Certain teams have a bias against them that can only be described as schadenfreude. It's that undeniable urge to take joy in watching someone suffer. Or, in football terms, watching a team flounder or screw up.
Notre Dame knows that exact feeling. But strangely, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is now being criticized for taking his foot off the gas pedal.
In an ESPN story, it was suggested that Kelly left style points off the table. The story went on to say this: "Leading 43-7 at halftime, Oregon coach Chip Kelly decided to rest his starters in the second half, and the Ducks went scoreless the rest of the way. Did Kelly make the right call, or did he miss an opportunity?"
Perhaps football nation is just plain spoiled by the weekly beatdowns Alabama delivers to its victims every week, in every game, in every quarter. Are we that bloodthirsty?
Moreover, is this really the only criticism left of Oregon? Trying to find one reason—any reason...please, we're begging you—to downgrade the Ducks just reeks of desperate schadenfreude.
Do these guys sit in a room and say, "Oregon can't be that good, so let's come up with something that will validate our opinion."
Feel better now?
What makes Chip Kelly such a giant success is that he is the master of game-day substitutions. Every year, he seemingly loses an enormous talent pool, and yet every year, his Ducks bounce back better than the previous year's team.
Because his reserves all get a lot of experience in a game-day setting. In that game against Arizona State, nine different backs carried the ball, two different quarterbacks played under center and five different receivers caught a pass.
Against Arkansas State, 14 different players caught a pass in that 57- 34 victory by the Ducks. True, the Ducks only scored once in the second half of that game, but they were leading 50-10 at the half.
Isn't that enough of a beatdown?
Kelly is doing what so many coaches aren't: He's making sure if that any starter is injured, the next player up has enough experience to take over without concern.
What Kelly is also doing is preparing his 2013 roster.
So, while fans and pundits complain about style points being left on the table—and since margin of victory isn't a factor in the BCS polls, who cares?—we have to wonder what kind of points Kelly scored for calling off the dogs.
And for showing class.