Last year the University of Colorado football team was just plain bad. The 3-9 squad was often the butt of jokes around the Big 12. A primary reason was the inconsistency at the quarterback position, with coach Dan Hawkins flip-flopping between the promising but raw Tyler Hansen and the likable but underwhelming Cody Hawkins, his son.

After last year’s disastrous performance by Little Hawk (left), it was presumed that his three chances at the starting quarterback’s job had expired and that Hansen would be in the top spot all season. As recently as April 11, Boulder’s Daily Camera reported that Hansen was listed at the top of the depth chart and looked to be a more complete quarterback.

Just 10 days later, the Camera reports that the race between the two is now “paper thin,” with coach Hawkins saying either guy could start for the season opener September 4 against Colorado State University.

“I think those guys have always been paper thin the whole time, whether it has been that you’ve favored one guy or the other guy,” Hawkins says. “I think they’ve both been pretty close.”

That sentence carries the implication of a coach who doesn’t know what he’s going to do, and, in this case, the old adage applies: If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have a quarterback. Westword jokingly calls the situation “child abuse,” saying Hawkins’ vacillation dashes all hope of an improved Buffs team and gives Cody Hawkins the mistaken impression that he can make it as a successful Big 12 starting quarterback. It also undermines Hansen, signaling to him that the coaching staff will never fully trust him to lead the team to success.

The decision takes on added significance when considering that Hansen recently told the Longmont Times-Call the team would lean more toward the pass than relying on the run.