Oklahoma is in the middle of its first quarterback competition since 2015 when Baker Mayfield was competing for the job.
Then-Sooners coach Bob Stoops made the wise choice to name Mayfield the starter, but it worked out for the other candidates as well.
The Sooners have had few misses at starting quarterback since 2000 with the exception of injuries and unforeseen NCAA violations. Oklahoma is hoping to capitalize again with either Kyler Murray or Austin Kendall in 2018.
Here’s a look at how every Oklahoma quarterback battle since 2000 ended for each of the candidates for the job:
The candidates (alphabetical order): Nate Hybl, Jason White
The winner: Hybl in 2001, White in 2002. Hybl won the starting job over White in 2001, but an injury forced him out of Oklahoma’s game against Texas that season. White started in place of Hybl the next few weeks before suffering a season-ending ACL tear in a loss at Nebraska. Hybl finished the season as the Sooners starter after White went down. White beat out Hybl for the starting spot in 2002. A second ACL tear ended White’s 2002 season, however, and Hybl finished the year as Oklahoma’s starter.
What happened to the others: Hybl led Oklahoma to a Big 12 championship and a Rose Bowl win over Washington State in 2002. White had a difficult decision to make for the 2003 season.
The candidates: Noah Allen, Brent Rawls, Paul Thompson, Jason White
The winner: White. Most of the drama surrounding the 2003 quarterback battle stemmed from White, who nearly gave up football after suffering back-to-back ACL tears. Once he decided to return, he was named the Sooners’ first option. White won the Heisman Trophy that season.
What happened to the others: Allen transferred to Sam Houston State after White announced he’d return to school in 2004. Thompson earned the starting job later in his career. Rawls transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he struggled to earn playing time.
The candidates: Rhett Bomar, Paul Thompson
The winner: Thompson, at first. Thompson won the 2005 starting job, but he didn’t last long as the Sooners starter. Oklahoma dropped its 2005 season opener against TCU with Thompson under center. The Sooners made the switch to Bomar and Thompson moved to receiver. Bomar was kicked off the team, however, before the 2006 season. Thompson was put back into the starting role and led the Sooners to a Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl appearance.
What happened to the others: Bomar went to Sam Houston State after he was dismissed from Oklahoma for receiving payment checks for work he never performed at a Norman, Okla., car dealership. Bomar was drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. His pro career ended in 2012 without any meaningful NFL snaps after other stints with Minnesota and Oakland.
The candidates: Sam Bradford, Joey Halzle, Keith Nichol
The winner: Bradford. The redshirt freshman wowed in his debut season with the Sooners. Bradford led Oklahoma to a third consecutive Big 12 championship and a Fiesta Bowl appearance. The best was yet to come for the Oklahoma City native, who won the 2008 Heisman Trophy and led the Sooners to the BCS National Championship Game.
What happened to the others: Halzle saw major action in a road game against Texas Tech when Bradford was forced out of the contest. Halzle wasn’t able to lead the Sooners to a win, completing 51.2 percent of his 41 passing attempts. He didn’t see the field much at Oklahoma with Bradford in front of him, but he went into coaching after college. Nichol left Oklahoma after the 2007 season. He transferred to Michigan State, where he eventually converted to receiver. He’s best remembered for a game-winning touchdown reception that spoiled Wisconsin’s hopes for a BCS bid.
The candidates: Blake Bell, Trevor Knight, Kendal Thompson
The winner: Knight. The San Antonio product won the starting job as a redshirt freshman over Bell, who saw action in 2012 as a third-down specialist. Knight’s 2013 season was riddled with injuries, however, allowing Bell to see ample time at quarterback. Knight returned for the Sooners’ bowl game against Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl. He produced an MVP-winning performance with 348 yards passing, completing 32 of 44 passes and threw 4 touchdowns in a 45-31 upset over the Crimson Tide.
What happened to the others: Thompson was expected to compete for the starting job in 2013, but he broke his right foot before the season. He transferred to Utah after Knight seemingly locked down the starting position for the next few seasons. Bell stayed with the program, but switched positions. It turned out to be a wise move after he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft as a tight end.
The candidates: Justice Hansen, Trevor Knight, Baker Mayfield, Cody Thomas
The winner: Mayfield. The former walk-on quarterback sat out the 2014 season after transferring from Texas Tech to Oklahoma. He broke out in 2015 as one of the best quarterbacks in the country, leading the Sooners to a College Football Playoff appearance, as well as in 2017. He finished his Oklahoma career with a Heisman Trophy, three Big 12 championships and a 2017 Sugar Bowl win over Auburn.
What happened to the others: Knight left for Texas A&M as a graduate transfer after the 2015 season. Knight threw for 2,432 yards passing and 19 touchdowns, while rushing for 614 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Aggies starter in 2016. Thomas, on the other hand, left the program to focus on his baseball career. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.