ESPN purports to survey the entire SEC landscape about its starting quarterback prospects, looks at all the programs replacing starters at the position, sees plenty of uncertainty and concludes thusly:
The only place in the SEC that doesn’t have to be patient in the matter is South Carolina. Coach Steve Spurrier named Dylan Thompson the starter well before spring practice ever began.
The starting job is now essentially Mason’s. The coaches give lip service to the idea that someone could push Mason for the job, but that’s mostly to keep Mason, a fifth-year senior, on his toes.
“Hutson’s obviously ahead of everybody,” head coach Mark Richt said. “But we don’t want any position to think, ‘There’s no chance anyone can take my job’ or take playing time or whatever. So we’re telling everybody to compete for the starting job. We’re not saying, ‘Hey try to compete for the No. 2 job.’
“I’m not trying to cause a controversy at all, because Hutson is clearly in the lead. But it’s gonna be his job to keep it that way, and it’s gonna be the other guy’s job to try to close the gap.”
The only difference between Richt’s and Spurrier’s approaches is how they threaten their starters’ hold on the position. Richt’s just trying to goose his guy a little to keep him sharp. Spurrier uses the unspoken threat of being Steve Spurrier, in-game changer of quarterbacks, to do the same. Either way, does anyone doubt right now who the starting quarterbacks for the Georgia-South Carolina game will be?