David Payne writes for Covers Expert Ben Burns.

Black Friday super special discount - Les Miles’ coaching clinics. Get ‘em while they last.

Miles and his staff fell completely apart in Saturday’s 25-23 to Ole Miss.

Trailing by two, LSU recovered an onside kick and quickly moved to the Rebels’ 32 with 1:04 left in the game. Miles had two timeouts in his pocket and needed only a few safe yards to improve his kicker’s chances.

The obvious move was to pick up a few yards on the ground, milk the clock and use your timeouts to set up for the winning field goal.

Instead, Miles and his staff called three straight pass plays that resulted in an incompletion, a sack for a loss of nine and completion on a blown-up screen that resulted in a seven-yard loss. Even worse, the Tigers failed to get a timeout after the third-down loss until the clock had run down to just nine seconds.

LSU went from 1st and 10 and in field-goal range with a minute to play to 4th and 26 at the 49 with only 26 seconds to play. Now, that’s coaching.

But it gets worse. On fourth down, Tiger quarterback Jordan Jefferson connected with Terrance Tolliver on a desperation pass down to the Ole Miss five yard line. The clock stopped to move the chains with just one second to play.

LSU sprinted to the line but looked extremely confused and was unable to spike the ball before the final second ticked off the clock.

“When Terrance caught it, I thought the field-goal unit was going to come out and kick the field goal and we were going to win the game,” Jefferson told reporters. “They had a lot of communication going on. Time was running out. I mean it was just a lot of confusion.”

Even though it was debatable whether or not LSU would have been able to get a play off on the final play, the field goal team has to be ready to sprint onto the field. Barring a miracle touchdown, picking up the first down and kicking a field goal was the best chance the Tigers had of pulling off the comeback.

What in the world were they talking about during the timeout before the fourth-down play?

Miles makes $3.75 million.

LSU covered as 6-point road dogs, but anyone who liked the Tigers enough to take them on the moneyline is still fuming over the last minute of that game.

Revenge of the Underdog

We all knew it was coming. But were you ready?

NFL favorites, both big and small, ruled September and early October. The chalk was cashing at such a high percentage that it almost made you paranoid. Sooner or later the underdogs were going to bite back.

Consider yourself bitten.

In the last 30 days, underdogs have been covering at a 56.9 percent clip and just recently wrestled away the overall season covers lead from the favorites.

Before Monday night’s game, underdogs were 8-6-1 against the number in Week 11 and are now 79-75-5 ATS on the season. That includes Sunday’s pair of suicide pool killers, Kansas City over Pittsburgh and Oakland over Cincinnati.

So what you knew was eventually going to happen back in early October has. But were you able to take advantage?

Bad beats is taking nominations for “The Worst Beat of 2009.” Make your nominations below or email David Payne at davidpaynecovers@yahoo.com

If you have any feedback or suggestions for our Editorial Team, please contact us at Editorial

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Posted by tallguyindc
4 years ago

greyhound, I really agree with you. A direct snap to the upback would have been perfect there. Teams really need to run that play more often. Here is what happens. The punter and returner are obviously taken out of the play. But usually in punt formation, the punting team has gunners on both sides that are double covered. These people are all out of the play. So the punt team is basically able to run a play 8 on 6 instead of 11 on 11. Those six typically start the play planning on running backwards. In my opinion, a direct snap to the upback would have been ideal there.
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Posted by greyhound1
4 years ago

No problem with Belichick's decision to try to keep possession, but his strategy lacked one essential ingredient --- the element of surprise. A trick play out of punt formation, properly executed, would almost certainly have caught the Colts off guard and gained much more than the necessary two yards. Bad beats of the year nomination: the Masters. Betting golf can be rewarding if you do your homework. Plus, you don't have to worry about dumb coaching decisions, inept officiating, or instant replay. It's just the player, the ball, and occasionally weather conditions. When handicapping one of the majors mental toughness is critical because chances are that if he contends, your guy will cross paths with TW during the weekend. (I learned this the hard way in another tournament when I went with Sean O'Hair, a skilled golfer with a fragile ego. He played spectacularly the first three days, and entered Sunday's pairing with TW a whopping 5 shots in front. His seemingly insurmountable lead disappeared within the first four holes, along with my money.) After much due diligence, I chose Kenny Perry for my Masters' pick at 80-1. Not because his game was tailored to Augusta National --- it wasn't --- but because earlier in the year he had won a playoff in Phoenix, where the gallery is boisterous and not afraid to let a player know about it when he makes a bad shot. Many tour players won't go near Phoenix for this reason, but Perry played through the distractions and was rewarded. TW and Phil Mickelson unexpectedly scuffled through their early rounds, and Perry was the surprise Sunday leader. Then the nightmare began. TW and Mickelson, paired together ahead of Perry, started shooting lights out. Mickelson shot 30 on the front nine and cut the lead to 1. But Perry persevered and extended his 1-shot lead to 2 with a clutch birdie on 16, entering the final two holes. That's when the man who had gone 22 consecutive holes without a bogey, needing only to par either 17 or 18, bogeyed them both forcing a playoff with doesn't-belong-here Chad Campbell and the very formidable Angel Cabrera. Campbell was eliminated on the first playoff hole but Cabrera miraculously saved par, despite knocking his drive into the woods and hitting a tree with his second shot. Perry made his 3rd bogey in four holes on the second playoff hole, and I collapsed in my chair when Cabrera made his par putt to win the Masters and put me out of my misery. It was a meltdown of major proportions by the usually steady Kenny Perry. I can only imagine how the poor blokes who backed Tom Watson three months later in the British Open at 1500-1 must have felt when he shanked that 8-footer on 18.
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Posted by tallguyindc
4 years ago

"MATH.........%%%%%%%%.............THIS IS WHAT MAKES SENSE- $$$$$$$$" You like to watch the games as a fan...and to complain either way. That makes sense. I can understand that. Doing algebra isn't what most of us like to do in our free time. However, if you want to bet on games and make money, you are going to have to analyze the game on a deeper level than the fans do. In some cases, you're going to have to analzye it on an even deeper level than the players do. The bottom line is that if you do the math, you see Belichick made the right call. Thats surprising to most fans. Its a little hard to understand at first. What is even harder to understand is that a lot of calls you thought were easy and obvious are neither. Coaches routinely and regularly make the wrong choice.
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Posted by tallguyindc
4 years ago

"As far as Bellicheck - I don't mind the call at all and I love those fourth down stats, but do those numbers account for end of game situation when team trailing is on Defense??? Because we all have watched enough football to know that as long as the Defense is half way decent, they usally step up at end of the game and get the ball back for their O...Again as long as we are talking about decent teams here, how many times does one team merely get a first down and then run out the clock...Not often..It is a very rare circumstance when they are able to run out the clock if more than three plays are needed..." Its an interesting point. I think a large amount of that has to do with the utter predictability of the playcalling in those situations. Teams know that the offense's first priorities are a) hold onto the ball b) Don't go out of bounds. Getting yards is a pretty decent third priority in most of those situations. Its pretty easy to play defense if you know they are going to run straight up the middle.
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Posted by DoctoroThames
4 years ago

Living in cajun country, theres 2 rules we go by, 1. make sure the girl your about to sleep with aint a second cousin and 2. Dont bet on LSU, and if you took the ML you might just not care if she is your relative or not.
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Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

MATH.........%%%%%%%%.............THIS IS WHAT MAKES SENSE- $$$$$$$$
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Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

RATIONAL CHOICE ??? LOL..... IS DROPPING A ATOMIC BOMB ON CHICAGO WHEN IT WAS MEANT FOR CHINA A RATIONAL CHOICE ? DO YOU FOLLOW FOOTBALL ? EVER WATCH IT ? THEY WE'RE WINNING MORON..... YOU DON'T DO THAT WHEN YOUR WINNING. YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME...NOT THROW IT AWAY. ALL THOSE ESPN GUYS WHO SAID ON AIR HE MADE THE RIGHT CALL WAS EITHER PAID TO SAY IT , OR RUBBING THEIR NOSES DEEP AND FAR UP THAT DARK CAVERN THAT MAKES THEM LIFETIME FRIENDS WITH A DARK ROUND BROWN DOUGHNUT......
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Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

SPORTS ARE FIXED. HOW MANY MORE STUPID DECISIONS ARE GONNA HAPPEN TO BLOW SMOKE OVER THE WORST ONE OF ALL ? BILL MADE THE DUMEST , STUPIDOUS, MOST RETARDED CALL EVER IN FOOTBALL. SO TO MAKE IT FADE AWAY , THEY HAVE OTHER WELL KNOWN COACHES MAKE CALLS THAT ARE BAD, BUT NOT THAT BAD. IT STILL COSTING THEM WINS, BUT D_M !!! YOU CAN STOP ANYTIME NOW. AND IT'S OVER MONEY......I'M WAITING FOR TEXAS, OR TCU, OR CINCINNATI , OR BOISE ST. TO MAKE THE NEXT "DUH, WHAT WAS I THINKING " IDIOT CALL. IT'S FOR SURE COMING...
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Posted by jmw59
4 years ago

We are dying down here.
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Posted by krilow
4 years ago

With regards to that dam LSU game, man, I thought for sure I was going to cash in, but like everyone else said it was coaching that screwed us. Not only is the head coach to blame but the special teams coach. He should have had his guys standing in a circle, ready to storm the field and get that kick off, they had plenty of time. Not to mention that valuable seconds were wasted on the plays before. With regards to the Patriots /vs/ Colts game, alot of peopl are bringing it down to mathmatics, yes it is mathmatically correct to go on 4th down. But these guys are the gambling guys, not the ones who have played the game and saw the mistakes made, not only from the coach, but from the moment the ball was snapped. After checking the play brady exposed the blitz that was coming. The left guard and tackle let the defensive end come clean off of the line without as much as bumping him to get him away from brady, in a situation such as this pass protection must be at its best. Now, I love Tom Brady, as my friends will atest to, but Tom Brady should have seen Wes Welker coming across on an in route, with great position on his defender, well across the first down marker. I mean this is what welker does best, come across the field on an in route, make a catch, then pile up the YAC yards. But saying this, the O-line didnt provide the greatest pass protection , which would have gave TB a milisecond more, and which he might have seen Welker running free across the middle, beinbg poorly covered.
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Posted by David_Payne
4 years ago

Low blow, from sternblows, but kind of funny ... LOL ... If anyone has a Bad Beat of the Year nomination, please feel free to post. Happy holidays to everyone ... be safe and prosper ... DP
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Posted by David_Payne
4 years ago

Jwyoming ... Thanks for bringing so much to the forum. If your in-depth analysis is based on this article, then it is I, David Payne, who absolutely sucks.
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Posted by Jwyoming
4 years ago

BEN BURNS....BEN BURNS.... Are we serious here??? This guy absolutely sucks as a handicapper....
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Posted by Mush_Man
4 years ago

First off, he should have called time out after 3rd down with 29 seconds left, he let it tick down to 9 before a timeout was called, everything else being the same they would have won. For this he is an idiot, for getting his qb sacked and what not I can understand, its part of the game. BTW I lost a nice chunk of change on the ML as well
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Posted by consiglieri
4 years ago

Oh, and by the same token with Les... Additional yards are hard to come by in that situation...Ole Miss was not just going to let them run for a few more yards to better their Field Goal situation...Les Miles did the right thing by trying his best to make it a more manageable kick for his kicker...It was both the kind thing and the right move... Not everyone can be Lane Kiffen. A forty seven yarder is not a gimmie in College...or NFL for that matter... Wasting time on the time-out is what I find him most at fault for.
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Posted by consiglieri
4 years ago

In today's College football it is near impossible to get a play off with one second left, kicking team ready or otherwise...I wish I have video of all the times I have seen this lately...Used to not be a problem, but now they wind that clock right up...usually ...they are really not that consistent...I imagine if this would have been the case in a big SEC game we all would have heard about it though.. As far as Bellicheck - I don't mind the call at all and I love those fourth down stats, but do those numbers account for end of game situation when team trailing is on Defense??? Because we all have watched enough football to know that as long as the Defense is half way decent, they usally step up at end of the game and get the ball back for their O...Again as long as we are talking about decent teams here, how many times does one team merely get a first down and then run out the clock...Not often..It is a very rare circumstance when they are able to run out the clock if more than three plays are needed...
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Posted by understandme
4 years ago

the NE play was the right one. It works in every single math model you can use. But, also I think of it this way: if you can pick up 2 yards to win the game, you do it. If you can't, you don't deserve to win.
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Posted by byonusho
4 years ago

I have a math\statistics\grad study in Mathematics\Statistics from Penn State. I was really bothered by Bellichick's play call as I had NE, but matehmatically he really did make the correct decision. I hate it, but it really was the better mathematical decision. Les Miles on the other hand was simply asleep at the wheel.
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Posted by tallguyindc
4 years ago

Let me be the first to say it. Don't compare Belichick and Miles!!! Belichick made a rational choice. The only thing that surprised people that had any math skills was that he had the balls to make the right choice when no one else does. It was calculated risk and if you stop and look at it. Miles....that was pure negligence. During the timeout after 2nd down, you need to think about what you are going to do in all situations after 3rd down. It seems to me like he just didn't think any more than one step ahead.
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Top Response

Posted by hvacdawg
4 years ago

"RATIONAL CHOICE ??? LOL..... IS DROPPING A ATOMIC BOMB ON CHICAGO WHEN IT WAS MEANT FOR CHINA A RATIONAL CHOICE ? DO YOU FOLLOW FOOTBALL ? EVER WATCH IT ? THEY WE'RE WINNING MORON..... YOU DON'T DO THAT WHEN YOUR WINNING. YOU PLAY TO WIN THE ..."