Texas Football 2012: At This Point, Camp Quarterback Battle Is Counterproductive

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterAugust 15, 2012

COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 12:  Quarterback David Ash #14 of the Texas Longhorns passes during the game against the Missouri Tigers on November 12, 2011 at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tuesday, as Kirk Bohls at the Austin American-Statesman reported, Mack Brown still doesn't have a quarterback. He's not leaning either way. In fact:

He and the staff have reached a consensus that both David Ash and Case McCoy are capable of winning football games this year.

That sounds an awful lot like working backwards. Or, at the very best, making no progress at all. After the spring that left Mack Brown with no answers, this camp was supposed to be about finding a quarterback for 2012. Instead, the Longhorns have found a gigantic pile of "meh."

This is not the Oregon quarterback battle that we've had our eyes on since spring ball. In Eugene, you have every coach's dream; two quarterbacks excelling in the system and being positives for the offense when they get their reps. In Austin, you have two quarterbacks that are going to have to out "game manage" the other to get the starting job.

At this stage in the game, the battle is hurting, not helping. With just over two weeks until the season starts, there is no starter, no game prep and no growing into the leadership role. Instead, Texas, with a BCS Bowl-caliber defense and solid run game, is spinning its tires looking for an answer at the quarterback position that is never going to materialize.

We've seen these two battle through a season. We've seen them battle through a spring. We're now seeing them in a fall camp. There is never going to come a point where David Ash or Case McCoy suddenly becomes the Colt McCoy or Vince Young that Texas has had in their recent history. Hell, Ash and Case McCoy aren't even going to be Major Applewhite or Chris Simms at this rate.

And all of those things would be okay, if Texas would go ahead and prepare to win with what they have; a game-managing quarterback, a solid rushing attack and a defense that should suffocate the opposition.

It's okay to win ball games that way. Before Urban Meyer, Ohio State was doing it to the tune of Big 10 title, after Big 10 title. Alabama has ridden that formula to a 48-6 record and two national titles in the last four seasons. Embrace it.

Most teams never have an all-time great at the quarterback position. Almost no one gets two of them back to back. Welcome back to reality Texas. This is the state of quarterbacking in the college football world as a whole. You get a guy who is good enough and then you help him make it work by giving him what he needs. 

In this case, the first thing he needs, whether it is Ash or McCoy, is to be named the starter so he can grow into the role. The team is not being helped by the protracted battle. The players involved in the battle are not being done any favors. Pick a guy. Let him ride it out. If it doesn't work, change it later in the season.