At the end of the spring Drew Allen is still the guy backing up Landry Jones. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The biggest offensive position battle for Oklahoma this last spring was for the back-up quarterback. The Sooners ended spring drills without a #2 signal caller being named and there's a solid chance that the position won't be settled until just before OU kicks off their season in El Paso on September first. However, even that won't bring an end to the competition between Drew Allen and Blake Bell.
The crucial battle between Bell and Allen will be next spring and summer when the two will finally settle who gets to become the heir to Landry Jones. For now it's a battle so see who gets the second team reps and will be ready to take the field should a situation occur like the one in 2009 that initially thrust Jones into the spotlight. In that case you want the guy that is best prepared to go in and not necessarily the one who will eventually be the overall best quarterback.
This may not bode well for the fan favorite Bell who is uber athletic and has the perfect size but is still working on raw talent. When Oklahoma's spring game came to a conclusion it was a three to one fan ratio of autograph seekers favoring Bell over Allen. However, personnel decisions aren't made by fan popularity (if that were the case the Jimmy Stevens would have been pulled a long time ago).
Bell was highly touted coming into Oklahoma and has done nothing but build fan support with his athleticism and personality. The "Belldozer" package last year only bolstered hopes among the fanbase of one day seeing him as the full-time starter at quarterback. However, is Insight Bowl MVP award was based on what he did with his feet rather than his arm and ultimately it will be his arm that will either win or lose this competition.
As of now the back-up quarterback position is Drew Allen's to lose and there was nothing he did over the spring to put that in jeopardy. He still has a great grasp of the offense and better command of the huddle and play selection. He's behind Bell in athleticism but not at all in ability to put the ball in the hands of a receiver, even if he has to check down through his progressions. That's the advantage he has and that's what is keeping him ahead of Bell on the depth chart.
Things aren't bleak fo Bell though. He has made significant progress from last spring to this one and if he makes the same amount of progress between now and next spring he'll most likely pass up Allen before the 2013 season kicks off. Athletes don't come to OU for the opportunity to play back-up quarterback. They want the big prize of being the signal caller for the first team offense. Bell and Allen both get that and are working hard to see that dream come true. They both realize that they're in a battle that is a long way from being over.