Founder—College Football Crack House
Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com
I just had to post this in the article after last nights game:
I bet Andre Ware (former QB for Houston) was bragging them up but shouldn't he instead have been ripping them for not taking a knee (as he did the Buckeyes) - game's over - right Andre???
A fake punt with nearly nine minutes left in the Northwestern game, followed by an ensuing 34-yard touchdown pass the very next play and a late touchdown gallop by backup running back Boom Herron with only seconds left in the game, have resonated in a surprising and somewhat confusing backlash for the Ohio State Buckeyes over the last few days.
Andre Ware ripped the Buckeyes the second Tressel called for the fake punt. He said Ohio State should have punted since, in his opinion, the game was not in doubt. His partner in the booth suggested the Buckeyes were trying to keep possession and kill the clock.
At the time, OSU held a 31-10 lead—comfortable, perhaps, but surely not insurmountable. The next play, Terrelle Pryor threw a touchdown pass. Ware's reaction? "Are they still trying to run out the clock now?"
This is the same Andre Ware who led his Houston team of the late 1980s and early 1990s to some of the most lopsided victories in college football history.
Here are a few examples (thanks to Baby Tate for providing these scores!).
Houston 69 UNLV 0
Houston 65 Temple 7
Houston 66 Baylor 10
Houston 55 TCU 10
Houston 47 Texas 9
Houston 64 Rice 0
Houston 95 SMU 21
Please remind me again, Andre: How exactly do you of all people classify 45-10 as "running it up"?
Ware is employed by the same network (ESPN) that posted the following headlines on their college football homepage a few weeks back.
"Buckeyes edge Purdue 16-3" and "Georgia rolls over Tennessee 26-14."
Unless I'm crazy, it sure seems like Ohio State was being slighted for ONLY beating (2-3) Purdue by 13 points with a freshman QB still learning the ropes I might add, but Georgia was being praised for a 12-point victory over a Tennessee team that was also (2-3) at that time and had been waxed by UCLA, who themselves, had been waxed by BYU.
In addition, ESPN Page 2 writer Tim Keown wrote a critical article about the Buckeyes' "garbage-time scoring," and that is the main reason I am now writing this article.
You can read his original story by clicking here, and then you'll know why I'm so fired up!
In the Buckeyes' victory over greatly improved Minnesota, Ohio State was leading 34-6 when they took their foot off the gas, so to speak, and replaced the starters. The final score of the game ended up 34-21.
The poll voters responded by moving the Bucks up from No. 12 to No. 11 while moving up teams like Florida, USC, and Georgia up at least three slots each after they ran up the score in their games that same week.
After losing to unranked Ole Miss in Week Four, Florida dropped to No. 13. Since then, they have won five straight games, all in blowout fashion, and are now ranked third. While LSU and Georgia were both ranked in the top 25, both also were obviously overrated because of the SEC love-fest ESPN has created.
The headlines when Florida, USC, or Texas Tech scores 50+ points usually include the words dominating performance or blowout. These teams have received high praise for their high-powered offense and have made no apologies, nor been asked to, for scoring and scoring often.
So why now are the Buckeyes being criticized for scoring two touchdowns in the last nine minutes in a 45-10 win?
Where's the praise for them? Northwestern (7-3) was ranked No. 24, and they do have a decent team, so why do other teams get put on a pedestal while Ohio State gets the red-headed step-child treatment?
Did anyone else notice that No. 13 Georgia struggled to a four-point win over unranked Kentucky while No. 12 Ohio State thumped No. 24 Northwestern by five scores, yet when the new polls were released, Georgia jumped ahead of the Buckeyes to No. 10 and Ohio State barely moved up to No. 11?
Please explain that to me!
That really gets me worked up. It won't matter in terms of a possible BCS Bowl bid since only two teams max can be invited from any one conference, but it's just the whole principle of how Ohio State is disrespected by the media as a whole, even when they win convincingly.
But I now digress.
If you know anything about Jim Tressel, you know he doesn't run up the score. He's a class guy, win or lose.
Just last year in Ohio State's 14-3 win over hated archrival Michigan, Tressel had the offense take a knee inside the Michigan five-yard line with just a few seconds remaining.
Woody Hayes rolled over in his grave, but that's the difference between Hayes and Tressel, and quite honestly the one reason some have been critical of Tressel. He lacks the killer instinct and utter disdain for the opposition (especially The School Up North, or TSUN as Woody called them) that Hayes had.
Tressel even winced as if he were passing a large kidney stone when Herron broke no less than five tackles on his way to the end zone as the clock ran down.
You can't blame a backup RB for wanting to score and giving it his all either. Every single person reading this would have done the exact same thing if they could have.
Isn't a game 60 minutes long and not 50 or 58?
Aren't fans that sometimes pay ridiculous ticket prices deserving of seeing football for an entire 60 minutes?
Sure, Tressel could have just had 3rd-string QB Joe Bauserman take a knee, but Northwestern should have tackled the guy, period. The touchdown was a fluke, and I know Tressel felt bad about it, but since when did this become the official sport of the "Mercy Rule" anyway?
The bottom line here is that, unfortunately, style points weigh freshly on the voters' minds each week, and whether or not Ohio State intentionally "ran up the score" on the Wildcats, it's the nature of the beast. Like the old cliché says:
"If you don't like it, stop them!"
And to ESPN:
If it's OK for USC and Florida, etc., it's OK for everyone!
When in Rome...
Please add your comments!
This story was also previously featured on www.BlockONation.com
Former OSU QB Kirk Herbstreit is sadly the ESPN ringleader of slurping the SEC...just watch!