Duck QB controversy? Afternoon musings

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Is Nate Costa a shoe-in to be the Oregon quarterback? Many feel that way, including myself. And Ducks offensive coordinator Chip Kelly strongly intimated that just last week.

So I didn't take coach Mike Bellotti too seriously when we chatted about it over lunch and he said nothing is decided at QB. But after listening to my recording today, I'm not so sure.

"I'm excited about Nate Costa," Bellotti said. "I'm excited about Justin Roper. He did some really good things in that bowl game. They are just different style athletes. Nate did not take any contact in spring, so he's still somewhat of an unknown."

Sure, Costa's the overwhelming front-runner, but it's also clear Bellotti wants him to grab the job -- not have it handed to him. (Seems like a different approach than USC.)

"Everybody is already anointing this guy, but people are going to compete every day and we have to make decisions as coaches," Bellotti said. "And we're going to test their mettle a little bit."

Bellotti also went out of his way to throw JC transfer Jeremiah Masoli's name into the ring.

Of course, Bellotti may have just wanted to help reporters out by giving them a QB competition to report on endlessly in coming weeks.

Drive-time reads...

  • Can't believe I missed this this morning -- Bud Withers of the Seattle Times on Rick Neuheisel. I was rushing to catch my flight and forgot to link. It's an even-handed effort from Withers. Those who followed the whole Washington-Neuheisel debacle know that Neuheisel and the Seattle Times didn't exactly see eye-to-eye.

  • The Oregonian's Paul Buker has some Oregon State observations.

  • Anyone in the mood for leftovers from Pac-10 media day? Here are some from the East Valley Tribune. Some good nuggets on QB competitions in the Bay Area, injury updates, etc.

  • Has Arizona coach Mike Stoops transformed from a Big 12 to a Pac-10 guy? Maybe.

  • Tyrone Willingham talks honestly about how debates over his status are slowing the Washington recruiting effort.

  • It appears cooler heads are prevailing in the "Carson Palmer had the audacity to talk smack about the USC-Ohio State game" controversy. Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel and a Columbus Dispatch writer come to his defense.

Have a great weekend...