Short answer...Well, yeah of course he did and no, I don't care. I am not in charge of any coaches ethics on the field or on the court. That is their baggage to carry.
No team is completely immune to running it up. Don't be fooled, somewhere in any teams history there is evidence of running it up.
Do you care? Does it really matter?
It takes two to tango. If SC had really continued to compete to the very end, like some are trying to get us to believe, then the score would not have been as bad. SC may have still lost but not as bad as the score showed.
Scott Reid over at the OCR has an interesting read...
Running it up has been around the conference for more than 80 years. There’s no record of whether the St. Mary’s coach asked California boss Andy Smith "What’s your deal" after the national champions Golden Bears went scoreboard on St. Mary’s to the tune of 127-0 in 1920. Ten years later, USC pounded Cal 74-0.
More recently Pete Carroll and the Trojans haven’t been shy about running it up.
USC was leading Oregon last season 37-10 late in the fourth quarter when the Trojans called a time-out on third and three with 1-minute, 59 seconds left. Coming out of the time-out Trojan quarterback Mitch Mustain went deep to David Ausberry for a 59-yard touchdown to make it 44-10.
"That surprised me," said Oregon coach Mike Bellotti, whose history with Carroll is every bit as acrimonious as Carroll and Harbaugh’s. "I don’t get that. I guess they think there is still a margin of victory (component to the Bowl Championship Series formula)."
The Trojans tried to run it up on Stanford in 2005. Already leading 44-14, Carroll used Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, LenDale White, Steve Smith and Patrick Turner on a drive that stalled with a pair of incompletions on third and fourth and goal.
A few minutes later in the fourth quarter, John David Booty threw on four of six plays on a Trojan scoring drive that made the score 51-14 with 6:44 left.Later that season, with USC up on UCLA 52-6, Bush, Leinart, White and Smith were all involved in a fourth quarter drive capped by an eight-yard TD run by White to make it 59-6 on the way to a 66-19 fin
I have to admit I was happy as all get out when SC ran it up on ucla that year. Classy or not (is there really any class left in sports today) when its your rival you have to go through the throat.
There is no question that Pete Carroll has run it up in the past but many of know that there have been times when he has taken his foot off the gas not to run it up. And just so were are clear...if put the third stringers in there you let them play. If they score so be it but that is not running it up. I know there are some want to bring up the Arkansas game in 2005.
What ever Harbaugh's reasons were to run it up are his own. He is a known muckraker who loves to poke his opponents in the eye. He even did it to own alma mater.
The 2-point conversion though is a little more tricky...at first I was not happy about it. I thought Harbaugh was taking the luster off a solid win, but once SC stopped it I pretty much said OK we stuffed it, file that for later because there is still some football to play. Again, whatever his reasons are still his own we stuffed it but we will remember it.
But you know it was personal...
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday morning his decision to go for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Cardinal’s 55-21 victory against USC had nothing to do with his feud with Trojan coach Pete Carroll.
Saying he was concerned that USC still might come back, Harbaugh said he went for two points with Stanford up 48-21 for strategic purposes.
"I’ve been reading that this is somehow personal with Coach Carroll," Harbaugh said on Tuesday morning’s Pac-10 coaches conference call. "Nothing could be further from the truth. (There was) nothing personal. I’m not trying to make enemies."
If you don't think it was personal and if you believe what Harbaugh said above then there is this bridge I am looking at right now that is spanning the East River that I would like to sell you...
Right Jimmy...whatever you say!
Like it or not this is how it is with sports today. If teams don't like then done quit in the fourth quarter...simple as that.
Wilner makes some interesting observations too...
No. 1: Was Harbaugh trying to "stick it" to Carroll?
First, he said it felt like the right thing to do because the Cardinal was coming off the ball so well — one of the all-time lame explanations for anything.
Then he said it was because of the time-and-score — as if the difference between a 29-pt lead and a 28-pt lead meant anything.
Both are four-touchdown margins, and guess what: There were six-something minutes left and USC wasn’t scoring four touchdowns and EVERYONE IN THE COLISEUM KNEW IT.
Especially Harbaugh and Carroll.
No. 4: Was it wrong?
If you think Carroll has never stuck it to his victims, you’re living in dreamland. He just does it far more discreetly than Harbaugh, a result of the difference in their personalities.
Carroll’s version could go something like this:
USC’s up by 30 with five minutes left. The opponent has its No. 2 defense in the game, and USC runs a toss sweep with its No. 1 tailback running behind its No. 1 offensive line.
The opponent has zero chance to stop it, Carroll knows it, and yet the Trojans run it anyhow — instead of something between the tackles with their backups in the game.
Yeap...when you have the greatest offensive machine in the history of college football you open it up...against anything and everything!
Kind of like owning a Porsche and driving it around the block once a month then putting it back into the garage to just sit.
In the end I really could not care less. USC has bigger problems to sort out than if Harbaugh ran it up. He did run it up, we know he did, and he knows that we know he did...
I guess that is clear enough,,,