I hesitate writing this, because I think we're all sick of our own retreaded arguments. But I just can't resist.
I've been on the fence all season on the Riley-vs.-Longshore debate, which more often than not means I'm arguing for Longshore since Riley seems to be the more popular choice among the fan base. Since neither guy has clearly distinguished himself to date, I suspect that Tedford and Co. will do what they have done the last 2-3 weeks: develop a game plan and then decide which guy seems to be best suited to execute it.
It's less ideal than having one guy as THE guy, but I suppose it seems a reasonable enough approach given the situation. What frustrates me are some of the flawed arguments I often see made on the Rilerians' behalf. Here, for example, is what ESPN's Ted Miller recently wrote:
Riley has three clear advantages over Longshore: 1. He doesn't turn the ball over (see just two interceptions in 128 passes); 2. He's more mobile and therefore can escape a pass rush and create a positive plays with his feet; 3. He's a sophomore (Longshore is a senior) and will be the quarterback two more seasons.
Argument #1 is a fair one, and quite possibly it is the argument that should seal the deal for Riley. I'll concede that. But arguments #2 and #3 are flawed. For #2, yes, Riley is more mobile, and thus he was the guy better suited to a game plan that featured a QB draw or two. But Longshore actually gets sacked less than Riley, and Riley has yet to translate his greater mobility into truly better play.
It's #3, though, that I take the most issue with. Cal is still in the thick of the Rose Bowl hunt, and the Bears truly control their own destiny now that Zona has lost again. This team is not yet playing for next year, so if given the choice between a still somewhat raw sophomore and a senior who already has one conference championship under his belt, the choice seems obvious: go with the senior.
Again, I don't think my reverse-argument #3 is definitive, either. Argument #1 might still very well trump it. Until the Bears lose another game, however, I have little patience for the Play-Riley-because-he'll-be-here-next-year line.