Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Controversy that Wasn’t

The game of the day might have been Fresno St. at Texas A&M.

In the first overtime on the first possession, A&M kicked a field goal. With the second possession, Fresno St. completed a play-action pass to WR Marlin Moore who dove for the corner of the endzone and was called out of bounds by the official. The only problem was that he never stepped out of bounds. Instead he lost possession of the ball near the goal line. The question was whether he lost possession of the ball after crossing the plane, in which case Fresno St. won the game, or whether he fumbled the ball into the endzone where it was recovered by A&M, in which case A&M won the game. The officials would have to make the call based on the replay because replay clearly showed that the receiver did not step out of bounds. At first, the official on the field said there was no good replay and the ruling on the field stood. We then learned that the sideline cameraman was suffering from dehydration and had sat down during the last series. Doh. Finally, after several anxious moments, the official in the booth reached a decision. The replay official used the main feed and determined that the receiver was not out of bounds. Yep, we knew that. Furthermore, the receiver did fumble into the endzone, which means that Texas A&M was the winnerrrrrr… hold on a second. Apparently, there was also a roughing the passer penalty on A&M and therefore Fresno St. had a first down anyway. Wow.

Actually, I saw the flag on the initial play, so I have to say that the officials actually got everything correct, but it was still the biggest replay drama I have ever seen. Literally, the call on the field could not stand, so the weird replay angle had to decide the winner of the game, until we learned about the flag. You could just see the switchboard light up with A&M callers claiming that the game was rigged after the penalty came flying in. You could just imagine the controversy if A&M was just outside the BCS bowl picture because of a low computer ranking. And then, a funny thing happened. Fresno St. had to settle for a FG too, and the game was not decided until the third overtime when Fresno St. could not convert a tying 2 point conversion and Texas A&M won by 2 points. So in the end Texas A&M wins and there is no controversy.