Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

Foul Ups

Under the heading of “Other things that interest me.”

I’m a Georgia Bulldog.  I’m proud of my MBA from the Terry College of Business and I’m happy to say I attended school at what is arguably the most beautiful campus in the world.

I’m also a proud follower of Georgia football, so I was very excited to see formerly 14th-ranked Georgia’s game against 4th-ranked Louisiana State University on Saturday.

I was not happy with the result of that game.

Normally, I’m not one to get upset at officials, especially not the officials in the SEC.  I’m never fully happy with the calls that are made, but I understand it’s the heat of the game and while I might get mad in the moment, after reflection I’m usually pretty cool and understanding, recognizing how an official saw the play and why he did or did not make a call.

That was not the case this week.

A.J. Green caught what should have been a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass from Joe Cox, the most under-rated quarterback in the SEC.  Gerogia’s offense hadn’t really done its job in the first half of the game, and their second TD was a big accomplishment against LSU’s defense.  Like most players after a big play, A.J. celebrated.

The official thought it was too much.  He flagged Green for “Excessive Celebration,” claiming he looked at and made a gesture to the crowd.

Nobody agreed with him, not even other SEC officials.

From the New York Times:

Redding said the back judge made the call and wrote in a postgame report that Green called attention to himself after his touchdown with a gesture toward the crowd, which is deemed excessive celebration and a penalty. The back judge listed on the official scoring summary of game was Michael Watson.

Redding said the SEC reviewed the television video of the game and did not see Green make a gesture that was excessive celebration. Redding said Green seemed to be pushed out of the pile of Georgia players celebrating and was not calling attention to himself.

“We feel like the call should not have been made,” Redding said in a telephone interview Monday. “The call does not support the call that was made on the field.”

In other words, the official blew it.  The result was a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff.  Confusion about the short length of the kickoff run caused an illegal formation penalty, tacking on 5 more.  The net result was a good return, plus 20 penalty yards, put the Tigers on Georgia’s own 38 yard line instead of the Tiger’s 42 with about a minute to go.

Okay, I know the game is over, the call was made, and it’s all now in the books.  Yeah, it’s just a game and lot more important stuff is going on.  A lot of this is sour grapes, but consider:

Now, thanks to the never-ending anti-SEC bias in the polls (and still three SEC teams are ranked in the top 5!), Georgia is out of the rankings and LSU remains 4th.  For comparisson, Cincinnati hasn’t yet faced a ranked team and is ranked 8th in the AP poll.  Their blowout wins?  Rutgers (3-1), Southeast Missouri State (1-4) and Miami (OH) (0-5).  TCU, ranked 10th, has also yet to play a ranked team, its victories against Virginia (1-3), Texas State (2-2), Clemson (2-3) and and Southern Methodist (2-2).  Nebraska’s (20th) only loss is to Virginia Tech (then 13th, now 5th), but its three wins were at Florida Atlantic (0-4), Arkansas State (1-3)and Louisiana Laffayette (2-2).

Who has Georgia lost to?  Oklahoma State (3-1, then 9th, now 19th) and LSU (5-0, 4th).

Someone explain to me how these rankings, which significantly affect playing start-times and TV access and revenues, are in any way equitable or reasonable?

You can’t.  ‘Cause they’re not.

Filed under: entertainment, sports

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