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Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wood: Experience should give Meier edge

April 19, 2007

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"Meier's time is now."

Before I get canned for plagiarism, I confess I didn't write that. Rather, it was the headline of a column written Aug. 17, 2005, by one Tom Keegan.

So you tell me, does it make sense that I'm now arguing with this guy over who should be the No. 1 slinger this fall?

Heck, now he disagrees with me because I agree with something he used to preach about - that Kerry Meier should be the starting quarterback.

His confusion is confusing me.

Before I send him on his way, here are more quotes from past Keegan columns. Note the consistency in his stance.

¢ "My position hasn't changed all season. Meier's been my first choice." - Oct. 7, 2005.

¢ "Basketball season is over, yet Kerry Meier hype season has just begun." - March 19, 2006.

¢ "(Meier) could be something special as a four-year starter for the Jayhawks." - March 22, 2006.

¢ "The best solution: Start (Adam) Barmann on Saturday in Lincoln." - Sept. 24, 2006.

¢ "If (Meier) wasn't hurt, then Todd Reesing projects as the better quarterback." - Dec. 7, 2006.

The last one is particularly interesting for two reasons: 1. Meier confirmed this month he WAS less than 100 percent at the end of the season, so connecting the dots implies that Keegan thinks a healthy Meier is better. 2. No games with any meaning have been played since Dec. 7, so there's no reason to flip-flop.

Right?

Kerry Meier showed us all something when his shoulder was strong last year, but Keegan repeatedly has fallen into a trap that sucks every impressionable poor soul in: The backup quarterback is always the most popular player.

Don't get me wrong. Todd Reesing has plenty of talent and would not be a bad choice for the Jayhawks if it's made. He has a better arm and obviously has the intangible of being able to improvise when things go wrong.

Doesn't matter. Meier's still your man, and here's why:

¢ Experience. Meier's played in nearly three times as many games as Reesing, and had a year of scout-team experience going up against a smothering KU defense in 2005. Quite simply, he's more advanced. Not Reesing's fault, just the way it is.

¢ Athleticism. Meier can run the ball better than Reesing can. KU's most successful play last year was the option-read, and if it's still in the playbook, it has to be Meier executing it. Any playmaking opportunity needs to be tapped to the fullest extent by KU.

¢ Size. I don't like to dwell on this because it can be a shallow argument, but there's a reason that prototypical big-time quarterbacks are almost always between 6-foot-2 and 6-6. Meier is 6-3. Reesing is 5-11 on a really, really good day.

¢ Health. Meier now is at full strength. Remember how he looked against Oklahoma State, probably the last healthy game he played? I'll clue you in: 187 yards passing, three touchdowns, 70 yards rushing. A year of licks under the belt and a fresh body means more production.

¢ Facial hair. Meier and Reesing didn't shave all spring, but only Meier looked like a true lumberjack, with a beard as thick as a phone book. Better facial hair = better quarterback.

OK, that last argument was just terrible. But nothing like going cosmetic to finish off a weak opponent, who I assume is filling up space right next to me with drivel.

The bottom line is, Tom Keegan's opinion on the quarterback situation changes by the season. Unfortunately for him, he only used to have it right.

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