So, Colt McCoy or Jevan Snead? Which camp are you in? Everyone's going to have to pick a side sooner or later. Would anyone really be that surprised if we had Applewhite-Simms Deathmatch II? The reality is that nobody's seen either of these kids take a single snap of collegiate football, but speculation is already rampant on who will win the job. Hey, that's Texas football. Like they say, it's a religion. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Texas coaches have already begun having their own version of The Council of Trent to try to sort this thing out.
Let's help them out.
Before any decisions can be made, you have to ask the right questions. The first, and most important, has to be: what role do you want the quarterback to play? Do you want a guy that can throw the deep ball? A control artist? Someone mobile? Even with Vince Young, it took a while to answer that question: before he was Vince the Center of the Offense he was Vince the Complimentary Quarterback. That's what the coaches have to be looking for from McCoy and Snead. Who's going to be able to compliment the running game best? There aren't going to be many games where we ask the quarterback to win the game for us. That's going to be up to the running game. What we want is someone who isn't going to get us beat. Someone who won't have a Colorado Chris Simms or Kerwin Bell Orange Bowl meltdown.
With some coaches, choosing the quarterback would be pretty cut and dry. A lot of coaches have that decisive personality that lives and dies with decisions; final decisions. Not Mack Brown. The Mack's style is definitely gentler, less decisive, more open to change. He's a positive guy, so you won't see him biting anyone's head off. He's more likely to be Phillip Freemason Esterhaus, encouraging his guys to "Be careful out there!" than he is to snarl at his players like Bob Stoops.
Which means that these tough decisions are harder not only for him, but for us. Because for every "Jevan Snead is doing a great job" quote we're going to get from Mack, we're equally likely to get a "Colt McCoy is progressing so nicely, too." Mack Brown's intentions are often more complex than a P.G. Wodehouse plot; you just don't know how he's going to mix things up. Last year's running backs were a perfect example: how much time did we spend speculating on who would start, how many carries each would get, and what situations they'd be used in? It's hard to say.
We'll have plenty of time to figure out which quarterback -we- think is best suited for the job, and our recruiting writers are working on a great article debating the merits and demerits of both Snead and McCoy. But one thing I'm hoping and praying that Mack Brown does is decide who HE thinks is the guy for the job and sticks with him. I hope he's unequivocal about it, and says as much. The Longhorns can repeat as national champions next year, but not if there guy behind center is never sure if he's going to be in on the next series. Mack must be decisive, or we'll be no better off than Ohio State was in the showdown last year. Mack must figure out who the Justin Zwick of the group is, and park him on the bench.
I recently had a debate with a friend who argued that Mack was incapable of such fortitude. I disagreed, and here's why. I think Mack -used- to be averse to the gutsy, go with your guns, attitude because he was always living on the edge. By that I mean that the pressure to win (not 10 games mind you, but a national title, and no less) was so great that he must have felt like Judah P. Benjamin, wondering whether or not he'd even survive the rumors of his guilt. It's paralyzing, I'm sure, and I know it affected the way Mack coached. But that ship has sailed. He's got the title. He was just at the White House. He gave every Texas fan all that we've ever wanted. The rest is easy. He can have fun; he can relax; he can go for another title without the fear of never getting there. Nothing can make a difficult decision easier than not being paralyzed by the fear of being wrong. Mack will pick his quarterback and Texas will sink or swim with that choice. Let the debate begin.