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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stopping Momentum......or How To Keep People Who Aren't From the South Interested in College Football: A Handbook for NCAA Officiating

So let me explain how this works.  You have two teams, both are pretty talented yet one is better.  So how do you use officiating to get what you want without being obvious?  Timing.  Timing is everything in officiating as well. 

Last night you had two evenly matched teams yet one was more prepared for the game.  It is 21-3 with only a little time left in the second quarter.  Auburn calls a pass play.  FSU's corner runs in front of the Auburn receiver and slows down, the receiver runs into him, pass interference- no call.  Had there been a call it would have been first and ten Auburn in FSU territory.....at a point in the game when FSU had no answers for Auburn.  The very next play.  Third down.  Long pass over the middle for a first and deep into FSU territory.  The official literally steps into the left side of the screen, waits to see if the catch is made and then throws a ticky tack flag on Auburn for holding.  The "hold" came well after the ball had left the QBs hand and was in the area of the jersey between the shoulders, below the collar, and above the bottom of the numbers......a call that is literally never made.  This forces a punt.  FSU is held but fakes the punt and then scores.  So instead of 24-3 Auburn or the more likely 28-3 Auburn lead at the half we go into the lockers 21-10.  Auburn's momentum is killed, FSU gets momentum and confidence at a time in the game where Rapeis Winston was frustrated and ready to quit.

Now......you can't simply do this and call it a day.....oh no!  Elite zebras then cover their tracks.  How about the no call on the Auburn player for the horse collar tackle on that last long pass?  Everyone saw it, it was egregious and yet no call, why?  Easy.....you know have an example of Auburn getting a blown call.  Never mind that FSU had all the momentum at that time, never mind that the officials were going to allow a score no matter what......it didn't matter because you had evidence.

How about that Sugar Bowl?

1st quarter, 1st possession: Bama crams it right down Oklahomo's throat for a TD
Oklahomo stuffed by Bama's Defense then in the middle of another Bama drive that would have put them up 14 to nothing the above egregious penalty is not called.  Oklahomo intercepts the ball and scores a TD.  What would have been a 14-0 game (that would have lead to a blow out) is suddenly tied and Oklahomo is given hope.  You kill Bama's momentum and give Oklahomo hope all at the same time......give that officiating crew a bonus, son!

Remainder of the 1st quarter and part of the second quarter the officials simply refuse to call holding on either teams O-line despite the fact that almost every O-lineman on each side held (and I mean stretch the seams in the jersey held on almost every play).  Now you have covered your tracks beautifully because everyone is saying how poorly the game is being officiated due to the lack of holding calls going both ways.  Mid way through the 2nd quarter Bama shakes off the poor officiating and takes the momentum.  Oklahomo's QB is flushed out of the pocket on 2nd down, scrambles, and throws the ball where there is no receiver and the ball does not pass the line of scrimmage but no flag for intentional grounding.  Oklahomo gets a short pass on 3rd down and kicks a FG to stem Bama's momentum.  Had the intentional grounding been called and the short gain made on 3rd down Oklahomo would not have been in FG range and would have punted. 

4th quarter:  McCarron is under pressure and throws the ball 25 yards down field to a receiver but way over his head.......refs call intentional grounding.....inexplicably they call it and kill Bama's momentum as they are coming back and on the verge of scoring.

Under 2 minutes in the 4th:  3rd down, Bama out of time outs, incomplete pass.  Bama had just scored then held them to a 3 and out but wait......10 seconds after the play is over the official 85 yards away in the other endzone throws a flag for pass interference and gives Oklahomo the game.  Had the Stoopers punted from that point Bama would have had excellent field position and would have scored since they magically pulled John Henry out of story book legend and put him pads.  Instead a deep punt after working valuable time off of the clock forced Bama to throw.  McCarron is stripped and Oklahomo scores on the fumble.

Then there is that Orange Bowl. 

Here Clemson got a taste of what it is actually like to be in the SEC.  You see a team like Clemson or FSU will get the love when they are serving a purpose for ESPN or the NCAA but when it comes to playing one of the most beloved yankee teams......no such luck.  I believe the final tally was 15 penalties against Clemson.  The Tigers would have beaten theOhio State by 5 TD's if the officials had not been involved.  Clemson had, I believe, 2 sideline infractions called on them......SIDELINE INFRACTIONS.....quick when was the last time you saw a team penalized for that?  What's that? Never? Exactly!

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