In the spring of 2012, the last time David Shaw had a quarterback to replace, Brett Nottingham and Josh Nunes were the only real candidates for the job. After three years of watching the greatest quarterback in Stanford history, the fanbase was understandably nervous about what would come next.
It's important to remember that both Nottingham and Nunes had been highly touted recruits. Nunes was a senior and a four-star prospect who had signed with the Cardinal in 2009, and Nottingham, a junior, had arrived in 2010 with four stars of his own. Sure, there'd be a step down from Andrew Luck, but with two-time thousand-yard rusher Stepfan Taylor returning and a typically strong offensive line, there wasn't a great deal of concern, just curiosity.
Most fans were pulling for Nottingham, figuring that it made more sense to choose the younger quarterback, but Nunes was eventually named the starter during the week before opening day. (We know what happened next -- although Nunes had some spectacular games, his inconsistency allowed for the mid-season emergence of Kevin Hogan, who would eventually lead the Cardinal to three Rose Bowls and carve himself a place on Stanford's Mt. Rushmore of quarterbacks.)