Monday, November 17, 2008

Jim Harbaugh and the “spread” offense

So, what was that sh*t Jim Harbaugh pulled at the end of the Saturday's game? On the negative end of a 45-17 blowout, the Stanford coach calls a timeout with less than 30 seconds to play and his team deep in Trojan territory. His action sparked a chorus of boos from his home crowd, who were aware that there isn’t a 28 point play in football, so the end result was obvious. Harbaugh then sends out the field goal unit, and the smiling and bewildered Pete Carroll decides to “ice” him with a timeout. Maybe it was during the timeout that Jimmy realized that 3 points wouldn’t beat the Vegas spread of 24, so he sends his offense back on the field for one last desperate attempt for 6. His wish was granted, as Stanford scored one final touchdown with no ticks remaining on the clock, making the final score 45-23. Was it a big middle finger to Vegas or was the Stanford coach upset with USC running it in for another touchdown on their final possession with under two minutes to play?

He really can’t fault the Trojans, considering they ran 10 consecutive rushing plays to chew the clock. If Stanford can’t stop the run, knowing it’s coming, then fault your own unit. If anything, it would have been more embarrassing to take a knee, giving possession back to Stanford, which would be football’s version of the mercy rule. If you caught any of the post game action, you can read more into it. It appears that after last years fluke, Harbaugh really thought his team could compete and defeat the Trojan war machine again, and he behaved like a spoiled child that didn’t get his way. It showed in the post game handshake (or lack thereof) by the coaches, and the fact that Harbaugh said, “We knew USC was coming to play and our team came out and played a better first half”. A better first half? Is that a moral victory? That’s someone reaching for a positive, when they believed they were the better program.

As for Pete Carroll’s comments on the crazy ending, “He can do whatever he wants. I don’t care.” If Harbaugh is still coaching Stanford when they visit the Coliseum next year, I think we'll see how much Pete Carroll cares or not, and it won't be pretty. This is a coaching rivalry that was sparked a year ago, even before Stanford's victory, and it doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With under a minute left Pete could have taken 4 knees and ended the game. He didn't. I'm not saying he should have. I think they should have gone for the score. But he could have ended the game right there without giving us back the ball.

SC kicks off and Stanford gets good field position. Why not take the opportunity to scrimmage against maybe the top defense in the land? So what if Harbaugh wants to send a message to his players, to play hard until the final scrimmage.

Harbaugh was quoted as saying that during the timeout Alex Loukas (backup QB) told him he wanted to go for the TD, so that's what we did. Is that really such a crime?