College Football Overtime (cont.)
Minnesota coach Tim Brewster and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema will not be breaking bread this Christmas. In fact, it's a minor miracle Brewster didn't grab Paul Bunyan's Axe and come after Bielema following Saturday's 41-23 Badgers win.
Brewster was livid that Wisconsin went for two following a touchdown to go up 25 points (41-16) with 6:39 remaining. Cameras captured a heated exchange between the two at midfield afterward ("I probably shouldn't say [what he said]," said Bielema), but Brewster didn't stop there, launching a tirade against Bielema in his postgame press conference.
"I thought it was a poor decision for a head football coach," said Brewster. "He'll have to live with it. It was wrong. Everybody in here knows it and everybody in college football knows it. It was wrong."
Easy there, Timmy. Admittedly, Bielema's call seemed unnecessary (he used "the chart" as his excuse), and sportsmanship sticklers would undoubtedly call it classless. Personally, I'm not a fan of running-up-the-score whiners. Wisconsin wasn't playing an FCS team, or even a MAC team. This was a Big Ten game between longstanding rivals. You don't get to invoke the mercy rule.
The fact is, Brewster has more important things to worry about than a meaningless two-point conversion. Perhaps he was trying to divert attention from the fact that his team is 1-5. Maybe he was peeved over his impending pink slip. Really, all he did was add self-inflicted ammo to the perception that the Gophers are weaklings.
Mini-previews for three of this week's big games:
Ohio State at Wisconsin, Saturday (7 p.m. ET): Upset potential? You better believe it. Jim Tressel's three previous trips to Madison have been decided by an average of five points, including a Wisconsin upset of 5-0 Ohio State in 2003. Will Tressel play it close to the Vest again in a road game or let Terrelle Pryor attack?
Arkansas at Auburn, Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET): The Tigers are seventh in the AP poll, the Razorbacks 12th, yet either could just as easily finish fourth in the SEC West. This game will be a key determiner. Also, we'll get to answer a key question: Which is more lethal, Newton's feet or Ryan Mallett's arm?
Texas at Nebraska, Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET): Bad news, Huskers fans: Martinez may have to pass in order to keep Texas' defense honest. Good news, Huskers fans: Garrett Gilbert will have to pass for the 'Horns to have any shot of moving the ball on Nebraska. Ask Jake Locker how that worked out for him.
Raymond's late goal helps Leafs rally, end Kings' win streak
Schwartz, Blues stay hot with win over Oilers