Sometimes I love college football Posted by: McQ
on Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Last night was one of those times. After a raft of mediocre to fairly good bowl games it was Fiesta Bowl time. I almost said "screw it" because on paper it was such a mismatch.
But as it turns out, Oklahoma, the prohibitive favorite against Boise State, lost what was probably one of the most entertaining and exciting college football games I've ever watched. The final score in OT was 43-42.
And it wasn't a fluke by which Boise State won. It wasn't because Oklahoma gave the game away. Sure, they turned the ball over 4 times, but Boise State turned it over 3.
Nope what was billed as "David v. Goliath" matchup (and less charitably as the "Affirmative Action Bowl" by a commentator on one of the network sports shows earlier in the day) was anything but that.
Boise State showed everyone in the world that they belonged on that field with Oklahoma. OU, overcoming an early 14 point deficit, finally pulled ahead of Boise State in the final minute of regulation 35-28. Boise State was stunned. You figured the clock had struck 12 for Cinderella and the cosmic gears of big school college football were finally kicking in and tipping the game the way everyone but Boise State figured it would go.
With 30 seconds left and a 4th and 18, I prepared to turn off the set when they failed to make the 1st down and turned the ball over to OU. Obviously I hadn't read Boise State's script for this game, and in a stunning move out of the back of the playbook, Boise State not only picked up the 1st down but scored a touchdown on the old hook and ladder play.
I laughed so hard I got a bit dizzy. OU's coach stood shaking his head. I kept waiting for a flag or something to nullify the play, but it stood and with 7 seconds left in regulation, Boise State tied the game with the PAT.
Overtime. Each team gets a possession from the opposition's 25. Boise State won the toss and chose defense. OU, who hadn't been able to run on Boise State, ripped off a run to the left which went all the way for a touchdown. The point after was good. Again, you say to yourself, "that's it". Reality finally comes to Boise State.
Wrong. Struggling, they picked up a first down, and then, again faced with a 4th down (they could still pick up a 1st without scoring), they went for the whole enchilada. They hit the tight end coming across for a touchdown. The place went bonkers. A one-point PAT would tie it and put them into the 2nd overtime.
But I think the ease with which OU scored on their OT possession told the coach of Boise State that it was probably now or never. OU's strength, speed and size were finally beginning to show. So in one of the gutsiest calls I've seen, he decides to go for all the marbles. "Go for 2" he tells them.
And they do. And how do they do it? They load the right side with receivers and, and? They run probably one of the oldest trick plays in the book.
Yes, they score on the Statue of Liberty play, absolutely and perfectly executed, sold completely by the QB and receivers with outstanding blocking and a perfect run by the RB.
It just doesn't get any better than that game, folks. The little dog, who ended up not being such a little dog, bit the big dog. The overachievers overachieved one more time and Boise State ended their season a perfect 13-0 in what was by far the best game of the day.
I think Congress should get involved and break the BcS cartel. Something people from all political stripes can agree on. And wow! Every supporter of a school from the WAC or MWC will vote Democrat for generations. Generations!
It’s all anybody talked about today (I’m in Idaho). My best friend from law school was on the 40 yard line, 14 rows up and he said it was absolutely INSANE there at the stadium. I agree that people will be talking about this one for a long time, but I hope they don’t forget that Boise State dominated a good portion of the game and then let Oklahoma back into it. My friend said something that they didn’t show on TV or talk about but which was obvious live was that at the end of the game, the two starting defensive tackles for Boise were puking and completely spent, physically, and that this helped Coach Peterson decide to go for two. So, that’s a good call, McQ.
The main thing it shows me is that people who tell you before a game who’s going to win and by how much, well, let’s just take it with a grain of salt. Everyone I talked to who said "oh, Oklahoma is going to kill them", I said "how many Boise St. games did you watch this year?" The answer is usually the same, one or fewer. Most people in college football spout the wisdom that they hear from Kirk Herbstreit and the other yahoos at ESPN (though, to be fair, Kirk is much less of a yahoo than Lee Corso) and don’t have any personal knowledge to draw on. Hey, I guess it’s just like politics.
I especially liked the running back scoring the extra point and running over to his girlfriend/cheerleader and proposing. She accepted. Yeah, it’ll be a movie.
I think OU should have been favored, but not by much. My family follows all the Idaho teams, and Boise was under appreciated. It wasn’t a big upset in my book. Why do we follow Idaho teams? Family quirk, my grandfather coached up there, it is a favorite area of my fathers, several other factors. He also coached at Oklahoma State back in the era of Iba (he was an assistant on the bball team as well, coached Bob Kurland, the first seven footer.)