Sunday, September 14, 2008

Something's Gotta Change

Of all the talk from Obama (and now hijacked by the Republicans) about the change that the US needs (oh yeah, sometime explain how McCain would be a change...), "change" seems to be a good theme for tonight, after one of the most embarassing, disheartening, sickening, maddening football weekends I can remember.

Sure, the Browns have had much worse outings, and even more disappointing ones, but layered on top of the utterly embarassing Ohio State blowout loss to USC Saturday night, 35-3, the fact that the Browns failed to score a touchdown just rubs it in.

Some quick thoughts:

  • It took one weekend for me to go from "excited about 2008 football in Cleveland and Columbus" to "realization that OSU will be lucky to play a January bowl game and the Central Division title is gone after week 2."
  • For a few years now, I've been off the Tressell bandwagon. And I don't know why. I think the main reason is that I don't trust or like him one bit. I always feel like he is lying, and the fact that he tries to look like a choirboy all the time just seems to me like a taunting insult. The fact is, I trust him so little that I was reasonably sure Chris Wells was going to play Saturday, until I saw him in sweats. This game has given me a clarity that maybe Jim Tressel isn't a good coach. Or, to put it nicer, as ESPN did, "There's still not nearly enough creativity in the scheme." Of course, they meant "offensive scheme", and I mean "the wool he's pulled over your eyes."
  • Did it not occur to anyone to maybe throw downfield a bit more? And what's his name, that quarterback who was actually making some plays? (Hint: It wasn't Todd Boeckman.) Why wasn't Terrell Pryor in there a hell of a lot more? (Pryor's snaps averaged 4.6 yards, Boeckman's averaged 1.9)
  • It was coaching, as much as anything that cost this game. Okay, it was a lot coaching, and a lot lack of discipline, killing Ohio State's drive in the second quarter with penalties. 14-10 was within grasp, and instead, a missed field goal and an idiotic interception by Boeckman made it 21-3.
  • I feel you, Alex Boone. "Every big game we end up blowing it." Of course, I had no way to directly impact the game, and you did.
  • Doug Lesmardes ranked OSU 18th on his ballot. They ended up around 13th. But the argument could be legitimately made that they could be left off the ballot. Ohio State would have had a tough time making the BCS championship game, even if they were undefeated or had one loss to USC. But now--even if they run the table and every other team loses 3 games, I guarantee they won't be there.
  • Now on to the Browns. Al Michaels must have a contractual stipulation that he isn't allowed to directly criticize coaches, but he came damn close Sunday night. Obviously Romeo is out of his league. A field goal, down by 7, with 3 minutes to go, on 4th and 7 or whatever? How exactly does that help you? No clock management at all? I'm sure Romeo must be able to do something well, you don't coach for 20-something years if you can't. But I'm not sure being a head coach is one of them.
  • That being said, the Cowboys and Steelers games were ones that everybody knew would be a tall order for the Brownies. But one touchdown in two home games? From the "Prime Time" offense that the Browns have? Terrible, and this doesn't look good all of a sudden.
  • How utterly embarassing, this "rivalry" with Pittsburgh. Ten in a row? Something like 23 of 25?
  • I wish I had a stat on "wasted" timeouts early in halves. The Browns need to be leading that category, right?
  • By the way, you can vote on Romeo (every week) here.
Thirty Five to Three.
That Penn State game is starting
to make me nervous.

Romeo Crennell.
You may see an obese coach.
I see Butch Davis.