First things first: icing the kicker, or the act of calling a time out to force the other team's kicker to think for a minute before attempting a crucial field goal, doesn't actually work. In fact, it makes the other team's kicker better. But there's never been a study on icing your own kicker, which brings us to Missouri Tigers coach Gary Pinkel.
Tied 30-30 with Arizona State, Mizzou kicker Grant Ressel had the chance to kick a last-minute 48-yard field goal that would've completed an impressive road comeback. The teams lined up, and your eye traveled to the bottom of the screen, where you noted ASU had its full complement of time outs. Surely Dennis Erickson would spend one as a formality, because it's a dumb thing football coaches do.
Pinkel called time out. ESPN's Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore seemed as jolted as the rest of us. It would've been less shocking to see a white student painted in black from head to toe -- yes, there were lots of those -- run across the field and attempt to kiss either coach. The self-icing is perhaps the most unchill maneuver in sport, bro, and nobody had ever seen anything like it before.
OK, so Pinkel doesn't like the wind. In the middle of the desert. Or something. All right. Let's just blame it on his having spent a day in the sun. But then another time out.
That one was Erickson, right? Formalities have been conducted, and now we can get thi- no, that was Pinkel too. Tessitore and Gilmore just stared at the field.
Ressel hooked it, the game went to overtime, and the Sun Devils won.
Why did Pinkel do that? After the game, he said he was trying to draw an offside penalty out of Vontaze Burfict, the most explosive hothead on a team full of them. Really not a bad idea, considering Burfict is usually good for multiple penalties per game and the Sun Devils had produced more than 100 yards worth of penalties already. (Also, it proves I was totally right.)
As SEC blog Team Speed Kills notes in defense of potential new conference-mate Pinkel, it's only considered the wrong move because it didn't work. But even if Burfict had given the Tigers a first down, they would've only had time for one more short play toward the sidelines because -- well -- they were out of time outs.