The Oklahoma State Cowboys have an important task to complete during the spring this season. They must find a capable successor to Brandon Weeden, the best quarterback in the program's history.
Right now, junior Clint Chelf, red-shirt freshman J.W. Walsh and true freshman Wes Lunt are all competing for the right to be the next leader at Oklahoma State. According to Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman, Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy wants a clearly defined starter as soon as possible.
Here are five reasons why Gundy is exactly right to feel that way.
Consistency is important for a football team, especially when that team is trying to join the ranks of the elite in the nation. The Cowboys are on such a mission.
They can't afford to let this quarterback competition draw out for a long time. The quarterback is the most important position on the field, and Oklahoma State's offense relies on that player for every one of its facets. Without a consistent player at this position, the offense will become stagnant and not develop as well as fans would like.
The quarterback is the leader of a team. It doesn't really matter if that player is a true freshman or a Heisman-contending senior. That is especially for Oklahoma State since it has a pass-heavy offense. A prolonged quarterback battle undermines the leadership of whoever ultimately wins the job.
Brandon Weeden led this team the last two seasons. Without similar leadership going forward, the Cowboys will not be able to win. It is that simple.
We all like competition when it comes to big-time sports because it makes players and teams better. However, there is such a thing as unhealthy competition.
A prolonged quarterback battle will force the team to eventually pick sides. Considering that it is a three-player battle will make the team even more fragmented loyalty-wise, making this thing is even more dangerous than before.
Competition forces a person to eventually declare loyalty for one side or the other. That will cause division on this team.
Despite what you might think, a prolonged quarterback battle can undermine the confidence of both the winner and loser, or losers, in this case.
While the winner does get the job, he may not feel comfortable in the job, especially since it took the coaches so long to choose. The losers may just quit, which could kill a team if the winner proves to be ineffective.
Picking someone quicker will help the winner realize how important and good he is, and it will spur the losers to keep competing.
Another reason that the Cowboy coaches need to pick the starter sooner rather than later is because the sooner you identify talent and begin to focus and hone it, the better it will get.
The guy with the most talent will improve faster if he has more playing time. That obviously makes the team better. Wasting time by giving first-team reps to players who won't play doesn't really help anyone.