College Football "Wonks"

James Joyner:

Mike Tomasky and Matt Yglesias both argue that Alabama head coach Nick Saban showed a distinct lack of class by scoring a meaningless touchdown with 47 seconds left in last nightís championship game [. . .] Iím an Alabama alumnus and fan, so Iím biased. But having the backup running back score on a run up the middle with nearly a minute left in a national championship game youíre only leading by 10 points isnít exactly rubbing it in.

It surely is not running up the score. But it also is probably not the optimal play. With Alabama up 10 with a minute left and Texas with one timeout, the victory formation was in order. What if Bama's running back fumbled? Does no one remember Joe Pisarcik, Larry Csonka and Herman Edwards?

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  • Display: Sort:
    No, I'll never forget... (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:13:54 PM EST
    "Off-Broadway Joe," even as much as I want to.

    Not me, I was there. Jr year in HS. (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:17:25 PM EST
    A buddy's dad took us. When it happened we were stunned but I had no idea that that game would be such major part of football psyche for the rest of time...

    It's hardly running up the score (none / 0) (#3)
    by magster on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:18:25 PM EST
    to run up the middle with a backup. And, the coach for Alabama is letting the backups have a major bowl experience they can tell their grandkids about.  

    Saban should have gone to victory formation. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Buckeye on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:20:32 PM EST
    I remember Barry Alvarez handing the ball off against Northwestern when he had the game won and a victory formation would have won it.  His tailback fumbeled and Northwestern drove the field to win the game.

    Complete boneheadedness.

    I personally (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jackson Hunter on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:29:32 PM EST
    would've just run the victory formation as well.  It was a needless touchdown when you can just down it.  But it's nothing like that rat b@stard of a high school coach in Texas running the full court press in the second half with a 100 point lead.  That guy needs to lose his job, crap like that can get people hurt.

    The "Miracle of the Meadowlands", yeah, that's a toughie to forget.  But even if there had been a fumble, and the Longhorns managed to score they would have still been down by three.  If Saban wasn't so intense people might not have noticed the extra TD as much.  It crossed my mind last night that it was needless, but i don't think it was classless.

    What sucks is that football is almost over.  As I hate the NBA there are no sports on (not a hockey guy either) until March Madness and then MLB.  Feb really sucks for sports.


    February? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 02:12:51 PM EST
    Pitchers and Catchers can report starting February 18. It's a glorious day in Florida and Arizona.

    Saban is lacking class... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:43:55 PM EST
    but I wouldn't call this running up the score either...just a poor coaching decision, as you said.

    play at the end of the half (none / 0) (#7)
    by jharp on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:44:47 PM EST
    You are 100% correct.

    And I haven't seen much mention of the bonehead play Texas ran at the end of the first half.

    They had no business, none, throwing the ball in that situation. Even if the play was wildly successful time would have run out.

    It very well might have cost them the game.

    Texas coach... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 01:56:49 PM EST
    said in post-game interviews that he's never seen a shovel pass intercepted...obviously he's not a Jet fan...Bryan Cox said the same thing in 1995 after Bubby Brister threw a shovel to Carolina's Sam Mills and he took it to the house.

    texas coach (none / 0) (#11)
    by jharp on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 02:49:34 PM EST
    "Texas coach said in post-game interviews that he's never seen a shovel pass intercepted"

    Well I guess he has now. And what simply floors me is here is a guy with a million dollar plus a year job who makes a bonehead call that a layman would be smart enough to avoid.


    Final Polls are out (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 02:19:39 PM EST
    and Both AP and the USA/Coaches are in agreement on one through seven:

    1. Tide
    2. Bevo
    3. Swamp Reptiles
    4. Men in Blue
    5. Tuba Player dotting the i
    6. Toads
    7. Is This Heaven

    Don't even get me started... (none / 0) (#13)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Jan 09, 2010 at 08:54:02 PM EST
    ...on the Toads finishing ahead of Heaven.  

    I'm also not convinced that the Smurfs couldn't beat any of the teams above them.  


    More Wonkish (none / 0) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 06:18:22 PM EST
    Matt Elam, the top-rated recruit in the state of Florida (and Number 1 safety nationwide according to Scout.com) who reneged on his verbal commitment to Florida on the heels of coach Urban Meyer's leave of absence and said he would be enrolling early at Florida State, has changed his mind again.

    "I'm decommitting," the Palm Beach Dwyer High safety told UGASports after being asked if he was still headed to Tallahassee. "Florida is first for me right now"

    There will be plenty of jilted brides by the time this kid finally signs.