Simple: Clint Chelf is OSU's starting quarterback — because Mike Gundy is trying to win the game

Gundy will worry about the future later. Right now, the current group of seniors deserves to have the best chance at beating Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. And that's with Chelf starting.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 20, 2012


photo - OSU / COLLEGE FOOTBALL:  OSU's Clint Chelf talks to the media after football practice at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OSU / COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OSU's Clint Chelf talks to the media after football practice at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Clint Chelf will quarterback OSU in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue, and Mike Gundy's stated reason is rock solid.

He's trying to win the game.

There are other reasons to start Chelf, who went from third-teamer to cult hero in the month of November.

Try to keep Chelf around; as a graduate (earlier this month), he is eligible to transfer and play immediately at a school that offers a master's program unavailable. Or maybe Gundy believes Chelf is the best long-term option for OSU, and might as well get Chelf all the work you can going into 2013.

Of course, 2013 is a reason to not start Chelf. If the Cowboys are committed to this Air Raid offense, and there is zero evidence to believe they're not nor shouldn't be, then freshman Wes Lunt remains the OSU quarterback of the future. That's what Cowboy coaches saw last spring, and despite some growing pains in Lunt's limited playing time around a series of injuries, there's no reason to see anything differently now.

But Gundy says his decision is not based on looking ahead, to January or the spring or the 2013 season.

“He's played well at the end of the year, deserved to be there,” Gundy said of Chelf. “The most important part of it is the seniors. What's important for them. We'll think about next season after the bowl game.”

Gundy often brings up commitment to the seniors. He's been critical of the coaching carousel — both coaches leaving for other jobs and schools firing coaches — that leaves some teams short-handed in bowl games.

Forget, for a moment, the irony of a coach who flirted with Tennessee and Arkansas two weeks ago to talk like that. Gundy is fundamentally correct. The players, especially seniors, are often the victims in bowl games.

OSU will play the bowl game without its offensive coordinator; Todd Monken took the Southern Miss head coaching job. Purdue will play the bowl game without its head coach; Danny Hope was fired in November.

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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