Alabama has SEC's most intriguing QB battle

As we dive deeper into the dogged days of yet another summer without college football, just about everyone in the SEC has quarterbacks on the brain.

Yes, quarterback play in the Deep South has been talked about ad nauseam, but when 10 teams in the SEC don't have a definitive answer at the most important position on the field, justifiable concern will linger through the summer months and into the fall. As of now, quarterback quandaries aren't the end of the world because the games are still months away. However, as we inch closer and closer to the start of the 2015 season, the more shrouded the quarterback battles, the more anxiety will flow.

And there's no more intriguing quarterback battle than the one taking place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Crimson Tide, as decorated as this team has been for the better part of Nick Saban's eight-year tenure, has even less certainty under center now than it did at this point last year and more questions than usual all around the football. Name alone has helped fuel the preseason hype train for Alabama, and while I think this team has some impressive talent, the lingering questions at quarterback have put the brakes on the Bama train for me.

As of now, there's a fat TBD stamped on Alabama's quarterback situation, and it makes the Tide a bit of a mystery.

At this very point last year, we had our questions about Alabama's starting quarterback, but Blake Sims held onto the starting job coming out of spring and helped pilot the Tide's most prolific offensive season ever in 2014.

Right now, there is no leader.

Jake Coker, the overwhelming outside favorite to win the job over Sims last year, still is on campus but still doesn't have the job wrapped up. Most media pundits (yours truly as well) tabbed the Florida State transfer with the cannon arm and supposed can't-miss-talent as the starter in T-Town before he even grabbed offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's playbook last year. But Coker sat and watched Sims take the Tide to the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Months later -- and with Sims long gone -- Coker still hasn't taken the starting spot, despite being more comfortable with Kiffin's offense. For a team that will no doubt get votes to win the SEC this fall, Alabama has a potential roadblock at quarterback.

Yes, running back Derrick Henry is one of the best in the nation, and Alabama's coaching staff feels pretty good about the young receivers returning. But the line has questions and there are still defensive questions looming, especially in the secondary. This team is far from perfect, and you can't exactly call Alabama a true SEC favorite with such an unsettled quarterback position.

Coker has made strides -- taking most of the first-team reps this spring -- but clearly they haven't been big enough. Redshirt freshman David Cornwell had a decent spring and looks physically ready to play some SEC ball. While he and Coker both struggled in the spring game, some feel Cornwell could take this job, though Saban isn't tipping his hand at this point. You also have true freshman Blake Barnett, redshirt sophomore Cooper Bateman and redshirt junior Alec Morris.

There's plenty of time for one guy to stand out and take this job. But we honestly don't know a ton about this Alabama team. We might think we do, but we can't properly gauge the Tide without some questions getting answered before the season.

Right now, the biggest question is at quarterback.