A new one for the bad beat list

Contributing Editor
Courtesy of Bobby Smith
CEO, Sports Reporter

Bobby Smith
(Sportsnetwork.com) - One of the most frustrating facets of our sports wagering endeavor is that you can't get mad when something goes wrong. You can only get even, then ahead again. And you certainly cannot get even with the people who messed up a game that cost you the pointspread victory. It's not like a player or a coach is playing or coaching for our benefit. Our game is the game within the game and they aren't really involved with it, even though they are the pieces in play whose actions and results we try to project to the best of our abilities.

We have a policy of not whining about bad beats. When players or coaches make egregious errors that cost our people money, nobody can ever get even with the player or coach. What can we do? Call them in idiots in print? They won't read it, and if they did, they'd laugh all the way to the bank when they cash their next paycheck. We've often said that it makes no sense to complain about bad referee calls, because so many referees are incompetent excuses for game over-seers, and bad calls should be expected. Referees are seriously overmatched. That's why we say that you have to pick games that aren't in doubt at the end. Games where even the refs can't keep one side in it as far as the spread is concerned. Make an unlucky pick that lost by a hair, which "should have won"? Well, shoulda been on another game that day where the spread wasn't in doubt. But - ah, there's always a 'but'...bowl games are precious. There aren't enough other games to "be on" during bowl season. Everything becomes more important and more magnified during bowl season. Therefore...


With as much class as possible, and with the realization that nothing will change, and all the other sensible stuff written above, let's undergo some therapeutic letting off of steam about the Washington State-Colorado State New Mexico Bowl result. You all know what happened. Leading 38-30 with about two minutes left, and in possession of the football on first down, Washington State (anywhere from -4.5 to -6) didn't have to run a play in order to win. They could have kneeled. Instead, they ran a play early in the play clock, and fumbled. The football Gods tried to help them out by getting the fumble overturned, which it was. Then, they ran another play early in the clock, instead of letting it bleed. They fumbled. Lost it. CSU soon scored, tied it, and you know the rest. Asked by a reporter afterwards, rather politely, if he would have done clock management differently, Washington State head coach Mike Leach wouldn't admit to screwing up. "We shouldn't have messed with any of that...We should have attacked them and got first downs, and then we should have protected the football." He danced around his error like a clown. But I don't want to call a guy names. We make embarrassing mistakes here every now and then. Who am I to point fingers at Mike Leach...when I can let others do it? Here is a sampling:

Washington State radio announcer: "I will spend my next 50 years in broadcasting wondering why the Cougars didn't take a knee."

Jeff Cozort, regular guy: "They should have taken victory formation on 2nd and 3rd down, which would have taken the clock to about 1 minute. 4th down should have been a 5 yard delay of game that would have left about 20-25 seconds on the clock and after the punt, CSU has roughly 17 seconds to score. Worst clock management I have ever seen!"

Bob Harmon, regular guy: "Leach is an idiot. Gave away a free field goal at end of first half without which game would have been out of reach when he again proved to be an idiot by not taking knees with two minutes to go. The right team lost because their coach is a clueless buffoon."

Mark Rogozinski, regular guy: "How do you send your QB back in the game after his overturned fumble and not tell him to take the clock down to 2 or 3 seconds before snapping the ball. Basic ball management which neither their Coach, Offensive Coordinator or QB seem to have that common sense! Even the announcers were baffled! If you don't posses the common knowledge to coach Division 1 football then you shouldn't!"

Conan Dunham, regular guy: "Worst clock management I have ever seen. Both the gift points at the end of the first half as well as failing to take a knee, twice, at the end of the game. Take a knee and the game is either over or Colorado State has maybe a handful of seconds and 80 yards to go. WSU honestly must have been trying to lose. The coaches must have had money on Colorado State. If Leach isn't smart enough to figure this football 101 stuff out then hire someone to explain it to him. Put that one down as historic clock mismanagement which would be egregious at the high school level.

Robert Smith, reasonably sane ESPN talking head: "They don't understand situational football. They're so focused on their scheme."

Jim McElwain, Colorado State head coach: "It's about understanding every play has a history and a life of its own."

Tom Howard, senior lecturer at Colgate University: "This is such an uninteresting game! There's a single quality win combined; they're a single game over .500 combined; neither program is anywhere near contending for their conference championship. Players' families and gamblers are going to be about the only people paying attention here." Hey, you're being way out of line, buddy! Oh, well. We'll move on from here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bobby Smith is Editor of Sports Reporter and sportsreporter.com, and author of "How to Beat the Pro Football Pointspread," currently the nation's #1 best- selling sports betting book. Check that fact, and order it, at www.amazon.com.

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