New QBs Provide Many Questions for Major Programs
by Trevor Whenham - 08/24/2006
As we expect every year, several major college programs have gone into preparations for this season without a definite starter at quarterback. This year seems particularly intense, as both National Champion Texas and runner-up USC are searching for new starters. With the college football season a little more than a week away, most of the races for the starting jobs have now been settled. Here's a look at some of the bigger programs that have settled on their snap taker, and the impact that it will have on the team for the season.
Arizona State - No discussion of quarterback controversies can happen without talking about what is going on in Tempe. This is unquestionably the most bizarre situation in recent memory. On Friday, coach Dirk Koetter announced that senior Sam Keller was the starter, beating out sophomore Rudy Carpenter. Koetter met with his players over the weekend in a meeting that he may or may not have called, and came to the odd decision that he had made a mistake. Now Carpenter is the starter and Keller is transferring to Nebraska.
Despite the oddity, this move could turn out to be a positive for the team. When Keller was hurt last year, Carpenter showed that he is very talented. If Carpenter gets hurt, however, there will be huge problems for the Sun Devils. With the transfer of Keller, the team only has one scholarship QB and he has no experience. Koetter took a huge risk, tossed his security blanket out the window, and let his entire season rest on Carpenter's health. If he starts to look even a little sore, you'll want to bet on the opposition.
Texas - Redshirt freshman Colt McCoy is likely the unlucky guy who has to try to fill the massive shoes of Vince Young after he beat out true freshman Jevan Snead. McCoy will have a killer defense and a fantastic running game protecting him, but his performance will determine if Texas has a good year, or another really great year.
Though McCoy is the man for now, he could face problems as soon as his first game. The opposition, North Texas, certainly won't be a problem - Texas is a 41-point favorite. In a blowout, though, Snead will likely see lots of playing time. If McCoy only looks good and Snead were to shine it could be a very short career for the current starter.
Florida State - Drew Weatherford is going to be the starter again. He was likely the best QB in the ACC last year, but that's a bit like being the best singer in a deaf school. His 18 interceptions last year were way too many. Xavier Lee got limited playing time last year, but he looked good doing it, and he has had a great spring and summer. Lee has a better arm than Weatherford and he runs better as well. Though the race is over for now, it could get interesting in the season opener against Miami. Weatherford was terrible in the Miami game last year, and Lee stepped in and looked better. If Lee gets a chance in the game again on Sept. 3, Weatherford might get stuck on the bench for good.
USC - John David Booty is the man to follow Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer. No pressure. He was able to stay ahead of Mark Sanchez on the depth chart with little trouble. Booty has all the talent in the world, but his back is far from perfectly healthy. USC is going to take a step back this season, but it will depend on Booty to see how much of a step that will be. If Booty falters or gets hurt, Sanchez is more than capable of stepping up. If he can stay out of trouble, that is. Sanchez was recently arrested, but not charged, for sexual assault.
Georgia - Fifth-year senior Joe Tereshinski has won out in one of the more interesting races in the country. He beat out three other players, but the most interesting contender was freshman, and all-round future stud, Matthew Stafford. This was a case of experience versus skill. Tereshinski is not particularly athletic and his arm isn't overpowering, but he has been around the program for years, and he knows the playbook. Stafford can perform miracles with a ball, but he is raw. It will be interesting to see if Tereshinski can keep his job all season, especially if he falters early on.
Texas Tech - No one really cares about who is taking snaps at Texas Tech - he'll throw for a million yards and a ridiculous number of touchdowns, then fade away after a few years doing nothing on an NFL roster because his crazy college system did nothing to get him ready for the big time. The only reason I bring up this race was because of the excitement that the decision caused. Sophomore Graham Harrell, who won the job over redshirt freshman Chris Todd. Todd was so unhappy that he proceeded to start a brawl at practice, ultimately breaking the nose of Ryan Rowland, another QB. Texas Tech is fun to watch, but apparently their practices are even more fun.