Pac 10 Beats SEC

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. The Pac 10 is actually quite terrible this year outside of USC. No, the Pac 10 conference office got it right by suspending the entire officiating crew including replay officials for the debacle versus Oklahoma.

On the other hand, the SEC office claims that the calls made in the LSU vs. Auburn game were the correct calls. However, anyone who witnessed the game including virtually everyone working for CBS acknowledged that the waive-off of the pass interference call was incorrect. The office didn’t express an opinion on a handful of other calls, which were questionable at best.

The series of questionable calls all going against LSU included the following:
1 – Jacob Hestor catches the ball, turns his body, takes a step, and halfway through his second step has the ball knocked out. The ball rolls out of bounds. Ruling – completion fumbled out of bounds – later overturned by the replay booth and ruled an incomplete pass. Reality – this was a fourth down play that would have given the Tigers a first down inside Auburn’s red zone. He clearly had possession but to over-rule the on the field call is egregious.

2 – David Irons wraps his arms around LSU’s Brandon Lafell, who was standing in the end zone waiting for a pass. Ruling – no flag. Reality – BOTH Lafell’s arms were pinned at his sides and the pass bounces harmlessly off Lafell’s chest – an obvious penalty.

3 – This call didn’t have material impact since Auburn’s Vaughn went on to miss another field goal; however, it is quite ironic given ruling #1 above. Auburn WR “catches� the ball near his leg. LSU’s Landry makes contact as the ball arrives. Auburn WR falls to the ground as ball comes out. Ruling – Miraculously this was ruled a catch. Reality – If by some miracle, the Auburn WR had possession, which is doubtful as starting to fall on your ass doesn’t constitute a football move, he did not maintain possession all the way to the ground. The ball was loose prior to his butt making contact. At best it was an incomplete pass; at worst it should have been a fumble and LSU’s ball.

4 – Early Doucet leaps into the air to catch a pass on 4th down late in the 4th quarter. Auburns DB grabs his legs. Ruling – flag thrown for interference – later waived off as no foul because the ball was tipped. Reality – the foul unquestionably occurred before the ball was tipped. Would have given LSU first and 10 well inside the red zone. SEC office response – call was correct because the tipped pass became uncatchable after the ball was tipped.

The game had numerous other questionable calls including a series of no calls on late hits, a holding call on an LSU tackle who was wearing a cast on the offending hand, and an interception overturned by a pass interference call on LSU (that one actually was probably the correct call but not if the same standard was applied as #4 above).

On #4, I won’t claim to know the NCAA rules inside and out. The explanation by the SEC officials seems both aloof and unlikely. I would love for someone with a greater understanding of the rules to comment; however, if blocking the ball out of the way can negate a pass interference call, wouldn’t that change the way the game is played?

Despite the horribly bad calls and the unapologetic SEC officials, LSU still should have won the game and ultimately only have themselves to blame. LSU out-gained Auburn 311 to 182. Auburn’s only real advantages were in the punting game and the rushing game on their scoring drive. LSU’s defense was unbelievably dominant for the rest of the game. Russell looked very good except on the final two drives. A better pass would have made the interference issue a mute point, and on the last drive, had he not taken a sack, the Tigers would have had at least one shot at the end zone from inside the 10. Still, LSU’s last two trips to Auburn have been marred by apparent “home-cooking�. In 2004, on the way to Auburn’s undefeated season, in addition to at least two other suspect rulings on Auburn’s final scoring drive, Auburn was given a second attempt after missing an extra point based on a dubious application of a little known and new rule. Again, LSU never should have been in that position anyway, but they had previously missed their own extra point making way for yet another questionable Auburn victory.

'06 Football General NCS Football

21 Responses to Pac 10 Beats SEC

  1. class of 74 09/19/2006 at 6:28 AM #

    Obviously I don’t have a dog in this fight but that was the worst call in the LSU -Auburn game I’ve seen in a long time. And to think that could be the difference in a national championship year for one of those two teams is downright criminal. It’s tough to be a Wolfpack fan right now but I’d be angrier if I were an LSU Tiger at this moment.

  2. StateFans 09/19/2006 at 7:06 AM #

    I saw some other calls/non-calls (late hit on Auburn that should have been called was the most blatant) that went against LSU. I must agree that it wasn’t pretty.

  3. xcharbo 09/19/2006 at 7:17 AM #

    I’m sorry, but I must agree with the officials on the late pass interference call. They stated that the tip was not the action that made the call and no-call, but it was the fact the tip made the ball uncatchable. Rules are rules, pass interference is only called for two reaseons:

    1- the ball was CATCHABLE and the receiver was improperly touched by the defender before the arrival of the ball.

    2- the Tarholes are at 4 and forever, chuck the ball. A NC State player gets close, say within 10 yards, of the receiver. Bam! a flag.

    As to the LSU thing, the right call would have been defensive holding, but the refs backed themselves into a corner by making the original call. They can’t change it. That was the call and only it can only be corrected by putting the flag back into their pocket. If they had called holding, a whole different story.

  4. vtpackfan 09/19/2006 at 7:51 AM #

    Didn’t watch the SEC game, but caught all of the last 1:13 of Oregon vs. Oklahoma and have an issue with how the officials comminicated the calls, but no issue with the outcome. The onside kick from all the camera anlgle show conclusively that the kicking team touched the ball first IMHO (call went that receiving team first touched ball, thus ruling out the ball having to go 10 yards first). What I saw was that there was not sufficient evidence that the ball hadn’t already gone 10 yards. The Oregon player leaped at about the 42 and a half yard line, and the player looks like he should go out for track or the basketball team (he was way up there, a huge vert.) The CBS announcers were horrible at proclaiming that they had overly conclusive evidence that the play should have been overturned because the ball had not reached the 40 before the Oregon player touched. They were complete ass holes about it. They should also be served a suspension for having terrible commination skills IMO. Bottom line is that they don’t have a photo finish at the 40, it was to close to overule, but they botched the call by saying that a Sooner touched it first thus taking them off the hook at looking more closely at the area the ball was in (photo finish is not a runnin’ picture so that would be a moot point anyway, right).
    The call that was later reviewed was also blown by the communication. The defender held on to the receivers jersey after five yards, the receiver broke his route and the ball was thrown and then tipped by a linebacker. I know from doing football games as an official for the NCHSAA that all bets are off when a ball was tipped, but the back judge threw his hankie when he saw the illegal contact by a defender before the ball was thrown. The officials blew the call once again by commicating that pass interference occured and that no evidence showed conclusively a tipped ball. Bad ruling but a fair call in both cases, IMHO.
    Honestly, I’m never watching another ABC wideworld of sports college footdall game know that Keith Jackson is gone. These two jack asses should have been cut to a commercial during the replay faze.

  5. BoKnowsNCS71 09/19/2006 at 9:10 AM #

    Under the same scenarion at CF — the call woudl go to the opponents anyway. We get no home field advantage. And home field advantage was what Auburn got.

  6. class of 74 09/19/2006 at 10:01 AM #

    The LSU reciever was being tackled with the ball in the air prior to the tipping of the ball. At very least, defensive holding was the correct call if not interference.

  7. packbackr04 09/19/2006 at 10:09 AM #

    how about suspending the officials that made the call for the Zips??? wheres our redemption?

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 09/19/2006 at 10:21 AM #

    The Zips had home field advantage. 😉

  9. LSUTigerFan 09/19/2006 at 10:42 AM #

    More evidence it was a penalty.

    Isn’t holding typically (or only) called prior to the ball being in the air?

  10. WilmingtonWolf05 09/19/2006 at 11:22 AM #

    Anyone else feel like we should send massive amounts of pacifiers and other baby gear to Oklahoma? State got screwed on a game changing call, and we didn’t go whining to the ACC for the game to be STRICKEN from the records. I’m sorry but that’s taking it a bit too far.

    Oklahoma, Man up and deal with your refball.

  11. redfred2 09/19/2006 at 1:46 PM #

    On the other hand, if the ball is the air, the defender is already in contact with the receiver (BEFORE) the ball is tipped on down the field, not at the line of scrimage, which looked to be the case to me, what would the tip have to do with it?

    If that is the case, a cover man can do anything, as long as he gets his hand on the ball just before it reaches the receiver’s hands.

  12. LSUTigerFan 09/19/2006 at 3:04 PM #

    redfred2, I agree exactly. Especially if you look at the stills in the link above, it is clear that the only reason our receiver didn’t have a play on the ball was because he was being held WAY before the tip occurred. The Auburn DB had him by the arm prior to his tackling of our receiver while the ball is in the air. If that’s legal, as the SEC office contends, then the proper way to play pass defense is to have one DB tackle the receiver and the other DB tip the ball far enough away so its “uncatchable”.

    Horrible call and after seeing the stills, it is much worse than I initially realized. If our WR wasn’t already being held, he gets to the ball first, and the only way the other DB gets into the play is by interfering as well.

  13. redfred2 09/19/2006 at 4:14 PM #


    Actually, if the rule is interpreted like some are saying here, then the immediate coverage man only has to touch the ball while he’s mauling the receiver he’s covering.

    The interference penalty occurred before the tip, which was way down field anyway and in close proximity and plain view of the foul as it happened.

    Terrible call.

  14. WolfPup35 09/19/2006 at 5:32 PM #

    The calls (or non calls) in both of those games were absolutely inexcusable, and it just proves that the IR system in college football needs a serious overhaul. It also proves that the opthalmalogical coverage for NCAA officials is really lacking…..FREE CONTACTS FOR THE ZEBRAS!!!

  15. WolfPup35 09/19/2006 at 5:35 PM #

    Oh, yeah, I forgot one very important comment…Auburn…..LSU….both from the SEC. From what I can recall, it’s really very rare to hear anything about any SEC team without the statement being preceded by….
    “The NCAA is investigating…”

  16. LSUTigerFan 09/19/2006 at 5:58 PM #


    That must be because the SEC allows partial qualifiers:)

  17. WolfPup35 09/19/2006 at 6:15 PM #

    NO NO NO……NON QUALIFIERS!!! You know that the SEC has some kind of Hush Fund that is spread equally among the member institutions. Either that or some mafia guy named mr fingers or the chainsaw quickly puts a stop to anyone asking questions.

  18. vtpackfan 09/19/2006 at 8:15 PM #

    ” if the ball is the air, the defender is already in contact with the receiver (BEFORE) the ball is tipped on down the field, not at the line of scrimage, which looked to be the case to me, what would the tip have to do with it?”
    Red, this is precisely what happened in the OU vs. UO game seconds after the on side kick call. I mentioned that I was a line judge for one year for NCHSAA. I failed to mention that I had to take a test that year a scored very poorly (JV was the highest level I was allowed to officiate). I don’t know the ruling on this kind of play, it may very well be that a tipped pass results in nullifying any illegal contact or pass interference. My haunch is that the latter is in fact true but that any holding or impedence of a receiver after the five yard window would result in a penalty if the ball had not been forwardly lateralled yet, tip or no tip. But I just don’t know.

  19. WolfPup35 09/19/2006 at 9:12 PM #

    One question about your officiating experience… was the vision coverage??

  20. vtpackfan 09/20/2006 at 7:47 AM #

    ^Pup, really no benny’s to speak off. The pay was lousy the traveling hectic so if you are (were) interested in second career as football official but have yet to secure vision or dental issurance I’d advise to look elsewhere.

  21. redfred2 09/22/2006 at 11:02 AM #

    I love a man who won’t shut up when he knows he’s right.

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