With Ohio State’s 2015 college football season starting next Monday, head coach Urban Meyer has decided that he will not name a starter until the regular season opener against Virginia Tech. After defeating Oregon and capturing the national championship last season, many thought Meyer’s QB situation going into next season was the best problem a head coach could have. Although Braxton Miller, former Heisman trophy candidate and Meyer’s original quarterback, made a transition to wide receiver back in July, having to choose between two quarterbacks is still a difficult situation for any head coach especially when both quarterbacks are capable starters. Meyer recently stated that he plans to use both J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones at quarterback this season, a decision that has both its ups and downs.
Advantages of Having Two Starting Quarterbacks
- Preparing against Ohio State’s offense gets much harder: Barrett and Jones play two different styles of quarterback. Barrett is a dual-threat QB while Jones is a prototypical, traditional pocket passer. Spending a whole week to prepare against one of these quarterbacks is difficult enough, but if Meyer decides to use them in the same games, defensive coordinators will have nightmares.
- (In this case) The QB battle is actually a friendly competition: The QB battle between Barrett and Jones may be intense, but not as intense as one may think. Barrett and Jones have claimed to be fans of each other and are rooting for one another. Apparently each QB is okay with the other becoming the starter if Meyer chooses them.
Disadvantages of Having Two Starting Quarterbacks
- Preparing for two different quarterback styles can be a challenge for other offensive players on the team: While other offensive players on the team may not struggle nearly as much as their opponents, it can still be challenging to prepare for two extremely different styles. In all likelihood, the offensive linemen will struggle the most because the blocking schemes may vary depending on who is in the game.
- If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks: Now this is a saying that applies more to the NFL than the NCAA. Still, having a definitive quarterback is more than just having a position player. On any given team, the quarterback has to at least be one of the leaders if not THE leader and I can’t recall a team having more than one quarterback as a leader of the team at the same time. Locker rooms can become divided and teammates could end up taking sides even though they are all trying to accomplish the same thing: winning.
While Barrett and Jones are both talented quarterbacks, naming one to be the permanent starter could solve those problems mentioned in the disadvantages list. In recent memory, the last time I’ve seen multiple quarterbacks successfully play at the same time was at the University of Oklahoma when QBs Landry Jones and Blake Bell still played there. Jones actually played the position while Bell was used as a Tebow-like battering ram in short-yardage situations. It did indeed work out for the two quarterbacks but Barrett and Cardale Jones are much too talented to be limited to a Blake Bell type of role. Using them like that would be insult to their abilities.