Another factor here, and I know Meyer doesn't really buy into some players being "gamers", but Cardale was "clutch". He got significantly better, it seems, on those 3rd and longs against Bama and Oregon. Meyer's position is probably more along the lines of players needing to elevate their practice level to "clutch" level, and then you'll rarely even have those "clutch" opportunities.
I also believe that JT will win the starting nod, with Meyer finding a way to make Cardale the 1A quarterback but still avoid the two QB system leadership problems. JT has been working just as hard or harder than everyone else on improving all areas of his game, and he was coming from a position, I believe, where he was already in front of both Miller and Jones in terms of QB skills. I saw a pic of JT soon after the Braxton "ripped" pic made the rounds and JT looked every bit as "ripped" for his body type (which is somewhat more sleek than Miller's). It also wouldn't surprise me if his arm strength went up a few notches from last year. And to be honest I don't think it was ever the liability some have made it out to be.
People also underestimate, in my opinion, the value to a defense of being able to look at a lot of game film to diagnose tendencies and game-plan to take advantage of them. Troy Smith's 2005 Penn State game (loss), Terrelle Pryor's 2009 Purdue game (loss) and Braxton Miller's 2012 Wisconsin game (close win) are examples of how bad good defensive coordinators can make good QBs look when given sufficient game film and a week to prepare. Cardale still has that game or two in his future.
I think that's what we were seeing in JT late last season (and especially against Michigan with Mattison, one of the best defensive coordinators in the college game), when he didn't seem to be as sharp as he had been in earlier games. But good QBs learn from those games and JT seems to be a very fast learner. The improvement he made after the Virginia Tech loss is clear evidence of that. (He actually played pretty darn well in that game and probably would have won it if WRs hadn't dropped certain throws or ran wrong routes late in the game leading to a TD interception return, but there were some key plays where he got flustered by the VT pressure and missed opportunities because he was no longer seeing the field.)
Still, Cardale winning the starting job wouldn't be a shocker either. Because Cardale. Enough said. Almost. :)
Cardale's just got that wonderful, playful, winning aura about him that's a lot like Michael Jordan in his prime bringing the ball up court with his tongue hanging out about to drive for the game winning hoop with ten seconds on the clock. And he'd still choke you over a game of checkers, but be quick to revive you so you could play again. :)