Monday, September 08, 2008

Six Reasons the BYU Football Game Isn't the Travesty It's Been Made Out to Be

  1. It was not a judgment call.
  2. Commentators have been saying the referees shouldn’t have taken the game out of the hands of the players, but the rule that was enforced was not a judgment call, like how much roughness is unnecessary. That’s not (Pac-Ten) referees taking the game into their own hands, that’s the player putting the game into their hands. Remember, if Washington didn’t want a penalty on the play, their quarterback should have complied with the rules.

  3. He didn’t follow the rule.
  4. The rule says he needed to hand the ball to the official or place it on the ground. He did neither. The FSN guys calling the game said players “practice celebrating in practice when they score.” Aside from how stupid this sounds, if it is true, perhaps they should practice appropriate celebrations that won’t result in penalties.

  5. It took no points off the board.
  6. This decision didn’t alter the score of the game. Usually when people complain about “referees deciding the outcome,” they mean changing the numbers on the scoreboard.

  7. A kicker should make a 25-yard attempt.
  8. And a line shouldn’t completely break down like Washington’s did. Were they unaware of their field position? Didn’t they know everything about “a lower trajectory”? So why didn’t they protect their kicker sufficiently? And most kick attempts within 30 yards have pretty high trajectories, anyway. At least, when struck correctly. The Washington line and kicker blew that attempt. A kick that close to the goal shouldn’t have been so low.

  9. BYU blocks kicks.
  10. People are talking about this like BYU needed help to block a kick. Actually, this is the second time in their last three games that they won due to blocking a kick. That’s a pretty high percentage. This outcome does more to show BYU’s special teams ability than it does to show any referee error.

  11. Overtime is not a victory.
  12. This didn’t take a victory away from Washington. It did nothing but preserve the lead BYU already had.

The real issue here? Of course I think it’s BCS bias. Should BYU go undefeated this year (which is itself an absurd requirement for consideration of invitation to games where “legitimate” teams make millions more), this game will be the fodder necessary to justify keeping BYU out of a national championship bowl. They’ll get invited to the Fiesta Bowl, to play an over-rated 8-3 team from a bloated “established” conference. Then, should BYU feel let down by their exclusion and fail to perform, the same BCS-conference apologists will call it justification. “Going undefeated out west doesn’t mean what it does here in the Big Ten/Big 12/SEC/ACC/Big East,” or any other conference that jealously guards millions of dollars, refuses championship systems that determine the champion on the field without prejudice, and generally succeeds based on its reputation of succeeding 50 years ago. Under the current system there will never again be a non-BCS-conference national champion. (Of course, if BYU threatens to finish undefeated this year, they can just try what they did in 2001 and announce before the final BYU game of the year that the outcome doesn’t matter, then call the subsequent loss justification of the decision.)

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