Florida has had a history of dual quarterback systems. You might remember Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise alternating every play to beat heavily favored FSU in 1997. There was the Chris Leak-Tim Tebow combination that led to the 2006 national title. Less memorable was the Leak-Ingle Martin rotation at the beginning of 2003.
The Gators have been using another one this year with John Brantley and Trey Burton. It immediately brings to mind the Leak-Tebow combo given each's roles, but Burton has been doing more at quarterback this year than Tebow did four years ago. Then Jordan Reed came along and ran some QB draws. OK, fine. It's like a wildcat package.
And then Reed played the entire second half against Vanderbilt at quarterback.
It would appear that Florida is in uncharted territory: going forward with three different guys playing quarterback. The old adage about if you have three quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks doesn't really apply. The more Brantley, Burton, and Reed have rotated, the better the offense has done.
Brantley, being a junior and the backup for the two season prior to this one, is going to continue to be the starter. He has experience and the trust of the coaches. However, he's not panned out quite as everyone thought. He finally hit on a deep pass to Chris Rainey on Saturday, but it was underthrown and took a remarkable catch to complete. Reed, meanwhile, perfectly hit Deonte Thompson on a deep corner route on the first pass he threw all day. No really: Reed never even warmed up his arm before the game.
Reed is in the mold of Tebow, with a strong arm and a running style being more about power than anything else. Burton is a mystery throwing the ball, as he's attempted three passes all season, but he's faster than either Reed or Tebow. How and when the two of them get mixed in behind center will be really interesting to watch. Both will keep playing tight end as well, in case you thought they might get lazy.
So on Florida will go with one of the strangest offensive arrangements I've seen: a three-quarterback rotation where two of them play tight end and one does fullback too. Described like that, it sounds crazy. Since the Gators came off the bye week, it's been fine. Going up against a ranked South Carolina team this weekend is a different story than playing Vanderbilt.
But for a team that has lacked an effective power running back since 2004, this arrangement will have to do. Craziness and all.