This Week in QB Controversies: Penn State and Ohio State Look for "The Guy"

Zach TravisContributor IAugust 22, 2011

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1:  Not too much to celebrate that day for Matt McGloin  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Not too much to celebrate that day for Matt McGloin (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It is the QB battle that won't die: Matt McGloin vs. Rob Bolden.

August 2010 was an up and down month in Happy Valley.  A four-man competition to see who would take over for former Penn State signal caller Daryll Clark was quickly whittled down to two men when the Penn State coaches realized Paul Jones was lost and Kevin Newsome didn't actually know anything about playing quarterback.  Everyone then decided that Rob Bolden was the obvious choice, and no one ever talked about it again.

Yeah, about that.

Fast forward to August 2011: past Rob Bolden's concussion, past McGloin's heroics against UM and Northwestern, past McGloin's five-interception crap-tacular in the Outback Bowl, past Bolden's request to transfer and Joe Paterno's firm, "no way, kid," and we are right back where we started.

Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin are still neck and neck, no one has decided anything, and neither one is very happy about it.  "Just like last year, I hope it's not like the day before the game. We'd definitely like to know sometime soon," Bolden said, and who could blame him?  Splitting reps with the first team is no way to get comfortable in the offense with one's teammates.

Bauserman knows his role.
Bauserman knows his role.

Looking in from the outside it is easy to figure that Bolden will eventually win the job.  The consensus four-star recruit has the size and athletic ability to become the type of quarterback that Daryll Clark and Michael Robinson were in the Spread HD offense.

McGloin, however, will always have Michigan...and Northwestern, and Minnesota.  The fact is, while McGloin doesn't wow you with ability, he found ways to win, and when he didn't it wasn't for lack of trying (23/43, 312 yards, 2/1 TD/INT vs. MSU, and I suppose you could say he tried really hard against Florida).

This blogger's prediction?  JoePa names Bolden the starter the day before the first game, McGloin gets a shot in one game but doesn't impress, and Bolden takes a solid hold on QB1 for the next three years.


To the west the Buckeye's have their own QB controversy brewing.  Stop me if this sounds familiar: a fifth-year senior who can best be described as a "savvy game-manager type" faces off against a hyped true freshman with worlds of potential and the support of the fans.  As camp progresses the fifth-year senior steadily gets the job done in practices and scrimmages, while the freshman alternates mistakes with "wow" plays.

No, it isn't 2008.  This is the new Buckeye battle between the elder statesman Joe Bauserman and freshman phenom Braxton Miller.  Bauserman has four years of "understudy" on his resume and a fist full of garbage-time stats (25/47 320 yds, 2/1 TD/INT).  On the other hand, Miller, a borderline five-star recruit, is obviously the future of the program.

This blogger's prediction?  A strangely 2008-esque offseason turns into a 2008 season: Joe Bauserman enters games as the "starter" but after some not-so-great early returns, he is replaced by Miller.  Miller then finishes out the season as the starter while the coaching staff tailors the playbook to his strengths.

You heard it here first, folks.  Any more brain busters?