For whatever pondering there never was, the posturing ended Monday morning. Jarrett Stidham is Auburn’s starting quarterback for 2017.
— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) August 14, 2017
After Saturday’s second scrimmage of the fall, Monday—or maybe Tuesday—was the last day Malzahn could end the competition without causing widespread hypertension. Hey man, we all would’ve held our Stidh-confidence. You know that. I don’t know that. Imagine if Gus was still “looking for the right guy” on Thursday. Actually, don’t imagine that. Be glad we’ll never know.
Now we can officially move on to various related questions. The big one, is this:
Will Jarrett Stidham be ready for the Clemson game?
Stidham needs to match about half his potential to set up a high-stakes Iron Bowl. Up it to three-quarters and the Tigers win a national championship. The Clemson game, however, lies outside this formula.
Auburn doesn’t have to win at Clemson to win the SEC or even the playoff—unless, of course, they do. That is, we may need that win over Dabo to set the course; to tap into the psychological sense of destiny without which Auburn hasn’t won 10+ games since 2006.
So Clemson will be Auburn’s season in a test tube. As Jordan has told us, Stidham’s job isn’t to win the Heisman. He won’t have to for Auburn to be very successful. He will have to be consistent; and he’ll have to be the leader.
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) July 31, 2017
Against the Fightin’ Dabo’s, Stidham’s job won’t be to throw four touchdowns; but rather to throw zero interceptions. If he’s ready for the moment—if he leads from the front, the team will follow him to victory.
Will Stidham match his potential on that Saturday night in South Carolina? That’s the No. 1 question from now till Sept. 9. If he stands tall then, Auburn will face the rest of the season from a position of power.
Do your thing, Jarrett Stidham. Here we go. War Eagle!