We are now less than two weeks from the start of the college football season, and with players returning to class and game prep set to begin, position battles are coming to a head. That generally means lots of questions to coaches about quarterbacks, followed by evasive answers from those coaches that somehow fail to mention any quarterbacks. Let's play the game.
Bob Stoops has kept the quarterback question open through August, despite having experienced junior backup Blake Bell in camp and healthy. When asked on SportsCenter Friday where the competition stood, Stoops said that he hopes to name a starter by the end of next week. Bell's primary competition for the job appears to be redshirt freshman Trevor Knight. The third man in the proposed OU quarterback troika, sophomore Kendal Thompson, broke his foot earlier this month.
Oklahoma opens its season at home against Louisiana-Monroe before hosting Big XII rival West Virginia in Week 2.
If Bob Stoops is dawdling, Kliff Kingsbury is positively dragging his feet. The new Texas Tech coach told reporters Friday that he won't know the Red Raiders' starting quarterback until his team takes the field in two weeks:
"It'll be a game-time decision now," he said. "We'll let them play it out these next few weeks and go from there."
Kingsbury's choice is between a pair of freshmen, Davis Webb and Baker Mayfield. Kingsbury praised Mayfield, a walk-on who he had recruited while on Kevin Sumlin's staff at Houston:
"We went after him hard," Kingsbury said. "When I was at the University of Houston, I recruited him as a sophomore. Coach Morris offered him at Washington State. He kind of got left out there at the end, but we knew he was a scholarship-type player, so we're excited that he's here obviously."
Whoever wins the job is going to need a strong arm: With Tech opening the season against June Jones' SMU Mustangs, expect the Red Raiders to air it out from the first snap of the campaign.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel stopped the quarterback waiting game Thursday night, posting a Youtube video to announce that senior James Franklin will remain the Tigers' starting quarterback in 2013:
After a stellar sophomore campaign two years ago, Franklin struggled with injuries and SEC defenses last season. He then compounded the problem with a poorly-worded comment about his team's fans at SEC Media Days. Even with that, Franklin's status was never seriously in doubt in the eyes of fans. Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk is expected to back up Franklin.
Another school, another quarterback story: New Golden Bears head coach Sonny Dykes named true freshman Jared Goff as Cal's starter for the 2013 season:
"We have had a fiercely-contested competition for our starting quarterback position," Dykes said. "It's important to name a starter and give them the reps they need to be prepared to play. We feel that right now Jared Goff gives us the best chance to be successful as a team, but we are very fortunate to have three outstanding quarterbacks we feel we can be successful with."
Goff, a consensus four-star recruit out of Greenbrae, California, committed to previous coach Jeff Tedford more than a year ago, and maintained his commitment when Tedford was replaced. California Golden Blogs, which has been meticulously monitoring Cal's practices this August, calls Goff "steady, consistent, and accurate." That's high praise for a true freshman.
Mike Leach said Rahmel Dockery will "make other plans" to play elsewhere. He is no longer with the team.— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) August 17, 2013
Dockery, who moved from wideout to defensive back when Leach took over last season, never appreciated the move to defense. His departure leaves Washington State lacking for depth in an already-depleted defensive backfield.
Dockery spent the day dealing with haters:
My haters get the same love as my supporters— Dockery (@RahmelDockery) August 16, 2013
Haters gonna hate, man. Haters gonna hate.
The Utes took to Youtube to show off their new practice facility and weight room:
The Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center cost $32 million to construct, and replaces a training center that did not have space for team meetings and left the Utes trailing other Pac-12 members. Head coach Kyle Whittingham is happy with what he sees:
"What a difference it has made already in the whole atmosphere and attitude of the football team," he said. "It's awesome."
Utah starts its second season in the Pac-12 against in-state rival Utah State on August 29.