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Is the Competition really Open?

I am just going to throw it out there because I am not sure that is the case.

There has been a lot of discussion that Mark Sanchez would probably win the starting job because of his three years in the system. I say not so fast, while it is important to understand the intricacies of the system it is just as important that a QB be able to see what opposing defenses are scheming for at the line of scrimmage. That only happens with experience.

Steve Sarkisian seems to think that he doesn't need too much more information before the coaching staff makes a decision.

"I think we need one more day for a fair assessment of what's going on and who's doing well," USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said. "To evaluate where Mitch is mentally, especially protection wise, we need another day."

Neither Sanchez nor Mustain made any glaring errors Thursday. But with three years in the system, Sanchez clearly leads Mustain and freshman Aaron Corp. Mustain, who went 8-0 his freshman year at Arkansas, is trying to catch up as fast as possible.

So is he saying that all he will need is three days before a decision is made? This what makes me scratch my head and makes me wonder if the competition is really open. I understand that a starter needs to be named before training camp so that we hit the ground running and get everyone on offense on the same page but does that decision have to be made only 3 days into spring ball?

Are Sanchez's 3 years in the system that much more of an advantage? If so then how do we explain Sanchez's performance in the three games he started last season. Wins against a very average Arizona team and a terrible Notre Dame team on the road were overshadowed by terrible performance against Oregon where Sanchez, trying to be the gunslinger, got suckered into throwing a pick late in the game ending a fairly productive drive.

HP made an excellent observation that I have used in the past.

Carroll has done a great job at recruiting five No. 1 recruiting classes in a row and now he would have us think that he has nothing to work with ("it's not about talent, it's about experience"--never mind that John Wooden said the opposite, or that he refuses to apply the same rule to his coaching staff choices). He says that having to play his backup quarterback (who, by the way, is in his third year in the system and was the Parade Player of the Year) is the reason for USC's offensive struggles. How many teams out there would die to have a Mark Sanchez taking snaps for them right now?

As HP notes the question to me is simple, what's more important talent or experience? I don't know that answer and there are differing opinions. Without talent you aren't sniffing the field and seldom does one start as a freshman on talent alone, Mitch Mustain started as a freshman and he performed quite remarkably, going 8-0 as a starter in the SEC so it does happen. Experience keeps you on the field when coupled with talent.

If we are to believe Pete Carroll's comments above about experience then Mustain should be his guy, but I realize its not that simple, more important I would prefer that they take a little more time and really look hard at how both QB's are performing. As I have said before I want to win so regardless of my personal opinion I don't care who wins the starting job but I would like to see the process be a little more thorough.