It seems all anyone is talking about as we trudge through the dog days is the Texas Longhorns quarterback competition. What’s ironic about that, however, is in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.
I know you’re thinking, “This guy is crazy as hell. Of course it matters!”
Let me explain.
David Ash and Case McCoy are essentially the same person wearing two different uniforms, one with longer hair and the other not. They have the same skill set, athletic ability and generally the same arm whether in or not under pressure.
If David Ash does emerge as the starter on September 1st against the Wyoming Cowboys– which the assumption is he will–we will see just how much he has improved this summer and what that improvement or lack there of will mean for how Bryan Harsin and Major Applewhite design the Texas offense going forward.
In reality, the Texas quarterback, whoever it is, must just manage the game and not screw up. With a three-headed running back in the backfield this fall, and a defense that should be one of the country’s best, any quarterback play beyond basic game management will be a demonstrative bonus for the Burnt Orange.
If Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and highly-touted newcomer Johnathan Gray can all stay at 100% health throughout 2012, the Texas running game could be a monster to try to keep in check. If “Harsinwhite” becomes willing to tune out the constant cries of Texas fans to “throw the damn ball!” and focus on grinding opposing defensive lines down by using all three, the results could be substantial.
LSU and Alabama have used this very approach to establish themselves as the most dominant programs in the BCS era, largely without having a single superstar quarterback between them.
Name me a first-tier, all-world quarterback from either school in the past decade?
No, JaMarcus Russell does not count. Neither does Greg McElroy.
It’s accepted group-think now around Austin Vince Young and Colt McCoy were anomalies which come along every so often and are an immense luxury when they do.
I can promise you this, Texas won’t be running the spread anytime soon, and until that day comes, quarterbacks on the Forty Acres really just need to be first-tier game managers with the ability to make an occasional big play when it matters most.
David Ash, Case McCoy, Connor Brewer– they matter, but just enough.
The Eyes of Texas, instead, should be firmly on Brown, Bergeron and Gray.
That’s what matters.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.