The Peterson inception that was reviewed and still called wrong, Bama going 10 games without a holding pentality called, the 7-3 Lsu v. Au game where the cornor back kicks the reciever in the end zone and the fumble that was called incomplete, the 10-9 Auburn Lsu game with the call I had never seen before that game and have never seen since that game. I watched 4 plays in the Bama v Mich game and there was a facemask not called, pass interfearance (lead to the interception) and hold call in 3 of the 4 plays. Florida and Teabow getting terrible calls in their favor against Miss St. The film doesn't lie, but Slive does! The office needs desperatly to be moved out of Birmingham. Bamers would be screaming bloody murder if the office was in New Orleans!
If you read this site, you know that we’re not big on ref-bashing. Those guys have tougher jobs than most anyone in the stands concedes. And for all the talk of “the SEC’s officials are the worst,” you can check the messageboards in other leagues and find that everyone feels their referees are poor. It’s part of fandom.
Well, on Saturday night, one SEC official did appear to goof and give Alabama a first down when the Tide ballcarrier appeared to be about a yard shy of the first down marker. Not the yellow line, but the marker.
Listen to this fan’s video of his own super-slow-mo version of ESPN’s coverage and you’ll find that he feels the official intentionally mismarked the spot of the ball because he was in Tuscaloosa:
Ah, ha! Proof that the SEC cheats for Alabama, right?
Wrong. Bad spots happen in football. Bad calls happen in football. They happen in every game, in every stadium.
Whoever is on top of the SEC at a given time is usually accused of being aided by the SEC’s refs. In basketball, you don’t know the number of emails we receive regarding Kentucky basketball. Yet, when we’ve done research and charted the homecourt advantages in the SEC over several seasons, we’ve never found Rupp Arena to have much influence on the number of fouls called on UK’s opponents. When we’ve posted those stats, the response has usually been, “Yeah, but the big calls go to Kentucky and all the little ones are made the other way to cover up the big ones.”
Getting back to Alabama, here’s the most penalty yardage count from last year’s Game of the Century (Part One) in Tuscaloosa: LSU gave up 56 penalty yards, Alabama gave up 73. Seems that the Tide was hurt more by penalties than the Tigers despite playing at home.
Now, if you’re a believer that the SEC and its officials cheat on behalf of the Crimson Tide (or some other team), there’s no way to change your mind. You’re going to believe that and that’s your right.
But here’s hoping there are more folks out there who realize that bad spots and bad calls will happen over the course of every game. Only now is every game televised and only now do we have the technology to capture the video, slow it down, add our own commentary and graphics and then post our “findings” to millions of people via YouTube or messageboards.
Our standard view: You gotta be better than the refs. That doesn’t mean the SEC shouldn’t strive for perfection (and they’ll tell you that they do). But if a team doesn’t want a game to be left in the hands of an official, that squad needs to play so well that it isn’t left in the officials’ hands. (And I had to remind myself of that point when my Patriots lost to the Ravens a week ago in NFL action. Gotta be better than the refs.)
For the record, Alabama won Saturday’s game with Ole Miss 33-14.