Recreate this content while optimizing it for SEO, enhancing its creativity and uniqueness, improving syntax and tone, increasing perplexity and burstiness, and retaining the HTML tags I had every intention of doing Fall’s Tarts in 2023. As late as August, I’d signed up for it as a weekly column. I have no idea what’s happened to the last month and a half. I’m stuck in early September, unable to accept a lot of what’s happened since then. I’ve had a really terrible year, and there’s something comforting about my football team showing its solidarity by being terrible right along with me. However, I have to talk about something important. Someone did something so dumb that I can’t let it pass by without addressing it.
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I had every intention of writing Fall’s Tarts in 2023, and even signed up for it as a weekly column back in August. However, I have no idea what’s happened in the last month and a half. I feel stuck in early September, unable to fully accept everything that has transpired since then. This year has been incredibly challenging for me, and there’s a strange comfort in seeing my football team perform just as poorly as I feel. However, there is an important topic I can’t ignore. Someone made such a foolish mistake that I feel compelled to address it.
Though there have been numerous noteworthy moments, one incident truly stands out. In the world of college football, scoreboard mishaps seem to be on the rise. During Iowa’s season opener, their scoreboard failed to update after the opening touchdown, as if unable to comprehend that the Hawkeyes had actually scored. Eventually, the entire scoreboard malfunctioned. It’s understandable that the engineers didn’t anticipate Iowa scoring an offensive touchdown when designing the system.
Another memorable scoreboard mishap occurred at NC State. They had just unveiled a brand new $15M unit this year but, unfortunately, it was struck by lightning shortly before the game. The scoreboard completely shorted out due to the inclement weather. It was an unexpected turn of events for a team looking forward to displaying their new equipment.
But amidst these mishaps, one comment made in the ESPN booth stands out as the worst thing said by anyone. It involved Kentucky’s back Re’Mahn Davis, who had transferred from Kentucky for a graduate season. The commentator in the booth unwisely compared Davis’ competitive transfer portal recruitment to his background as a foster child. It was a thoughtless remark and easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the season.
Moving on from scoreboard mishaps and poor comments, let’s talk about Illinois football. Last year was a disaster for Fighting Illini fans, who had longed for a memorable moment of incompetence. And voila! Illinois managed to not field a kickoff, allowing Nebraska to regain possession immediately after scoring a touchdown. The last time a Big Ten team made this mistake was when Chris Ash’s Rutgers played against Maryland—something that still lives in infamy.
Now, let’s discuss endgame management. Ryan Day, head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, found himself in a tight spot after Lou Holtz made disparaging comments about his team. Instead of ignoring the elderly commentator, Day decided to respond. This decision backfired when, not once but twice, the opposing team lined up with only ten players at their own 1-yard line to keep the Buckeyes out of the end zone. This boneheaded move could have significantly impacted the outcome of the game.
In 2018, Mario Cristobal, previously the head coach of Oregon, made a similar endgame management mistake against Stanford. He had a substantial lead with less than two minutes remaining but failed to secure the victory. Fast forward to a recent match between Cristobal’s Miami, ranked #17, and Georgia Tech, fresh off a shocking loss. With only seconds left on the clock, it seemed like Miami had secured the win. However, they decided to run one more play, which resulted in a fumble and ultimately allowed Georgia Tech to score the winning touchdown. It was an unbelievably foolish move and easily one of the dumbest things ever seen in football.
To conclude, the series may not continue this season, but one thing is for sure—Bret Bielema and the Illini won’t be challenging Cristobal’s record. After all, it takes being in a position to win a game before you can blow it like that.
Alex Martin is your guide to the global phenomenon of football. With a focus on international leagues and tournaments, he provides match commentary, player interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories from the world of football.