When I sat down in front of the television on Saturday for my Sportscenter fix, I could not believe my eyes: ESPN was spending a couple of minutes every hour during its broadcast announcing Vernon Adams as Oregon’s starting quarterback. What? That level of media coverage has never happened before to an Oregon quarterback, not even to St. Marcus. Does this mean the Ducks have finally been accepted into the elite old boy’s club of college football?
I have been thinking for some time just how amazing the “Big-Play VA” story is. Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated pretty much nailed what’s been going through my mind in the short video below (less than a minute and a half).
Something else I find interesting that Staples did not discuss is how Oregon fans and the rest of the nation will view Adam’s lone season in Eugene. Here we have a little quarterback (under six feet) coming from a little school (Eastern Washington), and trying to lead a major FBS program to the College Football Playoff! This is an incredibly unique storyline to watch unfold over the course of the season. As Staples mentioned, we see players transfer down all the time, but rarely do we see a player transfer up, especially to such a high-profile setting.
This site (yours truly) went out on a limb in July, predicting that Adams would have a mega-season, break some of Mariota’s records, be a Heisman finalist, and help Oregon earn a repeat appearance in the National Championship Game. Thus, the Adams storyline is admittedly interesting to me because of my personal investment. But again, this whole scenario is unprecedented … a quarterback moving up from FCS to an FBS team with national title aspirations? Unheard of.
Millions of college football fans will tune in to follow the Ducks this season with the same fascination as the Oregon faithful. The nation will truly be on the edge of its seat in 2015 to see how this most unusual situation will play out.
What an interesting new national story centered on the Oregon program, and one that will continue through the entire season! The more Oregon wins, the more Vernon Adams will engross us all. And it just might put our beloved Ducks in the biggest national spotlight ever — all because of the smallest player on the field.
You gotta love a story like that!
Top photo from video