STILLWATER — Clint Chelf could win more than a football game Saturday afternoon in Norman.
He could win a quarterback battle.
A Bedlam road victory would be another chapter in an already unbelievable story, but it would be the ultimate resume builder for the Oklahoma State quarterback, too. It would be a statement from a guy who's wearing a media muzzle.
Yes, OSU hasn't allowed one of college football's feel-good stories to do interviews this week. Chelf doesn't have a voice in his own story.
Chelf is a 22-year-old, fourth-year junior. He will have a business management degree by this time next month. He will have a triple minor in finance, sports management and marketing.
Or at least that was his plan earlier this year.
I'd have double-checked that with Chelf — if only I could've talked to him this week.
The Cowboys have entrusted their team to him, but they don't trust him to meet with us media types for 30 minutes.
But my guess is that the whole thing is a reaction — or overreaction — to an impending quarterback derby.
The Cowboys are soon to have not one, not two but three quarterbacks who have thrown for more than a thousand yards this season. Wes Lunt, J.W. Walsh and Chelf have all shown themselves capable of leading this team and winning ball games.
And all are expected to be back next season.
So, who will be the quarterback?
The Cowboys are heading headlong toward another springtime quarterback battle, and Mike Gundy has to be aware of that. Since team policy has curtailed the media availability of Lunt and Walsh — Lunt because he's a first-year player and Walsh because he's been hurt — the Cowboy coach may want Chelf to operate under similar restrictions.
But here's the truth of the matter: OSU won't have a quarterback derby if Chelf beats the Sooners.
Chelf is about to make his first career start in the most hostile environment for a Cowboy quarterback. More than a decade has passed since one of them won in Norman, and only five of them have won on Sooner soil in the past 50 years.
Read that again.
Five in 50 years.
And as impressive as Chelf has been in his first two-plus games as the Cowboy quarterback, he has yet to face a secondary as good as the Sooners'. West Virginia and Texas Tech wish they has defensive backs as good as OU's.
Beating the Sooners would be a loud-and-clear statement about Chelf.
It would speak volumes during a week when he couldn't.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.