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Jan 05, 2007

Through The Binoculars

By: JOHN PIESEN


No question. It was worth losing a night's sleep to see the finish of Oklahoma-Boise State. We're not even talking gambling here. It was enough to make one forget that one poor schmo I know had Arkansas, Nebraska...and the Rose Bowl under. Too bad there's no more Mr. Loser in the New York Post to kick that one around.

Go figure. It's 3-3 at the half and goes over!

But all was forgotten in the wake of the Fiesta Bowl. A game for the ages. Arguably the greatest college football game of all time.

If you missed the finish, who can blame you? The game ended at 12:42 a.m., eight minutes short of four hours.

In the last four minutes of regulation and overtime, five touchdowns were scored – three by Oklahoma, two by Boise State.

Five touches in four minutes!

Are you kidding me?

With Boise State up, 28-20, Oklahoma matriculates the ball the length of the field, adds the two-point conversion on the third try, and we are tied at 28-28 with 1:27 to play.

On the first play from scrimmage, the Boise QB throws an out to the left sideline, which gets picked off, and the Okie kid runs it in.

Oklahoma leads, 35-28.

With 50 seconds left.

With 27 seconds left, Boise is fourth and 18 at the 50, at which point Boise pulls off the most remarkable hook and ladder since Chargers-Dolphins to tie the game at 35. Let's amend that. It was the best hook and ladder of all time.

Boise thereupon wins the OT coin toss --.which proves to be the biggest play of the game. Natch, they take defense.

On the first play, Oklahoma RB Peterson goes the 25 yards without anyone laying a glove on him.

Oklahoma leads 42-35.

Game over?

Are you kidding?

On fourth and two from the seven, Boise gets the TD on a perfect halfback option to the tight end.

And goes for two!

It happened so fast, you probably missed it. I know I did. I went to sleep having no idea how they pulled it off.

So here's how.

The QB lines up in the shotgun with the RB directly behind him.

The QB takes the snap, puts the ball in his left hand, and fakes a sideline throw with his right hand. As the entire Oklahoma defense goes for the fake, the RB calmly plucks the ball out of the QB's left hand and strolls into the end zone untouched.

And we didn't hear about the kicker until today:

Upon scoring the game-winning points, the RB kept on running to the back of the end line, found his cheerleader-girl friend, and proposed marriage.

She accepted.

Let's see how Hollywood handles this  --

George Clooney plays the Boise coach.

Tom Cruise (he lies about his age) the QB.

Joaquin Phoenix the RB.

Reese Witherspoon the cheerleader/girl friend.

Billy Bob the Oklahoma coach.

And, yo, Sylvester Stallone the Fox announcer.

Oscars all-around.

Except no one will leave the theater believing the ending.

Oh, yes. In this space last week, we mentioned that it was time for the underdogs to bark in the bowl games. Since then, the dogs have gone 13-2, capped by Boise State. The only faves since Friday to cover were South Carolina and Auburn, both by two points.

Turning to the pros, how 'bout the Denver coach going all-out to win the game in OT when a tie would have gotten his team into the playoffs.

And how 'bout the New York media bemoaning the fact that the Giants and Jets must play the Eagles and Pats on the road this weekend when the fact is that the home team went 0-4 in their regular-season match-ups.

Moreover, the regular-season home record for the NFC teams was 59-69!

And isn't it good to see that Alabama wants to give Miami coach Saban $40 million.

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this the same Saban whose Dolphins teams played sub-.500 ball, and the same Saban who chose to kick a FG  with the Fish, down three, fourth and a foot from the Jets' seven.

If you're keeping score at home, take note that my beloved AFC crushed the NFC for the 12th straight year, this time by a count of 41-23. Over the past three years, the AFC record against the NFC is 119-73.

Finally, this column's nominee for NFL Man of the Year is John Kitna, the QB of the Detroit Lions.

The reason is obvious.

With Detroit needing a loss to draft Brady Quinn number one, Kitna played the game of his life to lead the Lions to victory in Dallas...thereby saving his job.

One more note: Why was it no surprise that the Giants and Jets got every call last weekend?

Sure, it will be great for New York sports fans to catch their heroes on Sunday, but the real highlight of the week for New Yorkers will be the appearance of 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil in Friday's eighth race at Aqueduct.

After hours of research, I concluded that this will be the first time in history that a winner of a Triple Crown race will run on the inner track.

Personally, I will try to beat Jazil, who will break from the outside post in a field of eight going 1 1/16 miles in a $48,000 second-level allowance.

Just listen to trainer McLaughlin.

"Jazil is doing every well," he told me this morning, "...but I don't know if he has to win. If he runs well, we'll be happy.

"It worries me that the inner track can be speed favoring."

Now that's what I call an honest trainer.



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