Gotta Defend the Coach this Time

On Saturday, November 13 the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Indiana Hoosiers 83-20.  This comes just a few weeks after Bucky went for a 2-point conversion when already thrashing the MInnesota Golden Gophers in the battle for Paul Bunyan's Ax.

Badger coach Bret Bielema has taken some criticism for the moves.  Rubbing salt in Minnesota's wound and piling on Indiana.

Here's my take.  They're right and wrong.  First, I think the two point conversion was an absolute classless move on Bielema's part.  There was no way in the world a downtrodden Gophers team was going to come back.  And the coach's "It's on the card" explanation didn't cut it.

But it's an unfair criticism in the Indiana game.  Many of the last points came when the starters had been sat down.  One touchdown was an interception run back for a TD and another was run in by a quarterback who was at least the third string.  What is Bielema supposed to do, tell his non starters not to play hard?  I don't think so.  Also, coachs for those teams that have a shot (even an outside one) at the national championship game have to run up points for the pathetic BCS.

As the fine sports reporter Andy Baggot points out in his recent column, the lobsided score was also a product of circumstance.

"The record-setting victory over Indiana could be seen as a perfect storm of tactics and psychology. The Badgers played flawlessly on offense, scoring on all 12 possessions. The Hoosiers, fresh off a gut-wrenching, last-second loss to Iowa, clearly put down their emotional swords after quarterback Ben Chappell suffered a hip injury in the second quarter and didn't return."  Although Baggot did go on to say Bielema is developing a bad reputation with some folks for the Minnesota and Indiana games coming in the same season.

So, there's the latest sports issue on my mind.  What do you think?  You know what to do.

J

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