College football coaches across the country are ending quarterback competitions this week, naming a starter so that the first team offense can spend a week preparing for the season-opener.
Other coaches, like TCU's Gary Patterson, have decided to use the indecision to their advantage. The Horned Frogs, ranked No. 20 in the preseason AP Poll, kick off the 2013 season in a highly-anticipated contest with No. 12 LSU. By not naming a starting quarterback, the defensive coordinator John Chavis must prepare the LSU defense for both Trevone Boykin and Casey Pachall.
ESPN's Joe Tessitore asked Patterson about his decision not to name a starting quarterback on Thursday. The Horned Frogs head coach did not shy away from admitting that the edge in preparation played a role in his thinking.
"Just for simple reason that there's such a difference between Trevone and Casey, I need every advantage I can get," Patterson said.
Casey Pachall started five games for the Horned Frogs before leaving the team in October as a result of a drunk driving arrest. Boykin, then a redshirt freshman, was promoted and TCU finished the regular season with a 3-5 record.
Boykin got off to a rocky start; throwing three interceptions in a home loss to Iowa State, but bounced back by completing 22 of 30 passes and throwing zero interceptions while tossing four touchdowns in a 28-point win at Baylor. He is a more of a threat than Pachall on the ground, but the consistency issues were still present the last time we saw Boykin lead the offense: a 17-16 loss to Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl.
Patterson also discussed Pachall's transformation over the last year, after the quarterback left school in October and completed a treatment program before re-joining the Horned Frogs in time for spring practice.
"He's not even the same person," Patterson said. "When he left here middle of the season last year and where he is now is not even the same person. I'm really proud of him."
The popular suggestion has been that Pachall will be the starter when the offense finally takes the field on Aug. 31. But with the competition continuing deep into fall camp, there could be some offensive packages that include Boykin under center.
Unless things change, LSU will find out TCU's personnel plans when we do.