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OU's Bob Stoops and OSU's Mike Gundy: Two successful football coaches, two different philosophies on picking a QB

Bob Stoops waited until 11 days before the opener to pick the winner of his last quarterback derby, and that was Sam Bradford. Mike Gundy doesn't plan to wait that long to pick Brandon Weeden's replacement.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 4, 2012

The last time Bob Stoops had a legitimate quarterback derby, he didn't pick a quarterback until 11 days before the season opener. And Sam Bradford was the quarterback Stoops eventually picked.

Mike Gundy doesn't plan to wait that long. Gundy plans to pick the next OSU quarterback in the near wake of the Cowboy spring finale, if not sooner.

“I'm not really excited about the team not knowing who their quarterback is all summer,” Gundy said.

So if he can, Gundy soon will name a starter from the trio of Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt.

But the differing philosophies are fascinating. Gundy wants to identify his team leader as early as possible; Stoops doesn't mind keeping everyone, including the quarterbacks themselves, guessing.

“They both need to continue to compete,” Stoops said of his general philosophy on quarterback competition.

Stoops certainly isn't talking about recent Sooner seasons; either Bradford or Landry Jones has gone into the last five OU springs with the job nailed down.

“There's so much that can happen from now through the summer work and their training and how they work in the off-season, even to two-a-days. I don't know that the fact that they remain competitive isn't the best way.”

Gundy sees it differently. He wants Brandon Weeden's successor ID'd soon. Wants the Cowboys to know who's leading the Posse long before August.

“I would like to make a decision after spring ball, so going into summer workouts, which are so important, we would know who our quarterback is,” Gundy said.

“We won't do it all until we know for sure who it is. But I would just as soon someone take it and run with it. I think it helps with the development of your team if they know who the quarterback is.”

Funny how two coaches, each fabulously successful, see a situation in such diverse ways.

There's not necessarily a wrong way or a right way. Just a different way.

Five times Stoops has gone into spring practice not knowing who his next quarterback would be. Four of the five times, Stoops has waited until mid-August or later to name a starter:

* 2001: Nate Hybl picked over Jason White, Aug. 16, nine days before the opener.

* 2002: White picked over Hybl, Aug. 19, 11 days before the opener.

* 2005: Paul Thompson picked over Rhett Bomar, Aug. 25, nine days before the opener.

* 2007: Bradford picked over Keith Nichol, Aug. 21, 11 days before the opener.

The only time Stoops picked early was in 2003, when White was recovering from a second knee operation, and Stoops named White on June 19, mostly because Brent Rawls goofballed his way out of contention.

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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 Oklahoman,...
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