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Fall’s Tarts: Tart of the Year Countdown, #6-4

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Featuring an act of villainous desperation!

We’re almost to the end of our countdown for this year’s Fall’s Tarts!

Today, we’re presenting #6 through #4, and in this tier we are getting to the cream of the crop of silly Big Ten moments. These are some of the ones that will be remembered for many years. Let’s get to it!

#6: Rutgers Breaks Up Rutgers TD Pass (100 pts)

Let me first praise Rutgers for defeating their October 26th opponent. This was truly good work, and you are to be commended.

During that game, however, something interesting happened.

Johnny Langan saw a favorable matchup on Isaiah Washington and fired the ball his way over the middle in the end zone, only for a player to break on it and knock it down, nearly coming down with it himself.

Who was that player? Not a defender, but Rutgers receiver Paul Woods!

This would for sure have been a touchdown if he had just gotten out of the way. Rutgers was literally in Rutgers’ way this time.

Fortunately, it didn’t affect the outcome.

#5: Sindelar’s Folly (101 pts)

Purdue hosted Vanderbilt early in the season before the plague struck the Boilers. During this game, however, awareness became an issue:

The still image before you hit play shows Purdue lined up in a pro formation with split backs, except the quarterback is missing...and Elijah Sindelar is the halfback...and wait a minute what the hell—

Sindelar lined up behind the left guard, and must not have checked his protection very well because if he had, he’d notice that he only had one blocker on his blind side. Then maybe he could have called for extra protection on that side.

I’ve done it. I’ve found the only way that could have been funnier without it resulting in Vanderbilt points.

This was also deep in Purdue territory, so Sindelar had to go into the end zone to pick up the ball and was lucky not to be called for grounding.

Purdoops!

#4: Michigan Defense Switches To Plan B (154 pts, 1 first place vote)

At first, Michigan was keeping pace with the mighty Ohio State offense. However, there was no margin for error, and when the offense slipped up, it was up to the defense to find some way to stop JK Dobbins. Their first strategy obviously hadn’t worked, so it was time to execute the backup plan.

There, Dobbins! Try running on us with just one shoe!

Aidan Hutchinson and Carlo Kemp were never going to avoid detection, as is made clear by the Official Cam in the above video where you can see them removing Dobbins’ shoe from the perspective of the ref.

What I’d like to know is this: what was the endgame?

Say the officials don’t spot this. So, what do you hope to gain? Dobbins can pick up his shoe, put it on and tie it before the play clock runs out, and even if he can’t, the whole Buckeye offense is still out there and it’s not like Master Teague III is going to provide that much of a drop off for one play. Best case scenario, Dobbins is out for one play.

Can that one play make the difference this early? Is the plan to just keep doing this to take him out of, like 15 plays max where you’ll have this opportunity? He’s going to tip off the officials after at latest the second time it happens. So maybe you can take him out for two plays?

Or, say you didn’t intend to leave the shoe behind. Where were you going to hide it? Forget evading detection on national television: what are you going to do with that shoe? Put it under your jersey? Even if those jerseys weren’t too tight to get away with this, you can’t play like that, so you’d have to smuggle it to the sideline as you sub yourself out. Now, you’re Carlo Kemp and you’re the best DT they have and you’re not in the game.

So even if you get away with all this, and you miss one play and successfully smuggle the shoe to the sideline, it’s still the first half. At halftime, you best believe Ohio State is going to find Dobbins another shoe.

Next time, try just subtly untying it so he doesn’t notice.