Oklahoma State will kick off its 15th season under head coach Mike Gundy this fall. Cowboys Ride For Free will have a 15-day countdown with one article each day until the Cowboys’ season opener Aug. 30 at Oregon State.
Oklahoma State has two solid options at quarterback between Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders. From all accounts, it’s been an intense battle between the two, with both guys showing that they can start for the Cowboys this season. Coach Mike Gundy has hinted there will be a two QB system to begin the year. The general consensus among the fanbase is that, much like last year, Spencer Sanders should be the guy.
That said, to start the season the Cowboys could be better off if Dru Brown is the starter. Let’s go into the case for OSU starting QB, Dru Brown.
The general feeling I’ve received from the fanbase is that no one wants Brown to play because they don’t want another Taylor Cornelius situation. I understand the sentiment, but this is different. Brown hasn’t had to wait four years to play, and won’t have played meaningful snaps until this year. He has two previous years experience as an effective starter at Hawaii. From all accounts, he’s a pretty dang good QB, especially now in his second year in the system.
I trust Gundy when he says he’s going to put the QB on the field that gives OSU the best chance to win, I believed him when he said Cornelius was that guy last year. It wasn’t some issue with playing freshman, it was that Sanders wasn’t ready. I’m not saying Sanders isn’t ready now, but I can see Gundy valuing Brown’s experience.
I’m a baseball scout, for those who don’t know. Part of what I do when I evaluate players and write reports on them is find their ceiling and floor as a player. When I look at Sanders, he definitely has the higher ceiling between the two. He has the potential to be an All-Big 12 QB and has the chance to be up there with the likes of Brandon Weeden, Mason Rudolph, Zac Robinson and his coach. Sanders’ floor is just an average starter, which can still win games, but obviously you want him to hit that ceiling.
Brown is a high floor, low ceiling guy. There isn’t an incredible trajectory to his career, the way he plays is good enough to be a solid starter, much like Cornelius. A high floor guy is someone who is good without being great, but can win you games and is just a solid player.
Brown can win OSU games. He’s an accurate passer, athletic enough to make plays out of the pocket, and has an even keel mentality Gundy likes in a QB. Gundy values a QB that won’t make mistakes, and a guy with a higher floor has that in his pocket. Sanders is definitely the more talented of the two, but Brown is the safer pick of the two, which is why I think Gundy will lean come next Friday.
This may get some people fired up and think what the heck is Gundy doing. But here’s the thing, folks, there’s no point to tanking in college. There’s no point in playing the younger guy for the sake of the “future,” even if it means sacrificing losses in the present. College is win now, all the time, there’s nothing to gain from tanking like you can in the pros. In this scenario, I’ll take Brown as the starter to begin the season, because he gives OSU the best chance to win right now. That could change next week, but right now Brown performs better between the two.
In three days, I’ll make the case for Sanders to be the starter, stay tuned.