Ever since Colt McCoy left the 2009 national championship game with a shoulder injury, the Texas Longhorn haven’t had stability at the quarterback position and it has shown in its record. The Longhorns haven’t had a 10-win season since McCoy and have had three seven-loss seasons in this six-year stretch.
It’s not hard to figure out why the Longhorns have struggled, they’ve had below average quarterback play from Garrett Gilbert, Case McCoy, David Ash, Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes. They have overlooked quarterbacks in recruiting that are in their own state that have proven to be good to even great college quarterbacks. Mack Brown failed to recruit Johnny Manziel as a quarterback (he offered him a spot to play as a safety) we saw how Manziel played at rival Texas A&M. The biggest miss in my mind is J.T. Barret from Wichita Falls Rider who has thrived under Urban Meyer at Ohio State and has been a perennial Heisman Trophy candidate.
Head coach Charlie Strong may have gotten the guy to fix the problem Texas has had behind center and he deserves to start from game 1. Freshman Shane Buechele should start Sunday September 4th when Texas takes the field against Notre Dame. In camp, there has been a quarterback battle between Buechele and senior Tyrone Swoopes, Swoopes has played games in three previous seasons and has been a disappointment to fans. Buchele was the number two quarterback recruit in Texas in 2016 class from Lamar High School in Arlington.
You might think that experience should be the way the Longhorns should go to break out of their seven-loss slump, but if they start the quarterback with experience they are headed for another seven-loss season. Swoopes has given his all to the program, but he hasn’t been able to develop into an above average quarterback he was thought to be. Now its time to hand the reigns to the freshman and let him go through growing pains.
Strong has already told the team who the starter is, but hasn’t told the media and won’t until the player strolls out on the field for the first offensive play of the game. That should be Buechele, what does Texas have to lose? They’ve lost 14 games the past two seasons that is way too many for a program like Texas, and Buechele who wasn’t there for those losses could bring some new energy into the program.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results,” Albert Einstein is broadly credited with saying and it’s insane if you continue to start Swoopes. Imagine the groans at Daryl K. Royal Sunday if Swoopes trots out for the first, play, those groans will turn to boos when he throws his first pick and Swoopes doesn’t need to got through that.
This is a pretty easy choice, Shane Buechele should start week one and for the entire season if healthy and see what the Longhorns have in him. If he struggles that’s fine, if he plays great even better, but the big quarterback heads to Texas next year in Sam Ehlinger, and he can be the savior if Buechele can’t be.