Jim Harbaugh is torn between his two quarterbacks. He shouldn't just look at the ceiling. He should also consider the basement.

Everybody seems to have an opinion about the San Francisco 49ers quarterback controversy these days.  Alex Smith was playing good football throughout his nine starts of the season.  Smith has completed 70% of his passes for 1,731 yards with 13 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.  His passer rating is currently 104.1.

Alex Smith suffered a concussion against the St. Louis Rams in Week 10.  He was unavailable to play a week later against the Chicago Bears.  Smith was cleared to play last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but head coach Jim Harbaugh opted to start quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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Colin Kaepernick has completed 64.9% of his passes for 680 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.  His passer rating is currently 102.3.  The 2011 2nd-round draft pick has also rushed for 214 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Most people are dwelling on Kaepernick’s “higher upside” than Alex Smith.  I’d agree that Kaepernick has a higher ceiling (he’s a duel run/pass threat), but what people are failing to recognize is that Kaepernick has a lower basement.  He’s an inexperienced quarterback who hasn’t had a chance to learn from his mistakes.  I opt for the more experienced Alex Smith.

Hey, it worked out for Bill Belichick when he opted for Tom Brady to start over Drew Bledsoe.  Brady had a lot more starts under his belt when Bledsoe was finally cleared.  I’m not exactly betting my life’s savings that Kaepernick will be the next Brady either.  Alex Smith isn’t an unbelievably great QB, but his basement isn’t as low as Kaepernick’s basement.  Harbaugh and fans should factor that into the equation instead of simply dwelling on Kaepernick’s ceiling.

Brian Noe is the Brand Manager at 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio in Albany, NY.  Brian also hosts “The Noe Show” weekdays from 1-3 pm ET on WTMM.