Monday, October 26, 2009

Q: What's black and white and dreaded all over?

A. SEC referees, of course.

Call it the Season of Sour Grapes if you want, but the fact is that coaches, players and fans of four schools -- Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi State -- think they've gotten the short end of the officiating stick this year.

The latest post-game quotes:

"You run another play and you throw an interception or they throw another flag on us -- I wasn't going to let the refs lose the game for us there and some magical flag appear." -- UT's Lane Kiffin, on letting the clock wind down before trying the field goal at game's end.

"There's no excuse for a guy who has the amount of time to replay the video to make sure they get the call right ... it's embarassing that they blew the call." -- MSU's Dan Mullen, on the play where Florida's Dustin Doe may have been stripped of the ball before crossing the goal line.

-- RTR


SECfan said...

The SEC wants a BAMA vs Florida championship game and perhaps the first all SEC BCS championship game, plus the cash that goes with it.

J said...

The SEC commissioner's office needs to visit the zoos in its territory in the spring and pay whatever they have to in order to buy all the monkeys from the zoos, and hire them all as officials. Then we will have some competent officials at SEC games.

Observer Sports said...

College football officiating is, as a rule, awful.

That said, Lane Kiffin denigrates both teams with those comments. Penalties played next to no part in what was a great Tenn/Bama game. It was settled on the field, and unfortunately, Kiffin put the game on the foot of a sore-legged kicker.

Meanwhile, Auburn got knocked back on its heels early by some ridiculous calls.

Guess what, Mark Green, one of the mods on an AU website, says it's an Alabama conspiracy. So, let's get this straight, an Alabama program that most rival fans say is as stuck in the past as a Studebaker, still has the tentacles to influence outcomes all over the map. Wonder why we're not doing better in the Middle East? Wonder why we'd rig an outcome to favor our biggest threat for the SEC West championship.

Read for yourself: The zebras have hammered Auburn for three straight games, and while many calls were earned, just as many were bogus--and much more destructive than the earned ones. That is unprecedented in all my years of watching SEC football. The very fact that the SEC office all but admitted corruption by saying the "call wasn't there" last week in the Ark -FL game (and then suspending the refs), convinces me of the obvious--the problem is conference-wide, if not NCAA-wide. In this day and age of hard times and economic insecurity, there are many obvious motives to tamper with the games. The most hard to believe motive, however, sould be that in our case the Red Elephants DO NOT WANT AU to succeed with what might be an incredible recruiting class. Call me whatever you want. I don't give a damm, but I've never seen such purposeful calls AGAINST a specific team, and would say so if the target were Alabama or Tennessee. And while you are riding your high horse and shouting "bl;ack helicopters," stop for just a moment to explain to me why this has been going on the past three weeks. One thing's for sure, no matter how you do it, put early legal pressure on a team and in a game of talented athletes critical plays, and you can orchestrate outcome. It' ain't, as they say, rocket science. Alabama may well be the only program in the country that would go so far, but when you have them on retainer, they might as well earn their $$ when you aren't playing. Again, I don't give a rat's rear end what anybody thinks, but this is new ground even for SEC refs.


SECfan said...

MG the penalties were 10:1 in the Bamma/UT game and UT has been the 3rd least penalized team in the NCAA.... On the last play of the game a major 15 yard penalty occured, a penalty that has been called all year. The ball was still live, despite what others have said the tape shows the helmet came off before the ball was recovered. The uncomfortable truth is that the refs failed to throw a flag when an obvious infraction occurred. That is the issue. If a player commits a foul, you throw the flag, THEN confer and adjudicate

Anonymous said...

I find it humerous that folks are griping about SEC officials now. South Carolina has been on the wrong end of more bogus calls than any team in the SEC. The problem? The Gamecocks weren't relevant at the time so it went unnoticed. The plays were sent to Good Ole Roy Kramer and Head of Officials Bobby Gaston who's response was basically "tough stuff." In fact, I noticed a considerable uptick in bad calls after the complaints were filed. SEC officials blew a call at Clemson when the entire stadium saw Rod Gardner push off. This game was after a Florida game where we got pegged for a celebration penalty for kneeling and praying, of all things. I also remember Tennessee getting its fair of biased calls too, so I guess what comes around does go around. Whine away Tiffy.

J said...

Way to go MG! We finally got your blood boiling!

I had actually forgotten how bad the officiating was in our game. It got lost in how utterly inept our offense has become all of a sudden. Even if the game was called fairly, I seriously doubt we would have won. It probably would have been just another heartbreaker like the last few against LSU have been. I doubt level officiating would have helped us against Ar-Kansas either. I don't have ESPNU so I was following the KY game on other channels, but that helps explain why we lost to such a lousy team.

SECFan makes a good point about the ratio of penalties vs. what Tennessee has done all year. So I understand why Lane felt that way (I do not agree with him, but understant where he's coming from).

And yes, Cody's helmet came off early. Even if it was before the recovery, however, I don't see how you could give the ball back to Tennessee and then assess the 15-yard penalty. It's like in the NFL when a player fumbles and it isn't called, and the other coach challenges. In order to win the challenge, there has to be visual evidence not only of the fumble itself, but that the challenging team recovered. (This happened in the AZ-Giants game last night.)

Hey, I've got an idea. Let's send the SEC officials to do ACC games. Then we can have the bad refs and bad players all together. :-))

J said...

Anon 4:17 - We're whining because the officiating is significantly worse this year than in previous years. I remember teh Clemson-SC game you mentioned; there has never been a more blatant case of offensive pass interference. But it does seem there are more phantom calls this year. And like I mentioned in a comment on an earlier post, it seems like the officials are throwing the celebration flag on anyone who doesn't fossilize after a TD these days.

Anonymous said...

J - I would be remiss if I didn't point out that officiating should reflect the product on the field. This is the best football conference in the nation and the officiating should reflect that. In my opinion, Roy Kramer and Bobby Gaston set the conference back over the years. I hope Slive will get this in order. The fact he suspended UGA/LSU, ARK/FLA officials speaks volumes about his leadership. I hope he doesn't miss this opportunity to send a message.