Michigan Wolverines: Three Quarterbacks? You Must Be Crazy

Tim CarySenior Analyst IAugust 24, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - AUGUST 30:  Nick Sheridan #8 of the Michigan Wolverines throws a second quarter pass while playing the Utah Utes on August 30, 2008 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Excuse me, Rich Rodriguez—what did you just say?

I'm sorry, really I am...but I must not have heard you right.

It sounded like you just said your football team would play three quarterbacks next weekend against Western Michigan.

Obviously, I misunderstood you.  Or maybe you misspoke.  Because there's no way th...
Oh, I'm sorry.  Apparently that IS what you said.  Now are you sure that's what you MEANT to say?

Because that's insane.  Crazy.  Ridiculous.  Unbelievable.   

(Pardon me while I turn the page in my thesaurus.)

Mind-boggling.  Preposterous.  Absurd.  Bizarre.  Unreasonable.  Foolish.  Unwise.

You see, Coach, this is how it works.  When your offense comes onto the field, it should consist of 11 players total.  Traditionally, that would be five offensive linemen, a couple running backs, a tight end, a pair of wideouts, and yes, ONE quarterback.

Now, I know you came from West Virginia with that funky spread offense, so you're allowed to twist things a little.  Call it five offensive linemen, five receivers, and a quarterback.  Fine by me.

But still, the common denominator here is the "one quarterback" idea.  One at a time.  That's all.  

I mean, sure, you can go all "Philadelphia Eagles" on us and play two at once.  But that's the absolute limit.

Three is just too far.

What's that, you say?  You're not planning to play them at the same time?

Oh, even better.  That makes a lot of sense.   

You're coming off the worst season in Ann Arbor since 1962.  You're a trendy upset pick to lose your first game to Western Michigan.  You're facing a future NFL draft pick in senior Bronco quarterback Tim Hiller.  And you're going to counter that with quarterback-by-committee?

But let me guess—your three options are all better than Hiller, so that's why you haven't been able to narrow it down just yet.  Eventually, though, you're going to settle on one, right?

Or not.

"Maybe we'll have three starting quarterbacks," you told the Associated Press.  "That would be neat."

Great, just great.  Hey, for that matter, why stop with three?

There's four quarters in a game—don't you think you need a different signal caller for each period?  Maybe four is the perfect number.

There's 12 games in a season—why not try a different player under center for each one? 

An average game has between 60 and 70 offensive snaps.  Why not use a different quarterback on each play?  That should work—keep 35 guys on your roster to cover the other positions and then play 70 quarterbacks on game day.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

It just doesn't add up, Coach.  You see, your program is supposed to be on the rebound.  That means winning games and having a quarterback/leader/gamechanger that your roster, university, and fan base can rally around.

And you even have decent options.  You've got returning veteran Nick Sheridan.  Not to mention Tate Forcier, who lit up the spring game.  And let's not forget Denard Robinson, who will most likely set a world record for fastest time in untied cleats.

But let's not kid ourselves and pretend all three are created equal.  If you want to beat the Notre Dames and Ohio States of the world, you need a quarterback that can handle the assignment.  So decide already.

We've all heard the infamous saying: "If you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one."  

I think it's safe to extrapolate that idea and surmise that "if you have three quarterbacks, you don't have a prayer."

Get it figured out.

Western is waiting.

This article is also featured on FirstandBigTen.com, a Bleacher Report blog dedicated to Big Ten football. 


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