Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler’s benching after the first quarter of the Sooners game against Texas, and debate if Caleb Williams is the guy to lead the Sooners from now on.
[BAT HITS BALL, CROWD CHEERS]
DAN WETZEL: Caleb Williams, 15 of 24, 211 yards, 2 TDs, 4 carries, 88 yards, 1 TD. Spencer Rattler, 9 of 16, 112, 1 int, and 2 sacks, OK? Caleb Williams was phenomenal, a true freshman out of Washington, DC area. He has lived up to the hype.
Pete, is Rattler done here? I mean, Lincoln Riley is kind of playing it as there's still a thing here. But will they just revolt and overturn and burn the Sooner Schooner in Norman if Spencer Rattler's back out there as the start of the rest of the way?
PETE THAMEL: I just think Lincoln Riley has forgotten more about quarterback play today than I ever have in my life. But it seemed pretty obvious who the best quarterback at Oklahoma is yesterday. This is the second year in a row Spencer Rattler has been benched in the Red River game for just simply not playing well.
And Caleb Williams went and seized the day with the stakes the biggest, down 28-7, rolls in on a fourth and 1 on the first play of the second quarter, and just blitzes through the Texas defense for a 66-yard run. Caleb Williams was everything Spencer Rattler hasn't been in some of these big games.
He's been poised. He's collected. He's accurate. He didn't make fatal mistakes. I don't see any way that Spencer Rattler gets his job back. I think it's fairly obvious. And I think Lincoln Riley's histrionics of not letting Williams do the postgame interview and not saying right away what they're going to do going forward is the biggest tip of his hand. He's trying to manage that situation within his locker room.
And I mean, by dinnertime on Saturday, I had coaches texting me, think he goes to Georgia after JT Daniels goes? Think Rattler goes to one of the Arizona schools where he's from? Do you think he goes to Texas A&M? People are already-- this is college football. People are already wondering where Spencer Rattler will transfer to next year.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, I mean, there's no doubt that Caleb Williams is the quarterback going forward. I still wouldn't still wouldn't be surprised if Rattler tries to go pro. He's a draft-eligible.
He's draft-eligible. And he's got a reputation. I mean, what were people saying coming into the season? I don't think they were saying it accurately. But they were saying he was going to be the top quarterback in the draft. That was what people were saying. Based on what, I don't know, because I watched him last year, and he wasn't that good. But that's what people were saying over and over and over.
So if you've been hearing that basically since you're 17 years old, you're an NFL quarterback, it's hard to get that thought out of your head. So we'll see what he does.
PETE THAMEL: You know what this Rattler situation is indicative of? And I think it underscores something really important. And we've seen it with Graham Mertz and a couple of others this year. Your ranking in high school is really important because that can carry you past actual bad performance.
I mean, Pat mentioned basketball. I was thinking the same thing. How many five-star guys-- now, some of these guys are 7' 1". And there's only so many humans walking the Earth that are 7' 1". But in football now, you are getting a pass for performance if you had the hype. And that ranking that you get early and you cultivate and you go to the camps and you have the right tutors, that stuff's important in terms of the bottom line for Spencer Rattler, in terms of the bottom line for--
I mean, Graham Mertz got a ton of NIL deals. He's not great, right? He's just a guy right now. But the reason why we don't-- the look on Pat's face-- the reason why we think of him through a different prism is because of the recruiting ranking.