There is only one game left in the college football regular season. Once the Army-Navy game concludes next Saturday, all that will be left of the 2023 college football season will be the bowl games and the College Football Playoff. Until then, however, it is appropriate to shift attention to the transfer portal, where plenty of big names have already entered the portal, and more will likely join the party. One of the biggest names to enter the portal was announced on Monday. Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel is now looking for a new team, and the Mississippi State or LSU football programs are the best fit.
Gabriel brings plenty of experience and production with him. He began his career at UCF, where he threw for 7,223 yards and 61 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions across his first two seasons in Orlando. But he suffered a season-ending broken collarbone injury in 2021 after playing only three games that season.
After that, he transferred to Oklahoma, where the winning and production continued. Gabriel threw for 6,828 yards and 55 touchdowns to 12 interceptions over two seasons in Norman. The biggest win Oklahoma had under Gabriel's tenure was a dramatic comeback in the Cotton Bowl over their rival and playoff-bound Texas Longhorns, where Gabriel engineered a dramatic comeback victory after getting the ball down three with 1:17 to go in the game.
Dillon Gabriel will have his pick of the litter when it comes to picking his next school. Proven quarterbacks of his quality don't come around very often. The question becomes, what is the best spot for Gabriel to transfer to? Two schools in the SEC stick out as great potential options.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
For a player who has his pick of programs to choose from, Mississippi State may not be the first choice for many players in Gabriel's shoes. But according to On3 Sports, they are firmly on the radar to land Gabriel along with the Oregon Ducks and USC Trojans.
The Mississippi State football connection makes a lot of sense. For one, Mississippi State's Will Rogers, who has started at quarterback in Starkville for the last four seasons, is also in the transfer portal. But the biggest reason to watch for Mississippi State and Dillon Gabriel is because of who the Bulldogs just hired to be their new coach.
Jeff Lebby has been the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma during Gabriel's two seasons in Norman. Oklahoma didn't do a ton of winning in the QB's first season there but just went 10-2 last season with these two working together. Dillon Gabriel already knows how Lebby's system works and could hit the ground running as soon as he lands in Starkville. A reunion between those two makes a lot of sense.
There might not be a program that has gotten more out of the transfer portal at the quarterback position than the LSU Tigers football team. Not only did LSU provide the platform for Joe Burrow to win a Heisman trophy after he transferred from Ohio State, but LSU won the National Championship off the back of one of the most potent offenses college football has ever seen with Burrow at the helm.
The Tigers won't win the National Championship this season, but they had another lethal offense this season and were led by a different transfer quarterback who may win the Heisman.
That would be Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels.
Daniels tore up the SEC this season. He threw for 3,812 yards, completed 72.2% of his passes, averaged a whopping 11.7 yards per attempt, and tallied 40 touchdowns to four interceptions through the air. He also added 1,134 yards and ten touchdowns on the ground.
Daniels demolished college football, but he likely will declare for the NFL Draft and become a high draft pick. That's great for Daniels, but LSU may need a new quarterback. It would be a home run to go from Daniels to Gabriel and not miss much of a beat at all in Baton Rouge.