The Armed Forces Bowl between No. 24 Tulsa and Mississippi State ended in controversy rather than celebration.
An ugly brawl broke out between the two teams at the conclusion of the contest on Thursday afternoon. First, words were exchanged but things quickly escalated. Players from both team threw punches and committed other disgusting acts as chaos ensued on the field.
Kirk Herbstreit gave an impassioned speech about the fight on Friday’s edition of College GameDay. The ESPN analyst blamed a the coaches for failing to get the game under control and for not approaching the brawl with the appropriate concern.
“If the officials and the coaches will not police the game as it escalates in the first quarter and then into the second quarter… eventually the players will police it themselves,” Herbstreit said. “We’ve all see that, just maybe not to this extreme. The officials have to have more authority for us to be able to say that we have a better feel for this. For the coaches… Mike Leach should be embarrassed. His postgame interview and what he said, ‘Hey, it’s football, it’s physical, it’s going to happen…’ are you kidding me Mike? You should be embarrassed about your program and what it did. This is a black eye for the sport… It’s as bad as it can be.”
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) January 1, 2021
Mississippi State went on to win the Armed Forces Bowl 28-26 over No. 24 Tulsa. The Bulldogs gained over 200 yards less offense in the game, but came up with two huge interceptions to lock up the win.
Unfortunately, few will remember what happened on the field, but rather what happened after in the brawl.
Time will tell what punishments are handed out. It’s certain that the penalties will be steep based on the severity of the actions.
Hopefully, fans have seen the last of ugly fights in the 2020 college football season.