While Joker and Co. ponder the starting quarterback for Saturday's game the storm rages. Bloggers are calling for Mr. Smith Goes to Commonwealth across the BBN. It seems that the only disagreement among the faithful is whether Smith should be named the starter before or after the "quarterback competition" this week in practice.
Actually, there are a few reasons for Joker to wait. He wants to plant a little seed of doubt in Ole Miss game planning, see how Newton is healing up and waiting for the HGH tests on Smith to get back from the lab.This oft repeated tactic has been used since coaches were born. Anything you can do to confuse the competition you seize on. I'm sorry, but this doesn't hold water in this situation. If you going to face Kentucky, the unknown (Smith) is where you spend significant practice time. Stopping a Newton led offense hasn't been much of a challenge for our opponents so Ole Miss couldn't come close to filling a week of practice anyway.
It just looks like waiting to name a quarterback is hurting Kentucky more than Ole Miss. Sure, the fans are threatening to boycott the game if Newton is named the starter, accusations are flying and general agitation rules; but that really is short term, ending Saturday - one way or another.
Of more concern to me is how it could be hurting the team for this week and beyond. This team is no doubt down after reaching this point with less than expected success and has a sea of questions. The hardest hit group by this indecision struck me as I was reading Jennifer Smith's article in the Herald Leader, in particular:
"We're on edge like everyone else," said senior wide receiver Matt Roark.
It seems the last thing this team needs is uncertainty. Please, Joker give these guys something to rally around. Name a starter and get the team thinking about Ole Miss, not "Who's the quarterback?". This team is in dire need of focus, not distraction. It just looks like this is hurting us worse than the opponent.