February 28, 2008

Pony Points: Time to panic?

No reason to panic

June Jones has proven he can make the best out of a bad situation.

He did it as a whole at Hawaii and he did it with guys like Colt Brennan, who were left for dead after making mistakes.

So, the suspension of Justin Willis, while disappointing, should not set off a panic. You can tell from Jones' quotes that he certainly isn't panicked.

Jones will make due. In fact, this is something that may bring his team closer together.

We all watched Willis do some magical things. But we all saw the other side of that as well. As much as Willis has had a knack for keeping the play alive and making things happen, his penchant for a careless turnover and his sometimes embarrassing temperament brought this team down.

While the previous staff seemed to coddle Willis, it's apparent that the new sheriff will have none of Willis' seemingly selfish and foolish behavior.

I don't get the feeling that Jones ever had intention of running Willis off. If junior college transfer Kevin Craft landed here from California last month, there might have been an argument for that.

But now Jones will almost assuredly be forced to play a quarterback with very little or no gameday experience.

Does SMU have someone in the stable who can play the position effectively in six months? There is no answer to that question. But, you best believe Jones will create a competitive environment for Zach Rhodes, Logan Turner, Bo Levi Mitchell and Braden Smith.

For SMU fans who have been excited about watching Justin Willis thrive in the June Jones system, it's likely well never know how that would have played out. It more likely that we've just watched a talented and likable player flush two years of excitement down the toilet.

With all that said, there is reason to be disappointed, even angry with Willis. But, with quarterback June Jones on campus, there is no reason to panic.

- Ted Gangi

Scott Farrell's counterpoint will be coming shortly.

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