless league commissioner Mike Slive approves a waiver for Golson since he was suspended for the entire 2013 season for academic reasons.
Prospective student-athletes must meet all seven of the criteria listed in the SEC's graduate transfer rule. Because Golson was suspended from school for "poor academic judgment" he would not meet the fourth criteria -- 220.127.116.11d: "The student-athlete has not been subject to official university or athletics department disciplinary action at any time during enrollment at any previous collegiate institution [excluding limited discipline applied by a sports team]."
Let's say he is granted a waiver, is Golson worth the risk? Honestly, when you look at how mistake-prone Golson has been in two seasons as a starter, I just don't see him fitting in with many of the teams still looking for a quarterback. The risk just seems too high for any team looking to make an SEC run or rebuild.
Yes, that 2012 run to get pummeled in the BCS title game by Alabama was nice, but that Notre Dame team leaned heavily on its outstanding defense, while Golson threw just 12 touchdowns with 10 total turnovers.
Early reports indicate Georgia and South Carolina are the SEC "favorites." For South Carolina, it makes sense on paper because he's from Myrtle Beach, which is less than three hours from Columbia, and the three-man race of Connor Mitch, Michael Scarnecchia and Perry Orth produced mixed results and no standout. However, do the Gamecocks even have scholarship space for Golson? And would coach Steve Spurrier really want to take on a quarterback prone to so many mistakes? Golson threw four pick-sixes last year. Not sure the Head Ball Coach wants to take that on and risk a few visors.
To me, Georgia's system doesn't really fit Golson. While there wasn't much separation with Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park, I'm not sure the Bulldogs really need to add someone who would require some scheme tweaking this late in the race. Plus, I doubt coach Mark Richt is ready to just cast Ramsey or Bauta aside.
Then, there's Alabama, another team strongly linked to Golson over the weekend. We all know Lane Kiffin did wonders with Blake Sims last year, but Sims also had nine fewer turnovers than Golson last season. One thing coach Nick Saban hates more than talking about the Texas job? Turnovers, and Golson has 32 in 25 career games.
So who could actually benefit from having Golson? Florida and LSU come to mind. LSU is still sorting through Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris, but having a quarterback coach like Cam Cameron could be beneficial to helping Golson with his decision-making. It might be a stretch to add yet another maddening player to the bunch, but don't put it past The Hat. Florida needs an offensive jolt, expectations aren't exactly high and having a veteran quarterback could move new coach Jim McElwain closer to his vision of what he wants his offense to look like.
McElwain's offense fits Golson, and no quarterback ran away with anything this spring in Gainesville. Worried about turnovers? Well, the Gators would be throwing two young quarterbacks out on the field if Golson wasn't there anyway, so turnovers are coming.
However, McElwain is looking to build for the future, so developing Will Grier or Treon Harris would fit that desire. In theory, Golson could be a leader in that locker room and help generate some sort of offensive momentum, but you stunt the growth of your younger quarterbacks and would just have to start all over in 2016.
Regardless of the team, there's high risk with Golson because of the turnover history. Could he help one of these teams? Yes, but he could also be overwhelmed by SEC defenses (see: BCS title, Alabama) and revert to his old, undesirable ways.