Ah yes, the heady days of Brandon Weeden. Those seem like so long ago now.
Since the old man left for the NFL, OSU has had two seasons of the quarterback shuffle. The first was because of injuries. The second was because of performance.
This Saturday, with Missouri State in town, the "performance" issue could once again rear its ugly head.
The problem many fans have with J.W. Walsh is well documented. His arm is not his strength. The playbook changes (some would say shrinks) when he runs the offense.
Believe it or not, Walsh is actually the closest thing to Weeden that we have. His arm was not his only weapon. Brandon's leadership was just as valuable. His teammates willingly followed him into the breach.
Walsh showed that same leadership last Saturday, bringing the team back from an early 17 point deficit against one of the best teams in the country.
DON'T FORGET THAT.
What Walsh obviously doesn't have is an arm that can single-handedly take over a game.
Chelf didn't have it. Lunt didn't have it. Garman might have it. Rudolph might have it. But keep in mind the brain has to come along with the arm. Throwing a pretty ball doesn't get it done if it's falling on the ground or being caught by the opponent.
So here comes Missouri State, and what assuredly will be a chance for us to finally see a player that has enjoyed more hype without taking a snap than anybody (except Tyreek Hill).
Let's say the Cowboys take care of business, and by halftime this thing is well in hand. Out trots Daxx, who proceeds to throw it all over the field against a hapless opponent.
What do you suppose is going to happen in "fan" world? Take your time. It'll come to you.
Here, I'll give you a hint...courtesy of our own Cory Treece...
If the coaches are really going to stick by Walsh, then they need to stop making these declarations about it being "beneficial" to play Garman. All that does is give the fan base and the team a reason to believe Garman COULD potentially replace Walsh down the road, and when Garman plays well on Saturday in the 2nd half everyone will be clamoring that Garman should be the guy. Thus setting a repeat of the 2012 QB debacle all over again.
"Debacle" is a great word for exactly what would happen if Daxx torched a bum in the second half of a blowout. Fan's and media alike would go nuts (CRFF included, I'm sure).
Notice I'm not even mentioning Rudolph. I'm going to operate on the assumption that he will be redshirted unless injuries occur or Gundy needs to keep him happy so he won't leave.
We haven't even discussed the mental side that Cory mentioned. It's a well known fact that many a player, at any position, has struggled when they know that a couple of key mistakes will get them yanked.
The part of this that throws the entire discussion out the window at this point?
Mike Gundy has quite a past when it comes to recruiting, developing, and coaching QB's. Of the two best at this position in school history, one had to wait for the "star" to be benched and the other was a walk-on Gundy admittedly tried to run off, that only got his chance when the backup (Cate) completed more passes to the opponent than his own team in the first half of a game. And when he told his boys "protect me, and we will win," he put up a pretty flawless half of football. Then he returned to the bench for a clearly injured and inadequate Zac Robinson, for a game that, if won, might have resulted in a BCS bowl.
In Gundy we trust...except when it comes to QB's.
Our head coach's own personal history could be playing a HUGE part in this. Gundy, as a true freshman at OSU, famously replaced the starting QB in 1985. Pat Jones made that decision because Ronnie Williams wasn't taking care of the football. His job? Protect the football, get the guys in the right positions, and get the ball to the playmakers.
The quarterback was not one of them. You might recall "The Drop" in 1988? Gundy threw 3 picks in that game, but nobody remembers that. Everybody remembers "The Drop."
So here we are.
We are pretty sure Gundy is full of beans when he talks about playing the quarterbacks, and that he is well aware of who the best QB is for the team.
We are also a bit nervous that Gundy might be making poor choices about who is the best QB for the team.
So just know that, if we see this on Saturday, all hell is probably going to break loose, and it could be a good or bad thing.
I think I'm gonna have to stock up on more Dos Equis Amber.