And because this is the Pac-12 Blog, my reaction was to quickly run through the six unsettled quarterback situations in the conference to gauge them as possible landing spots. Only one made sense for both parties: Oregon State.
It doesn’t seem likely to actually happen, but the pairing works on several levels.
Golson is transferring so he can play. It’s hard to read this any other way. He led the Irish to an appearance in the BCS national title game after the 2012 season, but after being suspended from the university in 2013 and struggling mightily down the stretch in 2014 -- he was pulled in the regular-season finale at USC and didn't start in the bowl victory over LSU -- Golson’s early-career success no longer carried weight.
It only makes sense to consider schools where Golson would have a reasonable chance of winning the starting job. That process eliminates Oregon, Utah, UCLA and Washington State almost immediately.
Oregon has a transfer trending in a better direction in Vernon Adams, Travis Wilson has started games for three years at Utah, UCLA is not bringing in a guy who got benched at USC in his last start (among several other reasons) and Golson is not a fit for Mike Leach’s offense at WSU.
Washington, with Cyler Miles away from the program because of personal reasons, is worth more than cursory consideration, but it still doesn’t feel right. The Huskies are likely better off just sticking with junior Jeff Lindquist, who has played and knows the system, or trying to develop redshirt freshman K.J. Carta-Samuels or Jake Browning.
At Oregon State, there is no question Golson would be the most talented quarterback on the roster. While he would still need to learn Gary Andersen’s offense quickly, that doesn’t put him too far behind the curve considering Andersen has only been at Oregon State for five months. And neither of the Beavers’ current options, true freshman Seth Collins and redshirt freshman Nick Mitchell, have taken a college snap.
Schematically it’s a fit, too. Andersen is installing an offense designed with a dual-threat quarterback in mind – something Golson certainly is.
Again, the likelihood of Golson landing at Oregon State doesn’t seem likely -- especially considering ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy mentioned Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Texas as teams that might be interested in him -- but it would make sense and is worth exploring.