December 06, 2005

Rose Bowl Blues


I mentioned in comments to Steve-O's recent post about last Saturday's Texas and USC games that Gregg Easterbrook has been tracking both teams' habit of running up excessive scores and warning that this practice is not going unnoticed in higher places. In his column this week (which starts with a juicy recap of the 'Fins incredible come-from-behind win over Buffalo on Sunday - Heh, indeed), he again sounds the alarm:

BCS Omens Watch: Texas led 42-3, yet Vince Young was still in the game and heave-hoeing passes as the Longhorns frantically ran up the score. A few hours later, USC led 45-6, yet Matt Leinart was still in the game and heave-hoeing passes as the Trojans frantically ran up the score. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled above my house as the football gods showed their displeasure at these dueling displays of poor sportsmanship. But how can the football gods curse both teams at the Rose Bowl?

As I say, Gregg has been tracking this all year. In the past, he has noted that Texas is the worse offender. This is why, as a Longhorns fan, I've got a baaaaad feeling about the Bowl Game.

UPDATE: Will Franklin offers a rebuttal -

Ben Franklin once said (and I am paraphrasing) that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

With all due respect, Texas did not run up the score against CU or any other time all year. To make that claim is to open your mouth and shout, "I am an idiot! I didn't actually watch the games, or even look at the box score!"

Against Colorado, Texas scored 70 points with more than half of the 3rd quarter remaining, then went out of their way to NOT score anymore. I mean, it was difficult, but running 8th string RBs up the middle every time is how you do it.

Vince Young was pulled from the game with about 25 minutes remaining on the game clock. He played very little all year in the second half. And when he did, it was usually because the game was close (against Ohio State, for example). When he did play in blowouts, he just handed the ball off and barely threw at all. Against CU, for example, Texas threw the ball a total of a few times in the second half. And those were our backups making the throws. Yes, backups. Plural. We brought in our third string walkon QB with nearly 10 minutes to play.

A couple of the touchdowns came from special teams and defensive plays. Asking your defense "not to run up the score" is impossible. They play defense. They tackle. They make plays. They score touchdowns or put you in position to score touchdowns.

Mack Brown, if anything, is often too classy for his own good. He is good friends with Gary Barnett and was most definitely not running up the score. Nor did Texas run up the score at any other point during the season. It is a shame you would perpetuate that erroneous claim. Making that claim is stupid. It's ignorant. It's just plain foolish BS. It proves that someone hasn't actually paid attention.

I hope he's right. I also hope the football gods are paying more attention than Gregg.

Posted by Robert at December 6, 2005 12:34 PM | TrackBack