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Texas names Ash starter, but that’s not the story

I guess we should credit 247's Texas affiliate Hookem.com with "breaking" the news that David Ash will take the first snap for the Longhorns on Sept. 1 versus Wyoming.

Under journalism’s rules of the road, it probably does qualify as a scoop. Yet, no one who has followed UT closely since last December has assumed any differently. Ash played every offensive down in Texas' 21-10 holiday bowl win over California, and just about anyone who covers the program has pegged the sophomore as the man since then. Case McCoy, Ash's chief competition for the job, supposedly has the edge in "moxie." Ash looks like the superior quarterback in every non-bullshit sense of the word.

If the hacks down in Austin really want some scoopage, they should try to find out not who will be starting under center, but why Texas' coaches continue to insist that both QBs will play in the opener.

Still haunted by Colt McCoy’s freak injury in the BCS title game versus Alabama in 2010, Brown has spoken in the offseason about the importance of having two quarterbacks ready to play. That may have something to do with his insistence that McCoy see action early in the season. It could be that Brown wants McCoy to stay with the program and feel as though he still has a shot to win the starting job. Maybe Ash just hasn’t done enough to make the coaches comfortable with the idea that he’s unequivocally the best option.

For Burnt Orange partisans, the scenario undoubtedly conjures up bad memories of a year ago. Mack Brown dillied and dallied throughout the preseason before finally settling on embattled incumbent Garrett Gilbert to start the year. Gilbert didn’t last past halftime of the second game of the season, and the position turned into a revolving door.

The situations definitely aren’t the same, though. Texas won eight games last year, not five. The team built up some positive momentum, including a bowl win to end the season on a high note. Even though Ash didn’t set the world on fire, he didn’t implode; the same can’t be said for Gilbert.

Given the heat that Brown has taken in the last two years, it stands to reason that questions about the quarterback position would be the last thing he would want to face right now. Instead, his public stance is inviting that scrutiny on his team.

If Texas gets back in gear this fall, no one will give Brown’s hemming and hawing a second thought. If Ash and his team stumble, though, Texas’ head coach should expect plenty of second-guessing about his waffling.

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