My favorite sports team since I was four years old is the Buffalo Bills. In the other professional leagues, I root for the Buffalo Sabres and New York Knicks. I don't care for baseball. As a sports fan, besides UConn, my life is nothing but pain and sorrow-- a hopeless cycle of unrelenting mediocrity. I thank my lucky stars every day that I'm not a Syracuse fan.
As a result I have no choice, despite my natural cynicism, but to be an overly optimistic sports fan. I've been forced to believe in Isaiah Thomas, Mike D'Antoni and unforgivable draft picks such as Michael Sweetney, Renaldo Balkman, and Frederic Weiss. I've talked myself into Trent Edwards as a viable NFL quarterback. I remember thinking the 2003 Bills, the ones that crushed the Pats 31-0 in Week 1 would get us out of our four-year playoff drought.
Ten years later I'm still waiting.
The point is: as a sports fan I like to look on the bright side. And I'm choosing to take this attitude with UConn's recently announced quarterback situation.
At first it sounds like pure garbage. As they saying goes, if you have two QB's, you have none. But the year is 2014, and status quo is for peasants. This two quarterback system can work for us and here's why:
1. There is no standout QB on the roster
We have to take Bob Diaco and his staff at their word when they tell us that nobody truly stood out during the quarterback competition. So, like any other position on the field where this situation may exist, Bob isn't going to have a true-blue starter taking all the snaps just for the fun of having a traditional-looking team.
When he announced this decision, Diaco said "there are key starters, starters, key backups, backups and depth guys." If there is no "key starter" at QB, then why give somebody key starter minutes? Instead we take advantage of the best that both Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer have to offer as if they were defensive linemen in a rotation.
2. The game within the game
Having two guys playing quarterback makes it tougher for opposing defenses to gameplan and prepare for UConn. Instead of dedicating time to studying one quarterback and his tendencies, then building a gameplan to exploit weaknesses, opposing coaching staffs will have to spend the time and resources to fully scout two QBs. That time would be better spent elsewhere, but UConn's opponents this year will have to use it to study two quarterbacks and try to figure out how the Huskies will divvy up the snaps.
With limited time to prepare for games and the heavy emphasis placed the quarterback position, this makes life tough for defensive coordinators. Every little bit helps.
3. It has worked before, and Bob Diaco has seen it work first hand
In 2009, Cincinnati's two-headed monster at QB led by Brian Kelly led to an undefeated regular season before losing to mighty Florida in the Sugar Bowl. In 2012, Notre Dame, also led by Brian Kelly, rotated Everett Golson and Tommy Rees en route to an undefeated regular season before succumbing to mighty, mighty Alabama in the national championship.
Guess what? Bob Diaco was defensive coordinator for both of those teams. If anyone can make two QBs work, it's the guy who had a front row seat to two of the most successful attempts to do so in recent college football history.
Northwestern has also employed this strategy before with success. Louisiana-Monroe has done so as well. Heck, Princeton successfully rotated three quarterbacks. Anything is possible if you refuse to simply accept conventional wisdom just because that's how people always used to do it.
I'm not suggesting Bob Diaco has invented the wheel here, or that this is not the byproduct of a larger problem-- not having a bona fide quarterback this year BECAUSE NOBODY STOOD OUT. But I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that this might be the best move for now. In Bob We Trust.