Trevor Knight is the new OU quarterback. I assume you’ve heard. If you haven’t read about it, here’s my column in the Friday Oklahoman.
Before naming Knight his quarterback on Thursday, Bob Stoops and staff had determined five quarterback derbies. How has Stoops fared in his quarterback decision-making? Let’s look.
First off, Stoops has been remarkably consistent with his timetable. Other than 2003, when in exasperation he named Jason White in June and relegated Brent Rawls to fourth team, Stoops has made his selection within a very narrow time frame.
2001: Nine days before the season opener.
2002: 11-12 days before the season opener (quarterbacks were told 12 days out, public was told 11 days out).
2005: Nine days before the season opener.
2007: 11 days before the season opener.
2013: Nine days before the season opener.
That kind of consistency is hard to produce even if you’re trying to be exact.
What is Stoops’ batting average? Somewhere less than 1.000 but well above .500.
* In 2001, Stoops picked Nate Hybl over Jason White. When Hybl was injured against Texas, White came on and finished off the only offensive touchdown drive of the game. OU won 14-3. White relieved Hybl the next week, too, against Kansas, then started against Baylor. But in a showdown at Nebraska, White suffered a torn ACL knee injury, and Hybl returned for the rest of the season.
The call: good. Hybl played very well early in the season. White was good in relief, too, but the offense was humming early. Later in the season, the offense stagnated, but Hybl was playing hurt.
* In 2002, Stoops picked White over Hybl. Then White suffered another torn ACL, in the second week, and Hybl came on and played well most of the season as OU won the Big 12.
The call: good again. White was becoming a very good player, even with the knee problems.
* In 2003, Stoops named White the starter in June. White went on to quarterback a team hailed as one of the greatest of all time, until a swoon in the Big 12 title game and national championship Sugar Bowl. He won the Heisman Trophy.
The call: better than good. Playing with two reconstructed knees, White was sensational. Quite a decision by a staff that obviously had reason to doubt.
* In 2005, Stoops picked Paul Thompson over Rhett Bomar. Thompson — and Bomar — struggled in the season opener against TCU, then Bomar was handed the reins. He was up and down the rest of the season but by season’s end was turning into a good quarterback, leading an inexperienced offense.
The call: poor. Bomar clearly was more talented than Thompson. Bomar was a handful and might have had difficulty winning over the team. If so, why bail on Thompson so quickly? Better to have just made Bomar the starter from the beginning,.
* In 2007, Stoops picked Sam Bradford over Joey Halzle and Tommy Grady. Bradford started two straight years and would have started Year 3 if not for a shoulder injury.
The call: good. Big 12 titles (two) and a Heisman Trophy tend to ratify decisions.
So five quarterback decisions, and four solid hits. That’s an .800 batting average. Not bad. Not bad at all.