Monday, October 03, 2011

Jake Heaps: Choose your own adventure

The more I think about it, I'm convinced Saturday's game against San Jose State is the most important football game of Jake Heaps' career.

I'm not kidding.

When the Cougars and Spartans square off late on Saturday night, the fate of Jake Heaps' future will hang in the balance.

If he starts: He'll have a great game, acquire vast amounts of mojo, win over his teammates and go on to be a BYU legend, a Super Bowl Champion and a serviceable analyst on NFL Countdown.

If he sits on the bench: Jake's college career is over. He'll be Riley's back up until his senior year, where he'll lose the starting job to a fiery Taysom Hill, fresh off his mission. Soon he'll be a supervisor at Ancestry.com.

There literally is no middle ground.

I know it's an unpopular position, but I'm on team Heaps. And believe me, after Friday's game and Nelson's heroics, it's a hard position to take. Nelson earned a shot to start, no question. But if Heaps rides the pine, it could seriously ruin his BYU career.

Follow my logic: SJSU is such an awful team, any QB could be successful. The question is, which one, out of Nelson and Heaps, do we want to have a successful game? It's got to be Heaps.

Riley Nelson is a gamer, no question. He's gutty, confident, and he has the respect of his teammates. But his ceiling is so much lower than the physically gifted, golden-armed Jake Heaps. Nelson is a known commodity. We've watched him play, and we've seen that movie. It doesn't end well.

Jake Heaps is still the quarterback of the future, and he can still salvage this season. But he needs some confidence. He needs a trashy team to take behind the woodshed. He needs San Jose State.

And if, if, if Jake still can't find his way against the Spartans, then it'll finally be time to say goodbye to the best offseason quarterback in BYU history. BYU will officially be Riley Nelson's team.

Saturday is the day. The crossroads of the universe for Jake Heaps. Put the ball in his hands one more time. I know he'll make us proud.

2 comments:

Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew said...

Here's your middle ground:

Jake Heaps starts, does fairly well (let's say 14/24 for 190 yards 1 TD) and BYU wins 24-7. We all agree that Riley would have done no better, and order is once again restored to the Cougar universe.

Then Jake gets taken to the woodshed by a (by all appearances) terrible Oregon State team. Riley is given the 4th quarter again, and fails to rally the team and we lose 17-7 due to poor field position in the second half.

What can you say then? We are essentially right back where we were in the 3rd quarter of USU, and Jake is on pretty shaky ground.

On the other hand, maybe Jake sits out a few games (maybe even the rest of the year) and gets so motivated that he hits the weight room and film room like nobody else on the team. His enthusiasm and preparation impresses Riley Nelson who (fresh off an Armed Forces Bowl victory) has just been accepted to medical school. Riley hands the reins over to Jake Heaps who is more prepared than ever to actually lead the team and win some football games.

I don't have a crystal ball either, but I think if Heaps is going to start again, he needs to earn it. So far, Riley has earned it, and not just because of his amazing comeback victory on Saturday.