Thursday, October 24, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
GSU’s forfeit to Jackson St. and upsets
This week’s column was supposed to have been all about week seven in the NFL (yours truly was planning and hoping to give the Redskins, my fave, plenty of press along with Peyton Manning taking the Broncos with him as he attempted to “go home again.” But all was changed with a late headline on Friday from the collegiate ranks.
“Grambling State to boycott and forfeit Jackson State homecoming game” (my improvised headline). The student body was reportedly endorsing the football team and its decision not to play. Other issues were cited, id est, firing of head coach Doug Williams (first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl), unsanitary conditions in athletic department, bus transportation instead of plane to Indianapolis (?), etc.
The Grambling State football program is storied and revered throughout the land. The legendary long-time coach, Eddie “Bill” Robinson, left a tall ladder to climb. Robinson, who won 400-plus games in a career which started in the progenitor to the SWAC, SCCAC (Southern Colored College Athletic Conference), probably would have elected to play. He more than likely would have considered the financial and social impact such a decision would have on JSU. In accordance with league rules, GSU will be fined. This is the first time in the history of the school that it has forfeited a regular season game. What long term effect this will have on the GSU program was not immediately known.
What was immediately known was the surprising upsets in the BCS ranks in week eight of the collegiate scene. The SEC provided the most spectacular interest, since the conference went into the weekend with seven teams in the top 25. It escaped with five still intact.
Outside of the SEC, there were other upsets and happenings which also drew attention. An important record was broken by Connor Halliday of Washington State. The QB for the Cougars threw 89 aerials with 58 of them complete. He accounted for 557 yards and four TDs (also alike number of interceptions). The downside is the Cougars lost the high-scoring game in the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) by a score of 62-38 to the Ducks of Oregon. The old record was set back in 1998. His completion record tied the previous one of 2008.
Now, the defensive coordinator for the Ducks was incensed by the act and blamed the Cougars’ coach (Mike Leach), for throwing the ball repeatedly in “garbage time.” Nick Aliotti said he thought it was low class and “bad sorghum” to throw the ball that many times to set a record against the Ducks’ “scout team”. Isn’t it the defensive coordinator’s main job to counter the other team’s offense no matter when it takes place? There is an old adage which says, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
The Ole Miss Rebels upended LSU – perhaps ruining the Tigers’ chances for a BCS bid. There were plenty of topsy-turvy and downright shocking upsets in the SEC. The fact that the teams which fell from grace come from the conference which has given football the last seven national champions cannot be easily overlooked.
The double “hoorays” not only apply to the Rebels but also to Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn (from #24 to #11). The Tigers took out the Aggies and Johnny Football moving them from #7 to #14. There is one thing about Manziel, he looks good even in defeat.
The celebration will probably last in “The Grove” at Ole Miss until the next home game.
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