Friday, August 25, 2006
1) He was voted team captain before the depth chart came out. He was voted captain unanimously. In other words, the entire team felt he was a leader of the team.
2) He was given the starting nod over Rudy Carpenter for a reason. Both of them had a chance to prove themselves on the field. The only reason there was even a battle this Spring was because Keller went out with a broken thumb. Carpenter was in there because of injury, not because Keller could not get it done. This year, Keller won the starting role based on his field performance, field leadership and field presence. It may have been close, but he still won.
3) Head Coach Dirk Koetter then had an "emergency" meeting with Rudy and his Dad about this. Now while there is no real information on what that consisted of, we do know that immediately after that meeting, Koetter called a meeting of the teams "Leadership Council". Based on a quote from someone in that meeting, the council was ready to stand behind Keller. But near the end of the meeting, they started to go to Carpenter
4) Without any further on field evaluation, and without any further practice or drills, Koetter informs Keller he is being demoted and Carpenter is going ahead to start. So Keller lost his job for a mythical reason, and not because of job performance.
Now, one can speculate what happened, and it has been alluded to in certain papers in Arizona. My opinion on this is that Carpenter and his dad threatened to transfer if he was not the starter. Koetter gave in, and proved that the inmates run the asylum in Tempe. Keller could have stayed, but what chance did he have. Any bond of trust he had with the team was destroyed with that Carpenter meeting, and then with the Leadership Council meeting. The only real choice for Keller was to leave.
But what about those "character issues" that seem to be reported with Keller. Well, he made a few statements last year that can be construed as "selfish" or "self centered". But the quotes he made last year are no different than the ones Carpenter made. These character issues that seem to come up are for one reason only. That reason is there is a contingent, and growing very quickly now, in the Tempe area that wants Koetter gone. They are trying to use any little tidbit available to help their cause. With the Keller issue, they try to highlight a "mythical" character issue with Keller to try and tie that to the Loren Wade shooting that happened. So it is not really about Keller that these issues come up, but because a growing ASU base wants to highlight how Koetter does not have control of the team.
I have this to say to Sam Keller. You are one heck of a QB, and you lit it up against USC until Koetter got stupid. You threw for over 2000 yards in less than 7 complete games. You are a dang good QB, and one who can help the Huskers out this year and next. Welcome to the best college football team ever, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
I was, however looking forward to seeing Keller play and was very sad when Koetter did his about-face.
What ever happened to not loosing your starting spot to injury?
I still hoped Keller would stay at ASU because a Starting QB doesn't usually last the whole season out here and there were basicly no back ups after Sam and Rudy.
Then I'd heard the rumors of a possibility of Sam going to NU..
Can't wait for next season almost as much as I'm anticipating this one.
Go Big Red!!!