I usually don't take losses too hard. After about 30 seconds or so I'm back to normal and ready to take on the rest of the day. That said, there are two loses this year that just bugged me.
1. The Packer loss to New England.
2. The Rose Bowl.
Before I get into the Rose Bowl, I would like to say that TCU played a great game, had a great game plan, and deserves all of their wins and accolades. That Carder guy is a beast.
The reason that these two losses bug me is that I think simply making a different decision or two would have prevented the loss, or at least would have made winning much more likely. In the Rose Bowl I didn't like the game plan. I thought they ran outside too much even after it was apparent that wasn't going to work. They took too many negative plays in the passing game. I would have liked so have seen nothing but Montee Ball and John Clay running up the middle all game, but I'm not a football coach and I don't study tape, and there were probably good reasons for their game plan.
But what the hell were they thinking on their last drive?
If you are down by 8 points, you will need a minimum of 2 possessions to win the game. One of those may come in overtime, but you are going to need two. Moreover, tying the game will require a 2-point conversion, and those are good just under 50% of the time. If you do not convert the 2-point conversion, you will definitely need to get the ball back. The point is, there are a lot of good reasons to hurry up if it's late and you're down by 8. Even if you have to run the ball to move the ball, as the Badgers probably did, you should not dawdle in between plays.
Here is what you need to know about the Badgers final drive.
1. They got the ball with 7:32 left in the game.
2. They eventually scored with 2:00 left in the game and one timeout.
3. This was not the time for a 5 minute, 32 second drive.
4. John Clay had a 30-yard run on a play that started at the 7:25 mark. After this play the Badgers used their 2nd timeout, yet somehow did not snap the ball again until the 6:31 mark.
I believe that had they simply hustled more on this drive they could have saved themselves a timeout as well as another minute or two. They played this with no urgency, almost as if they were resigned to the idea of getting the TD and the two without even considering what they would do if they did not convert.
And second to this complete lack of urgency, how on earth they decided to pass on their two-point conversion attempt is still beyond me.
That game was infuriating.
4 hours ago