3 best opposing SEC QBs Texas faces in 2024

Texas has a difficult schedule ahead in 2024, where it could face multiple Heisman-contending quarterbacks this fall.
Carson Beck
Carson Beck / Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK
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While the SEC isn't traditionally a quarterback-driven league regarding success compared to the other power conferences, the additions of Texas football and the Oklahoma Sooners could change the narrative a bit. Texas and Oklahoma joining the conference, combined with the amount of offensive-minded head coaches now in the SEC, has reshaped the thinking some.

Which SEC QB Texas football faces in 2024 will be the best?

Top contenders expected to be pushing for the SEC title and spots in the 12-team College Football Playoff field either have offensive-minded head coaches, top returning starting quarterbacks, or both.

Regarding teams that have likely early-round NFL Draft picks as returning starters at quarterback in 2024 in the SEC, the talent around those guys looks pretty solid in the receiving corps and at tight end. The Ole Miss Rebels, Alabama Crimson Tide, and Texas are three good examples of SEC contenders that have top-end talent at quarterback and in the receiving corps to threaten opposing secondaries this coming season.

Other high-powered offenses like the Tennessee Volunteers, LSU Tigers, and potentially the Mississippi State Bulldogs (with new HC Jeff Lebby) boast talented QBs in the SEC in 2024.

Knowing that the SEC is a more quarterback-driven league in 2024 than it was say a decade earlier, it looks like head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns are primed for success in this conference immediately.

The more challenging part for the Longhorns regarding game-planning week in and week out in the SEC is defending against all the talent they'll face from SEC opposing offenses this fall.

Here are three of the best opposing quarterbacks the Longhorns will face in the SEC this upcoming season.

Honorable Mentions

Jackson Arnold, Oklahoma

Oklahoma could have one of the bright young stars at quarterback leading them into the SEC in 2024 in redshirt freshman Jackson Arnold. The former five-star recruit who signed with Oklahoma in the 2023 class brings an insane amount of arm talent to new offensive coordinator Seth Littrell's high-flying air-raid system.

If Arnold holds up with an unproven and inexperienced O-Line protecting him and with all the pressure coming his way against a difficult SEC schedule in Year 1 as a starter at QB, the potential for this Sooner offense is through the roof this fall.

Blake Shapen, Mississippi State

There is a lot of familiarity between the Longhorns and new Mississippi State head coach Lebby and transfer starting quarterback Blake Shapen this fall. When Texas and Mississippi State meet on the field this fall at DKR, it won't be the first time that the new Bulldog head coach and quarterback will have faced the Longhorns.

Shapen brings ample experience (over 5,500 career passing yards and 41 total touchdowns) to a Mississippi State offense that is expected to air it out plenty of times in the SEC this upcoming season. The question for Shapen is whether he can stay healthy after missing good chunks of last season at Baylor due to a knee injury.

Brock Vandagriff, Kentucky

After the Kentucky Wildcats had success with transfer portal quarterbacks in the last few years in Will Levis and Devin Leary, former Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff gets his turn in 2024. Vandagriff has gotten off to a good start at Kentucky, getting praised for his handling of the offense and showing out with a good performance in the spring game last month.

If the former blue-chip recruit can avoid costly turnovers while expanding the Kentucky offense with his arm talent, the Wildcats could pull some surprising upsets in the SEC this coming fall.