Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Just finished watching the end of the Iowa game and, once again, refs from a rinky dink conference have cheated a team out of a fair shake in their bowl game.
In this instance, Iowa, down 31-7 going into the 4th quarter, mounted a furious comeback to find themselves only behind 7 with 1:24 left in the game after a long FG. Having no timeouts, Iowa lined up for the obvious onsides kick. Not only did they recover, but forward progress off the great bounce took them to the Florida 45. What a finish was on tap...
Until the flag was spotted.
The Conference USA refs called offsides when, as replays (and this picture) clearly showed, there was no offsides! How on earth, with the game on the line, do officials make this call if it's not 110% egregious?!
Now, Iowa might not have scored. But to cheat them out of the chance, after their team fought back from oblivion in this game, is inexcusable. When are bowl games going to start using refs from conferences who are used to calling big games between major schools? As was said time and time again in the Outback Bowl, as well as during Michigan's debacle in the Alamo, officials at these smaller conferences just aren't used to the speed of the game at the next level. Brutal comment? Yes. But honesty hurts.
Please note, just as Michigan complaints about the Alamo Bowl officiating were not a slap at Nebraska, this is not to take anything away from Florida. But players sacrifice too much to get screwed by incompetent officiating that is obvious to all, not just fans of the team getting hosed. And Iowa got hosed. Period.
So Hawkeye fans, as fellow Big 10ers and some of the classiest fans this Wolverine has ever encountered on a roadtrip, we here at the M Zone feel your pain. If you saw the Alamo Bowl, you know we can relate. In fact, we here at the M Zone were so peeved, we wrote the following letter to the person in charge of Sun Belt Conference officiating. Check it out. We think you'll agree.
And as a public service to our conference brethren, here is the contact information for the Conference USA folks should you so choose to drop them a line about their personnel.
Executive Assistant to Commissioner Britton Banowsky is Mandy White
And the man in charge of officiating is Gerald Austin. While his email was not listed, if it follows the structure of the others...
Your friends at the M Zone
Posted by Yost at 2:01 AM