Phillip Fulmer and first-year starting quarterbacks

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The Papa has played a first-year starter at QB only four times: 1994 (Jerry Colquitt/Peyton Manning), 1998 (Tee Martin), 2000 (Casey Clausen), and 2004 (Brent Schaeffer/Erik Ainge/Rick Clausen).

Records for those seasons? 8-4, 13-0, 8-4, and 10-3, with a National and SEC Championship in 1998 and a trip to the SEC Championship Game in 2004.

It's not surprising that the best of those seasons was the year that we made the right choice first and stuck with him the entire season. Of course, it was an easier choice to make because we had an upper classman waiting in the wings and ready to go.

2008 is sitting on the tee a lot more like 1998 than any of those other years in that Jonathan Crompton is an upper classman who's simply been waiting his turn rather than a highly touted but inexperienced freshman. Combine that fact with the mystery and intrigue factor and a front-loaded schedule and . . . are you excited for football yet?

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