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2012 Fiesta Bowl: David Shaw Leaves Stanford Football Fans Questioning


Two days later, that's still the question that many Stanford Cardinal fans are wondering about their head coach. What was David Shaw thinking?

One minute to go. 25 yard line, tied game, and you play for the field goal?

You have a third down in your pocket, and you let the clock run down instead of giving your kicker more room to boot one?

You run not just on 1st and 10 at the 25, but also 2nd and 10 at the 25? Then you get a short crossing pattern on 3rd down to set up an even longer attempt for your already shaky field goal kicker from the right hash?

You do realize you're not in the NFL anymore, right coach? You do realize your field goal kicker (your FRESHMAN field goal kicker) probably doesn't have the nerves of steel you think he possesses? This is clear?

By the way, who is (And probably in a few days, that'll turn into "was") your quarterback again? You know, that one you seem to line up at Wildcat two to three times per game to make defenses smile on the inside?

And then you do this?

David Shaw was asked if he thought about throwing the ball more at the end of the game and he pointed to a stat sheet with rushing totals
Jan 03 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

You have Andrew Luck and you say you're dedicated to the run? You definitely run a lot (101 more rushes than passes), but you're suddenly Air Force? Can't you at least say something NFL-ish, like "We're multiple, we run, we pass, we balance it out?" Something reasonable?

Or were those four incompletions too much? Might as well call for four more straight runs if there was a second overtime, huh?

Then you say this?

"On the one side, you've got the best quarterback in America," he said. "On the other you've got the best turnover-taking team in the country. They had already caused two turnovers (an interception and a fumble). ... That was the right decision."

So if I interpret this correctly (and I'm not very bright, because I like touchdowns and all), you basically stated that you trusted Oklahoma State's defense to intercept Andrew Luck more than you trusted Andrew Luck to score a touchdown?

You also do know college overtime rules, right? You know, you kick a field goal, the other team scores a touchdown, you lose and all that jazz? You do know that comes into play here right?

You also know this isn't the first shaky decision you've made, right? That this isn't the first time Stanford has looked ... slow? The Cardinal plodded through most of their games this year, particularly in the first half, but you had your sweet quarterback to bail you out, right?

And now, after a season that'll be nearly impossible to top, how will you win?

How will you keep on doing what you do and stay at the top of the Pac-12? How are you going to succeed on offense with Luck no longer calling plays and changing things at the line and David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin no longer laying the lumber? How do you plan to generate the points to beat the best in the conference without an experienced quarterback and wide receivers to stretch the field?

David Shaw, are you really a solid addition to Stanford football, or are you going to prove that Luck wasn't the biggest loss the Cardinal suffered in 2011-12?