It's Take Two Tuesday. Max Olson and Brandon Chatmon debate which Big 12 position battle will linger into the summer months.
Max Olson: Texas Tech QBs
You have to respect the fact that, after two years of total instability at quarterback, Texas Tech’s coaching staff understands how important its next move at quarterback will be.
The battle between Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb is not going to be decided this spring. If one is named the starter when the Red Raiders wrap up spring ball at the end of the week, I’d be seriously surprised. That’s not a reflection of uncertain feelings about their talent -- more an indication that it’s a truly neck-and-neck race between a pair of overqualified candidates.
Mahomes will continue to be the guy who gets the No. 1 reps, I think, because Tech still isn’t able to throw Webb into true live reps yet in an effort to ensure he completely heals from his shoulder injury and stays that way. But by limiting Webb -- who did not play in Tech’s Midland spring scrimmage -- it’s difficult to reach a conclusion about who’s best suited to lead this offense.
What it will all come down to, in the end, is which quarterback does a better job of avoiding turnovers. Mahomes’ ability to make plays in the zone-read game does add another dimension to the Red Raiders’ offense. Even if Webb ends up being the starter, Mahomes is still going to play a lot, I think, in packages well tailored to his talents.
But there’s no sense in naming the No. 1 guy this month. Tech has had a rough run lately of losing backup quarterbacks -- both scholarship guys and walk-ons -- who didn’t want to sit and wait. By naming a winner and a loser right now, you’re just going to make that No. 2 QB wonder whether the grass is greener elsewhere.
So, with good reason, I think Tech waits until the fall -- or even the season opener -- to name its starting quarterback. It’s a tricky call, because neither really deserves to lose and one is going to have to elevate these Red Raiders if they hope to pull off a big bounce-back season following their 2014 woes.
Brandon Chatmon: Oklahoma State RBs
The Cowboys could be one productive running back away from legit Big 12 title contention, no matter how things play out at Baylor and TCU.
Even though finding a consistent playmaker at running back is a top priority for Mike Gundy’s program this spring, I don’t see any way the running back position is resolved in Stillwater before the summer hits.
Rennie Childs gets the opportunity to show he’s ready to be the man after two seasons in the background.
“It excites me. I've been waiting on this for a long time. I've been wanting all of the carries,” he said.
Junior college signee Todd Mays is on campus and looks like he will have a role in the Cowboys offense in some shape or form. The versatile offensive threat could excel at running back or receiver in OSU’s offense, but the Pokes’ biggest need is in the backfield and this spring gives him time to lock down a spot.
Yet I would be shocked if something is decided before Chris Carson arrives on campus. The Pokes have high hopes for the No. 12 player in the ESPN Junior College 50, who could bring balance and big-play ability alongside quarterback Mason Rudolph.
Childs and Mays are getting the bulk of the opportunities this spring, but Carson’s chance is coming.
It’s one reason I'm convinced the bell cow of OSU’s running game won’t be decided until the fall.