Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fiesta Bowl - Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A few thoughts about last night’s Fiesta Bowl…

It was boring, really boring, for most of the game. I DVR’d it and ended up fast-forwarding through a lot of the second and part of the third quarters.

Terrelle Pryor is not a very good QB at all right now. I say this realizing a few things:
  • He’s a true freshman.
  • The only game I’ve really seen him play is this one and Texas is a team that could have been playing for the national title… not exactly a lightweight outfit.
  • He’s asked to run a lot. Running a lot messes up throwing mechanics.

He has the chance to be a good QB, but right now I see a guy who:

  • has terrible throwing mechanics (fixable)
  • has a very weak arm (maybe fixable)
  • is grossly inaccurate –how many times did he short hop a ball to his intended receivers? Especially the attempted two-point conversion when they were down 15-17 (fixable)
  • is way, way, way more comfortable running that he is passing

I think that if he fixes his throwing mechanics almost everything about him will be better. He is completely off balance when he throws, which is why he doesn’t get much on the ball (hence the short hops) and why he’s so inaccurate. I have no idea if he’s a coachable guy or not, but he looks like a really cocky kid who may or may not listen to people who know what they’re talking about. I’m just going by what I saw on the field, his body language etc. I could be way off on him though. He's been compared to Vince Young and I think that is an apt comparison. Their running style is nearly identical. I am convinced that Pryor will be much more accurate once they fix a few things with his game (VY was a very accurate college passer in his junior year, a little over 65%). The QB run/pass spread offense (like Texas and Florida run) and the pass offense (like Oklahoma and Texas Tech run) make it very easy on the QB to complete a high % of their passes since they can see everything from the shotgun, so there is no excuse for Pryor to have a low % in the coming years unless he just sucks at throwing the ball in college, which is possible. Anyway, he can be good, but if I had to choose between him and someone like Skyline High School’s Jake Heaps, I might take Heaps. But that might be because I really detest the spread because it’s so simple, basic, and predictable, but then there are tons of programs that use it and win with it, so what do I know? I’m just a guy typing who doesn’t even get paid for his opinions.

The Announcing
The play-by-play guy for the game, Matt Vasgergean (who has done a lot of bad NFL games for Fox… which is to say he did a lot of Seahawks games this year) is terrible.

He’s one of those guys who thinks he is too cool to do the game, but that’s not why I thought he was so bad. Toward the end of the game he started saying stuff that just didn’t make sense and failed to point out a few things, such as:

  • When OSU was lining up to go for two when they were up four, he tried to explain that Tressel wanted to go up six so that Texas would have to score a TD and kick the extra point to win.
  • OK… first, that makes no sense to me because the extra point is a damn foregone conclusion in most cases and if they give up the TD, they still tie and go into OT. I think it was a weird decision to go for two. There was 2:06 left in the game and if they kicked the extra point, they’d be up by five (22-17). If Texas marched down the field and scored a TD, then OSU would be down by two (24-22, assuming Texas kicked the extra point). If there was any time remaining on the clock, OSU could win the game by kicking a field goal (25-24, as opposed to just tying it if they didn’t convert the two points). Even if they got the two point conversion (23-17) they’d still be down by one if Texas scored (24-23) and would still just need a field goal to win (26-24). I thought it was a very strange decision at the time and I still think so today. I think that the play-by-play guy should have at least questioned it at the time. It just didn’t make any sense to me. He must have been confused or something, his producer really should have gotten in his ear.
  • When Tressel challenged the spot of the ball on that 4th down that gave Texas life, Vasgergean didn’t understand why they were so upset at the time. The ref who came in to spot the ball initially put the Texas guy clearly short of the first down, so OSU was going crazy (happy) on the sidelines because it looked like the game would be over. Then some other ref came in and spotted the ball clearly over the first down line and THAT’S when OSU went crazy (angry). I think Tressel challenged it because he may have thought that since one guy spotted it so short that it would show on the replay… it did not and the refs made a good call, but Vasgergean missed the whole sequence and I think that it’s the play-by-play guy’s job to explain what’s happening. He didn’t.
  • The BCS. He continually mentioned the BCS and how this game would impact other BCS bowl teams. I had no idea what he was talking about. The Fiesta Bowl had about as much importance as the Poinsettia Bowl, which is to say it had no importance at all. I guess he could have meant that it would make a difference to OSU to win a BCS Bowl game since they’d lost the last two, but even that is a stretch. They were blown the hell out against Florida and LSU, but this game against Texas turned out to be a pick ‘em. It could have gone either way and there were no moments where OSU was “exposed” by being slow or whatever. The two teams looked even to me and the score showed that. What was particularly weird though was his insistence that the University of Utah was very interested in the outcome of the game. Really? I thought that Utah played in the Sugar Bowl, which was just another meaningless bowl game. I think he was trying to suggest that the outcome of the Fiesta Bowl would somehow have an impact on the national title. The national title game is being played on Thursday… it wasn’t played last night and it wasn’t played last weekend. If OSU beat Texas, then so what? So Utah would finish ranked 3rd? Under no circumstances would Utah be declared a national champion, it’s just not going to happen. I thought it was a weird comment and the color commentator just let him ramble.

The Plus-One Argument
After the Rose Bowl, everyone was up in arms about USC being left out of the national title picture. Fine. I think it’s brutal too, but a “plus one” would not solve the problem because the assumption is that USC would play the winner of the Florida/Oklahoma game. Well, what about Utah? They handled Alabama and finished 13-0. So all of the sudden USC is more entitled to the game than Utah (who beat the team that beat USC?). Everything short of a playoff is ridiculous and I can’t believe Todd Blackledge is such a proponent of the Bowl system and this plus one idiocy. Who gives a rat’s ASS about the bowls? Clearly not TV viewers given the numbers. I just have no idea what’s driving this and it makes me mad. The numbers would be staggering if Texas/OSU actually meant something, instead, it doesn’t and it will continue to be largely irrelevant until something is done about it.

No comments:

My Zimbio
Top Stories