Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is Going for Two a Big Gamble?

Would we even be having this conversation had Boise State coach Chris Petersen done the logical thing and decided to kick an extra point to force a second overtime against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? Maybe it's time to scrap logic, which is what Petersen did. David Leonhardt of the New York Times reports that going for a two-point conversion is not that big of a gamble after all. In the past two NFL seasons, for example, teams going for two have made it more than 50% of the time. The two-point conversion became part of the college game in 1958 and coaches reportedly had become dependent on a chart that was created around 1970 by UCLA coach Tommy Prothro and his offensive coordinator, Dick Vermeil, that dictated when to go for two. An example would be trailing by five after scoring a touchdown to cut the lead to three. But even Vermeil seems to suggest that times have changed and more creative play-calling have made the chart obsolete. "Offensives have become more sophisticated and more unique with what they do in that situation. More time is devoted to it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't fault Coach Petersen for going for the win on a single play especially after being a huge underdog goin in.

Tom Osborne doesn't regret going for two against the hometown Canes in the 1984(?) Orange Bowl. You can't always play the percentages. Sometimes you have to trust your gut and end it quick.