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Press Row: Did Clint Chelf get a fair shot at the starting job?

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Lots of folks are of the belief that Oklahoma State didn’t give Clint Chelf a fair shot.

The senior quarterback played two shaky series in the Cowboys’ season opener, was replaced by J.W. Walsh and had lost his starting job by the end of the game.

So, was he treated properly?

Berry Tramel and I discussed that — and other big quarterback questions — in this week’s Five in Five segment of the Press Row.

Berry made a great point about Chelf — if Walsh had actually played better than Chelf throughout camp (as we’ve been told that he did), then Chelf was given more than a fair shot. He was allowed to start even though Walsh had outperformed him in practice. Maybe it was a nod to Chelf’s seniority. Maybe it was because of the way he finished last season. But hey, if people want to talk about what was fair, maybe J.W. Walsh was actually the one being treated unfairly by not being allowed to start.

My thought is that Chelf got the start because the coaches believe he’s best when the lights come on. They’ve said before that he doesn’t practice very well. He’s sort of like Brandon Weeden in that way. He just doesn’t show very well in practice. But when it’s game time, Chelf steps it up and delivers. Maybe the coaches wanted to see if he could deliver against Mississippi State.

When he didn’t, they weren’t afraid to go with and stick with Walsh.

I hate to see Chelf lose that starting job because of his back story. From third-string to starter. Who doesn’t love that storyline?

But I don’t think he was treated unfairly. He just got outperformed by Walsh, first in practice, then in the opener.

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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›