Despite speculation that he could be first-round pick in this April's NFL draft, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones is coming back for the 2012 season. That kind of news would lead to widespread celebration in college towns everywhere.
Not when you're the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.
A decent number of Sooner fans, frustrated by his inconsistency, were hoping that the 'Stache would head off to the big leagues.
The Belldozer made a big splash in the second half of the season. Why not make the future now?
Count me in with ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben:
If you're an OU fan and unhappy that Landry Jones returned, I suggest you take a lesson in perspective.
— David Ubben (@davidubben) January 5, 2012
The vociferous support for Blake Bell and anti-Jones sentiment smacks of a classic case of "grass is greener."
Bell received well-deserved credit for helping to spark OU's offense late in the season and won a lot of admirerers in the process. The Sooners flat-out sucked in the red zone and short-yardage situations prior to the advent of the Belldozer. His fiery demeanor and rugged running style had some OU fans likening Bell to – blasphemy – Tim Tebow. Bell's season culminated in an MVP award in the Insight Bowl after running for three scores in the game.
Aside from an infusion of new blood, Bell offers the potential to incorporate more of a full-time running threat at quarterback, too. It sounds pretty good.
Until you start talking about actually winning games. Jones has won 30 of them in three years, to go along with a Big 12 championship and three bowls.
Jones has thrown more than 1,600 passes in his career. Bell and Drew Allen, who Jake Trotter claims actually would have had the upper hand over Bell in a quarterback derby had 'Stache left, have thrown a combined 35 in OU games. Jones has thrown 93 touchdowns in his career; Bell and Allen: zero.
None of this is to say that Bell, Allen and redshirt Kendal Thompson won't have good college careers. Turn the tables and put them in a situation like what Jones has seen since being forced into a starting role in 2009, and they certainly could produce like he has, if not better.
Nor is it to gloss over Jones' flaws. He has been inconsistent. He seems to make at least one WTF decision per game. Despite his aspirations of going into the ministry, he's not exactly a fire-and-brimstone type on the sidelines and in the huddle.
What Jones is, however, is a well-known commodity who has had contributed far more to the Sooners' recent success than he has to their shortcomings. In college football, you don't cast those guys aside. When they pass on the NFL for another year as your quarterback, you sure as hell don't sulk about it.