Oregon State was supposed to open their season on September 1st against Nicholls State. However, Hurricane Isaac made it impossible for the Thibodeaux, Louisiana school to fly up to Corvallis, Oregon to play the Beavers. The game has been postponed and has yet to be rescheduled, though I’m sure both sides are very interested in playing each other. Oregon State could use the extra win, and Nicholls State will be happy to collect the payday that comes with these types of FBS vs. FCS games.
The postponement of the game means Oregon State’s first game is actually at home against Wisconsin this Saturday. While everyone in Louisiana is trying to recover from yet another disastrous hurricane, and the Beavers had to radically alter their preparation for the season, Wisconsin head coach Brett Bielema is feeling a bit competitive.
Bielema refused to send any game tape of his Badgers’ 26-21 win over Northern Iowa to Oregon State coach Mike Riley, saying giving the Beavers the film “really wouldn’t benefit Wisconsin in any way shape or form.’’ Classy. This isn’t the very height of gamesmanship or anything. The whole incident just makes Bielema look like a scumbag for tweaking a team whose game was affected by a hurricane thousands of miles away from its campus.
Aside from the fact that Oregon State’s game was canceled because of a freaking hurricane, Bielema is either purposely or inadvertently arguing that sending game film is a quid pro quo thing, not because they’re in a profession in which sportsmanship is important. We’ve always known football coaches were hyper-competitive, but usually this kind of Woody Hayes-paranoia is ostracized amongst other coaches.
Not that Oregon State really needs to see the game film anyway (though they acquired footage of Wisconsin/UNI from another source). Let’s face it, Montee Ball (or whatever helmeted dump truck of a running back the Badgers have) to the left and right, a screen play, and a seam route to the tight end pretty much sums up the Wisconsin offense for the last, oh, 25 years or so. Also, their offensive line is big, you know, in case no one knew that. Wouldn’t want the enemy to see all the “strategery” Bielema and new OC Matt Canada surely put into their offensive gameplan every week.
Bielema may have accidentally given us a window into his soul here. He seems to believe that whatever information can be gleaned from game film is vitally important for winning games, as though his team’s execution of the plays they call isn’t the most important thing. Matt Canada has only been the playcaller for one game, so it’s extremely unlikely the Badgers have fallen into any perceptible patterns as of yet. But Bielema seems to believe there’s something really, really valuable that coaches can do with game film in less than a week, though no one seems to know what that is.
Not that you need it, but this is another pretty good reason to hate Wisconsin.