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

“The seniors are the most important thing to me and ultimately to our coaching staff,” Gundy said. “Arguably the most successful senior class to ever come through here, we should have a responsibility to them. If I was a player, I would appreciate that.”

The Cowboys seemed to rally around Chelf, a good-soldier story who directed victories over West Virginia and Texas Tech and darn near did the same in Bedlam.

Chelf said his favorite moments from 2012 were “just being able to go and play with the guys on the team. Just finally being on the field with Lane Taylor, Evan Epstein and the other seniors has really been a blast.”

Chelf's effectiveness waned by season's end. After leading OSU to wins of 55-34 (West Virginia) and 59-21 (Texas Tech) and 24 first-half points against OU, Chelf's offense slumped.

Chelf led three second-half touchdown drives against the Sooners, but four second-half drives ended in punts. Then against Baylor, the first 10 possessions produced two touchdowns and two field goals, before two late TDs got OSU within 41-34 by game's end.

Victory should not be in question against Purdue. The Cowboys should wax the 6-6 Boilermakers with Jase Chilcoat quarterbacking, much less Chelf, Lunt or J.W. Walsh.

But OSU rallied around Chelf at a moment of crisis, and Gundy hasn't forgotten. He's embraced the quaint notion that this bowl game is part of this season, and even if the calendar says 2013 at kickoff of the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the 2013 season will have to wait.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


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...
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