As we passed the time awaiting word on quarterback Vernon Adams and the most obsessed-about summer school math test in college football history Thursday, it probably was difficult for more than a few of the older folks out there not to recall the famous "Saturday Night Live" sketch mocking the 1976 presidential debate with Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford.
"It was my understanding that there would be no math," Chase deadpanned perfectly to a complicated question on economics.
Ah, but there was math with Adams, at least until he posted a "Thank God" tweet around suppertime Thursday. We concur. Thankfully, math test speculation is now over. Adams will practice with Oregon for the first time Friday, no longer held down by unfinished business from his now alma mater, Eastern Washington. He is a successful graduate transfer, offering up his services for a single season in Eugene.
Huzzah. This lingering story has schlepped along since February with hyperventilating coverage despite nothing much actually happening. Now it's about football, which could become interesting.
Lockie has a huge advantage in terms of familiarity with not only the Ducks offense but also their locker room and coaching staff. Lockie also turned in a strong spring practice and has been running the offense all summer with his teammates. Further, there seems to be just a bit of exasperation on the Oregon coaching end of things that Adams took so long to take care of his business and thereby became a distraction for a team that is obsessive about even considering the possibility that such things exist at Chez Win the Day.
Adams was a dominant FCS player, passing for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns in three seasons as the Eastern Washington starter. He also stepped up to Pac-12 competition, throwing a combined 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions while beating Oregon State in 2013 and nearly doing so to Washington a year later.
He's a good athlete who's pass-first, and he believes transferring to Oregon will improve his NFL chances, allaying fears that his 6-foot, 190-pound frame is too slight to take care of business on Sundays.
Make no mistake though: The odds of his being the starting quarterback in the season opener against -- wait, this can't be for real -- Eastern Washington on Sept. 5 probably are remote. That's just not enough time to learn an offense and develop a rhythm with his teammates. He'll almost certainly see action -- the symmetry of playing against his old team is just too good to ignore. The question is how much. And how well.
The larger question is how ready will Adams be for the Ducks' marquee nonconference tilt on Sept. 12 at Michigan State, a game with potentially huge national ramifications. The Pac-12 schedule starts on Sept. 26 in Autzen Stadium against Utah. Could that be a deadline for a breakthrough?
Know that Oregon coaches have talked significantly about how they will manage this strange QB competition. Lockie is respected and well-liked, but the recruitment of Adams means Ducks coaches were far from 100 percent sold on him.
If Adams shows up and is lights out, then no one will question him lining up behind center ahead of Lockie at some point. And if Lockie is decisively better and the moment gets the better of Adams, then the Ducks can feel good about their QB depth.
Yet what if there is no clear winner, a likely scenario at least through the early weeks of the season? The likelihood is both quarterbacks will play and Ducks coaches will hope for a hot hand to grab the steering wheel and not let go.
Short of that, Oregon could have its first good old-fashioned quarterback controversy since 2006. This is not a program with a wide margin for error. A second regular-season loss in 2013 had fans panicking, you might recall.
Oncoming controversy or clear winner, the good news now is Oregon's QB situation is no longer about complicated transfer rules and math tests. It's about football.
That will inspire a different, more satisfying form of media and fan hyperventilating.