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Monday, August 30, 2010
Experience winning out in QB battles

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder ended speculation Monday morning, naming Carson Coffman his starter for Week 1, a year after he did the same with the senior, who lost the job to Grant Gregory midway through the 2009 season.

Carson Coffman
Carson Coffman's experience gave him an edge over Collin Klein and Emmanuel Lamur.
Snyder said Coffman was better and more consistent than his competition, Collin Klein and Sammuel Lamur.

"There were days when Collin threw the ball well, there were days that Sammuel threw the ball well," Snyder said. "And there were days that they didn't."

Snyder's reasoning behind the decision shouldn't be a surprise: Experience. Coffman has it, even if it was poor at times in 2009. Lamur and Klein don't.

"Nothing changed," said Snyder, who made his decision sometime last week. "He just solidified the fact that he was going to be our No. 1 quarterback."

That means the Big 12 has just one team that hasn't settled on of its starting quarterback -- or at least, hasn't made its decision known: Nebraska.

But look around the Big 12. Kansas, Texas Tech and now Kansas State all went with the starter who had more experience. The only exception is Colorado, but last season, Tyler Hansen played more than the older player he beat out, Cody Hawkins, and was the heavy favorite to retain his starting spot after coach Dan Hawkins reopened the competition in spring.

Tommy Tuberville eschewed a fan favorite (Steven Sheffield) when the more experienced candidate (Taylor Potts) outperformed his competition on the closest thing to game day, preseason scrimmages. Even a few snaps from 2009 as a freshman were enough to give Kale Pick the edge over Jordan Webb at Kansas.

Which is why if anyone in Nebraska is still hoping to see Cody Green or Taylor Martinez trot out to open the season against Western Kentucky on Saturday, they should be prepared for disappointment. Zac Lee's offseason surgery on his throwing arm allowed Green and Martinez to creep up and close the gap in the spring.

His experience has likely widened it this fall.