Monday's news out of the Texas Tech football camp came as no surprise to most people – junior quarterback Seth Doege will be the starter in 2011 and more than likely hold the same spot in 2012 should he find success this season.
Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville confirmed it on Monday, making Doege only the fourth non-senior starting QB at Tech in the last 11 years (Kingsbury, Harrell, Potts).
Most of us saw this coming since the spring, when Doege began to grow leaps and bounds during the workouts and displayed his arm strength by tossing the ball all over the field to various receivers. He hit 20 of 35 receivers for 317 yards and four touchdowns during the annual spring game, leading Tuberville and offensive coordinator Neal Brown to saying it was basically Doege's job to lose.
He also wowed others during the first fall scrimmages, tossing three touchdowns in Tech's latest scrimmage on Aug. 13.
But it wasn't until I had a conversation with Tuberville during the Big 12 Media Days in july that I truly began to realize how much confidence Tuberville has in his new QB.
He sees a kid with vision in the pocket and an understanding of not just how to run an offense or team but how the game moves from quarter to quarter. He even made the bold statement that he thinks Doege could have actually started last year in place of Taylor Potts or Steven Sheffield but that giving Doege one more year to develop in practice may end up paying off huge dividends as the Red Raiders add more talent this season with a No. 11 recruiting class and look to do the same next season.
Now it truly is Doege's job to lose. And he must deal with the pressures of being the signal caller in West Texas for a program known for its dominant quarterbacks but in the middle of face-lift in the Tuberville era. Yes, Tech will still throw the ball at least 65 percent of the time, but the talent of running backs is undeniable and will help the passing game.
So what if he doesn't throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. He doesn't have to hit a certain number to make the "W" appear on the board. Its OK to win games 20-13, 17-10, etc., as long as Tech is the winning team … right?
That's the attitude that will have to change in order to stop comparing Doege to the likes of Kliff Kingsbury or Graham Harrell. Both had unbelievably talented receivers (Wes Welker, Michael Crabtree) and both had three years to develop in the offense.
But Doege will be compared to those two QBs until he proves that he can lead the offense and beat Texas and the other Big 12 foes – just as Kingsbury and Harrell did.
If he does that, the rest of the team and needs will fall into place and may end up putting Tech in position to bring a more experienced team back in 2012.