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Oklahoma State football: Revisiting the 1998 QB platoon

by John Helsley Published: August 20, 2013

photo - Southwest Texas State Bobcats vs OSU football at Stillwater. OSU QB Tony Lindsay directs team.
Southwest Texas State Bobcats vs OSU football at Stillwater. OSU QB Tony Lindsay directs team.

Tony Lindsay sparked Oklahoma State's run to the Alamo Bowl as a freshman in 1997, leading the Cowboys to their first winning season and bowl appearance in nine years.

For his work, Lindsay was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

So with Lindsay back at quarterback and plenty of other talent around him, optimism only amplified for 1998.

Except Cowboys coach Bob Simmons kept toying with a two-quarterback system, committing time to Chris Chaloupka.

OSU finished 5-6 in 1998. And the quarterback platoon, which seemed unfounded, contributed not only to the regression of the season, but also to Simmons' stock overall.

One game — the Cowboys' 24-17 loss at Texas Tech — stuck out as the case against a platoon and the start of internal unrest in the program, eventually playing a part in Simmons' firing following the 2000 season.

While Lindsay and Chaloupka had battled for the job in 1997, and both contributed to OSU's 8-4 finish that found the Cowboys ranked No. 24 in the final Associated Press poll, Lindsay clearly emerged as the No. 1 quarterback.

Yet Simmons continued to play Chaloupka. Not regularly, but randomly.

Like at Tech.

That day in Lubbock, Lindsay led the Cowboys on two scoring drives for a 10-0 lead through one quarter, while the Red Raiders had been scuffling, managing minus-2 yards in offense.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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