Sunday, September 09, 2007

I Refuse to Implode Over This


Friday night sucked. We can all agree on this. If you were smart, like me, you probably found something fun to do while taping the game at home. This would have saved you a considerable amount of frustration and probably staved off the deducting of several months from your life expectancy. But, more than anything else, it would have given you the opportunity to see this game in perspective, which I think is the most important thing we can take out of Friday night.

Navy did not play well against Rutgers, that is unless you define "playing well" as turning the ball over three times on interceptions, giving up 476 yards of defense, and losing by seventeen points. Other than that, things were peachy. The o-line looked out of sync, tackling was conspicuously absent at times, and Kaipo was less than impressive throwing the football to the guys in the white jerseys. Not only that, our head coach, who many have long viewed as completely infallible, has gone on record of saying that he made a poor play call on a pass that was intercepted in the end zone. I also realize that the Mids lost two of their top defenders on defense early in the game, and turned the ball over in key circumstances. Kaipo-Noa's two interceptions in the endzone may not have cost the game for Navy, but they certainly made the game look a lot more ugly than it would have otherwise been. That's at least six points for Navy had those interception not occurred, and that's not even factoring in the the pick Kaipo threw deep m in his own territory. But as upset I am over Navy's performance Friday night and as disappointed I am for the players and the coaching staff, I realize that Navy lost this game to a legitimate Top 15 team.

There is no denying this. I've gone on record numerous times saying that Rutgers is overrated, a point which I am now retracting. Don't get me wrong, I still absolutely cannot stand their players, coaches, or fans, but I'm no longer letting my emotions cloud my perception of the team's standing in the college football rankings. The simple fact is that Navy fell to a much better team the other night, and had the Midshipmen played as well as they were capable of playing on offense (ie no turnovers) then we would all be gushing over the great effort of the team and how close we are to whatever indefinable quality we subject our expectations to.

I refuse to implode over this loss, and refuse to call the entire outlook of the season into question. We are still only two games in, and after a less than impressive beginning to the season we're about to learn a whole lot about this team. After playing away on Friday nights the past two weeks, the Midshipmen will finally return home for the next three weeks to face Ball State, Duke, and Air Force. While none of these games are" gimmes" they are nevertheless winnable, and will likely determine the course of the rest of the season.

Schiano and the Late Touchdown

I'm sorta torn on how I feel about Schiano going for the late touchdown with about two minutes left. Rutgers was up 34-17 at the time, and any objective individual would have deemed the extra points unnecessary, even with a late Navy touchdown engineered by Jarod Bryant. I don't like Shciano, but my reasons for this are complicated and often politically incorrect, so I won't get into them here. But even considering my intense dislike for the man and his program, I recognize that this is college football, and although it may be classy to take a knee and center the ball, it's not always expected. I think Craig James and Chris Spielman were trying to allude to this in the broadcast, and also mentioned that Schiano was trying to reward Rice. This is the part I have some trouble buying, as Rice was a little hobbled at this point and sticking him in there was just a cheap move to pad his numbers for the Heisman race. If Schiano was so insistent on getting a touchdown, he should of given it to his third string fullback or some such and let a kid who works his ass off in practice get a freaking chance.
Injuries
From what I understand Jeff Deliz and Clint Sovie are both doubtfull for next week. This is going to hit us hard, especially considering how well Jeff was playing against Rutgers before he went down the other night. I like the freshman Wyatt Middleton at safety a lot, but I'm not so sure that Pospisil and Haberer can fill in opposite Irv Spencer. Speaking of Irv, this now becomes his defense with the loss of Deliz and Sovie. Irv is an emotional guy with a lot of ability, and it now falls on his shoulders to make sure the defense can bounce back on the field next week.
Bad Cal

I didn't see this whole game due to some taping difficulties, but the penalty on Reggie Campbell for illegal motion or whatever was one of the dumbest calls I've ever seen. As coach Johnson later said, the referee who made the call had no idea what he was doing, and just panicked because he didn't recognize the formation. It was complete and utter nonsense.

I'll have more up later this evening.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, why don't you like Schiano? He's articulate, he's smart, he's a motivator, and he can recruit. He took a program that had been in the toilet for over three decades since Rutger's president Edward Bloustein announced that the school was stepping up to big time football and has made it into a real contender in the big time. He turned down an offer to coach Miami because he made a committment to this place. He insists that his players perform in the classroom as well as on the field. So what's your beef? Just how politically incorrect are you? I'm guessing it's just sour grapes. So be it. Rutgers has every right to celebrate; you wouldn't begrudge celebration on the part of Navy if the tables were turned.

phelix said...

why would anyone else care who he turned down? why would anyone care if he's a good recruiter? so as long as he's winning, he must be likable? give me a break.

tmurph48 said...

Times change. In my youth going for a field goal when your opponent is down and out would have been unthinkable. However, when you run the ball, you give him one last chance. The sporting thing to do!

Anonymous said...

So Phelix, why is he NOT likable? Because he's winning? Give ME a break! He had nothing but kudos for the Navy team; I've never heard him say anything disrespectful about anyone. Maybe you could learn something from him.

I bet if the Navy coach was offered the head job at Miami, his last view of Annapolis would be in his rearview mirror...

Shack's Daddy said...

I, too, think Schiano was pouring it on. Both Schiano and "Anonymous" need to learn how to be gracious winners. Schiano was blowing a lot of smoke up our patooties prior to the game. I think that he was frustrated that Rutgers was better than us and outplayed us yet we could have been right there if not for the two picks we threw when we were well inside the red zone. And, by the way Anonymous, nobody graduates more athletes than Navy. Let's see Schiano's graduation rate this year. Apparently turning down Miami is no big deal based on their recent performances. You don't think Paul Johnson has turned down any offers? When Rutgers loses (which will happen) hopefully the bloggers from the winning team will show a little more class and restraint than you have. If this was such a big win for you, go tear down the goal posts.

phelix said...

"So Phelix, why is he NOT likable? Because he's winning? Give ME a break!"

Yes, that's exactly what Adam said. "I don't like Greg Schiano because he wins." Excellent reading comprehension on the part of the Rutgers fan there.

Yes, Paul Johnson would probably leave if Miami came calling. Therefore, everyone should like Greg Schiano? Does that even make sense? I can understand how that would endear him to Rutgers fans, but that isn't something that anyone else should give a rat's ass about.

He can say all the nice things he wants, but actions speak louder than words. You want to leave your starters in and go for the TD on 4th down with 2 minutes left and you're already up by 3 scores? Use the other team to pad stats? Yeah, that oozes class! I should learn from him! Maybe next year he can leave his players on the field to jump on the Navy logo while delaying the march-on! Classy!

Adam said...

First of all, there is a difference between me respecting the job someone has done with a program and me "liking" him. Shciano is a winner, no doubt, so in this way I can respect the job he's done taking a down trodden team to prominence.

I think Phelix said it all. You're free to support your coach and gush over him all you want, but don't expect me to laud the guy with the history he's had against Navy.

Gary said...

Not for nothing but it was the second straight year in a "no doubt" game that he broke the traditional coaches rule of running it up.
Last year he was trying to get Rice his 100 yards.
I know that depends on where you look from but from my point likeable or not-wanting him on my team or not- it just did not look good.
My personal feelings are that Rutgers has been the most prime beneficiary of a pathetic schedule for the second straight year and just how good are they?
Naturally the Bear Bryant like status that the NY/NJ media now bestows upon Schianos head does alot to hurt his image with some.
I have no problems with the guy himself but I cannot wait for next year when maybe PJ can extract some revenge for his blatant "team stat" runs ups against us the last 2 years.
Throwing the ball at that point of a done and over game with your # 1 QB against a dead defense-sorry that was BUSH.
He knew damn well the "perception" of those 7 points was important to the pollsters and give perception of a rout.

football dad dan said...

Adam,
Please don't give too much credit to the superior athletic ability of the Rutgers' defenders to "minimize" those three INT's by Kaipo ---> They were terrible decisions + horribly thrown passes.
The last one was a questionable call (by PJ) at best, ... and poorly executed by Kaipo. That pass should only be thrown (and quickly) if the Slot Back breaks cleanly in the open because the DB "sucked up" to defend the run --> Kaipo waited too long to throw it, ... and then "forgot" that his intended receiver is just about the shortest position player in college 1A football since he floated it in high. )o:
Can't believe no one mentioned the significance of that bogus "incomplete pass" call by those ACC Refs right before the half when Teel clearly fumbled the ball as a result of the hit applied by Navy's blitzing LB. Even the ESPN announcers decried the call. Then Rutgers scored on the very next play (screen pass to Rice) to give themselves the bigger halftime cushion.
Scarlet Knights were running up the score on that late TD run on 4th down ---> It was classless & bush league.
Both Sovie & Dielz probably out for the season bye the way ---> That hurts worse than losing the game.

Anonymous said...

Gee, such sore losers. I expected more from Navy fans. Go figure.

As for class and retraint, you guys need to look in the mirror. All I did was question why the author of this blog "hated" Schiano. I then indicated why I thought he was a decent guy, only one of which had to do with his resurrecting a perennially failed program (i.e because he's "winning"). Sure, he had help. He didn't do it alone. But he did do it. And it didn't happen overnight. He could have been fired or he could have left for bigger programs and more money. I didn't trash Navy (I have a lot of respect for the institution). And I didn't trash your coach, but only made the observation that he likely would, as would many others, jump at the prospect of coaching a Miami or Notre Dame or Michigan (and you can refrain from bashing those programs because they've had bad starts--their tradition and histories speak for themselves). Hating someone because they beat you in an athletic competition is the definition of poor sportsmanship.

Finally, as for running up the score, teams have been running up the score on Rutgers for decades; I'm sure Navy did so in years past. I thought the point of playing was to play your best and score points. If you guys feel the goal of the game should be different when playing Navy, maybe this should be stipulated ahead of time. I doubt the middies on the field think they should be treated differently in this regard.

Adam said...

Oh, I'm well aware it was Kaipo's fault, but you've got to give some credit to the defense. They didn't "bite" as much as other teams have, and the play made by the DE on the first interception was nothing short of a great individual effort. Not that Kaipo should ever have thrown all three of the balls, especially the second one.

I hope your wrong about Jeff and Clint. I’ll reserve judgment until we get the “official word” on their status. The last thing I wanna do is publicize injury news that the coaching staff doesn’t want out there.

I missed the entire second and third quarter of this game btw, so I never saw the Teel fumble, but from what I hear it was a fumble.

I don't hate Schiano for beating Navy, I dislike him for other reasons which I specified that I wasn't going to get into (among them the incident before the 2004 game.) It sounds like you’re the one who can't handle anyone not liking your head coach.

Anonymous said...

Whether you like Schiano or not means nothing to me. Nada. He's not "my" head coach. I don't own a TV and so I didn't see the game; I saw some highlights on the Rutgers website. I can understand why Navy is frustrated by two consecutive losses. But to HATE the Rutgers coach? C'mon. "Handling" someone not liking Schiano is not my problem. In fact, I'm rather ambivalent about the university's new found status as a football power. But, in all objectivity, the guy is decent, works hard and has made something of the program. You don't win coach of the year awards for being an a$$hole. The truth is you guys can't handle losing. Get over it. Maybe next year I'll come back here and you guys will all be gloating over beating RU and that nasty Schiano guy. I'm pulling for you, I really am...

Adam said...

How can I not handle losing? Have you read anything I wrote? Did I not write that Rutgers is LEGIT? Did you not read my prediction before this game? Looking at how WVU and UL have been playing, I may actually be inclined to view Rutgers as the best team in the conference.

That has nothing to do with me not liking Schiano.

phelix said...

LOL at the back-tracking. Stop acting like a victim. You have no idea why Adam doesn't like Schiano, so you just continue with your strawman about sour grapes. Maybe if you owned a TV you'd know about the history here. Since you obviously don't, you should probably just resume lurking until you have a clue.

Shack's Daddy said...

Here is a link for the Rutgers fan who goes by Anonymous:

http://blog.nj.com/njv_mark_diionno/2007/09/obscene_fans_at_rutgers_draw_a.html

Need I say more?