Since Jarret Doege’s impressive debut as West Virginia’s starting quarterback, a debate has arise among Mountaineer Nation. If the Mountaineers win their final two games and become bowl eligible, should Doege play that game?
The question arises because of the NCAA’s new redshirt rules this year. Players can play in as many as four games and still qualify for a redshirt season. Doege made his Mountaineer debut in mop up duty in the 38-17 home loss to Texas Tech two weeks ago. He followed that up with with his first start in WVU’s 24-20 upset of Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan.
Doege figures to maintain his role as Mountaineers starter in their last two games, at home against Oklahoma State and the season finale at TCU. That would bump Doege up to the maximum four games to keep his redshirt. If WVU wins both and plays in a bowl, if Doege played in that he would lose an entire year of eligibility.
Debating whether Doege should play in a WVU bowl game is akin to budgeting lottery winnings upon buying a ticket. It’s fun to contemplate, but probably isn’t going to happen.
But for the purposes of this column, lets say the Mountaineers hit this particular lottery and end the season on a three-game winning streak. Should Doege play in that game?
Short answer: No. Long answer: Noooooooooooooooo.
It would be coaching malpractice for Neal Brown to burn Doege’s redshirt for a minor bowl game. Contrary to popular opinion, qualifying for a minor bowl game isn’t meaningless. For a first-year coach looking to build a program, those extra 15 practices a bowl game provides can be a godsend.
But winning or losing the game? Ya, that’s pretty meaningless. Big picture, does it really matter if WVU beats Temple in the SERVPRO First Responders Bowl? It certainly of less consequence than having Doege available for the 2021 season.
It’s a question that probably isn’t going to be asked. But if it is, and WVU does go bowling in 2019, Jarret Doege needs to stay at the snack bar.