Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tonight's Game of the Week

The Wishbone, the Wildcat, and other offensive innovations all have their moment in the sun before defensive coordinators adapt and a new system must be melded (or simply reintroduced). My hero Gregg Easterbrook has written a bit on how today's prolific spread offenses will meet the same fate, and Oregon's attack will look mortal five years from now. With about four minutes left in the OU/MU game, I got a glimpse of what could help unravel its effectiveness.

On an obvious pass play, Blaine Gabbert drops back and Oklahoma fails to generate much penetration into the backfield. Their D-Line was tired, defeated, and stuck in 2nd gear. But when Gabbert brought his arm forward to throw, the defensive end jumped up and knocked down the football. In a system designed to wear down defenses while relying on dink and dunk passes, there may be a lesson to be taken from this play - particularly as offenses are employing smaller, quicker quarterbacks.

With OU down by nine points and approximately 2:30 to go in the game, Bob Stoops punted on 4th and 10. Oklahoma had no timeouts, and was obviously conceding defeat. WTF? Then I realized - Oklahoma was so backed up, a turnover on downs would've given Missouri the ball in the red zone. Rather than give his team a chance to win, Big Game Stoops's only concern was minimizing the damage in the eyes of the polls - in a bowl game, he would've gone for it. I encourage all voters to drop the Sooners an additional three spots from where you believe they should be ranked as karma for having no spine.

It bears mentioning that yesterday I described Mizzou as a 'legit top ten team' when they were in fact not ranked in the top ten. In order for that to be the case, they would have had to win their game against Oklahoma today. Which they did. Which means I'm simply that good.

Today's loss to Baylor killed a small piece of me. Ditto for this sore throat I've had for five straight days now.

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