Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Braxton Miller leaving Ohio State for FSU would rock college football


"Heard any good quarterback rumors, Nick?" (Brynn Anderson/AP photo)

New Orleans -- Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post, our esteemed sister paper, is reporting that quarterback Braxton Miller is considering transferring to Florida State , where he would be able to play immediately seeing as how he has already graduated from The Ohio State University. Should such a thing happen, it would be the biggest transfer college football has seen since ... Russell Wilson from North Carolina State to Wisconsin? Cam Newton from Florida to Auburn by way of junior college?

As we know, Florida State has a redshirt sophomore quarterback who hasn't lost a collegiate start and has won a Heisman Trophy. His name is Jameis Wilson, and everyone figures he'll be leaving for the NFL after Florida State plays its final game. Miller was supposed to be a Heisman candidate this season but got hurt in August, clearing the way for J.T. Barrett to lead the Buckeyes to an 11-1 regular season, whereupon he got hurt against Michigan.

Which enabled Cardale Jones to make his first collegiate start against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, which Ohio State won 59-0. With Miller, Barrett and Jones all having eligibility remaining, the 2015 Buckeyes figured to have the greatest rotation since Glavine-Maddux-Smoltz. But football is different from baseball: It's hard to find room for two good quarterbacks, and there's no way to accommodate three. (Assuming all three are healthy.)

Asked about Miller at Wednesday's press briefing, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said: "Yes, I've had conversations (with him) and someone hit me with that today.  I don't expect that.  There are a lot of things that go on out there that is out of his control as well. So we've had conversations and I expect him to be back at Ohio State."

Quarterback transfers are a big deal in college circles. Most folks in Tuscaloosa figured Jacob Coker, who'd transferred from Florida State, would be named AJ McCarron's successor, but fifth-year senior Blake Sims of Gainesville emerged as the starter -- and ultimately as the MVP of the SEC championship game. This week Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said of Sims: "To see that attitude pay off is great. You just don’t see it in a time when you’re looking to leave if it’s not going your way.”

Back to Miller: If he winds up at FSU, the Seminoles will be reset in a way nobody figured they'd be in Year 1 post-Winston. Ohio State will be lessened from a talent standpoint but boosted in terms of clarity. (Having too many quarterbacks is an issue few schools ever encounter, but how could any school placate all three?) And -- looking way ahead here -- the field of the 2015 College Football Playoff mightn't look much different than the one we see today.

Ohio State with Barrett/Jones. Florida State with Miller. Alabama with Saban. That would leave Oregon, which will surely slide with Marcus Mariota gone. But, according to D'Angelo, Miller is also considering the Ducks. For all the fuss we'll make over the high schoolers on Signing Day, the biggest move of this offseason could be made by a grad student.

From myajc: Oh, happy day. The College Football Playoff is here.

Also from myajc: Urban Meyer is again driving in the fast lane.

Yet another from myajc: The brat redeemed -- Lane Kiffin as Alabama assistant.


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.