Here is what we know about Florida's starting quarterback situation: John Brantley is hurt and will not play against LSU. Everything else, from Jeff Driskel to Jacoby Brissett to Tyler Murphy to Christian Provancha, seems entirely up in the air, with reports that Brissett will start looking credible but lacking confirmation. Let's analyze the possibilities for the Gators' game at LSU at 3:30 p.m., given the events of this week.
Jeff Driskel starts
The presumptive outcome as soon as Brantley limped off the field at The Swamp last Saturday night now seems unlikely. Driskel was the second-string quarterback entering this week, has been described as the starter all week by Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis, and would not have been a surprise starter up until Friday night.
Jacoby Brissett starts on his own merit
Brissett has a big arm and experience in a pro-style offense, and his swift ascent to the spot behind Driskel, an early enrollee, speaks to his ability to grasp the offense. It's possible that Brissett has caught and passed Driskel — who was never officially named Florida's starter and has been a bit skittish in his limited action this season — in practice this week, but Brissett was considered likely to redshirt as late as last Saturday. Brissett compensating for Driskel's spring practice advantage and making a leap that significant in a week of practice would be remarkable, but not impossible.
Jacoby Brissett starts because of Jeff Driskel's injury
Driskel sprained his ankle against Alabama, and rumors have spread this week that the injury hasn't healed as quickly as it needed to for Driskel to start. That theory is supported by what Randy Rosetta tweeted, but Driskel's injury is not mentioned in David Pingalore's report. Driskel being ahead of Brissett on the depth chart and knocked out by injury wouldn't be surprising, of course, but there's also a possibility that Driskel has an injury which is being used to justify moving Brissett ahead of him on the depth chart. At this moment, this is the scenario I believe will transpire.
That's slightly diabolical, and isn't supported by anything but unsubstantiated logic that holds that because Brissett is a Muschamp/Weis recruit, and Driskel was recruited by Urban Meyer, the coaching staff is trying to make elevating its favorite son as quiet as possible. If you want to believe in that conspiracy theory, though, you don't have a long leap to that conclusion.
Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett both play
Here's a nightmare scenario: Driskel is hurt, but remains ahead of Brissett on the depth chart and starts; he is ineffective before re-aggravating his injury. Brissett, not nearly as far ahead of the curve as some might think, is thrust into the game with no more than one week of shared first-team snaps. I suspect that few Gators fans want this scenario to come true.
Tyler Murphy starts
This was advocated by an Alligator columnist on Thursday: Murphy should start, saving Driskel from taking the punishment that LSU's defense will undoubtedly dish out and preventing his growth from being stunted. At the moment, it's the longest of long shots.