Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Musings

Did you have a chance to see the hose job put on Indiana this past Saturday?

Bob Kravitz of the Indiana Star calls it a Brinks Robbery.

I'm not absolving IU of guilt in this mess. They twice blew coverages, resulting in 92- and 66-yard TD passes that turned a lead into a sudden and shocking deficit.

That said, I can guarantee you the Big Ten office will make a statement later this week acknowledging several mistakes, the most notable being the overturned call on the apparent touchdown pass to Terrance Turner. I watched the replay a half-dozen times, and not once did I see the kind of indisputable evidence required to overturn a call.

If IU fans thought they got pick-pocketed at Michigan, this felt more like the Brinks robbery.

What we will never know is how well Indiana would have played out that game if they weren't fighting two foes. Do you think maybe the kids started giving up when they kept getting beat down by an opponent they are powerless against? Even replay failed them. Twice.

The flippant response is that great teams overcome bad calls. But why should that be so? Why should a team have to be good enough to overcome their opponent AND the referees? Why should bad calls continue to be a problem--even with replay? Why should lesser teams be penalized because they can't overcome the bad calls?

Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times thinks it's part of a greater conspiracy.

What the BCS can't survive is the overhanging cloud of scandal or conspiracy.

We're starting to hear whispers: I can verify the source of one of these rumors because I started it.

Pssssst: The top schools appear to be getting BCS protection from officials because it's in the best interest of the conferences for the best teams to win.

A second team in the BCS means an additional $4.5 million to conference coffers.

A conference advancing a team to the national-title game brings huge exposure and revenue to the school and the league.

In college football, one bad call can cost you everything.

He cites problems with officials in the SEC and PAC 10 as well as the Iowa-Indiana debacle.
There's no easy answer to this problem. Replay is better than no replay, but the system is still flawed. Every play is supposed to be reviewed, but not every controversial play IS reviewed. Sometimes coaches are forced to take time outs to force a replay review, and even then it might not occur. And no one seems to really know what indisputable evidence is. No one wants a four hour football game, or to continually have the flow stopped for reviews, but no fan wants their team jobbed, especially when losses can be so devastating. I know what everyone wants--they want a fairly called game. The question is, is it possible?

And in other news, Joe Battista is calling out the best student section in the country this week.

Yo, Penn State students...wake up!

I am calling out the student body at Dear Old State. In Facebook terms, I am poking you. Heck, I'm shoving you to get your attention. Yeah, that's right, “I'm mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore!”

I figure I have enough experience -- 31 years in Happy Valley as a former student-athlete, Lion Ambassador, coach, staff member and local volunteer -- to speak for the silent majority of alumni and PSU friends and fans out there.

What is going on with your attendance at our athletic events?

Most glaringly, what's with the empty seats at football games?

Are we the "Greatest Show in College Football” with the “Best Student Section" only for 8 p.m. games in good weather?

As one of those Alumin who didn't go--not because the weather fouled up the plans but because Mr. Battista and Penn State fouled up my plans by stealing my parking space--I guess I shouldn't throw snowballs stones. I guess I'll let JoeBa do that for me, especially since the NLC didn't even have the decency to answer my email.

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