I am still amazed that the near unanimity of opinion that Les Miles was an idiot or at best reckless for the last play call at Auburn. Yet in the pundits' mad rush to jump on the bandwagon to slam Les for making such a "risky" call, almost NONE of them took the time - in our Tivo-rich society - to rewind the play and pause it when the ball hits Byrd in the hands, and see that there were indeed four seconds left. Go ahead, check it out yourself. (Also, note that there's also been some confusion about Les' postgame comment that there was 18 seconds left when the play was called...please note the clock at the precise moment the huddle broke. Thanks for your time!)
Anyway, does a tipped ball REALLY take four full seconds to hit the ground? Do yourself a favor. Grab a football. Throw it as high up in the air as you possibly can. See how long it takes to land. Might be a little longer than four seconds. Six, maybe? And you probably got that ball a good forty or fifty feet in the air, at least. So you're telling me a tipped - or even bobbled - ball takes four seconds to hit the turf from three feet up? Give me - or give Les Miles, rather - a goddamn break. (Incidentally, that brings up a GREAT comparison a fellow Louisiana blogger made: Les Miles = Ronald Reagan?)
Anyway, let's just have a recap, shall we?
CFN's Matt Zemek (full disclosure, I think CFN is the best non-blogger source for CFB writing available, but they too deserve to be criticized from time to time):
WHAT if LSU receiver Demetrius Byrd juggles the ball for a couple of seconds and
doesn't catch it like his teammate Brandon LaFell did earlier in the game?
Here's WHAT. There would have been an EARTHQUAKE and a FIRE, and I don't think Les Miles would have survived no matter what type of MAGIC wand he may have. He would have been crucified nationally and locally, and believe me Nick
Saban would be virtually back in the LSU Nation's graces.
But Byrd made a spectacular touchdown catch of an expertly thrown ball by quarterback Matt Flynn with one second on the clock, and LSU beat Auburn 30-24 to remain in the BCS national championship hunt at No. 3.
But WHAT if Byrd doesn't make that catch and time runs out? He did drop one in the second quarter in Auburn territory to kill a drive.
WHAT if time runs out and Miles is sitting there a timeout under his hat and Colt David ready to kick a 39-yard field goal after he had already made field goals of 29, 26 and 33 yards?
The AP's Ralph Russo, on LSUBeat.com (using "reckless" in the headline, as well):
LSU would've never gotten a chance to kick that potential winning field goal.
The excellent writer OutsideTheSidelines at Roll Bama Roll:
A brief blurb in a long recap from SMQ:
CBS' Dennis Dodd comes close, as he actually acknowledges the ball hit Byrd in the hands with four seconds left, yet STILL deludes himself into thinking this call was the ballgame:
ONE voice of reason in the madness. CFN's Richard Cirminiello:
Come on, everyone. Hit the damn replay button. I'm fairly sure most of you have a Tivo.
Thanks to Jackson Jambalaya for compiling many of the links I used above.
Auburn offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey is getting a lot of heat - deservedly so - for a nasty, illegal chop block on Glenn Dorsey that didn't even get flagged. As my cowriter noted below, Tommy Tuberville was man enough to apologize for it. Not, of course, man enough to suspend Ramsey for what he dubbed an unintentional play.
Let's examine why Ramsey may have been incensed with Dorsey:
Two quarters later, we get this garbage:
Two dates to mark, Tiger fans:
- Saturday, September 20, 2008 (LSU at Auburn)
- Saturday, October 24, 2009 (Auburn returns to LSU)
Chaz is a freshman. There's no way that was unintentional. Give that classless bastard hell. (Of course, we Tiger fans wait with bated breath for Chaz's personal apology, which I'm SURE is forthcoming!)
LSU @ Auburn, 2006
How's that saying go? Ahh yes: What goes around...
My roommate pointed out to me today that it's been a woeful year for Auburn fans cheering on their alums in the NFL, what with Cadillac Williams lost for the year with a knee injury, and today's announcement of Ronnie Brown's torn ACL sidelining him for the season. Kenny Irons had the same thing happen in the preseason, and Rudi Johnson's sprained groin continues to keep him out of Bengals games. Yikes. At least the football gods gave Auburn fans that awesome Florida victory.
My SEC Power Poll for this week:
- LSU - Amazing that in the national swings of emotion regarding Les Miles' coaching acumen in the last seventeen days, it's LSU fans who've emerged as the most levelheaded about it all. Shame on you, college football world!
- Florida - And just like that, a trip to Atlanta is not just possible but probable.
- Auburn - Despite the loss, they're playing about as well as anyone right now.
- Kentucky - Acquitted themselves well in defeat. Likely no SEC Championship this year for the `Cats but regardless of the finish they'll have exceeded all expectations.
- Alabama - So that win won't do anything for the hype machine that'll be in full gear when LSU comes to town in two weeks!
- South Carolina - Just when Steve Spurrier was on the cusp of going back to his old rip-on-other-schools ways, he serves one up for the rest of the SEC in losing to lowly Vandy.
- Tennessee - Just wow.
- Arkansas - Nothing like playing Ole Miss to get the spirits up.
- Georgia - Every reason to believe the season is just going to get worse this week with Florida coming up.
- Vanderbilt - Thought about ranking them fifth out of pure courtesy for that win, but nah. Good job though, you Commie bastards!
- Mississippi State - After facing Kentucky, Bama, and Arkansas the next three weeks, 4-2 will seem a distant memory.
- Ole Miss - No matter where they rank on this list, the girls will always be hot in Oxford.