Did Ohio State’s Quarterback Decision Bring out the Worst in Jones, Barrett?

Urban Meyer’s mishandling of Ohio State’s quarterback competition has put both Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett in a position to fail, and will ultimately cost the Buckeyes a chance to win the national championship this season.

What a nightmare that scenario would be if it were true – or if I actually believed it. The mere thought of that statement ringing true seems so sacrilegious given Meyer’s track record, but it’s one that will scare me until the team proves that is fully capable of playing up to its own lofty expectations. While it seems like an outrageous criticism for a man of Meyer’s stature and expertise, no matter what any OSU fan says, the fact remains that it could be true. I’m afraid that the wrong decision was made in the quarterback derby, and that Ohio State will suffer the consequences through what otherwise could have been a dream season as repeat national champions.

It sounds strange, but what if Cardale Jones is only capable of performing well in big “marquee” games – more specifically, night games in indoor stadiums that are on neutral sites? What if Jones lacks the attention to detail, focus, and dedication to his craft to be an every-week starter over the course of 15 weeks? I’m afraid that 12-Guage was only able to run rampant through Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon simply because they underestimated him and didn’t have enough film to produce a full scouting report on him.

Likewise, what if Meyer’s selection of Jones – and the bulk of practice repetitions that go along with being named the starting quarterback – has caused J.T. Barrett’s development at the position to actually regress? What if Barrett – more a cerebral tactician on the field than a physically gifted phenom –  needs an abundance of game reps and practice reps to maximize his potential, and otherwise sees some of his precision and skill fade to rust and a pressure to make the big play. I’m afraid that Meyer electing to pass on Barrett, who broke Drew Brees’ record for touchdowns in a season, is wasting a year of his development and stunting the Buckeyes’ overall growth for the next two seasons at the same time.

I just can’t get over how smooth and poised Barrett looked directing the offense for the majority of the 2014 season – to the point that I proclaimed that I was on “Team J.T.” over Braxton Miller – compared to how shaky he’s looked in his limited action in 2015. I’ve also been discouraged by how much less stellar Jones has looked in 2015 as a full-time starter, compared to his legendary postseason run last season. Is it a coincidence, or did Meyer accidentally stymie his own offensive potential by placing both Jones and Barrett in a respective position that benefits the team the least?

I know, conventional online message board wisdom will point out my lack of head coaching experience and championship rings in comparison to Meyer, as well as my absence from daily practice sessions that he orchestrates. I don’t want to belittle his decision making, as I am fully confident and ecstatic about his ability to lead this program, both on and off the field. I just can’t help but fear that he may have been wrong, and simultaneously prevented the team from winning the championship for the next two seasons.

As is the case with every season, it’s important that Ohio State give the team time to find its identity and develop chemistry. It was unrealistic to expect an unbeatable juggernaut right out of the gates. I just hope that the lack of offensive consistency is the sign of a team slowly but steadily finding its groove, as opposed to coaching decision that is preventing the team from being as good as it could be.


  1. I understand the logic behind your ideas, however I think this article is silly. You, I, and the rest of us really have no idea of the overall picture and planning. Just relax and watch! ok

  2. Meyer made the wrong decision, thinking Jones would carry on from the playoffs. JT created a well oiled machine for Jones in 2014. He played well with all the guys and schemes around him. 2015 is different, new defenses and coverage keep Jones off balance. He is not quick with decisions and not accurate when feeling some pressure. JT runs a quicker offense, reads defenses better and is a better passer. He sees the field better and has a quicker release when passing. The WR”s are more in sync with JT. Maybe Meyer thought Jones deserved the shot for winning the championship, and JT would be the future, but JT guided the team as they grew up in 2014. He created the “machine” and Jones, underestimated by defenses, just had to function within the system and guys around him. JT should be leading the 2015 team, as defenses are creating new looks and coverage, and O-line & WR’s are adjusting.
    “Just my opinion”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: