22 September 2011
There is so much focus on the quarterback position at Ohio State right now. After the worst performance by a Buckeye starting quarterback that I can remember in the Miami game, the weeks Buckeye news has been dominated by that one topic.
The good news, I would call it great news, is that Braxton Miller has been officially named the starter by head coach Luke Fickell. After I suppressed my elation the first thought that came to my mind is, who is the backup? I think everyone assumes that it would be Bauserman. My question is why?
There is simply no reason to put Bauserman back in the lineup. He gave the offense nothing. That is not going to change as he comes in as a back-up. That is where most of us formulated the opinion that Bauserman was not the man for the starting job. His performances in relief of T errelle Pryor left most of us looking for out rosters to see who was next on the list. Plain and simple, Joe Bauserman cannot move this football team.
If the other backup options were freshmen it would be easier to say put Bauserman in there but that is not the case. Taylor Graham has no live game experience but he is in his second year in the program. It is time to find out of he can play. There has been some chatter on the Bucknuts board about putting Graham in. Most of it was an overreaction to Miller having some shaky moments in the Miami game. I am thinking that Graham has the best arm on the roster, one of the best we have seen at Ohio State, and his biggest negative, his mobility, does not appear to be an issue as the offensive line has done a good job of protecting the passer. Lets see what he can do. Kenny Guiton is a third year player who has played in games. I am thinking there needs to be a back-up for next year anyway. You want to wait until next year to see if the Buckeyes have an adequate backup?
That brings me to another issue. The depth chart. One of the the returning quarterbacks needs to know he is one play from the starting lineup. I think it foolish to assume both Graham and Guiton return. One of them is going to leave. There is much talk rigt now that that Graham is leaning toward not coming back. Keep in mind that his dad, Kent Graham, was a transfer player. I think that significant. He is unlikely to try to talk Taylor into sticking it out. If my son was behind a player the same age or younger I would ask him did he want to play or did he like the school enough to stay and try to compete. I would tell him his odds of playing are better at another school. Any player who is third on the depth chart has to know he is very unlikely to play much let alone start.
My fear is what if both things happen? What if both Graham and Guiton look up and see a freshman under center and decide that they want to play? Something that aggravates the situation is Cardale Jones is committed. If no pecking order is established both Graham and Guiton could be looking at the possibility of being at best number three on the depth chart.
There is no reason to look backward for a back-up. With Bauserman the Buckeyes are 2-1 and could be very easily 1-2. His Toledo performance was not as bad as Miami but it still rates as one of the worst performances in recent memory for a Buckeye quarterback. Looking backward can show the staff that Bauserman is not going to help this program win. It is time to think about the future. The first step has been taken. Braxton Miller is the new Ohio State starting quarterback. The next step is finding his back-up.
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