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QB Competitions: Oregon, Texas and others have decisions to make

Tough luck, Jeff.

We’ve reached the back half of August, which means college football teams have less than two weeks to get their shit together.

For a handful of high-profile programs, that means answering questions about the quarterback position. Namely, picking one to ride out with, slackers.

Here’s a quick update on the state of some of the top QB derbies across the college football landscape.

Florida

In Gainesville, an injury may have helped make Will Muschamp’s decision for him.

Sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel have been locked in a battle for the starting QB spot since the spring. Driskel may have had the inside track for the first team until he suffered a mysterious scapula contusion on Sunday that was the talk of Florida football earlier in the week.

Although Driskel supposedly won’t miss reps in practice, the injury likely makes Brissett the frontrunner to the season behind center.

Oregon

As our own Michael Felder puts it, Chip Kelly is in the enviable position of choosing between two quality candidates, rather than the lesser of two evils.

Following Darron Thomas’ surprising decision to leave Eugene for professional football, Bryan Bennett entered the spring session as the consensus No. 1. The sophomore Californian left spring locked in a battle with redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota.

Mariota looked electric running UO’s Blur offense in the spring game and has inserted himself in the mix based on his playmaking. That’s a nice problem to have if you’re Kelly, who can concentrate on maximizing his upside more than managing the downside.

Texas

The entire state of Texas has anointed sophomore David Ash as the Longhorns starter this season – except for one man.

And Mack Brown’s vote is the only one that counts. Brown has declared the competition between Ash and Case McCoy even, even though reports say Ash has been taking starter-like reps in practice. Needless to say, dragging out the decision is driving some of Bevo’s more dedicated followers nuts.

UCLA

The Bruins announced nearly a week ago that Brett Hundley had won the job over Kevin Prince, Rich Brehaut and Jerry Neuheisel. UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone on the decision:

"You know what it was like, it was like judging a Miss America pageant; they all look good, but somebody's got to win.”

If you’ve watched UCLA since Cade McNown skipped town, you known the beauty of the Bruins’ QB play really is only in the eye of Mazzone and no other beholder.

Virginia

Did you know there’s a QB battle taking place at Virginia? I swear, do a Google search.

The Cavaliers landed local high school star Phillip Sims after he decided to transfer out of Alabama in the spring. An NCAA waiver has Sims eligible to go this year, putting the heat on incumbent Michael Rocco to hold onto the job after a successful run to the Chick-fil-a Bowl a year ago.

Who has the upper hand? From the amount of coverage this controversy is receiving, a better question might be if anyone actually cares.

Wisconsin

When Bret Bielema landed yet another ACC emigre in the spring, all signs pointed to another year of rent-a-quarterback in Madison.

But the Badgers have dutifully carried out the QB competition this fall, with Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien battling senior Curt Phillips and former walk-on Joel Stave for the starting gig.

The chances that O’Brien will turn out to be Russell Wilson 2.0 are about as high as Bielema ignoring his two-point conversion chart. He won't have to be more than a Scott Tolzien for the Badgers to keep on clicking, though, and the job belongs to O'Brien for all intents and purposes.

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