Paxton Lynch and Steven Montez are going to start for the Broncos and Buffs respectively this weekend. Their coaches won’t tell you that, but I will.

Saturday and Sunday, at least as it pertains to football in Colorado, have been dubbed “Gametime Decisions” – it’s a Gametime Decision weekend. But I don’t believe that for a second.

When you invite your friend to, oh, let’s say dinner, and he says, “Well, I’ve got this and that and blah, blah, blah – it’s going to have to be a gametime decision,” it means he ain’t comin’. The decision has been made, make no mistake, it’s just a nicer way of saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Same thing applies to football.

Both Gary Kubiak and Mike MacIntyre know who they’re going with this weekend. I just have to believe that. As we’re reminded on a weekly basis, planning and preparing for an all-meaning football game at the Division I or NFL level is serious business. Preparation, whether you’re the coach or the quarterback or the backup, is the “job” part of the football business. Even Peyton Manning will tell you that not getting the reps – mentally, physically, whateverly – during the week is a great way to flop (that’s what happened to him in the Kansas City game last year, at least that’s what he suggested in “America’s Game”). Being unbeaten in the Pac-12 and the NFL is a great thing – this is no time to flop.

No matter how smart (Trevor Siemian) or how seasoned (Sefo Liufau) a quarterback might be, he wants reps. And his coach wants him to have reps. You just can’t prepare enough for these things, you know. National rankings and unbeaten seasons are on the line.

Not saying who your starter is going to be? Well, that’s just plain smart.

The other guys have to prepare, too. And when there’s even the slightest question as to who they’re preparing for, that just makes prepping even harder.

Siemian and Lynch do different things. Falcons defensive coordinator Richard Smith knows that. He’s not going to put all his eggs in one basket – his defense will prepare, at least in part, for both (or either). That means they’ll get half the reps for the right guy, and half for the wrong guy. Just like a quarterback wants reps, so does a defense. By not committing, even if the answer is known, Kubiak just makes Smith’s job harder. It’s common sense, Bill Belichick stuff.

Out in SoCal, USC has plenty to worry about already. They’re sitting at 2-3 on the season and trying desperately to hold onto their status as one of the lead dogs in the Pac-12 South. While Montez and Liufau are somewhat similar stylistically, they each present differnet problems. With Liufau, a senior who’s seen and done it all at Colorado, the playbook is considerably bigger. With Montez, it’s smaller, but he’s arguably more athletic, able to make plays with his feet and create different problems for a defense. Again, the Trojans have to at least consider both players.

The advantage of not saying is obvious, but why then (you ask), will it be Lynch and Montez?

Remember that friend who beat around the bush about your dinner invitation? Call it manners. Call it a soft landing. Call it lying for the right reason. Or, perhaps he’s just buying time – maybe a better offer comes along (hypothetically, of course). Your friend tells you that – rather than, “no thanks, I have better things to do and I don’t like your cooking” – because he values you as a friend. Kubiak and MacIntyre greatly value Liufau and Siemian, as they should.

Those two guys have earned the “considerate” answer. If their coach dismisses them, or their health, too quickly, it sends the wrong message. If, instead, the coach offers up the idea that “if healthy, he’s our guy,” it keeps order – and courtesy – intact. Yet, the considerate, perhaps vague, answer allows the right guy to get the full amount of reps. As of yesterday Siemian had yet to practice (physically, anyway). Liufau has been taking more and more reps, but everyone in Boulder is hedging the bet.

“He’s the toughest sucker in the building,” MacIntyre told Brian Howell of on Tuesday. “He’s going to say that no matter what. He said that two weeks ago. The trainers will evaluate it, we’ll evaluate it, he’ll evaluate it and we’ll make sure. I don’t want put him out there if he’s not fully ready to go.”

Meanwhile, Kubiak has been making Lynch practice with a 25 second play clock, just so he gets used to getting in and out of the huddle quicker. Just for good measure, when pressed about who was starting on Sunday, Kubiak said, “I can’t get ahead of myself.”

Allow me to translate: It’s Montez and Lynch all the way.

But keep that between you and I. After all, it’s a gametime decision.