Horns Show Up Just Late Enough To Win

AP/Ross D. Franklin

AP/Ross D. Franklin

Texas 24, Ohio State 21 – That vaunted Longhorns attack via Colt McCoy wasn’t having a whole lot of luck in the first half thanks to a stout Buckeye defense (one of the squad’s better points as it has fits and starts by trying to mesh its QB’s amazing skills with the conservative nature of its coach), and Ohio State decided, for whatever reason, to keep shooting itself in the foot by trotting out Todd Boeckman for his Last Stand when they likely may have been better off putting their future in the hands and on the legs of Terrelle Pryor (personally, I’m still convinced that Pryor chose the wrong school; the Sweater Vest will get much too conservative on him in the years to come. He would have been a great fit with DickRod at Michigan, obviously, but I would think he’d be the natural heir to Daryll Clark at Penn State; running the Spread HD would have been good.)

The funny thing is that Texas wasn’t really able to get after Ohio State late in the game.  McCoy got after it for a 17-6 lead, but then Brian Robiskie stopped dropping balls and became a deep threat in the third quarter, with Pryor using his legs to scramble all over the place (not like he got a whole lot of time to set) and Boeckman got the occasional open shot, like when he threw a fade to the 6’6″ Pryor to take the lead by four points in the fourth.

Then, an EPIC FAIL of tackling and basic defensive skills by OSU, as McCoy had little more than a minute and led the Horsn down the field, using Quan Cosby as his go-to guy. A 4th down spot determined the game at the OSU 40, as part of an 11-play drive. Two inches shorter and it’s OSU ball, game over, the Big 10 saves a bit of face — but no….and a couple plays later, Cosby catches a pass (McCoy threw for more than 400 yards), and a Buckeye safety looks like he hasn’t even passed the most basic of tackling drills, letting the wideout slip through his hands, jiggling like Jello all the way to the end zone with 16 seconds left.

(I enjoyed Yahoo’s headline: “Wrath of Quan.” I imagine the Sweater Vest yelling it Shatner-style.)

The Buckeyes got back to about the Texas 40 when Boeckman, fittingly, was sacked to essentially end the game. At the end, both McCoy and coach Mack Brown made their pleas for being number one, as if barely scraping by an undermanned and clearly sloppy OSU team was any sort of achievement for one of the Big 12 South’s Holy Trinity, two of whom have been embarrassed in some fashion in their bowl games (Texas’ defense is not exactly top tier, but could and should have done better; Texas Tech’s meltdown against Ole Miss goes without saying).  Those calls likely fell on deaf ears, and 45-35 chants ought to be treated as such should Oklahoma win.

(A final note: Big East officials are just as bad as their Pac-10 and SEC counterparts. I’d accuse them of being in the tank for a team, but after a couple of questionable roughing the passer calls on OSU defenders, there were make-up calls of PI on the Longhorns, and a totally weak dual PI call on the two-point attempt after the Pryor receiving TD which should have been flagged solely on the OSU receiver. They may have bet on an OSU cover.)

Advertisements

Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault

Boise State Oregon Football
Here are the final BCS rankings:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. Alabama
  5. USC
  6. Utah
  7. Texas Tech
  8. Penn St.
  9. Boise St.
  10. Ohio St.

Here are the BCS bowl match-ups (along with the rest of the bowls):

  • Title Game: Florida vs. Oklahoma
  • Rose Bowl: USC vs. Penn State
  • Orange Bow: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
  • Sugar Bowl: Utah vs. Alabama
  • Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State vs. Texas

Now, who really got screwed? (Besides everyone; this system makes everyone feel like a loser without a fair shot to really prove who’s the best on the field.) Texas is still griping about not playing for a national championship, or to prove that it belonged in Kansas City on Saturday.

But Boise State has a real reason to bitch. As far as I see it, the Broncos have a legitimate claim that they were left out because Ohio State has more fans, travels better, and would assure better numbers in the Fiesta Bowl against Texas.

Ohio State lost twice, both times to BCS teams: the first to USC, who absolutely drubbed the Buckeyes in a heavy-handed fashion, leaving QB Todd Boeckman unable to see straight; the second to Penn State, in a defensive showdown in Columbus.  As far as teams to lose to, those are not bad ones, but they’re still two losses. What makes them more worthy than a second at-large team from a non-BCS conference? Strength of schedule or conference? The Big Televen, outside of Penn State and an OSU team trying to figure out its transition process between Boeckman and Terrelle Pryor, was absolute medocrity, with only Northwestern making any real attempts at trying to rise above its station.

10-2 in a down BCS conference shouldn’t trump undefeated from a conference that has sent two teams to the BCS with at large bids in the past two years. Yes, Hawaii got slaughtered by Georgia last year, but everyone remembers the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. That should count for something. Despite a year in which there was a bit less WAC competition, Chris Petersen led another squad, this one with a redshirt freshman QB in Kellen Moore, to his second undefeated season in the past three years.

There’s no rationale for the OSU selection outside of money, and that’s understandable, because the bowl games, including the BCS Championship Game, are a business. The primary goal is to draw eyeballs to the TV and fans to each of the neutral sites for sellouts. Ohio State is guaranteed to do that better than Boise State will; they have good, dedicated fans that will travel anywhere for a squad with a BCS bid. But let’s not act like they belong there.

The problem is that we keep pretending that this is the way to “select” a national champion in Division I-A (suck it, FBS) football because the NCAA doesn’t have the balls to tell the conference commissioners that it’s past time to stop farming out a sport’s post-season to outsiders.  The NCAA is in the thrall of its conferences and cannot do anything about it when four of the six commissioners of those conferences won’t even vote on a plus-one system.

Thus, Boise State will take on Texas Christian in what may be the best non-BCS bowl game in the Pointsettia Bowl. Hell, it sounds like it’ll be much better than the Orange Bowl.

It’s too bad the BCS selection committee can’t see it that way.   Of course, you cannot make men understand something if their jobs hinge on them not understanding it.

There Isn’t A Couch Left In Morgantown Today.

(Video of Matt Vasgersian calling West Fuckin’ Virginia FB Owen Schmitt a runaway beer truck courtesy of Awful Announcing. Matty V also noticed the whole Dingle-Berry joke that the Mottrams brought to us a while back.)

West Fuckin’ Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28Damn, what the fuck was that we were talking about how OU was gonna destroy the Big East team, rudderless and without the offensive genius that brought them this far?  That highlight above from Schmitt was the longest run in Fiesta Bowl history (57 yards) until fellow rusher Noel Devine ran so fast that you might want to describe SEC players as having WVU speed for a 65-yard score in the fourth quarter.  It was 20-6 at the half when OU started to make a comeback — scoring via Chris Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run, but then Bob Stoops made the errors that have cost him four straight BCS bowl games — calling an unsuccessful two point conversion and then on-side kicking it way before it was necessary.  The scary thing: most of those WVU players will be back next year: Pat White and his dual-threat rushing-receiving yardage, Noel Devine will be, and it sounds like Steve Slaton will stick around. Maybe Morgantown will have better days without its favorite son coach, although having the offensive coordinator going with him to Ann Arbor might make a dent. Let’s just say that this makes yet another year that Oklahoma was expected to dominate a bowl game, and came up short.