Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Style Points"

Enough already. 

Oklahoma stomped Missouri into the ground last night in the Big XII Championship game, scoring 62 points in the process. That topped off a run of 5 games straight where Oklahoma scored more than 60 points in a row. The game before the streak began, they scored only 58 points. 

Everybody is chalking this up to "style points" which is the BCS-Speak for what we used to call "Running up the Score." Of course, that was back when football was being played, not this Spread Offense Sandlot-Flag-Football-writ-large nonsense that defensive coordinators can't seem to figure out. (Really, fellers, this ain't rocket science. Just place a call to any NFL defensive coordinator and ask them why the spread offense does not work in the NFL. There is a reason.)

Don't get me wrong, a part of me enjoyed watching Mizzou get theirs after the naming calling escapade their QB made after the Nebraska game in which he accused the Nebraska players of spitting on him and being the dirtiest team he ever played. This, ironically, after Mizzou thoroughly enjoyed trash talking and running up the score style pointing Nebraska for poll standing the entire game.

But, that being said, the point of my blog this morning is about "style points." I really hate that term. It's running up the score to look good so the almighty BCS gods will deem them eligible for bigger bowls (and more money). Let's be clear about this.

Andy Staples over on CNNSI wrote a good article about this here. I largely agree with his point, although I think he lets head coaches Stoops and Brown off the hook. He wants to blame the system (which I agree with) and not the individuals perpetrating the system (I don't quite agree there). He largely seems to be making a Nuremburg argument: "I was just following orders" and thus I'm not really culpable. 

I don't buy it. If you want to gripe about the system being unjust (and, granted, Texas has a gripe as they beat both Oklahoma and Mizzou but did not get into the Big XII championship game), you need to have taken the moral high ground. If you have been culpable in this running up the score mentality; basically prostituting yourself and your program to get more money in a higher bowl, you really don't have any room to complain. You've implicated yourself in the system, and thereby forfeited the right to say later that something isn't right about it. 

I reiterate what Staples says in his editorial: I shutter to think what unsportsmanlike traits this is teaching impressionable youth.  If this is where college football is going, I might have to reconsider if I want to be a fan. 

It's that simple. 


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