Zac Robinson didn't see it coming.
Didn't see that Brandon Weeden, the guy sort of backing up Robinson the last two years, would go from listless old guy to all-Big 12 quarterback. Would go from third-string to folk hero in a calendar year.
Mike Gundy doesn't blame Robinson for the lack of vision.
â€œZac was in the same meetings I was in,â€ Gundy said. â€œHe (Weeden) didn't do jack.â€
All that talk from Gundy about how Weeden didn't put a lot of commitment into his quarterbacking in previous years? Gundy is standing by it.
â€œWeeden, what are you doing?â€ Gundy said he would ask in some of those meetings.
We know what Weeden is doing now. Quarterbacking the nation's top-ranked offense. Leading the Cowboys with envious maturity befitting a 27-year-old veteran of the New York Yankees system. Taking State to this brink of a Big 12 South title, which can be won Saturday in Bedlam at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Sooner coach Bob Stoops calls Weeden a â€œgood decision-maker. Very good and accurate arm. Smart player in where he goes with the football. He's a bright guy. You can tell, because he makes good decisions.â€
That's a far cry from the Weeden who, by all accounts and his own testimony, didn't always apply himself when he was a scout-team quarterback and Robinson was King Cowboy.
â€œWhen you're on the scout team, no one cares what you're doing,â€ Weeden said.
Robinson, now an NFL rookie with the Detroit Lions, said it's been â€œa lot of funâ€ to watch the Cowboys' success in this 10-1 season. But he admits he didn't know Weeden would develop into the Big 12's best quarterback.
â€œI really didn't know,â€ Robinson said. â€œHe has a good arm. You really never know until he's the guy and you have to bring it every week.â€
Fellow Lion Brandon Pettigrew, an OSU tight end from 2005-08, said Weeden has â€œgot a cannon of an arm.â€ But all those offensive stars of OSU seasons past rarely got to see Weeden at work.
Weeden is right. It's hard to impress from the scout team. Remember, Weeden was a third-team quarterback as late as last November, when Robinson had to sit out the Colorado game with a concussion and Gundy turned to Alex Cate as his replacement.
Weeden was inserted at halftime of that near-disaster and rallied the Cowboys from an 11-point deficit to a 31-28 victory. That's when OSU found its quarterback of the future.
Back in 2008, then-OSU defensive coordinator Tim Beckman told Weeden, â€œYou have a chance to be pretty good.â€
Said Weeden, â€œSo I believed it. I continued to get better.â€
Cowboy defensive backs, who had to defend against Weeden's scout-team passes, raved about his arm. So there was a level of optimism even before the Colorado game, even if Gundy and Robinson hadn't seen the promise.
And now the scout-teamer could become what OSU thought Robinson might be (all-conference) and dared not dream he would be. A championship quarterback.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
WEEDEN vs. BRADFORD
Brandon Weeden's prolific passing numbers and how they compare with Sam Bradford's 2008 Heisman Trophy season through 11 games:
Player: C-A-I, Yds, Pct, TD, Sacks, QB rating
Weeden: 289-427-10, 3,780, 67.7, 30, 10, 160.54
Bradford: 238-349-6, 3,610, 68.2, 42, 11, 191.36