Picking Sooner quarterback no small decision

by Berry Tramel Published: July 4, 2007
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The Oklahoma quarterback job remains open, and Bob Stoops' indecision is doing more than playing with the minds of Sooner fans.

He's toying with state history.

Picking the OU quarterback is no small thing. It determines the Sooner success rate, which determines the overall attitude of many an Oklahoman, which determines everything from how the economy hums to whether a guy lets you cut in on the Broadway Extension.

But that's only short-sighted ramifications. Stoops' selection of a quarterback will go far past whether the Sooners play in the Fiesta Bowl again or have to spend Christmas in Shreveport.

Stoops could be deciding anything from the future governor to his ultimate successor.

The OU quarterback is the state's crown prince and often can name his post-college post:

• Some go into broadcasting. Steve Davis did. Dean Blevins did. Charles Thompson, Nate Hybl and Steve Collins all have dabbled.

• Some go into coaching. Darrell Royal's name is on the Texas U. stadium. Eddie Crowder won big at Colorado, and Jack Mitchell was solid at Arkansas and Kansas.

Bobby Warmack coached at both OU and Texas, which is sort of like swimming for both West and East Germany. Garrick McGee spent a year as the Sooner quarterback, then was banished to the bench by Howard Schnellenberger and Gary Nord, which come to think of it doesn't look so terrible on a resume, and now McGee is a bright young offensive coordinator at Northwestern.

Cale Gundy, whose record in big games was virtually the same as the cursed Gary Gibbs, recovered quite nicely. He's been on Stoops' staff from the get-go.

Josh Heupel, whose record in big games was a tad better, also is on Stoops' staff.

• And some OU quarterbacks go into politics.

Jack Mildren was lieutenant governor and ran for governor, though he lost, proving that crown princes, even those who helped stage the wishbone revolution, have their limits.

J.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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