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Theorems and Stratagems of the Game, Week 1

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Welcome to our first edition of "Theorems and Stratagems of the Game," a weekly look at the, ahem, most original calls of the college football weekend. Or at least the one's I'm aware of.

They're just the best tailback tandem in the nation. They can wait. Oh, the buffet of choices offered by the coaching genius that is Tommy Bowden. But the most obvious one is the decision to give James Davis and C.J. Spiller eight rushes for 20 yards. That's right -- a huge, nationally-televised, nonconference game, and you give the best two players on your team eight carries.

Ah, but you say, the game had gotten away after the second quarter and the Tigers had to throw. But DaviSpiller got only five carries in the first half. In part because, um, someone else had to get the first carry.

"Does he always give a freshman a play like that?" Spurrier said, referring to Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden’s decision to give the ball to freshman Jamie Harper on the Tigers’ first possession.

It was Clemson’s second offensive play, after Alabama had driven and scored a field goal on its first drive despite having to overcome three offensive penalties.

Harper was hit at the line, fumbled, and Alabama converted the gift possession into a field goal a few minutes later.

... in his own Sunday news conference looking back on the Saturday Night Disaster, Bowden admitted he promised the first carry to Harper, and he said he’ll do it again.

Congratulations, Tommy Bowden. You win the Jorvorskie Lane/Miami Memorial Trophy.

Greg Robinson might well be an idiot. I can put it no better than Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, so read their take. I'll wait ...

Okay, it's not just that Robinson decided to punt. That's bad enough, but excusable; any hopes of winning were slim to none. But your reasoning is you want to let your defense handle it? Pretend for a moment that they hadn't given up the 30 points; it still comes down to whether you have a better chance to score 20 points with 5:30 on the clock or 3:30 on the clock. Unless Northwestern takes complete leave of their senses and tries a low-percentage pass.

There's only one problem with that. Greg Robinson is coaching Syracuse, not Northwestern.

I don't know why I'm yelling at you, but I'm yelling, got it?

Wardrobe malfunction. As halftime approached in the Tennessee-UCLA game, a report came from Holly Rowe that I literally could not believe: The Vols assistant coaches were scrambling to make sure that all the players were wearing identical wristbands.

Now, one could question why a team goes on the road with more than one set of wristbands. And one could wonder why the coaches didn't check to make sure that the wristbands were identical, you know, before the game started.

In any case, no sooner had Rowe made her report than disaster ensued. Jonathan Crompton ran into Arian Foster and fell down.

Of all the nearly comical coaching mistakes that doomed the Vols, this was the worst.

Quarterback decisions. Sure, there were plenty of questionable decisions when it came to the signal-caller position this week. Why stick with Tommy Beecher after pick No. 3, Steve Spurrier? Why choose a QB and then play to something that is not his supposed strength (if in fact it's a strength at all), Rich Rodriguez?

But, and I do hate to agree with Dr. Lou, but ... why, oh why, did Frank Beamer even entertain the idea of redshirting Tyrod Taylor? You lose your top four WRs from a passing attack that was far from overwhelming to begin with, and you redshirt the QB who can run? This at Virginia Tech, which is famous -- infamous -- for Vicks, not Mannings.

Take heart, Hokie fans. Beamer has reversed course. Good luck getting back your reputation.