SEC Outsider: Hey Max, don't get down, get to an airport: TWO Ex-Purdue quarterbacks are starting in the SEC

Don’t frown Max Browne, you won’t be benched long.

Work got you down?

Lost your job at USC?

Can't stand your boss and the young kid who just got promoted over you? Well, Clay Helton and Sam Darnold can hold hands and go jump off the San Clemente pier.

Be a good soldier at USC for as long as possible--it will look better on your resume--then get your paperwork in order.

Have WE got a conference for YOU!

The SEC, if you haven’t noticed, has become a half-way house for quarterbacks who have been shunned elsewhere.

The league’s motto this year is “it just means more,” but there's also this other saying:[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

“Give us your disgruntled, your second-stringers, your onetime Elite 11 huddle masters yearning to audible.”

Don’t believe me, just look: this week, Florida and Louisiana State are entrusting their East and West divisional title hopes to two former Purdue quarterbacks.

The same Purdue that has recently posted seasons of 6-7, 1-11 and 2-10.

The SEC must have a Purdue quarterback special through CBS analyst\Boilermaker Gary Danielson.

Purdue has a fine tradition of quarterbacks—Len Dawson, Bob Griese, Mark Hermann, Jim Everett—but nothing really to brag about since Drew Brees.

Since when, though, does the SEC need to be rescued by Purdue?

Since now. And that's my point, Max Browne,

LSU, after losing its opener to Wisconsin, couldn’t take anymore of Brandon Harris. So, the Tigers of the SEC South turned to Lafayette (West) for Danny Etling, who played two years for Purdue before thinking that was enough.

Etling did a nice-enough job last week, in LSU’s 23-20 win over Mississippi State, to warrant another SEC look-see against Auburn.

“He extended plays, ad-libbed the things he was supposed to do,” LSU Coach Les Miles said after the game “…Made plays with his feet. I liked him.”

Florida had been relying on another program discard, Luke Del Rio, to get the Gators back to the SEC title game. A transfer from Oregon State, Del Rio was working out just fine until he suffered a knee injury in last week’s win over North Texas.

That necessitated the move to Austin Appleby, who played four years at Purdue before coming to Gainesville as a fifth-year transfer.

Del Rio might miss several weeks, meaning there’s a chance the former Purdue quarterbacks will face off Oct. 17 when Florida plays at LSU.

Strangely and weirdly, elite NFL-level quarterback play has never been a vital block in the SEC's pyramid of success.

The league has produced plenty of NFL stars in one family alone, the Mannings, and more recently in former Georgia star Matthew Stafford.

But look at the list of quarterbacks who have led SEC teams to national titles in the BCS era.

--1998, Tennessee (Tee Martin)

--2003, LSU (Matt Mauck)

--2006, Florida (Chris Leak)

--2007, LSU (Matt Flynn)

--2008, Florida (Tim Tebow)

--2009, Alabama (Greg McElroy)

--2010, Auburn (Cam Newton)

--2011,’12, Alabama (AJ McCarron)

--2015, Alabama (Jake Coker)

The only legitimate NFL star on that list is Newton, and he’s generational great.

The SEC’s history with quarterbacks is just different than other conferences.

For all its pass happy success in the Steve Spurrier era, Florida wasn't producing NFL Pro Bowlers. In the last decade, Tebow and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) both won Heisman Trophies for the SEC, but both were busts in the pros.

The SEC has proven it doesn't need next-level quarterback play to hang banners. It relies on north-south tailbacks and monsters at linebacker and along the interior lines.

That’s why, Max, no matter how bad things seem now, you may soon be driving with Miss Daisy.

Trevor Knight got a raw deal at Oklahoma, but has been reborn at Texas A&M.

There is every reason to believe Max Browne, a so-far “failure” at USC, could transfer to the SEC and lead some team to the national title.

That’s what Jake Coker did at Alabama, after losing the starting job to Jameis Winston a Florida State.

So don’t hang your head, Max, make plans. Start working on your Southern drawl and start drinking sweet tea--lots and lots of sweet tea.

Forget USC's line-- get thee to Mason-Dixon's. Remember last Saturday night at Stanford as "The night they drove old Maxie Down."

But don't stay down. Get up. Read up on William Faulkner and Bo Jackson.

To paraphrase Horace Greeley: Go South, young man, go South.[/membership]

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