AUSTIN, Texas -- In Case McCoy, Texas has a quarterback who sort of sounds like a leader.
In David Ash, the Longhorns have another who sometimes plays like a leader.
Even after experiencing the last two years without a strong personality or player at the helm of this offense, Texas still does not have a clear cut leader for 2012.
Every sentence concerning quarterbacks starts with “We feel both guys …” Every positive thing said about Ash is followed with a positive about McCoy.
To put it simply, it’s a mixed message. It’s all about the quarterback in this program and they just need one.
That is not to say Texas cannot be moderately successful playing two. It is even plausible to believe, with this running game, offensive line and defense, Texas could win nine or 10 games playing two quarterbacks.
But until all the question marks are removed from the position and the pecking order firmly established and stuck to, Texas will not be a BCS contender.
The spring was to be that chance. After setting the stage by not playing McCoy in the Holiday Bowl, while Ash turned in a pedestrian, albeit MVP performance in that game, Texas had the opportunity to name Ash the starter and be done with it.
That would have allowed Ash to assume leadership of the team in the spring and carry that throughout the summer. Instead, Texas is in a similar spot to where it was a year ago.
Headed into summer, maybe the most important time for a team to bond and grow, the offensive players on Texas do not know who to turn to when it comes to their leader.
It doesn’t matter that McCoy and Ash are collegial with each other or have an outstanding relationship. One of them has to be the leader and the other the follower. Otherwise some of the team is going to follow Ash while the other players listen to McCoy. It’s human nature. It also allows for derisiveness.
That’s why it was a mistake, the biggest one of the spring, for Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin not to publicly state to the players who the quarterback is and will be come September. This was an opportunity to show the team this is the player they believe in and who they want the players to follow.
Instead their indecision allows the players to be indecisive about who they want to listen to and when. Selective hearing and/or participation is not something that works. One motto, one mind, one team. That’s what works.
Ash and McCoy might be making the decision difficult, as Brown has said. The Texas coach said McCoy was throwing it better than he had ever seen him throw it. That was evident Sunday as well. McCoy clearly has more zip on the ball. But, so too does Ash.
The big picture of the 2012 season requires this decision, and the Texas staff didn’t make it.
Right now the team is poorer because of their indecision.