2015 Alabama Predictions — Who Will Take the First Snap at Quarterback vs Wisconsin?
As August approaches, the staff at Tide 99.1 is laying out its predictions on some of the bigger questions heading into Alabama's 2015 season. First up: the quarterbacks.
With the departure of Blake Sims in January, the Crimson Tide looks to a group of talented, but unproven, quarterbacks to take control of the starting job. Spring practice and the A-Day Game didn't provide much in the way of an answer, but it did help bring two candidates to the front of the pack.
When Fall camp begins, senior Jake Coker and redshirt freshman David Cornwell should be the favorites to lead Lane Kiffin's offense in 2015. Beyond that, however, it's up for debate. There's a chance both quarterbacks could see time in the season opener against Wisconsin as Nick Saban waits for one of his players to take "the bull by the horns."
But who will be under center when Alabama's offense first takes the field on September 5? Here's what we think:
Chris Stewart (Show Host) - This could easily be a situation where the starters role is not clearly defined until Week 3. However, I think Jake Coker will get the first opportunity under center against the Badgers.
Ryan Fowler (Show Host) - Jake Coker, but I also think Cornwell has a chance to beat him out in all camp. I would be 100% behind Coker, but his mental decisions make me nervous. You heard Nick Saban discuss this last week at the ESPN carwash.
Ryan McMunn (Producer) - When in doubt, you typically go with the senior signal caller, so in short, I think it will be Jake Coker. This is an interesting situation, however. Since we’re now in the era of the College Football Playoff, should a team lose two games, it’s still possible (although improbable) to make the four team playoff at the end of the year. In the old BCS era, should a team lose two games, the chances of making the BCS Championship Game were slim to none (although we did see LSU do it during the 2007 season). My point is that in the BCS, if you were going to lose 2-3 games anyway regardless of starting quarterback, you may as well play the younger one to get him experience. But now that a two-loss team can still legitimately contend for a national championship, it may be a better idea to live for the present and play the older quarterback.
Trey Brooks (Producer) - Jake Coker. Cornwell is making major strides, but until I see otherwise, common sense says go with the only guy who's gotten meaningful game experience.
Kevin Connell (Contributor) - Jake Coker. While it seems to be anyone’s guess at this point, the current quarterback battle is reminiscent of the one from a year ago between Coker and eventual starter, Blake Sims. Like Sims, Coker should receive every opportunity to prove his worth in fall camp this August, even if it takes a few games into the season for the coaching staff to come to a definite decision on its signal caller.
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor) - I'll be the contrarian and say David Cornwell breaks the huddle first. Despite their respective ages, Cornwell has actually been on campus longer than Coker. The Oklahoma native has two A-Day games under his belt and received a lot of praise from Saban at SEC Media Days (to be fair, Coker did as well). I think he shows better decision-making in August and earns the spot.