Worst Officiating Calls in College Football, 2007

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, April 11th, 2008

Football_RefereeUnfortunately for us, not all college referees possess the awesomeness of Ron Cherry. Most of the best have graduated to the NFL; the rejects get piled on in the college and high school level. So in the college ranks (as we’ve been reminded recently in the hoops game), we’re prone to a plethora of bad calls affecting the outcome of many a college football game. In the end, just like any sport the calls seem to even out, but there have been several instances of egregious mistakes costing a team big-time.

So are there any mistakes we can find that might have cost California a game or two? Nope–you can actually say the refs favored the Golden Bears in a few of our losses–i.e. the DeSean TD catch at ASU where he was probably out of bounds, or his subsquent fumble in the same game that was ruled down when he wasn’t. In fact, Cal’s only significant hosing on this list did not affect the outcome–the Golden Bears triumphed.

Thus, sadly, we cannot point to officiating having any impact on our season collapse. So much for small favors. Let’s get to it.

Cal at Oregon: Field Goal Is Through the Uprights and No Good!

Cal down 10-3, drives much of the field but cannot punch it in the end zone to tie the game. So Jordan Kay attempts a field goal that soars over the upright….but…

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Impact: In the end, there was no tangible impact; Cal won by a TD and the final finish was that much more exciting. So this call did not distort the outcome of the game. But this is the easiest call in the book to review. Nope.

USC at ASU: Unsportsmanlike Form Tackle?

Sedrick Ellis gets tagged for, you know, doing his job–finding a QB trying to pass and introducing him face-first to the turf he stands on.

[youtube e4s8Em6g_aA]

Impact: I’m pretty sure the refs could have called unsportsmanlike conduct on every Rudy Carpenter sack and Arizona State would still have lost by double digits. USC flat-out owned them. Impact here is minimal–it’s just to point how out much Pac-10 refs SUCK.

After the jump, calls that will make your eyes bleed.

Illinois-Ohio State: The Fumble That Never Was.

Ohio State up 7-0 on an early two play, 23 second TD drive. Illinois responds with Daniel Dufrene scaling 80 yards of the Horseshoe for a TD…oh, snap!

[youtube 4vmvbgkQASk]

Impact: Instead of Ohio State taking control of the ball with a 7-0 lead early on, the Fighting Illini go onto tie the game and upset the #1 team, 28-21. The Buckeyes go into the National Title game the lone undefeated team in the nation–only to get annihilated by LSU and make the Big Ten look pretty bad. Uh, so yeah, minimal impact on the season.

Washington at Oregon State: The Fumble That Never Should Have Been.

The nastiest game in the Pac-10 all year, even nastier than all the rivalry games (the topsy-turvy nature of the Pac-10 ensured that). Jake Locker gets knocked out, players get tossed, fans border on Serbian hooliganism in Corvallis. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it was surreal to watch on TV. And to top it off, there was this absurd call, the worst of the worst from the Pac-10.

[youtube O1QGjGFYlg]

Impact: Oregon State still came out on top in the end, but they got pretty close to getting hosed–Washington ran out of steam at the Beaver 29

Georgia at Georgia Tech: Interference On The Wrong Person…On The Wrong Team.

Georgia Tech clinging to a 14-10 lead in their rivalry game with the Dawgs…and then on 3rd down, the end zone official apparently undergoes a dyslexic episode.

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Impact: Georgia goes on to take the lead at halftime and win by a comfortable margin. Had the call been reversed, the Yellow Jackets would probably be leading at halftime with some momentum–instead they had no momentum and Chan Gailey tumbled his way out of a job.

Louisville at UConn: The Fair Catch That Was Returned for a TD

I think that description is apt enough. Louisville up 7-0 and cruising along until…

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Impact: UConn squeaks out the win 21-17, and Louisville’s once promising season is now a bunch of dead flowers.

Pitt at WVU: Blocking becomes Holding

Pitt gets two crucial conversions (touchdown and late first down) called back on two very questionable holding calls. To add insult to injury, they call it on the SAME guy. My friends, that’s just intolerable cruelty.

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Impact: West Virginia STILL cannot win despite these questionable calls, and is stuck to the Fiesta Bowl while Rich Rodriguez bolts for Michigan. It makes you wonder how important officiating is in a sport where a team on the verge of the BCS Title game cannot win their rivalry game against a team that went 5-7 AND
gets all the calls down the stretch. Welcome to college football.

South Carolina at LSU: The whole game

It’s likely LSU would have won this game, but come on, the calls (or non-calls) in this video are laughable. if this is an accurate sample, South Carolina has a good deal of legitimate beef.

[youtube O2k0FLerfDg]

Impact: LSU began its string of unimpressive victories for the remainder of the regular season, but managed to squeak into the title game thanks to everyone else choking the bone. And it started with an unofficial hose job of the Gamecocks. Their place among the list of greatest champions drops a little after this vid, although I think the Tigers will take that consolation.

Any officiating calls I missed, including from Cal? Please leave them in the comments and I’ll try to make an additional post on the subject.

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