MMQB: The sooner the better

CLEMSON - Everyone has an opinion on the battle for the starting quarterback spot at Clemson. Why should the MMQB be any different?

Since the spring it's been Korn or Parker? Parker or Korn? Maybe Korn and Parker. And hey, wait a minute, this Boyd kid looks pretty good on one leg.

As for who head coach Dabo Swinney and staff ultimately choose as the No. 1 guy, we still await the answer. The media isn't allowed in the scrimmages, and when the first 30 minutes of practice has been open, you see little more than glorified stretching.

Based on conversations I've had with a number of folks who have seen scrimmages, have close access to Swinney, or both, the general consensus seems to be that Kyle Parker will get the nod. Some media reports have said that announcement could come this week.

But whether it's Parker or Korn, the sooner a decision comes the better.

One of the knocks against Clemson's offense during Tommy Bowden's tenure as head coach was that it didn't really have an identity. Was it run-oriented? Was it pass-oriented?

In fact, the only true identity achieved was a baffling inconsistency. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of your offensive prowess.

And naming a starting quarterback now won't automatically give Swinney's offense an identity. That will come only as the season wears on.

But what having a clear No. 1 will do is enable the offense to start building continuity. It gives the other 10 guys at the top of the depth chart a chance to get accustomed to the quarterback's personality, his cadence when calling out signals, and his command of the huddle.

It lets the rest of the offense - and by extension the team - know who's leading the charge. Carrying the question all the way to the week of the season opener, in my mind anyway, does nothing but provide a potential distraction right up until game time.

Some will suggest a two-quarterback system, using the strengths of each contender to keep opposing defenses honest.

And while there have been examples of success under such an arrangement, I'm not sure rotating quarterbacks is the way to go in this particular situation.

Clemson's offense needs a clear leader, and if Kyle Parker has separated himself from Willy Korn - or vice versa - then make the call now and give the offense three weeks to start building that cohesion. Give it every chance to succeed, short of actual game film to judge.

Do you maybe slip the No. 2 guy in for a series or two in the first half, and maybe one in the third quarter? Perhaps. Especially in Week One.

But as a head coach, it's my belief that you go with "your guy" until he gives you reason to make a move.

And for Clemson's offense, the more time they have to get acclimated to Dabo's guy the better off it will be.

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