Ohio State survived a scare from the Naval Academy, while Sam Bradford faked an injury out of embarrassment -- and yes, getting tackled by a Mormon is embarrassing -- but that isn't what caught my attention over college football's opening weekend. Here's what did...
1. Chris Spielman, during said Ohio State-Navy contest, had this to say about Bud Foster's Virginia Tech defense: "They play long, they play strong, and they bring their lunch pail every week...literally." Idiot.
2. Brad Nessler is generally one of the better play-by-play announcers on the planet. However, he has the same problem seemingly all of us (both announcers and commonfolk not named Brad Spieser) have: He has no idea what can be accomplished on a football field in just three or four seconds.
Example: With five seconds remaining in the Florida State-Miami barn-barner (thanks, Chuck), and with the Noles facing a 3rd & Goal from the Miami 2, Nessler said something to the effect of, "...and it all comes down to this one play."
WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO LEARN???!!!???It's quite easy to run a 12 or 15-yard out in three seconds-----seriously, watch a game clock some time and tell me how long a 15-yard out takes. I guarantee you it's never longer than four seconds.
And five seconds...five seconds is a goddamn eternity, especially when all you need is two yards. Tyus Edney raced the length of a basketball court in under five seconds, and he was changing directions and making fancy, behind-the-back dribbles. Thousands of mammals across the universe can run forty yards in four-and-a-half seconds or less. Think about that: Forty yards! I'm talking about two here. Two yards. Five seconds. That's it. I was furious with Brad Nessler as FSU lined up for the 3rd down play. And then...
3. Bobby Bowden, or whoever is calling plays in Tallahassee, must have been listening to Mr. Nessler, because that 90-year-old slapnuts ran a slow-developing rollout pass that took the full five seconds. Incomplete pass. Game over. Canes win. Noles lose. JoePa envy gains momentum in the Bowden household.
But anyway, why not run a quick slant, or one of those nifty fade-stop, back-shoulder deals that (I think) Dan Marino perfected about fifteen years ago? If either of those passes fail to work, you still have a fourth down opportunity, and the playbook would double. Because, if all you need is two yards, and you know it's the last play of the game -- AND IF YOU HAVE A MOBILE QUARTERBACK LIKE CHRISTIAN PONDER -- you can even choose to run the ball.
Jesus, it's not that hard. Really, it's not.
-Brad Spieser (Brad@TwinKilling.com)