This weekend, the Texas Longhorns travel to Oxford, Mississippi to take on the Ole Miss Rebels. Lining up under center for the Horns is sophomore quarterback David Ash, while quarterback Bo Wallace, a JUCO transfer, will lead the Rebels.
But this Big 12 vs. SEC match-up was close to looking vastly different; instead of wearing the red, white, and blue of Ole Miss, Wallace came oh-so-close to donning Texas orange.
Months ago, the Longhorns, coming off a rather difficult year–by their standards anyway– didn’t seem to have a long-term answer at quarterback.
That’s when Bo Wallace, the JUCO quarterback from East Mississippi Community College and the National NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year, entered the scene.
Rumors began to surface that Bo was interested in playing for the Longhorns and that he was the one who initially reached out to Texas coaches. The feeling, at first, was mutual.
Texas fans immediately jumped on board, believing that Wallace was exactly what this team needed to fill a dire need.
After all, isn’t’ that exactly what the Longhorns needed? A quarterback with experience?
It was considered to be an almost foregone conclusion that Bo would indeed end up on the Forty Acres. A trip to Austin, which had already been scheduled, was considered to be just a formality
But as fans eagerly awaited his visit, which was just a couple of days away, Wallace left the picture just as quickly as he had entered.
To the surprise of most Longhorn fans, Texas coaches decided to put an end to their talks with Wallace; they decided that they would stick with David Ash and junior Case McCoy.
Wallace wouldn’t be coming to Austin after all-the visit was called off and so was his recruitment.
Reaction from the Longhorn faithful was mixed. Many were angry wondering why Texas had refused to give Wallace a shot with such uncertainty at the position. Here was the NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year asking to come quarterback for the Longhorns, yet the Texas coaches, in desperate need of one, said, “No thanks.” Why?
Others thought that Ash had shown enough potential at season’s end to earn the job—and after all, hadn’t Mack Brown proven that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to recruiting?
Of course, there is nothing to assure that Wallace would have left Austin committed to play for the Longhorns, but again, he was the one that had opened the conversation initially and didn’t hide the fact he would like to make the move to Austin.
Regardless, it obviously wasn’t meant to be.
Now here we are, months later, and Ash and Wallace have both looked solid in their first two games of the season, albeit against weaker competition.
On Saturday night, the two quarterbacks will finally go head-to-head.
Texas fans are hoping that they will witness Ash walking away from Oxford with his first road victory in an opponent’s stadium on Saturday night instead of wondering what might have been.