Success in college football can be hard to find; and without a solid quarterback it is almost impossible to attain.
In the state of Georgia you find two rival programs with very different quarterback situations.
The University of Georgia's announced starter, redshirt freshman Aaron Murray, enters the 2010 season with two spring and fall camps of college football experience under his belt. That's it.
A team with a virtual wealth of offensive experience at every other position, the one player guaranteed to touch the ball on almost every offensive snap has zero gameday snaps.
A highly rated high school signal caller, Aaron has the skill-set to be good. Expectations for Murray are very high, but UGA is in a rare situation where they have no real idea of what to expect from their young QB this season.
Should the Dawgs be forced to call on a backup, they might want to figure out who that will be. A position battle that has yet to be clearly defined by UGA's coaching staff with opening game only 10 days away could be a disaster in the making for the Bulldogs.
When asked recently about his backup quarterback situation Coach Richt stated, “I guess we really haven’t thought much about it. … We haven’t really got close enough to where we say, ‘What are we going to do?’ it’s coming up, we’re going to have to talk about it pretty quick. We just haven’t had that discussion yet.”
UGA's only QB with game experience is redshirt junior Logan Gray (11 pass attempts in two seasons) who has been taking snaps as a wide receiver and special teams player, and is currently nursing an ankle injury.
UGA's other candidate, Hudson Mason, is a true freshman with big high school stats and a couple of camps under his belt as well.
Compare their situation to Georgia Tech.
The Jackets return a three year, all conference starter in Joshua Nesbitt. A tough as nails, QB who takes a physical toll in the Jacket's option based offense.
With over 1,000 yards rushing and passing last season, and accounting for 28 touchdowns Nesbitt clearly knows how to get the job done.
Nesbitt is a known factor with Georgia Tech. If he can stay healthy he will proficiently run the option attack, providing ground and air numbers that could have him in the hunt for a Heisman trophy come season's end.
Should the unexpected occur for the Ramblin Wreck, they would turn their offense to redshirt sophomore Tevin Washington who has spent the same three years under head coach Paul Johnson's tutelage as Nesbitt.
A shifter and quicker QB than Nesbitt, Washington would be a bit on an unknown factor should his number be called this season. Having very little live game experience Tevin will start to build his resume for the starting QB role next year.
Digging further down the depth chart, Georgia Tech could call of any one of three other candidates including redshirt freshman David Sims who has good size and great athletic skills to run Tech's system.
It's been an arguing point among these rival fan-bases how the quarterback situations are very similar.
Yet, when compared as above it's clear that Georgia Tech has a decisive advantage in depth, experience, and talent at the QB position.
How will the difference in QB situations translate on the field in 2010? If polls and stats are to be believed, the Jackets clearly have the advantage.
This singular polarizing difference might very well be the main factor in how these bitter rivals fare this season.