Wednesday, September 27, 2006

C-USA gets it right too

Conference USA has suspended a replay official for one game after determining that the official made a bad call on an overturned fumble. The call in question came during the second quarter of the Houston - Oklahoma State game when the Cougars' Jeron Harvey fumbled and the ball was recovered by the Cowboys. Houston coach Art Briles challenged that the ball carrier’s forward progress had been stopped and therefore the fumble didn’t count. The replay official agreed and awarded the ball to Houston who scored four plays later and eventually won the game 34-25. The problem is that forward progress can not be reviewed to overturn a fumble because "a runner's forward progress may only be reviewed to determine whether or not the forward progress results in a first down," a conference news release stated.

Now granted this may be a knee jerk reaction given the problems from the Pac 10 debacle, but I say again: Hell Yeah! Finally these officials are being held accountable. What a concept, the officials actually have to know the rules!?! That’s a foreign idea in the Big Ten. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy doesn’t like replay and is understandably a bit miffed at the call:

"I don't like instant replay because I just don't think we'll ever clean it up," Gundy said after the Cowboys' practice on Monday. "I'd just as soon go with the ruling on the field and live with it like we have in football for 100 years."

That’s great Mike, but you live in a conference that has the privilege of decent officiating, there’s a reason the replay started with the Big Ten: we have a bunch of blind (at least in one eye) idiots running around with their heads up their asses. On any given Saturday you will be hard pressed to find a Big Ten game with fewer then a dozen bad calls. I watched three Big Ten games this weekend and the best officiated game by far was the PSU-OSU game; not because it was officiated well, but because the shitty calls equaled out in the end which is rare. The Michigan game was horribly officiated, at one point in the first quarter Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema was heard by ESPN telling the officials “this better not happen for four quarters guys.” This was after they picked up a flag on a punt return where replay showed three different Wolverines blocked in the back. Ask John L. Smith what he thinks of the Big Ten officials in the Notre Dame game. Better yet ask Michigan State officials becauase they have sent video of the sidline brawl with Notre Dame to the Conference claiming refs “mismanaged” the incident. No, the Big Ten doesn’t have an option when it comes to replay, it has to stay because the powers that be never hold anyone responsible.

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A Big Ten official prepares for a normal day

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