Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fox Sports Wierdness

I just finished watching Texas Tech defeat Kansas in double overtime. That is not particularly remarkable (other, perhaps, than them needing overtime to do it), but the commentary from the Fox Sports announcers at the beginning of the first overtime was truly bizarre.

Texas Tech won the toss and chose to go on defense. The announcers expressed surprise and said that the decision was unusual. They went on at length about how Tech made the decision in order to force Kansas to choose the direction of play, thereby giving Texas Tech the wind at their backs. They went on at length about how, “It’s very unusual not to take the ball when you win the toss in overtime.”

Kansas scored a touchdown in their possession and when Tech went on offense the announcer commented, “This is why they deferred, in order to have the wind at their back.” Throughout the whole two periods of overtime they continued to bloviate about Tech's "remarkable" decision to "defer" on playing offense at the beginning of overtime.

First of all, the winner of the toss chooses offense or defense and, regardless of their choice, the loser chooses direction of play. So Tech's choice of defense played no role in whether Kansas chose the direction or not; as loser of the toss they were going to choose direction anyway. Since both teams play the same direction in overtime, Kansas was pretty certain to choose to play downwind regardless.

Further, have you ever seen the winner of the toss in overtime choose to play offense first? No, you have not, because they never, ever do that. College football does not play “sudden death” in overtime; each team has an opportunity to match or best the opponent’s score. By going on defense first, they know precisely what they have to do to answer the opponent when it is their turn on offense. Playing offense first puts the team at a significant disadvantage.

And these clowns at Fox, all the way through two periods of overtime, never did figure out how badly they were displaying ignorance.


  1. That's what I was thinking. I have never seen a team elect to go on offense to start an overtime period. I did not watch that game but I am also surprised a bit that the Red Raiders needed OT to win.

    I have noticed some improvement in the level of play for the Jayhawks this season. There are worse teams in D1 ball. Not sure if that was the case (other than Colorado) in the first few weeks of the season.

  2. bruce9:18 AM

    NFL teams always went on offense in OT. Of course, that's when they have the sudden death rule. Or I could be overlooking the point that this is college football. College football doesn't do that.

  3. NFL still does have sudden death, only slightly modified. Opposing team has an opportunity to match a filed goal, but touchdown wins the game. Taking the ball first in overtinme is essential in NFL, but is stupid in NCAA, and nobody does it.

    In NCAA only a safety is an automatic win and, of course, you would score that on defense.