Video Proof Cal Faked Injuries Against Oregon Based on Coach’s Directions

Oregon squeaked by Cal on Saturday in Berkeley, getting shutdown offensively for the first time all season. We wrote about Cal’s tactics to slow down Oregon’s “Blur Offense,” explaining how they faked several cramps. You figure they had to be playing dirty to hold down Oregon’s offense given that they allowed 52 points to Nevada and 48 to USC.

Well luckily for us YouTube user Russell Arch put together this excellent video which shows a Cal player faking an injury after getting instructed by his coaches to do so:

Many thanks to The Big Lead for sharing the video. Next time I want to see referees putting a stop to those shenanigans — there is no place for bullcrap like that in college football. If you want to stop someone, do it legitimately.

Latest BCS Bowl Game Projections Have Boise State Left Out

We last posted on the BCS bowl game projections a few weeks ago and in typical college football fashion, so much has changed. While seven of the 10 teams remain the same, the most noticeable issue is Boise State being left out. These projections come from ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards, and you have to figure that they have the inside scoop since the BCS is an ESPN property now. So, if things were to remain the same, who would we be seeing in the big time bowl games? Here’s the list:

National Championship Game: Oregon vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Ohio State
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State
Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. Pitt

The three teams out from our previous projections are Boise State, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Replacing them are TCU, Oklahoma State, and LSU. Pitt unfortunately gets in as the projected automatic qualifier from the lowly Big East.

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Michael Goggans, Mike Blanc Will Miss First Half of Iron Bowl Due to Ejections

The end of the Georgia-Auburn game on Saturday turned into a mess. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was knocked out of the contest with about two minutes left after Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley rolled into his knee. It was clearly a dirty, intentional play by Fairley, and unfortunately not his only cheap shot on Murray during the game.

In fact, Fairley is one of the dirtiest players in college football as this file from The Wiz of Odds can attest. The play after Fairley knocked out Murray, several Georgia players went after him for revenge. The result was a brawl in which Auburn defensive lineman Michael Goggans was ejected for throwing a punch:

The play after that, more flags were flying and Mike Blanc, another defensive lineman, was also ejected for throwing a punch. An ejection means the players automatically miss the first half of a team’s next game, which in Auburn’s case happens to be the Iron Bowl against Alabama on the 26th. Auburn did not appeal the ejections as of Monday meaning they’ll have two backups missing from their defensive line rotation in the first half against Bama. The Tigers should be fine for a half without those two backups, but what really needs to go punished is the dirty play by Fairley. The commentators may not have thought the plays were intentional at the time but I’m sure they would change their minds after seeing replays.

Mission Get Attention Worked Perfectly for Wisconsin Against Indiana

Wisconsin turned heads on Saturday putting up 83 points against Indiana at Camp Randall Stadium. The 83 points was the most a Division I team had scored all season, and it was more than the basketball team had scored in all but three of its games last year. Minnesota coach Tim Brewster had called Wisconsin coach Bret Bielama out earlier in the year for running up the score but this time Indiana coach Bill Lynch did not outwardly object. Maybe it’s because he understood why Bielama did it. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t feel like teams need mercy.

Normally I can’t stand seeing teams run up the score against opponents, but I know exactly why Wisconsin did it and it makes sense. They were ranked 6th in the AP Poll, 5th in the USA Today poll, and 7th in the BCS. They honestly feel like a forgotten team in the BCS race, and they’re not even a glamorous team in their conference — Ohio State is. But with the 83-20 win over Indiana, they grabbed everyone’s attention and made a statement: we can do whatever we want on the field, including scoring touchdowns on 10 of 12 possessions and field goals on the other two.

Wisconsin had a purpose on Saturday and that was to gain attention. It just so happens Indiana was the victim. The BCS computers don’t really factor score and margin of victory into their computations, but human voters and BCS bowl officials had to have noticed the 83 points the Badgers threw up. How could you not?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash

Stanford Running Back Anthony Wilkerson Wisely Sits to Avoid TD, Ruins Bets

Remember when Maurice Jones-Drew took a knee instead of scoring a touchdown against the Jets last year? Or how about when Brian Westbrook pulled the trick against the Cowboys? It was a pretty wise decision by Westbrook because he helped his team run out the clock to end the game. Well Stanford running back Anthony Wilkerson did the exact same thing on Saturday night against Arizona State, helping his team hold on for victory.

The Cardinal was up 17-13 with just under two minutes left when Wilkerson broke free around the left end. Instead of walking in for the touchdown, Wilkerson abruptly sat down at the four-yard line. Wilkerson sat down like he was playing duck duck goose, allowing Stanford to kneel out the clock for the 17-13 win. Check it out:

Though Wilkerson is only a freshman, that type of heady decision is exactly what you would expect to see out of a player from Stanford who also happens to be coached by Jim Harbaugh.

Now the other side-story has to deal with the spread (of course). Stanford was favored by 4-5 points, depending on where you were doing your sports betting. People who had the Cardinal -4.5 or -5 lost their bet because of that smart decision by Wilkerson. People who had them -4 pushed on their bet. Jimmy Traina actually captured the play on video if you’re interested. Smart play, but I’m sure there are plenty of people unhappy about it.

Cal Defense Fakes Cramps to Slow Down Oregon Blur Offense

Oregon has developed a reputation for being a second half team this season. They were tied at 13 against Tennessee at halftime before outscoring the Vols 35-0 in the second half. They were down 31-24 against Stanford at halftime but outscored the Cardinal 28-0 in the second half. It was 18-6 against Washington at the half and then the Ducks got rolling outscoring the Huskies 35-10 after halftime. Even with all their slow starts and second half comebacks, no defense shut them down in a half the way Cal did.

The Golden Bears’ defense held Oregon’s offense scoreless in the first half allowing just 149 total yards and 43 total plays (the lone touchdown came on a punt return). Oregon leads the country averaging 567 yards per game and 54.7 points per game so to say they were shut down is an understatement. Many critics felt someone would figure out how to stop Oregon’s offense at some point during the season, but nobody figured the team to do it would be Cal, much less utilizing the strategy Cal employed.

At least a half dozen times in the first half a Cal player faked an injury and stayed on the ground after a play in order to slow down Oregon’s offense. Oregon prides itself on playing fast, running play after play without pausing. Their style tires out defenses and makes it difficult for defenses to swap out personnel for fresher bodies. That is as long as the opposing defense doesn’t fake cramps in order to stop play:

So was Cal’s strategy clever or dirty? The ploy worked perfectly in the first half but it would hardly qualify as an example of model sportsmanship. I think it’s a pretty dirty strategy and one the officials should have warned against, threatening delay of game penalties. What Cal did is not within the spirit of the game even if it was effective. Maybe someone will figure out how to legitimately stop Oregon’s offense, but that’s not the way to do it.

Referee Laid Out in Auburn-Georgia Game

When it comes to referees having physical contact incidents during a game, nothing will ever compare to this Stephen Garcia play. What happened in the 4th quarter of the Auburn-Georgia game wasn’t bad though. Georgia was down 11 and trying to come back when quarterback Aaron Murray scrambled and wound up running directly at the referee. Check out the video:

Murray didn’t do that zebra any favors attracting the attention to him. Those poor guys are in vulnerable sitting in the middle of the field unprotected. Somebody get them some shoulder pads and a facemask! Is that too much to ask?