Monday, September 18, 2006

Controversy in Norman...Pac 10 Apologizes

Wow, rarely do you see something like this from an officiating crew or conference. Today, the PAC-10 conference formally apologized for its officiating in Saturday's game against the DUCKS. Additionally, the replay officials who worked the game were suspended for 1 week.

"Errors clearly were made and not corrected, and for that we apologize to the University of Oklahoma, coach Bob Stoops and his players," Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen said in a statement. "They played an outstanding college football game, as did Oregon, and it is regrettable that the outcome of the contest was affected by the officiating."

Stoops still doesn't seem to happy. It won't change the result of the game, meaning a loss for Oklahoma. David Lyle Boren (left), the President of Oklahoma, sent a letter to the BIG-12 to strike this game from the record books and have the officials in question suspended for the rest of the year. This is getting serious folks. Both reqeusts don't seem too likely at this point. Look for some possible changes to come regarding the PAC-10 and instant replay.

My personal take on this situation as an informed spectator who witnessed the flow the game and both calls: GET OVER IT OKLAHOMA. Yes, those two calls were atrocious. The video evidence was clearly in your favor in both cases (on-side kick and PI late in the game). But you know what? You still weren't 2 bad calls better than the DUCKS. Meaning, you had some fortunate flags in the first half which kept drives alive that led to points. Additionally, you couldn't stop Stewart, Dixon, Williams, and Company from scoring at near will with the passing game mixed in with some strategic runs.

Rather than worrying about things you can't control, like poor officiating, you would be better served in spending more time on the practice field working on blocking kicks, or playing some pass defense, or clock management. For Pete's sake already, I've stripped, re-caulked, and painted 7 seams in my cedar siding since this game ended already. It's time to move on Bobby. Show some leadership and take the first step for your program. That's how I see this one. Whether or not we like it all the time, officiating is part of the game. Hopefully that won't change. Long live the men in stripes.

So what's the real problem with Oklahoma? Mandel has a few thoughts. Actually, the more I think about this game and what happened, the more I come to the conclusion that it wasn't good for PAC-10 football, specifically the brand we play in the PNW. Yep, the BIG losers this weekend were the schools of the PNW. It wasn't the DUCK's fault they won, was it? Surely not, the DUCKS took advantage of the opportunities and made the big plays when they really mattered (the catch, the block, etc...). So did Oklahoma. But that's football. Thank God this wasn't hockey where it's acceptable to have a tie game. Nope, there are usually 60 plays on offense, 60 on defense, and 20 on special teams. No game is decided just on 1 or even 2 blown calls. In his Forde Yard Dash, Pat explains what it means to lose and how to handle it going forward.

We all know about the east-coast bias that exists in the media (ESPN, SI, etc...). The reality is that most big-time programs rarely travel west of the Rockies to play quality programs that aren't named USC. Heck, most of them rarely leave their friendly confines in the month of September (cream puffs?). This outcome, specifically the controversy around the outcome, won't help those efforts when it comes time to make deals with the programs like Nebraska, Texas, LSU, Auburn, WV, Ohio State, Michigan, FSU, Miami, and Florida to name just a few. Let's move on already, for the good of the game. I applaud Oklahoma for adding Oregon to its schedule. We need more inter-conference games like this in September, not less. We need less input from college presidents on university letterhead. OU might cancel UW in 2k8.

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