Taylor Martinez: What Do Quitting Rumors Mean for Nebraska Cornhuskers?
Taylor Martinez, the freshman quarterback of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (No. 15 in the Week 13 BCS Rankings) was embarrassed by coach Bo Pelini on the sidelines during the team’s 9-6 loss to Texas A&M, leading to rumors that T-Magic was leaving the program.
Pelini refuted the rumors, saying that Martinez will indeed prepare for next week’s regular season finale against Colorado.
Whether the rumors had any truth to them or not, it’s clear that there was some tension between Martinez and Pelini on the Sidelines.
Check out the video of their clash here.
Now, since apparently T-Magic isn’t quitting, what does this situation mean for Nebraska football?
If All Really Is Well, The Huskers Are Fine
If T-Magic and Pelini can move past their differences, the Huskers will be fine.
They have a should-be cakewalk coming up against Colorado, and then likely a rematch with Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship game (Nebraska won the first meeting 51-41).
The title game won't be easy, but Nebraska is vastly superior on defense, and it can keep up with OSU's potent offense when Martinez is at his best.
If There's Tension, T-Magic Could Transfer
If the tension between Martinez and Pelini doesn't fade away, the Huskers are in trouble.
And if you didn't check out their clash before, make sure to now.
If I was one of the nation's best freshman quarterbacks, I wouldn't be too happy being treated like that.
Assuming Taylor doesn't get over it, that could lead to a transfer for the California native, and doom for the Huskers.
If He Does Quit, the Big 12 Championship Is the Cowboys' To Lose
If Martinez isn't able to play next week, it's likely that Cody Green will be able to lead the Huskers to victory over Colorado.
But if he doesn't play in the Big 12 Championship, Oklahoma State will have the overwhelming edge, as Green hasn't yet shown that he has what it takes to be a successful college quarterback.
Without Him, the BCS Picture Will See a Major Shakeup
Right now, I see Nebraska winning the Big 12 and thereby qualifying for the Fiesta Bowl.
If they lose Martinez, though, Oklahoma State should win the Big 12, and since it is already ranked No. 9 in the BCS, a win over the Huskers could potentially catapult the Cowboys into a year-end top-five BCS ranking (assuming they win the Fiesta Bowl, likely against the Big East Champion).
Jamal Turner Could Have Pressure on Him Early in His Career
If Martinez leaves, Cody Green will likely get the first shot at starting next year, but like I said, he hasn't been all that impressive.
Assuming he struggles, Husker fans will be clamoring for electric recruit Jamal Turner to start as a freshman next year.
While Martinez was an aberration, most freshman quarterbacks don't see success early in their careers, and this wouldn't be a good thing for Nebraska.
And scouts don't seem to think that Turner would be ready to start at quarterback right away, despite his elite athleticism.
And That Would Spell Doom for the Huskers Next Year
If Turner (or Green) did indeed start, the Huskers would be in trouble.
They're losing key contributors on both sides of the ball (Helu, Amukamara, etc.) and although the defense will always be elite, it won't be good enough to mask the Huskers' deficiencies on offense.
Nebraska would be a good team without Martinez (probably a little worse than last year's QB-challenged but Suh-led team), but it won't be elite.
Also, What About His Ankle?
In a completely unrelated note to the rumors, Taylor Martinez has been struggling with a bum ankle as of late.
Even if the rumors have no legs, the fact remains that T-Magic was not himself last week.
He left the game early after reaggravating the injury, only to return in the second half, his mobility clearly lacking.
Nebraska only scored six points in the game, and if Martinez continues to be hobbled, the Huskers are in trouble.
So What Will Likely Happen?
The exchange looked pretty bad, but Martinez isn't the first quarterback to get yelled at by his coach.
Likely, there will be no lingering effects and Nebraska should be just fine.
And if the Huskers can give Martinez some rest at practice in the coming weeks, he should be close to healthy for the Big 12 Championship, and their likely Fiesta Bowl appearance.
The Huskers won't have any problems winning their BCS bowl game, since it will likely come against the Big East Champion (West Viirginia looks like the best bet at this point), and should finish the year in the BCS Top 10.
It's not the national title that Nebraska was hoping for, but with Martinez returning next season, the Huskers would certainly take it.
What do you think about the rumors?
Will he leave the program?
Is this whole thing overblown? (I think so).
What does it all mean for Nebraska?
Voice your opinion in the comments.
Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a Featured Columnist/Writing Intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mattrud
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