After watching the Badgers’ continuous miscues and failures throughout the past season, it only makes sense for head coach Bret Bielema to make a serious change.
Entering his fourth season as head coach, he can choose to start another senior or he can take a chance for some high risk, high reward.
I’m talking, of course, about Curt Phillips.
If you don’t think he can do as good a job as Allan Evridge, Dustin Sherer or Scott Tolzien, I don’t know what football team you’ve been watching for the past five months.
Phillips has all the tools to bring the UW football team back to the top of the Big Ten.
Next year, Phillips will be a redshirt freshman, and if Bielema chooses to give him some playing time, he’ll have an experienced quarterback for four straight years, something we have yet to see in his three years as head coach.
Having an experienced quarterback who has already worked out all his kinks at the position will be more beneficial to the Badgers down the line than another appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl led by Sherer.
If Bielema learned from his mistakes this past season, he would know one season isn’t enough to bring a quarterback from first-year starter to team MVP. It’s a long process, and Phillips could be the talent and leader for years to come.
If the UW Athletic Department is willing to give Bielema another chance to continue to “learn,” Bielema should also let Phillips get a chance to learn — it will benefit them both in the long run.
So, if you want Sherer or Tolzien, then mediocrity you shall receive. But just like in this past presidential election, change is the key. For Wisconsin, that key is Curt Phillips.
Now that P.J. Hill has officially declared for the NFL Draft, the biggest question concerning the Wisconsin football team is who is going to be starting under center come this fall. Obviously, current quarterback Dustin Sherer’s performance this year during the regular season and his tremendous flop during the Champs Sports Bowl disqualifies him from any chance of being the starter during the 2009 campaign.
So, who should start?
With senior Allan Evridge graduating, that leaves the depth chart down to three other choices than Sherer — redshirt freshman Curt Phillips, sophomore James Stallons and sophomore Scott Tolzien.
Traditionally, to be a Wisconsin quarterback, your main skill needs to be handing the ball off. However, with the emergence of speedy wide receiver David Gilreath, second-generation Badger Nick Toon and the return of tight end Garrett Graham should supply the incumbent quarterback with plenty of weapons.
With that in mind, Tolzien should be the next starting quarterback. Coming in for Sherer during the loss against Iowa, Tolzien looked poised despite playing from behind. He managed to go 4-7 for 90 yards and had 10 yards on the ground, including a rushing touchdown.
While others may think head coach Bret Bielema should pass over Tolzien and go directly to Phillips, who came into the program as the nation’s No. 10 quarterback, it still takes some time to learn the college game and have in-game experience. Tolzien already has some playing time and has proven, despite limited experience, he has potential to be a good quarterback.
If Bielema chooses Tolzien over Phillips, Stallons or Sherer, he should get an upgrade from his current situation. If not, any of the candidates can still revert to the time-honored tradition of a UW quarterback — handing the ball off.