Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville spent the first half of preseason camp agonizing over every throw by his two quarterbacks, trying to separate the two into starter and backup.
Finally, midway through camp, the decision eight months in the making was made.
Taylor Potts would start over Steven Sheffield to begin the season for the Red Raiders and be given two full weeks of practice to entrench himself in his new role. Once that happened, Tuberville's main concern with his quarterbacks shifted in the opposite direction most would assume.
"The main thing I was more concerned about was Steven Sheffield, the guy that could have easily have been our starter and how he handled himself around the players, because all the players knew how much competition there was," Tuberville said. "But he did a great job. He's a good young man; he understands the situation, that he's one play away from being the starter and I thought both of them handled the week very well."
That "one play" by the way, would be an injury, not an interception. Tuberville's trigger finger won't be pulled quite as frequently as the man he succeeded, Mike Leach.
"His leadership skills on the sideline, continue to learn and be ready to go in at any minute and be a leader in the dressing room as well as on the field," Tuberville said, when asked what he was looking for from Sheffield. "And he's done that. Two seniors with a lot of experience. They understood the competition going in."
Tuberville's been just as impressed with his more experienced senior, Potts, who started 10 of the Red Raiders 13 games in 2009.
"I thought he did a good job, this is not his first time to be a starter; he's kind of an old hand at it," Tuberville said.
But the in-house competing and worrying are over. All that's left now -- on Sunday, at least -- is throwing against a new opponent. And handing off, of course. A little bit more than usual.
"I really have tried my best to pull this team together as much as possible and play the best I can everyday, so I am not holding us down in any way," Potts said. "Coach has preached a lot about accountability, and I want to be really accountable."
Tuberville said several times this preseason that his team was too worried about surviving camp themselves to worry too long about the battle at quarterback. The same goes for any other position. The team's focus has been elsewhere.
"As far as the team, I don’t think it has changed a whole lot," Potts said. "I think, no matter who it was going to be, they are going to play hard, and really our team goal is to win a championship. Whoever plays what position on this team, everybody has the same goal as we all want to win a championship. So, no matter who is playing left guard or who is kicking, whoever it is we know we all have to play really well and our main goal is to win a championship."