Veteran QBs needed when chasing championships

Now more than ever, experienced quarterbacks are the key to any championship run, Rod Gilmore writes.

Updated: September 15, 2005, 3:29 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | Special to ESPN.com
There should no longer be any doubt about the importance of having an experienced quarterback in college football. Quarterback play made the difference in several games in the first two weeks. Why is this happening?

Back in the day, USC, Nebraska and Oklahoma could line up and win with a strong offensive line and a great running back. Not anymore. Offensive systems now make quarterbacks the focal point -- and so do defenses.

Just look at what happened recently with two teams that were undefeated last season. Oklahoma used inexperienced quarterbacks Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar and lost to a TCU team that had a veteran quarterback. It didn't get any better in Week 2, as Bomar didn't even attempt a pass in the second half in a scary win over Tulsa. Jason White took almost all of the snaps at Oklahoma last year.