Officials Involved In Two Controversial Finishes In Two Weeks; League Defends Cal-Ole Miss Calls
The Pac-12, home of a series of mid-tier teams but no elite ones, may have finally stumbled upon a formula to improve its national perception.
That is to staff road out-of-conference games with its referees, thereby almost ensuring victory for the league.
Pac-12 officials have long been loathed by fans of schools in that conference for their poor and blown calls. Now the refs are taking their act on the road and it’s helping their teams.
A blown call for not flagging a player jumping over a lineman on a final field goal attempt helped enable Arizona State to beat Michigan State (although Sparty’s non-existent offense certainly played a large contributing role in the outcome) and not reviewing what appeared to be a touchdown in the final seconds helped Cal hold off Ole Miss.
The Pac-12 admitted the mistake against Michigan State but stood firm in its call against Ole Miss. Well, somewhat anyway; here’s part of the statement it released on why the controversial play was not reviewed:
“The Conference acknowledged that Instant Replay should have used better judgement to stop play for a formal review of the third down play. Had there been a formal review, and by using all available broadcast video, there was no irrefutable video evidence that the ruling short of the goal line on the pass play could be overturned to a touchdown and the call on the field of no touchdown would have stood.”
“Everyone knows it should’ve been buzzed to be reviewed,” Ole Miss Head Coach Matt Luke said. “That’s obvious.”
The conference of the visiting teams usually provide officials for non-conference games, by the way.
With almost exclusive league play taking over the schedules now, the Pac-12 refereeing issues are the Pac-12’s problem.