Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones walk into Urban Meyer’s office.
While this embarrassingly awful attempt at a joke has no punchline, it will likely one day be a reality.
Meyer is going to have to sit down with the shifty redshirt-senior from Huber Heights, Ohio, the technician redshirt-sophomore from Wichita Falls, Texas, and the gunslinger from Cleveland, and tell two of them that despite their accomplishments, it wasn’t enough.
They will be on the bench.
Each quarterback can make a strong case as to why he deserves to be the starting signal caller as the Buckeyes prepare for their first title defense in more than a decade.
But only one can be the main man, and in my opinion, it’s a two-horse race.
I agree with what Meyer said about a week ago, that each quarterback deserves a fair chance, but there is no denying that Jones has the upper hand.
And Meyer said Barrett, the reigning Big Ten Quarterback of the Year, has almost as much momentum as his rehab from a fractured ankle is ahead of schedule.
It would have been nearly impossible to imagine that Miller, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, would become the dark horse in this competition, but that’s what has happened.
And it’s not because of lack of ability, but because of his demeanor off the field.
By simply observing a team practice or watching the Spring Game, the difference between Miller’s demeanor and Barrett’s is almost astounding.
While both players watch Jones take nearly all the first team reps, they stand with the coaches to get mental reps, but Miller never seems engaged.
For example, as I watched a re-run of the 2015 Spring Game yesterday, the cameras cut to Miller in between plays. Miller stood there, with a headset around the top of his head like a hat, looking from sideline to sideline as if trying to find his best friend to wave to — or perhaps looking for another program that will hand him a starting job.
Then, the camera panned to Barrett, who had the headset on properly and was watching the play as if studying for a final exam.
I don’t want this to come off as if I am bashing Miller. His athleticism is unrivaled when it comes to what OSU has seen in the past at the position.
But he is just that: an athlete.
It is likely that his shoulder will never be the same again, and that in itself puts him behind at least Jones, who showed off his cannon with a 74-yard bomb in the “QB Skills Competition” at halftime of the Spring Game.
And without Miller and former Buckeye running back Carlos Hyde, Barrett was still able to break Big Ten regular-season records set by not only Miller, but also by Purdue legend Drew Brees.
Combining the skills of all three quarterbacks into one would be ideal, but this isn’t a science-fiction movie. This is OSU football. And coming off a national title win, no program is under the national microscope more than the one that resides in Columbus.
And if the Buckeyes want to return to the college football promised land, they need to go with one of the two quarterbacks who helped get them there.