Wisconsin Coaches Win Bonehead of the Week Award
Wisconsin Coaches Win Bonehead of the Week Award
By Vegas Highroller Tony Salinas:
I know...many of you Badger fans think that the referees deserve my "Bonehead of the Week" award for how they mishandled the final seconds of the Wisconsin/Arizona State game this past Saturday Night. I'm not going to pretend that the refs handled that well (they've already been reprimanded by their own conference). But, only a BONEHEAD would leave it up to the refs ON THE ROAD to make sure everything went perfectly when a win was on the line.
It never should have been up to the refs in the first place. You don't have any time outs. You have a first year starter at quarterback. You have inexperienced players all over the offense. You have NO last second experience because you scheduled two creampuffs to start the season (Massachusetts and Tennessee Tech), so nobody knows what crunch time football is like.
And, your strategy is to run a play to center the ball...then get everyone lined up again in time to spike the ball even--though you're not allowed to spike the ball in the last three seconds this year according to the rules? That means getting the ball to the right place...getting the referees to handle things perfectly at the whistle...having your own lineman race back into position...having the referees get out of the way once the ball's set for play...ON THE ROAD in front of a loud crowd rooting fervently for the defense.
Sorry Gary Andersen...I loved what you did with Utah State...and I'm confident that you'll be a success at Wisconsin...but you win my BONEHEAD OF THE WEEK for thinking that was going to work!
Look, it's not the job of the officials to race around at breakneck pace so you can get your kick off in time. They should follow the same pace every play. Wisconsin's own players weren't racing back into position! I agree that the refs didn't move as quickly as they should. But, even if they had...there would have been little margin for error. Why leave it up to the refs? If the refs are perfect, you're still leaving it up to the clock operator.
- It was a bad choice to begin with
- The Wisconsin players weren't as prepared for the situation as they should have been
- The Wisconsin quarterback wasn't as emphatic as he should have been
I'm not going to blame college kids for something like this when it's their first time through a dramatic finish. THE COACHES are supposed to have taught them what to do. Well prepared teams get the kick off in that spot, and generally win the game.
Other BONEHEAD nominees this week:
The various kickoff return men that keep screwing up what they're supposed to do when they catch the ball in the end zone. Too many to list individually, and I'm trying not to itemize college kids who should have been taught better.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin reportedly tried to make things inconvenient for Alabama on their visit to college station. Crimson Tide players were saying that the locker room was smaller than it was supposed to be, and that the air conditioning had been turned off (which matters during a hot weekend in Texas). Great choice coach...poke the revenge minded hornets nest. The last thing you want to do is make an angry, talented team even madder!
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops deserves a delayed BONEHEAD award for starting the wrong quarterback in OU's first two games. They switched this past weekend to their only returning QB with in-game experience. And, they absolutely crushed Tulsa as a result. Sometimes boneheaded decisions are obvious right away. Other times, they become clear after the fact.
Brandon Meriweather of the Washington Redskins, who chose to completely ignore the threat of getting fined for helmet-to-helmet contact and gave himself a concussion. Meriweather launched himself headfirst at a Green Bay Packer runner early in the game, giving that Packer a concussion. That was surely going to lead to a fine. Later in the game, he did it AGAIN...but this time gave himself a concussion.
Oh, I've now seen multiple instances of NFL defenders launching themselves at a ball-carrier, only to knock out their own teammate instead. It's like they think getting fined for dangerous play is a badge of honor. Maybe concussions will cure boneheaded-ness.
I guess I should mention that many coaches are still playing too conservatively on fourth and short...when trying to decide whether to go for it or kick a field goal, or punt. Too many of those to name. Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers is getting deserved criticism for that late in the Buffalo game. From what I'm hearing...if I watched Panthers games very closely, Rivera would get at least "honorable mention" every week.
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See you again later this week to talk more football. Build your bankrolls in the meantime with Monday Night Football and nightly action from the baseball diamonds with TONY SALINAS!
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