I’m on holiday this week, soaking up some sun in San Diego and eating fish tacos like there’s no tomorrow.
Got a call from the desk this afternoon as i was making my way up Interstate 5 to Ocean Beach: Phillip Bates has quit the team.
I wasn’t the least bit shocked. Believe it or not, I saw this one coming.
Austen Arnaud is the guy at quarterback for Iowa State. Not Bates. Wasn’t gonna happen.
Even folks without my trained eye (ahem) could see that. Arnaud has better size, arm strength, passing touch and decision-making ability.
Maybe we hadn’t seen enough of Bates to know that for sure, but we’ve seen enough of Arnaud to know it wouldn’t be easy to beat him out. Bates is very talented, yes, but an every down Big 12 quarterback he is not. Even he had to recognize that to some degree.
The questions to be answered now are these: 1) Did Bates simply not want to be at Iowa State if he was not going to play quarterback? 2) Was there thought given on his end to move to another position and remain with the team? Coaches have repeatedly said he would not play another position. 3) Were they keeping him at QB or were they speaking on Bates’ stubborn behalf not to move? 4) Is it just a coincidence the Omaha native was in Lincoln two weekends ago to watch a former prep teammate and the rest of the Huskers play Virginia Tech? 5) Where will Bates end up? 6) What position will he play?
Bates’ timing is curious, coming days after he didn’t play a down in ISU’s 35-33 loss to Kansas last weekend.
The Jerome Tiller era now begins. Coaches had hoped to redshirt the talented freshman from San Antonio and keep two years’ time between he and Arnaud, who is just a sophomore.
With seven games to go — starting this Saturday night at Baylor — that’s probably wishful thinking. Arnaud is bound to miss some time, even if it is just for a play or two after he gets his bell rung.
Bates will hook on somehwere else and hopefully have a good career, be it at quarterback, wingback, defensive back… wherever. He’s a good kid with awfully good football skills.
It just wasn’t gonna happen for him in a Cyclone uniform.
Could his departure been avoided? I’d sure like to know, same as all of Cyclone Nation.