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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

How Many Teams Must Get Screwed Before Real Refs Are Used?

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.

Conference USA
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


The King said...

I was going to post on this as well. That was a joke. Really too bad too, because that was an absolute beauty of an onside kick.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

That was a once in a lifetime onside kick. It's like the officials have developed a "who gives a shit unless it's the National Championship game" attitude.

Also, would it have killed the Outback Bowl to replace the "Tampa Bay" in the end zones with "Iowa" and "Florida?"

Benny Friedman said...

And it's not just Iowa fans who are hurt by this, but college football fans in general. I was looking forward to a frantic finish and possible overtime. But some Conference USA ref put his flight time ahead of everything else.
I love that you added the picture, Yost. My question is, is it offsides if you break the 35-yard line plane with any part of your body? Obviously, the Iowa player's feet were behind the line, but is it possible his head was over the 35?

Yost said...

[[My question is, is it offsides if you break the 35-yard line plane with any part of your body? Obviously, the Iowa player's feet were behind the line, but is it possible his head was over the 35?]]

Don't know, Benny. Anybody? Even still, it's sooooo close, how do you make that call? Hell, I can't tell if anything is over and I'm looking at a still picture!

Ploeg said...

Found this in the NCAA rules book:

Restraining Lines
ARTICLE 2. A restraining line is part of a vertical plane when a ball is
touched or is in possession. The plane extends beyond the sidelines (A.R.

Even using this definition, it still looks like the Iowa kid was not offside...

Yost said...

Nice job, Ploeg. Thanks!

KimL89 said...

Offsides or not in this picture, the ball has already been kicked and the kicker is in his follow through. That means that Chad Greenway (the kid flagged for the penalty) would not have been offsides at the moment the ball was kicked. Florida deserved to win, but Iowa definitely deserved the chance.

Yost said...

Well put, Kim.

Randy Roe said...

As a lifetime Hawkeye fan, I can say that we deserved the chance. It took me half an hour to describe (to my wife, who missed the game) how Michigan got screwed in the Alamo bowl. At the time, it reminded me of the officiating in the Iowa-Michigan game in Iowa City this year...but now, and finally, I share the pain.

Anonymous said...

Great pic n thanks. What it doesn't show is Florida decided to play with 12 men on the re-kick.

Anonymous said...

I just appreciate the kindness shown towards we die hard Iowans and can't wait to join you guys in Ann Arbor this fall for the game. I was in attendance at the game and it was what it was. We should have come out ready to play the game from the git go, not the third and fourth quarters. Trust me when I say Florida is not that good of a team. We faced better in the Big Ten this year, including the Wolverines.