The Sock 'Em, Bust 'Em Board Because that's our custom

The backups step forward

Perhaps we’re too smitten with the quarterback situation at West Virginia to recognize otherwise. After all, who else can say they have three quarterbacks who have started and won conference games? (No, really, if anyone knows, please pass that along.) The Mountaineers have that in All-America candidate — and don’t ignore the Heisman Hype – Patrick White, Jarrett Brown, who many think is the best backup in the country, and Adam Bednarik, the resident Wally Pipp who did nothing to lose his starting spot but hurt.

Yet as you look around, quarterbacks get nicked up more now than ever and only the deepest and most talented teams can survive with a talented backup. QB-by-committee has failed in the past, but seems to flourish now. QB-by-necessity may have never been stronger, as explained by, and the Mountaineers have emboldened the trend.

Florida brought the two-quarterback attack into vogue last season as the Leak-Tebow one-two punch became virtually unstoppable, and this season has seen its fair share of signal-caller tandems. However, the tag-team passers of 2007 are more the product of necessary changes than ideal game planning. Injuries, miscues and suspensions have plagued the nation’s starting quarterbacks, allowing backups to earn extra time.

“It’s probably one of the most important parts of the offense,” West Virginia offensive coordinator Calvin Magee said of the backup. “You don’t want to miss a beat. You have to have a quarterback that can come in and keep things going.” 

It seems this year, teams are only as good as their backup quarterback. But fortunately for six of the nation’s top 20, that’s pretty good.