I had dinner with David Ubben and Travis Haney this spring at a little burger joint in Dallas. Conversation inevitably turned to the OSU quarterback situation which was still in flux at that point.
I told both of them it was going to be Lunt and they both thought I was crazy (Haney more than Ubben…just for the record).
There were two reasons I thought this:
1. Everybody was gushing about his arm strength and arm strength is, you know, a good quality to have in this offense.
2. All things being equal, you should pick the youngest guy with the highest ceiling.
Before we go any further, let’s establish a premise for OSU fans.
Can we all agree that as a program we want to be a Big 12 title favorite every third or fourth year and pretty competitive the other two or three? To me that’s pretty much the goal and I think it provides a good framework for us to look at what’s going on with the quarterback situation.
Monken and Gundy settled on Lunt (and not Walsh), not necessarily because he gives OSU the best chance to win this year (I think they both give us about the same chance at the same number of wins), but because they want to be playing for conference titles in 2014 and 2015.
As fans, you (we) have to understand that for Lunt to improve and to move towards his ridiculously high ceiling, he has to go through games like this one and the one in Tuscon. He has to run the gauntlet before he can wear the crown.
Now the problem for fans is that both Weeden and Zac came in and played up to their full potential right away. Neither changed much over the course of his career so that’s what we expect from the new guys too.
And it’s what we got from Walsh. The Iowa State and Texas games are who Walsh is. His skill set isn’t something he can really build on — he’s going to go out, run around like a maniac, and make some terrific plays.
This is fine if you want to go 8-4 every season with the occasional 9-3 sprinkled in.
But I don’t think that’s the point anymore.
Lunt is somebody who’s going to take you to 8-4, then 9-3, then you get a pair of shots at 10-2 with him at the helm his last two years.
This might seem bad right now because Walsh looks better doing it the first year (not as many picks) but I don’t think OSU’s record would be any better with Walsh starting all 13 games this season than with Lunt. And I definitely don’t think you get any shots at the Big 12 title down the road with Walsh[1. We never did with Zac.].
If you’re a Walsh guy your argument could easily be “but we don’t know if Lunt’s ceiling is even that high.” My rebuttal to that is 1) his throws and performance are (at times) ridiculous, the problem is his decision making which inevitably evolves over time and 2) I trust Monken’s initial decision.
The biggest issue right now is that Lunt isn’t able to grow up and improve his decision making skills in Big 12 games because he can’t stay healthy[2. If we want to talk about him being injury-prone then I’ll listen to that argument — missed all or part of 10 of his last 22 games due to injury.]. So instead of setting a strong foundation during his freshman season you’re left with a few pieces here and there that don’t really add up to anything substantial.
Because of that you might see another QB competition next spring.
Unless we find a way to get Chelf[3. Can we please stop with the Chelf = Weeden because he’s third string nonsense. I like Chelf, I think he gives a crap and did a great job at KSU, but he’s not going in the first round of next year’s or any other year’s draft.] another year because…I mean that second half against Kansas State, right?!
Editor’s note: see the comment @carsonc5 makes in the comments below. I wish I would have included it in my post.