We have a QB! Wait, we have two QBs!

Written by Kyle Porter
Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Mike Gundy named Clint Chelf and JW Walsh co-starting quarterbacks on Thursday afternoon, or at least that’s what I think he did.

His exact words were:

“I don’t feel like either one of them will be a backup in the first game.”

I’m not totally sure if Gundy knows how this whole foosball thing works but yes, one of those guys will, in fact, not be on the field when the first snap is taken from under center and therefore, by definition, be the backup.[1. Unless we pull a “why is Zac Robinson lining up in the slot with Bobby Reid under center?!” situation which, at this point, isn’t even close to being out of the question.]

The thing that worries me though is what Gundy said after that:

“I don’t like two-quarterback systems if we have one that’s better than the other or one that’s more experienced. Each year is different. Now we have two quarterbacks who are right there with the same amount of experience. We’re obligated to give both of them an opportunity to play in the game.”

When you get paid $3.5 million dollars to tell 85 people what to do with a football, you have no obligations other than piling up Ws. Heck, I mean, flip a coin if you want. I don’t care!

The last thing Gundy said was basically an open lamentation about the fact that Brandon Weeden was purged of all his eligibility and it was a bit foreboding:

“There’s no perfect (answer). It’s an issue. I think everybody would say you’d rather have an NFL quarterback and play one. That makes it a lot easier for everybody. If there’s two guys that both deserve to play, you gotta play them. That’s really the only way to handle it.”

Wait, it’s an “issue”? How is it an issue? You’re the one who’s getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per issue solved!

And no, if there are two guys who deserve to play, you don’t “gotta play them” — this isn’t the Little League World Series[1. Though JW Walsh’s arm might trick you into thinking it is — I promise I’ll stop at some point, I really do like the guy.]

I loathe two-QB systems more than I loathe the memories of Nathan Simmons running HB Dive over and over again in my head.

You guys know I’m #TeamChelf in this whole mess but the truth is I would rather Gundy just start Walsh straight up than try to figure out how to play both of them. Plus, my disdain for Walsh is a bit overblown. The dude is legit. If you put a gun to Bob Stoops’ head (which I think somebody tried earlier this year) he would take Walsh over Knight and Bell in a heartbeat.

A lot of people have noted “hey, it’ll be OK, both guys are really good!” But the history of two-QB systems working in college is pretty short. Like, “2007 Florida and that’s pretty much it” short.

The issues are multifold and chief among them is not necessarily who your starter is, but the question of “who’s your closer?” I want to know who we’re rolling out with 90 seconds left against West Virginia in Morgantown on a Saturday night when OSU is down six. I want to know right now, too. And I want everybody else to know as well.

From the way Gundy’s talking he’s going to use Walsh beyond “hey, it’s 4th and 1 and we need some yards” or in goal line situations. This begs a number of other questions that I’m sure people who get paid more than me (a lot more than me) have discussed but have yet to implement. Questions like:

Who, you know, decides which guy is going out there on every series?

Does Yurcich have to juggle calling plays in the Big 12 with trying to satiate each of his signal callers?

Why, when ever singe player in the preseason insinuated it was going to be Chelf, is Gundy so hell bent on playing Walsh? Is he worried about the next two years? If so, has he seen this clip?

I honestly don’t care who it is but it needs to be somebody and right now it’s not.

And it doesn’t sound like that’s getting resolved anytime soon.

  • David C.

    Kyle, are you upset about this or something?

  • Sugar Skull Pete

    Gundy don’t follow your rules. Gundy’s gonna Gundy.

  • Evie Taylor

    I don’t think it’s Gundy who is the idiot. You really should rethink your profession. We laugh at your articles at work. Newsflash, Gundy has done more with the OSU football program than any other coach who has ever been there. Are you on the pipe???????????????

    • William Reinier

      Who said Gundy was an idiot? Who has ever debated the value of Gundy? Why aren’t you doing work at work? Why so many question marks?

      • Evie Taylor

        Are you Kyle’s lover??????????????

        • William Reinier

          Thank you for my personal set (14!) of question marks. I have a wife, but I always appreciate the elderly playing matchmaker. I don’t understand why you would come here (by choice) just to post negativity. There’s already an outlet for that. It’s the little arrow next to the address bar. I’ve enclosed a picture in case you’re confused. Have a great day!

          • Evie Taylor

            Maybe you should try some deep breathing and chill out a little.

          • Casey Shepherd

            Evie is the Anit-Nate and I gotta admit I LOVE IT! This is hilarious. She/He/It is obviously so blinded by her orange shades that she can’t conceive anyone talking bad about OSU, Gundy or whatever….which lets face it Kyle almost NEVER does. We all love OSU, that’s why we read this blog. And playing matchmaker/job coach….that’s icing!

          • GoPokes0714

            Ha Ha, She clearly cannot comprehend that questioning one decision is not bashing the entire job. What are we all thinking every school and NFL team should run 2 QB’s. Every company should have 2 CEO’s, in fact we need a 2nd head coach. If you can’t acknowledge that it is unconventional at best, then either you have some deep seeded issues, or don’t have many lights on upstairs. But what ever, she thinks Cleveland beating St. Louis in the preseason was Weeden beating Bradford in a QB duel. Who cares that they each only played 2 series, and it’s PRESEASON, but hey, why lets facts get in the way. – Don’t get me wrong I love Weeden, and he has been fantastic this preseason, but i don’t know who would consider that game a QB showdown…. well I guess I do, Evie??????????????

          • Scott Hubbard

            I think Evie is Kyle in his Mom costume. Like Norman Bates. Seriously.

    • Kirk

      Kyle doesn’t hate Gundy, if you read his previous posts you would know so. Also, Kyle’s stating two QB systems usually fail; which is historically factual. What’s your beef ?

    • RunningUpTheScore

      I think this merits and apology. You have no idea what you’re
      talking about.

  • Tayvl

    People who report news hate people who keep secrets. True fact!

    • Disavowed 1

      Not too smart are you?

      • Tayvl

        I like a guy who’s not afraid to embarrass himself. High five!

        • Disavowed 1

          Level 2.

  • Wooly

    I want to believe Gundy thinks that not not naming QB1 gives some sort of strategic advantage for the first game, but Alex Cate.

  • Mcg20k

    2 QB systems are always bad. Hopefully this doesn’t make it through halftime of the Miss St game or there are going to problems.

  • Poke_4_Life

    I really think Gundy wants it to be Chelf, but JW has really improved over the summer especially in his throwing mechanics. (There was a video on OStateIllustrated with Yurcich talking about it.) So they are essentially equal in practice, but Chelf has a history of being a ‘gamer’ like Weeden and performing better under the lights.
    So I think both will get a chance in non-Con and then a starter will be chosen before BigXII(-2) play starts.
    I have a feeling we may be all on the JW train by conference play. That’s not a knock on Chelf, its a compliment to JW and a good problem to have.

    • Troy

      I think when it comes to quarterbacks, Gundy feels like he owes players who have been in the system something. I think that is what kept Weeden third string, and kept Robinson from starting when he was clearly better than Ried. I have a feeling that Walsh has become the better quarterback and Gundy isn’t ready to admit it yet. By the third or forth game he will have to.

      • Jeremy Pearson

        Yeah, Gundy does seem to be loyal to players who work hard and have seniority. I wonder if he’s just trying to make decisions without adversely affecting team chemistry. Diplomacy is a big part of a coach’s job.

    • MarkW

      Lots of people keep using the term “gamer” to describe Walsh and compare him to Weeden in that regard. Here’s the problem, Weeden could actually throw the ball. When Walsh drops back to pass you can hear people in crowded areas watching the game crap their pants. He’s Blake Bell light in my book. When I see him in person throwing tight spirals 40 yards on target I’ll start believing. Until then forgive me if I don’t drop to my knees like he’s the second coming of Christ.

      • dooley23

        Walsh was better than Chelf last year at throwing the football.

        • MarkW

          That’s highly debatable. Monken changed the playbook to account for his lack of arm strength.

          • David

            Walsh fails the eye test when it comes to passing, no doubt. But just look at his stats and you’ll see that dooley is right- Walsh was the more effective passer last year. He had half as many interceptions on a similar amount of passing yards as Chelf.

          • MarkW

            Blah blah blah, stats are easy to inflate when you’re not taking shots downfield. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Chelf is the greatest ever but I’ll never understand the love for Walsh and why people blindly lay so much faith in him. You people are like a cult.

  • GoPokes0714

    Gundy’s weakness is picking QB’s. Which is ironic since he was a QB. He track record selecting the starting QB is borderline awful. Think about it, the Bobby Ried situation. If it wasn’t for injury and truly horrible play, Weeden never gets on the field. The courasel that was last year, and now 2 starters. For the program we aspire to be, this is more than embarrassing.

  • FredAGunt


  • Jake

    I don’t like two-QB systems either, but this is different than most. Most two-QB systems are due to the fact that neither guy is really good enough to be the starter. That isn’t the case with Chelf and Walsh. Either guy would start on most teams in the Big 12. I’m not saying that will make it work, but it’s a better situation than most.

  • Steven M

    Is it plausible that this is all a hoax from Gundy to throw Misss St off? With his quotes, it’s completely reasonable to think we could just play Walsh around the goal line, indicating they’d both play.
    Just a thought.

  • Big D


  • Jadecy

    Just a thought but w/ Yurcich being a newbie to the OSU offense and Div I football does two QB’s give him more options (firepower) if his back is against the wall vs Miss St…? Maybe it’s about remaining flexible until they figure out how this team operates the best…

  • Tone

    Kyle you stole my thunder there at the end. I think we’re in a transitional year. New OC and QB problem. Don’t be surprised to see Daxx G starting next yr and he will probably see the field this year (espcially if one of the TWO starters gets hurt). What did we learn from the weeden years? Arm strength trumps almost all and neither choo nor Walsh have it. IMO, those two are great and history will show them in the same class as Zac….great but not elite.

    Better defence, faster offense and overall TOP end of the league being down will be the largest factors IF we are to match or surpass 2011.


    • MarkW

      Well put. I couldn’t agree with your entire above statement anymore. Kyle basically covered the entire office rant from today in the above article. Your statement is the icing on the cake. I think we see DG sooner than people can fathom.

      • Oranger

        Think about it from the standpoint of the opposition trying to prepare for our offense. Not only do they have to be ready for the aerial assault from Chelf and the rushing attack from J. Smith, now they have to be completely prepared for a qb who can run all over the place, run the zone read, and simply make plays. I think it’s (naming 2 starters) just bila bit of strategy by Gundy & Co.

  • Jamie

    Kyle, anyway you see any read-option, more spread option this year? More trick plays that Dana would love?

  • ChanceDM

    On the bright side, at least he’s excited about them both (or so it seems), as opposed to when he did have Weeden and Cate and he wasn’t excited about either of them (although that was for 2nd string). I think I recall in 2008 when Zac was the clear starter, that he said that neither Cate nor Weeden had earned the 2nd string job or something to that affect, and we have to consider that Weeden was probably rusty in 2008 still.

    Now, that became a problem later, when Cate started and Weeden was obviously better. However, that seems to be the precise problem Gundy wants to avoid now. So, at least he is open to both. I’m not saying this could be a bad situation, but I think he’s trying to correct for past mistakes, even if it may be an overcorrection.

  • Austin

    two quarterbacks IN THE SAME PLAY

    • Kirk

      I bet 10/1 we will definitely see this “trick play” this year. 2 QBs , 1 play

    • Tim Parrish

      I would love to see this as our FIRST play vs. MSU and I guess smith in the backfiled too. Yeah, Smith straight behind center flanked by Chelf and Walsh. That might even get MSU to call a timeout.
      During timeout I’d down two shots of whiskey and shout out “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a fascinating game.”

  • OSUaggie

    Gundy has proven time and time again that he’s pretty good at playing CEO of a football team; he also knows from experience that sometimes the great QB in practice may not be the great QB on the game field. I’m pretty certain no one wants to beat MSU like a drum more than Gundy. Let’s give him some leeway on this and see what he’s up too….in less than a week we should get a lot of clarification…GO POKES!!!!

  • dooley23

    Walsh adds more versatility to the offense, and he’s ultimately been a better passer. If he has improved in that area then I’d definitely give him the shot. Chelf has been overrated by a majority who think he was better than he was because he had a good story and people rallied behind the Choo. Given the choice, I’d take Walsh as my QB.

    The thing that bothers me, is the fact that Gundy is terrible at analyzing who should be QB. He had Weeden as the #3 guy, and others that failed and are quickly replaced. Is this another example, and instead of making a choice between the two, he’ll let them compete on the field? I think that is mistake, they should have had plenty of competition and there needs to be a starter one way or another. I think Walsh should be the QB, but not making a decision is cowardly imo and both guys and the entire team actually deserves more respect than that – not the lack of committal.

    Perhaps this is all just to have Miss St have to prepare for 2 types of QBs in the first game, and not tip your hand. Regardless, Gundy doesn’t have a good history with these decisions. I hope it turns out well, but there is no time to figure it out when we have a tougher test to start the season.