SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/10/2007 04:03:00 PM
Saturday Observations, Part I
Led by Zach Brown (108 yards, two touchdowns), the Badgers racked up 232 yards rushing on Michigan.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Promise me this much, ABC/ESPN: Please, no Ohio State-Michigan countdown clock this year.
Technically, the Wolverines’ 37-21 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday does not affect the stakes of next week’s showdown in the slightest. Both teams will still be playing for the Big Ten title, and Michigan can still go to the Rose Bowl with a victory. Nor did Saturday’s result really tell us anything about the Wolverines’ chances of upending the 10-0 Buckeyes, considering they were once again without Chad Henne or Mike Hart, both of whom will likely be back next week.
But it wasn’t exactly a banner day for Michigan’s defense, which largely reverted to Appalachian State/Oregon form against Tyler Donovan and the Badgers. Wisconsin (8-3) has been playing much better these past few weeks than it did the first half of the season and finally has a signature win to show for it, but you also have to wonder whether the 8-3 Wolverines were "looking ahead" just a little bit.
The biggest consequence of Michigan’s loss is that it pretty much guarantees the only way the Big Ten is going to get two BCS berths is if the Wolverines beat 10-0 Ohio State. The Wolverines no longer stand chance of finishing in the top 14 with another loss, and unless Wisconsin returns to the rankings at a very high spot next week, no other conference team stands a chance.
That’s bad news for aspiring bowl teams further down the conference pecking order, which just got a whole lot more crowded. Northwestern (6-5), with its last-second victory over 6-5 Indiana, and Michigan State (6-5), with a surprising 48-31 rout at 7-3 Purdue, both became bowl-eligible Saturday, giving the conference a staggering 10 bowl-eligible teams for only seven guaranteed spots. Jim Delany is going to have a whole lot of lobbying to do in the coming weeks.
With a 17-12 win over Alabama in which its defense absolutely stifled Crimson Tide QB John Parker Wilson, Mississippi State (6-4) has now beaten three ranked SEC foes: Auburn, Kentucky and Alabama. These same Bulldogs, however, got crushed just a few weeks ago by West Virginia. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the SEC, but a tremendous achievement for Sylvester Croom’s team, which, after enduring three years as the conference whipping boy, is likely headed to a bowl game.
I watched most of the first half of the Arkansas-Tennessee game but had to stop because it was simply too frustrating watching Houston Nutt manage a game. You’re playing on the road against a tough opponent and you’ve got a running back, Darren McFadden, who just ran for 321 yards last week. So what do you do? You throw on first down. You don’t even have McFadden on the field on a crucial 4th and 1 play. You basically look completely out of your element, helping explain why your seemingly talented team is now 2-4 in the SEC.
The real stunner of the day so far: Somebody has scored 65 points (and counting) at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium -- and for once, it wasn’t the visitors. That’s right, folks. As of this writing, Nebraska (4-6) leads 5-4 Kansas State 65-17. Props to the Huskers for showing they’re not going to go down without a fight, but what’s happened to the Wildcats? They’ve absolutely gone in the tank, losing four of six since their 41-21 rout of Texas.
I have to admit, this one snuck up on me: If Clemson beats Boston College next week, the Tigers are going to the ACC championship game. And the way Tommy Bowden’s team is playing right now, I wouldn’t want to bet against them. The Tigers (8-2) spanked Wake Forest on Saturday. Surprisingly, the offensive assault wasn't fueled by star runners James Davis and C.J. Spiller, but rather a methodical performance from underrated QB Cullen Harper (27-of-35, 266 yards, three TDs, no INTs). Clemson has now eclipsed the 40-point mark in three of its four straight victories.
Actually Stewart, I would think the REAL stunner would be that Joe Ganz, in his second start as a Husker, has broken both the single game passing yardage AND single game TOTAL YARDAGE at Nebraska. Think how huge that is. Very encouraging baby steps from the Big Red.
The question of the day for me today is how Texas A&M is such a mediocre team with the talent they have. After watching them give Mizzou a game, it's hard to not blame Dennis Francione and the coaching staff. Not that Gary Pinkel is a coaching heavyweight, but in the 4th quarter, it seemed that A&M's defense didn't have any answer to Mizzou's running game and screen offense. It's kind of sad to think your staff was outcoach by Gary Pinkel.
Sorry Stew, if any Big Ten team is going to earn the conference a second BCS spot it will be Penn State, which coincidently is the leagues' second best team. Michigan has as much of a chance against Ohio State as Temple did against Penn State. Wisconsin has no shot whatsoever regardless of how their final game against the Gophers plays out. Penn State however does not have a real shot without something truly extraordinarily happening. Here is how the Big Ten Bowl picture will shape up.
BCS: Ohio State Capital One Bowl: Penn State (if they beat Sparty) Outback Bowl: Michigan (depending on how badly the Buckeyes beat them), Illinois or Wisconsin Alamo Bowl: Michigan, Illinois or Wisconsin Champs Sports Bowl: Illinois or Wisconsin Insight.com Bowl: Purdue or Michigan State (if they beat Penn State) Motor City Bowl: Indiana or Michigan State
i dont know why theres suprise or boasting about conferences having many more bowl eligible teams than bowl tie-ins. throw 4 patsies to the front of your schedule, and finish 2-6 in the conference. something even the northwesterns and vanderbilts can do just about every year.
Stewart, it seems you are the only member of the national media who seems to get it when it comes to Houston Nutt. This man is not a good coach and should have been fired long ago. I don't understand how anyone with any football knowledge can call this man a good coach. I am starting to think that other members of your profession really don't know what they are talking about. They must base their opinions based on scores and highlights without actually watching any of the games. Thanks for paying attention Stewart. Someone needs to.
Well, congratulations to Illinois...they simply played better than my Buckeyes today, and they deserve the win. Boeckman threw 3 interceptions, our defense didn't play like they normally do, etc. I credit the Illini for doing what they needed to do. And Juice Williams is really good.
We won't be in the NC game, but I'll look forward to a good bowl game with whoever is there. Now all we have to do is watched the pitched battles among fans of the "early season" 1-loss teams. Even WITH a KU loss (which might not happen) it's gonna get even more weird (and controversial) from here on out.
Congratulations to Illinois, who played a flawless game.
HOWEVER, their first touchdown should not have stood because the runner fumbled on the 3 and the Buckeyes recovered in the endzone. Rather than 1st and Goal Illinois, it should have been 1st and 10 Ohio State at the 20. That was an awful blown call on the officials and produced the winning margin in the game.
That said, any time a game comes down to one play you haven't done your job. We couldn't stop a running QB, we couldn't stop them on 3rd downs, and Boeckman threw 3 pathetic INTs, one in the endzone.
This wasn't an Illinois win as much as an Ohio State loss. It hurts, but there it is.
Hey Stewart how about you not get sick and sit on your couch anymore. I blame the Buckeyes lose on your and your cold because if not then I have to admit the Illinios team was just amazing today and I don't want to do that. So dang you.
Mandell...After Georgia dismantled Auburn AGAIN, are you ready to put UGA in the top 5 in your power rankings? This is a changed team. Since the Florida game where Stafford and Moreno dumbfounded the Gators this team is a mere shadow of the team that lost to the Gamecocks and Vols. Something happened and Richt returned to the swagger of his old FSU and Miami teams. This team is the best it's been since 1980. It's great to be a Dawg!!!
Watching UGA and LSU play lately, I am wondering if they meet in the SEC Championship game, who will be favored? Of course, UGA needs a little help with a Vols loss and we still need to get by Kentucky, a game that will not be a cakewalk. Right now if UGA played LSU I'd have to say UGA would be the favorite.
Although it is easy to say that WVU relaxed a bit after opening up a 31-0 lead, the fact is that if you only count the points scored in quarters 2 through 4 - Miss. State wins the game against WVA 13-10.
The MSU loss to WVU is just like their opening game loss to LSU - take away the turnovers and it's a completely different ball game.
One poster posted a list of bowls, I wanted to note that the Gator Bowl is Big East team vs an ACC team and the Orange Bowl will have the ACC champ....I do not like to call people names, but I would like to point out that the person that posted it needs to learn a little more about college football.
purpleprose, you may want to learn a little something yourself before calling someone out. This season's Gator Bowl features the #3 selection from the ACC against EITHER the #4 selection from the Big XII or the #2 selection from the Big East and the Orange Bowl is not obligated to host the ACC champion.
How many years has it been since Penn State beat Michigan? Eight, including this year.
What happened when your team played Illinois this year?? You lost. (Michigan won a Sat night game at Illinois without Hart and with an injured Henne)
So, Penn State lost to Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan and somehow you think that a Mich loss next week will what, erase Penn state losses?? Mich will be selected as the Big Ten #2 team in the bowl selection even if it loses to the buckeyes next week.
"Although it is easy to say that WVU relaxed a bit after opening up a 31-0 lead, the fact is that if you only count the points scored in quarters 2 through 4 - Miss. State wins the game against WVA 13-10.
The MSU loss to WVU is just like their opening game loss to LSU - take away the turnovers and it's a completely different ball game."
WOW. You must be from MS, as you're not the brightest. Let's see, take away 1/4 of the game and ALL the turnovers and the game would have been different .... I would hope so Einstein.
Bonus points if you can name me the last Big 12 school to appear in the Gator Bowl and the year. (Don't remember a team from the Big 12 playing in the Gator bowl in the last 15 years) I think that the ACC champion will be appearing in the Orange Bowl this year because no ACC team is in the hunt for the national title which to my knowledge is the only reason that the Orange Bowl wouldn't take the ACC champion.
For years I have considered you the most objective and observant of sports journalists. However, your bias towards the SEC has jaded your objectivity and placed your columns and blogs at the periphery of journalist credibility. Why you consider the SEC the Wehrmacht is beyond me but I'm not going to read our much longer.
A conference cannot send three teams to a BCS bowl. Plus, you left out the ACC champion, who will definitely go to a BCS bowl.
"The top two teams are given automatic berths in the BCS National Championship Game. The champions of the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10, and SEC conferences are guaranteed automatic BCS bowl appearances. The highest ranked champion of a non-BCS conference will receive an automatic berth if: It is ranked in the top twelve, or Ranked in the top sixteen and higher than another BCS Conference champion. A special case is made for independent Notre Dame, which receives an automatic berth if they finish in the top eight. The third-ranked team will receive an automatic berth, if it has not already received one. If the third-ranked team did not require an at-large berth, then the fourth-ranked team will receive an automatic berth, if it has not already received one. No more than 2 teams from any one conference may receive berths in BCS games."
Hawaii is rolling again. They are being held back artificially in the polls because of their schedule. But their non-league schedule had I-AA teams this year because several schools backed out in the spring...Michigan State for one. At least Washington has the sack to make the trip.
There's a ton of talk about which conference is best and who the best "one-loss" team is this year (UK won't stay undefeated). It's nearly impossible to determine unless teams play on a neutral field.
But here's a significant statistic to pay attention to...As of tonight, the winning percentage of the following teams' OPPONENTS are as follows:
- Oregon (8-1), 59.6 (57.6 if you include Arizona 11/15) - LSU (9-1), 57.8 - OSU (10-1), 57.0 - Mizzou (9-1), 49.5 - UO (9-1), 45.3 - UK 10-0), 40.8
These are definitely the 6 great performing teams of 2007. However, Oregon, LSU, and OSU have stayed at the fore against opponents that have won many more games than the Big 12 teams (it is considerable folks...do the math yourself).
With the current BCS system of selecting recent winners vs. recent losers, that leaves Oregon and LSU clearly en route to the national championship game, pending they both win out. I encourage everyone to leave their conference biases behind, especially if you're from the SEC. Regardless of bad calls from last year (OU fans), Oregon's offense is scary good this year, and their defense has shut down (previously) #9 USC and (previously) #4 ASU in the past two weeks.
hate it to break it to you sos, if Michigan loses they will go the Capital 1 bowl because they have a better big ten record that Penn State and if I remember correctly beat them heads up. And no Penn State is not the second best team in the big 10 that belongs to the loser of the Michigan-Ohio State game. And you thinking they will get the second spot in the BCS is just lame. They're currently 4th in the big ten, keep dreamin buddy. Thanks for the laugh I really aprreciate it
sorry Wolverine fan, Michigan is not going to the Capital One Bowl. Illinois or Penn State. The best game UM can hope for after the upcoming beatdown is the Outback Bowl but Penn State would in fact be a better choice because they are a better team and travel well, something Michigan does not do when they are not in the Rose Bowl. As for the BCS, Penn State does not have a real chance, and I did not say that they did, what I said was if any Big Ten had a chance of getting into one it is Pen State. Why? Because they are the highest ranked Big Ten team right now, their strength of schedule is a little higher than Wisconsin's, and they won the head to head in dominating fashion. Michigan is going to finish the season unranked after another blowout loss next week and Illinois will likely not crack the top twenty.
As for the Orange Bowl, I was wrong. I did not realize that the Bowl is now contractually obligated to take the ACC champion. Sorry, my bad.
As a Penn State fan the SOS initials fit very well.
Listen, its good that you are such a fan...nothing to apologize for. However, Penn State lost to Michigan and Illinois and Michigan beat Illinois so please stop with the "Penn State is better" stuff.
What did Penn State do against Ohio State? I was all fired up for a great Sat night game from Happy Valley and I was looking for a different game by halftime.
Fact of the matter is that there really is not much difference between Michigan, Illinois, Penn State, Wisconsin and maybe even Ohio State (we'll see next week). Penn state is 1-3 against this group while Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State are all 2-1 against this group. How many years has it been since Penn State beat Michigan?? Not since 1996.
Michigan has had a very disappointing year and they deserve the mediocre description at best, but nevertheless taking it from a Penn State person simply does not have any validity.
Lloyd Carr is also 5-2 against the mighty SEC, including 4 bowl wins, so I look forward tothe Capital One bowl!!
The delusional Michigan fans keep coming out of the woodwork. You are right, Illinois is right there with Penn State for the #2 spot in the conference without a doubt. Both teams beat Wisconsin, Penn State in dominating fashion. Michigan on the other hand is closer to Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa and Northwestern than they are to the top of the conference. Joe ditched the game plan the morning of game against Michigan and they still needed a "lucky" call to pull out the win. Michigan needed Illinois to fall apart to pull that game and were largely dominated by little brother Michigan State. Sorry but your boys will be lucky to be in the Outback Bowl. They are just a terrible team this year and the bowl reps know it. Good luck in the Alamo Bowl.
We can focus on this year: Mich beats Penn state and Illinois (we even started a true freshman at QB against PSU), or we can focus on the last 10 years or so: 5 Big ten championships, one national championship and 8 straight victories over Penn State.
How has being in the big ten worked out for Penn state??
Penn State is 1-3 against the top half of the big ten this year and this slappy is just can't stop. Way to show up!
I know you are a little bitter over the state of Michigan football but that is no reason to take it out on me. I am just pointing out the obvious. Michigan has not fielded a legitimate top ten in a decade and only two in the last twenty years or that they had to share a championship (there only one in the last fifty plus) with a Nebraska team that would have hung half a hundred on them, and they were no better than the sixth best team in the country that year behind Nebraska, Florida State, UCLA, North Carolina and Tennessee. They keep losing bowl games like there is no tomorrow as well as games to Ohio State. They consistently need bad officiating to beat Penn State as evidenced by the two phantom roughing the passer penalties and out of bounds receptions in 02, the mythical two seconds in 05, and rather infamous pass interference in 07, and I not even mentioning the 99 game. It is not my fault that at one point under Carr, they have had an African American graduation rate of 14% or a overall graduation rate lower than 50%, lower than both OSU and MSU during that period, but to Lloyd's credit, they have improved as of late. Just because you are bitter and can not accept reality there is no need to take it out on me, it is not my fault they now include the likes of Indiana and Northwestern as peers as opposed to Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Bowl selections ARE NOT BASED ON YOUR CONFERENCE RECORD. NO BOWL HAS TO TAKE A TEAM WITH A HIGHER CONFERENCE RECORD. A team that lets say was to win all its conference games but lose 3 of its non-conference games will not get a better bowl than a team that finish with one loss in conference but and 11-1 record overall. An Example is last year with Georgia and Kentucky. Georgia had a better overall record than Kentucky, so they got a better bowl. They got the better bowl despite having the same conference record and Kentucky even having the tie breaker over them by beating Georgia. So like I said overall record is more important as well as fan base. IF Michigan were to lose to OSU and Ill, Wis, and PSU were all to win Michigan should get a worse bowl, because they have a lower overall record. Illinois will get the capital one bowl, because they have the tie break; followed by PSU in Outback, then Wis in alamo bowl, and only then Michigan. Now if Hawaii loses the final BCS spot will come down to ACC team or Big Ten team. So yes, with some help from ACC beating each other, it would leave another spot for the Big Ten, and yes SOS is right in that the next team with the best ranking is PSU and the one with the best chance of climbing into the top 14, although slim. I don't care really who gets the spots, I want good games to watch, but to gobluebeat thebucks, you need to get your head out of your $$$ and stop whining that Michigan should get a great bowl, when u have trouble beating I-AA teams.
You instigated this entire ridiculous debate. Mich has had a very disappointing year, yet we still have a chance to win the big ten title outright!! Can't you just admit that you wished Penn State had similar disappointment.
So you are saying that poor Penn State keeps getting screwed in 8 straight losses to Michigan? Funny you didn't mention the game in 97 when we beat a top 5 penn state team in Happy Valley 38-6. We also beat a top 10 Colorado, Notre Dame, ranked Iowa, at Michigan State, at a ranked Wisconsin and a top 10 Ohio State team that year while Tenessee sent Peyton and the JV team to play a one dimensional Nebraska team in the Orange Bowl. Sorry, you are right, we should have done more in 97. You brought up 97,not me.
When is the last time Penn state even shared the big ten title or had a legitimate big win? Two years ago against Ohio State probably. Did they beat Michigan that year. Easy answer since we know that they haven't beat Michigan since 1996. sorry, I forgot they keep getting screwed.
This year's game: First downs Mich 25, PSU 14 (the lowest of the year for PSU). Total yards: Mich 340 PSU 270 (the lowest of the year for PSU). Time of possession: Mich 35 minutes, PSU 25. You're right, Mich did not deserve to win, PSU was screwed.
SOS INSTIGATED THIS RIDICULOUS DEBATE. I never said that Michigan deserved a great bowl this year (review facts greggy before spouting off). I was obviously too generous to suggest that there really is not much difference between Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Penn State.
You are right. We weren't a legitimate team last year. We played awful in the rose bowl but prior to that rolled through the big ten only to lose by 3 to the buckeyes.
We weren't legitimate in 2003 or 2004 when we won the big ten championship.
We weren't legitimate in 2002 when we finished 2nd in the big ten and beat Florida in the Capital One bowl.
We tied for big ten champions in 2000 and beat Auburn in the Capital One bowl. Not legitimate
We were a top ten team at the end of the year in 1999 ending the year with wins over 6th ranked PSU, Ohio State and 4th ranked Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Not legitimate.
1998 we began the year with National Championship hangover and lost our first two games including a beatdown in the big house by Syracuse and Donovan McNabb. We ended the year as co-champs, winning 10 of the last 11 games including wins over top ten PSU, Wisconsin and Arkansas.
YOU BROUGHT UP THE LAST TEN YEARS, NOT ME.
The mistake that I made was ever acknowledging the ridiculous statements by a fan whose team is 4-3 in the big ten and 1-3 against the top half versus Michigan which is 6-1 in the Big Ten and plays for the outright big ten title next week in Ann Arbor.
Your peer level reference is not even worth...way to show up Penn State.
Talk about defensive. Didn't Michigan lose to a 1AA this year? What you do not seem to get is that Michigan is no longer capable of fielding a great team, good team yes, national title worthy, definitely not. Ohio State has fielded two great teams this decade. Penn State has fielded one this decade. Michigan has not fielded great team since 97. Greatness is measured in championships and most of Michigan's came in the dark ages. Just admit it, Michigan, along with Notre Dame are coming dangerously close to being a college football also ran like Minnesota, Michigan State and Washington. Former powers that are a shadow of their former selves. Deal with it. Good luck in the Alamo Bowl, I hear Texas Tech runs a spread offense.
To be clear, Michigan has not had a good year in 2007. Nothing can make this a great year given the loss to Appy State and the drubbing by Oregon. Nevertheless this team has done some very good things including wins over Purdue, Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State. As a result Michigan is tied with its familiar traditional foe, Ohio State for the big ten lead at 6-1. The winner this week in Ann Arbor wins the big ten outright and goes to the Rose Bowl. The loser likely ends up in a 2nd place tie with Illinois, a team that Michigan beat a few weeks ago in Champagne.
The rest of this is aimed at sos and gregggg (why stop at 2 g’s) who instigated an unreasonable characterization of Michigan football. Everyone clearly understands just how much Penn State has struggled since joining the big ten and they need a win at sparty this weekend (not a team or place of great success for Penn state) to avoid finishing in the lower half of the big ten. Nevertheless the Penn state slappy initiated this debate so here are more facts to inform everyone why Michigan is and will always be a preeminent college football program.
I’ve always liked Penn State and as a Michigan alum I grew up understanding that you cheer for the big ten teams when they play outside of the conference. Likewise I cheer for sparty when they don’t play Michigan and I cheer for Ohio State because of the traditional rivalry.
Since '97 Michigan has:
Average record of 10-3 (actual 96-28, including bowl games) including National Championship in 1997
Beat penn state 8 straight times, total points 220 Michigan versus 103 for Penn state
Won or shared 5 big ten titles and placed 2nd three times (out of 10, not bad)
5-5 versus ohio state and 5-5 in bowl games
Lloyd Carr record versus big ten: 9-2 v Penn state, 7-2 v Wisconsin 10-3 v sparty (whats PSU?) 7-2 v purdue 10-1 v Minnesota 10-0 v Indiana 6-2 v Iowa 8-2 v Northwestern 8-1 v Illinois 6-6 v Buckeyes
Lloyd is 5-2 versus the mighty SEC, including 4 bowl wins
Lloyd is 17-8 against top ten teams
Has Michigan had multiple great years? Not enough great years, I agree, but they have never fallen off in such a way that virtually every other traditional power has experienced over the past 15-20 years (your team included)
Not sure what is better: to be dominant like USC and Oklahoma have been at times over the past several years but also have years prior to that when they were .500 or worse versus a program like Michigan which is almost always very good but not great/dominant as often as they could be?
Michigan was great last year. Who knows what happens if they pull off the game versus Ohio state. Even you should admit that the bowl game is practically a new season, especially for big ten teams who end up with 50 days plus between games. Florida was obviously a different team versus OSU than they were during most of their season when they were mediocre in many of their wins (Vandy, a bad Florida State team, South Carolina,)
Final Rankings since ’97:
Michigan: six out of ten years ranked in final top ten with 8 out of ten years finishing 14 or higher. 2005 was the only year, and first since 1984 that Michigan finished outside of the final top 20.
Ohio State: five out of ten years ranked in final top ten; 3 separate years not ranked in final top 25 with one other year ranked #20
Penn State: one out of ten years ranked in final top ten; 4 separate years not ranked in final top 25.
Michigan’s loss against Appy State was humbling at best – we should have scheduled Buffalo, Temple or stuck with the MAC conference. Frankly I think it is worse than USC’s loss to Stanford despite what Vegas and most of the national media would suggest.
Having said that, other than USC with its multiple national championships over the past 10-15 years, Michigan compares very favorable in record, conference results, bowl wins and final rankings with any other elite program and far better than most.
Admittedly this is my biased opinion but it sure would be nice to beat Ohio State this weekend and win the outright big ten championship.
Even when they were ranked #1, Ohio State was not as good as the team that was routed by Florida last year. And Michigan for sure is not as good, injuries or not. To think that the Bid 10 could get 2 BCS spots is a stretch. That is about as funny as the average Big 12 having 3 teams in the top five of the BCS standings.
I agree with what you are saying, but frankly there really are no great conferences this year. Big 10 has underachieved somewhat, Big 12 has overachieved, SEC and Pac 10 have some good and some mediocre moments and the Big East and ACC are still a notch below.
SEC has a handful of good teams but no great teams other than maybe LSU, yet they could have two or three losses also. Florida and Georgia have had some strong moments but have also looked really bad at times and have 5 losses between them. Auburn, Bama, Arkansas, KU, SC and TN are similar with even less spectacular moments.
By the way, why is coach creyer letting Tebow throw downfield at the end of the game for more points when most teams would simply take a knee to end the game? An answer of "because thats what Spurrier would have done" is abjectly flawed.