Saturday, October 07, 2006

College Football 2006-07 Controversies

October 7, 2006: USC 26-20 Washington, with 10 seconds left, Washington completed a 20-yard pass play leaving them 5 seconds to take a shot into the endzone. But, inexplicably, the clock operator let the clock wind down to 2 seconds, not the 5 seconds on the clock when the play ended. The refs conferred but let the game continue and when they wound the clock down, it expired before Washington snapped the ball. The clock operator made a game-affecting error by letting the clock wind down to 2 seconds. It is strange that the refs perhaps noticed something might be wrong but did not stop the game to check it. I can't say whether the refs made any mistake in winding the last 2 seconds off, because there could be all sorts of possible reasons that happened -- the refs may have made a mistake or the Washington players may have been the ones to make the mistake.

September 16, 2006:
Oregon 34-33 Oklahoma, Oregon recovered an onside kick although replays suggested that an Oregon player touched the ball before it went 10 yards and interfered with an Oklahoma player trying to field the ball in the 10-yard zone. Also, the refs called pass interference against Oklahoma even though the pass may have been tipped at the line of scrimmage. The terrible fallout from the referees' mistakes is that they were suspended for one game and the head replay official, Gordon Riese, received death theats and asked for a one-year leave of absence. According to newspapers, he admits he made a terrible mistake and feels very badly about it. This reiterates how criticizing referees does not mean that we assume they are trying to cheat. If as a matter of games happening, referees sometimes make honest mistakes that have a huge effect on the game, then it makes sense that sports commentators and fans should be able to discuss them.

Clemson 27-20 Florida State, with the score tied, Clemson quarterback Will Proctor fumbled and Florida State's Lawrence Timmons came out of the pile with the ball. But the refs called the recovery mutual possession, so the offense kept the ball.

Auburn 7-3 LSU, refs overruled pass interference on Auburn cornerback Zach Gilbert because they felt he interfered with LSU receiver Buster Davis only while or after his Auburn teammate tipped the pass.


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