It would appear the Clint "Choo Choo!" Chelf train has been derailed.
To quickly summarize: A career third-stringer, Chelf finally saw action against Kansas State last season, because of injuries to Wes Lunt and J.W. Walsh. He played admirably in relief and then started the next five games; leading the Pokes to three victories, leading the offense to more than 50 points per game and earning Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP honors.
Now, just seven snaps in to the 2013 season, Chelf was replaced by Walsh and Monday, Gundy said Walsh will start against UTSA and has no plans to rotate Chelf.
To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, "Boy, that escalated (and de-escalated) quickly."
The senior-to-be seemed a shoo-in (choo-in?) to start for the Cowboys in 2013. The Enid native had bided his time and earned the job.
Mike Gundy even seemed to be on board (Choo Choo!) and early in the spring told the media Chelf was the guy. But since then, things have changed, and it certainly seems to me, that most of what transpired was completely out of Chelf's hands.
For the record, I have no inside information. This is all speculation, but, my guess is Chelf's fate was sealed the second Gundy tabbed Mike Yurcich as OSU's offensive coordinator.
We all assumed Yurcich would step right in and continue to run the 'Air Raid' attack that Dana Holgorsen brought to Stillwater and Todd Monken took to even greater heights. But Yurcich used the QB run game pretty heavily back there in Shippensburg and, it would appear, he's just more comfortable with a QB running all over the place.
I'm not here to decry the decision. Gundy is backing his OC. The OC (who is making quite the transition from D-II to the Big 12) is coaching the system he's most comfortable with.
Walsh is a swell teammate and a gutsy ballplayer. OSU remains the Big 12 favorite either way, but man... ya gotta feel for Clint Chelf, right?
The Choo Choo's apparent demise is as unlikely and sudden as was his ascension.