The Nittany Line has an excellent post today about the Pac 10. I didn't see the Oregon-Oklahoma game this weekend, but I understand there were two calls at the end of the game that were completely horrible and changed the outcome of the game in favor of Oregon.
On the first call, an onsides kick was touched by an Oregon player prior to going ten yards. The replay clearly showed the ball was touched, but the Pac 10 officials said there wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the play. Later on that drive, Oklahoma was called for pass interference, but the replay showed the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and pass interference should have been waved off. But the Pac 10 officials once again sided with the Pac 10 team.
On Monday, Pac 10 commissioner Tom Hansen reviewed the game and suspended the entire officiating crew for one game. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany should take note. This is how you deal with poor officiating. You don't just say "We blow 3 or 4 calls a game just like everyone else."
I was in Beaver Stadium at the Youngstown State game on Saturday and I saw three examples of horrible officiating. On the first play, a Penn State defender (I think Ed Johnson) got pressure on the YSU quarterback. As the quarterback was going down the ball left his hand. It was quesionable whether it was a fumble or a pass, but Penn State jumped on it, but clearly the ball came out before he was down. The officials ruled this a sack. No fumble. No pass. I couldn't believe it. If you're going to say it wasn't a pass, it had to be a fumble.
The second play was the YSU fumble that Penn State recovered. This all happened right in front of where I was sitting so I saw the whole thing. I thought the player was down before the ball came out. The umpire was standing right there, but after the players went down, he turned his back and walked toward the side judge before he realized a scramble for the ball was going on. When he heard the commotion, he turned around and saw the Penn State player standing there with the ball. It looked to me like the PSU player took the ball away while they were rolling on the ground and there was no fumble. I can tell you there is no way he saw a fumble or a recovery. But he didn't ask the side judge. He didn't call for a replay. He just pointed toward Penn State and gave them the ball. I'm not sure if Div. I-AA has replay, but maybe YSU wasn't savy enough to ask for a replay on that one. If I were the coach I would have.
My other complaint came in the second half. The teams had come out of a television timeout and were ready to snap the ball. The officials ran in and stopped the play before it was snapped. They huddled up and discussed something and held up the game for a minute. Then they blew the whistle and went back to play. Maybe it was obvious to those of you watching the game on television, but those of us in the stands were confused and annoyed after sitting there for two minutes of commercials and then having to wait another minute while the officials got their act together. A simple explaination would have been nice.
I don't want to sound like one of those Penn State fans who always whine about the officials, but the Big Ten officials are the worst. They routinely miss calls and appear disorganized and out of control of the game. I hope Jim Delany is paying attention to the Pac 10 and makes some changes.