COMMENTARY: Change QB's? Surely you jest

MEMORIES ARE SHORT. Sometimes, impossibly short. And in the "Yes, but what have you done for me this week" world of college football, it was inevitable. A quarterback and his team head into a big game undefeated. The quarterback and his team lose. Fans and newspaper columnists call for a quarterback change. You can set your watch by it.


Of course, you never seem to quite get the other side of the argument, or even a salient point or two. In this recent column by John Canzano , the Oregonian writer brings up a number of valid points. Sean Canfield didn't throw downfield. The Beavs did look out of sorts on offense.

But other germane points have somehow gone missing.

Blaming all five sacks on Canfield is folly. There were two where it could be reasonably argued he held onto the ball too long. The other three were more the result of the Beaver o-line doing their best impression of turnstiles.

The primary thrust of the column is that Canfield isn't as much of a leader as he needs to be. Fine. It's a perfectly valid opinion if you want to confine the scope of your data strictly to the Cincinnati loss.

But why limit the argument to such a narrow focus? Why ignore the win over Arizona towards the end of last season? Did Canfield not "hack it" enough with the game winning drive, trailing 17-16 with 1:19 left and 80 yards to go? Was that not the exact kind of leadership described in the piece?

After all, it was an under-duress Canfield who led the Beavs to a stirring comeback many consider the signature win of the 2008 season against Arizona. If you don't consider Canfield's leadership to have been the reason why the Beavs won that game, with Quizz lost to injury, you're in more desperate need of a three hour block of time and a Tivo than any sports fan in history.

Need more? Look at the other games Canfield played in. How about UCLA? How about ASU? Canfield, under pressure, led the Beavs to victories in both of those games, too.

Canfield had a great spring. Some Beaver fans believe they're going to see more of it as the year goes along. Don't misunderstand this. If they don't, then a change will be warranted at some point.

But now? Not on your life. Doing so would be a classic overreaction, one more seen if a fan three over his limit was wearing the coach's hat.

Canfield hasn't shined his brightest in the first three games this year, that's not in debate. But to suggest Lyle Moevao should replace him after three games is, at best, short-sighted.

If it had been suggested the Beavs yank Lyle Moevao after the beat-down at Penn State last year, citing his lack of leadership in keeping the Beavs even close in that game, it would have been an equally premature and errant conclusion. But at least it would have been consistent.

Stephen O'Dowd is a 1994 graduate of Oregon State and a long time season ticket holder of the Beavs. BF.C welcomes guest submissions from our readers -- if you're interested in submitting a column or story on the Beavs, send it to us here.

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