STILLWATER — Mike Gundy made his latest quarterback decision Saturday, anointing J.W. Walsh the starter after the sophomore dual-threat signal-caller relieved Clint Chelf on the third offensive series in Saturday's opener against Mississippi State and never came out of the game.
But the competition can be traced back nearly a year, when an injury-driven quarterback carousel led to Chelf, Walsh and Wes Lunt each taking on the starting role and finding success, winning at least one Big 12 contest and throwing for more than 1,000 yards. Then, there was a spring competition — where Gundy essentially named Chelf the starter then later proclaimed the competition was still open — Lunt's offseason transfer and a fall camp that ended with Gundy saying Chelf and Walsh would both play in Game 1 and that neither would be viewed as the backup.
It's certainly been a race filled with odd twists and turns. Just add it to the list of other notable quarterback choices made during Gundy's tenure.
Josh Fields vs. Aso Pogi. Bobby Reid vs. Zac Robinson. Alex Cate vs. Brandon Weeden.
It's difficult, though, to draw any overwhelmingly common themes within those choices. Gundy hasn't consistently leaned toward veterans with clout or youngsters with potential. He's had different styles of quarterbacks run different styles of offense.
If anything, Gundy has consistently valued toughness and leadership — and, of course, the ability to direct a productive offense that moves the ball and scores points. The rest of the decision-making process? Call it going with the gut.
Here's a look back at the other quarterback derby choices Gundy has made.
2012: Wes Lunt vs. J.W. Walsh vs. Clint Chelf
Lunt, then a true freshman early enrollee, won the spring battle, largely because his big, accurate arm was the most natural fit for OSU's explosive version of the Air Raid spread. But all three started at least three games when injuries plagued the position for much of the season. That propelled the Cowboys into a spring, summer and fall of quarterback intrigue.