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A 22 minute replay in D-1 football, are you kidding me?

We didn't think it was possible for a replay official to hold a football game up 22 minutes while he tries to sort out his own error; but yes, that can happen if you play in the WAC.  

The unfortunate guys who had to witness this debacle were the players, coaches and fans of Louisiana Tech and Hawaii this past Saturday. 

The quick run down is this...Hawaii coach Greg McMackin called a timeout before the snap on a 3rd down play. On the field, the refs granted the timeout but the players played the play. Thus, on the field, after the timeout, the refs properly had everything lined up for 3rd down.  Incomplete pass...and thus now it's 4th down.  Punt and now it's LA Tech's ball.  All correct.

Now here's the problem. The brilliant guy up in the box thought the original 3rd down play counted.  Then he thought the timeout occurred after that play (wrong). He then saw the incomplete pass which he though occurred on 4th down.  He then saw the punt which he thought was on a 5th down (wrong again).  He buzzed the crew and said he needed to review the sequence because he thought Hawaii had just had 5 downs.

We're not making this part up.  This guy, the replay official, then held the game up 22 minutes while trying to sort this out.

McMackin said he spoke with the refs on the field and they all were on the same page and knew there was no issue; but the guy upstairs was confused...for 22 minutes. 

The score was 13-6 Hawaii at the time.  After the delay, Hawaii went on a 28-7 run and wound up winning 44-26.

Not that it helps anything; but yesterday (on Tuesday...yes they waited until Tuesday) WAC commissioned Karl Benson apologized for what he called an "excessive" delay.  Really.  On Tuesday.  We're fairly sure Sonny Dykes said, "Thanks Karl. That really means a lot."  

Below you will find video of Sonny Dykes at halftime speaking to ESPN's crew about the call. We are going to keep the video of Dykes' reaction to Benson's statement on Tuesday in the FootballScoop vault.


1 guy, 3 picks in 6 plays

All we can say is "wow".  Oklahoma defensive back Tony Jefferson had a record setting day on Saturday against Ball State.

Jefferson intercepted Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning (who had 176 straight attempts without throwing an interception) three times on consecutive series...the first time that has been done in OU history. 

As crazy as that is, he actually had a shot at 4 for 4...the next time Ball State got the ball, Jefferson had one glance off his hands. Regarding that fourth opportunity, Jefferson said he dropped it because he was already thinking about making a spin move and taking it to the house. 

Watch this clip...between the 0:47 mark and the 1:47 mark you can see all three picks and what should have been the 4th.



Holgorsen unloads on the fans for not showing up

Weekly presser this morning for Dana Holgorsen.  Standard stuff for the first 13 minutes as the fuse burned; but at the 14 minute mark he exploded.

Holgorsen let the local fans (and students) have it for not showing up this past weekend when the Mountaineers hosted Bowling Green (62k showed for the LSU game, 46k for Bowling Green).  

Video is available at the bottom; but the streaming from the site that captured it is not very good (or in Holgorsen's verbiage...it's stinks...hey, the man calls it like he sees it). 

Most of his quotes on the topic follow:

"You came into last week, where you've got all kinds of excuses not to play well. Like, had to cancel the Mantrip, we had bad weather, it was cold. It was wet," he said. "The environment was terrible. It was relatively early -- maybe you didn't respect your opponent. No matter what the excuses were, our players didn't buy into it. But obviously our fan base did. So whatever our expectations are with our players as far as preparing every week and going to the game and playing their best, I highly encourage our students and our support to take the same approach. You only get seven opportunities a year. What's so hard about it? Is it too cold? It wasn't too cold for our players. It wasn't too cold for our coaches or managers or trainers. They were out there. So why did we have 20,000 people less at this one than we did last week?

"The funny part about it, we're all talking two weeks ago about how much difference the crowd's going to make to the LSU people. Well, LSU played well in front of 62,000 of our people and then turned around and went home and played a 1-4 Kentucky team at noon and had 95,000 people there. You want to talk about an elite program, that's one. I don't know about this place."

"I'm new here. I just call it like I see it. I'm just going to go ahead and say what I think. This off-season I did go out there and beat the drum. I talked about how important it is to our athletic department and our players and our coaches to have support. All I heard about was how much this meant to everybody across the state of West Virginia. This was the NFL team in town and we're going to be here to support you. Well, having 40,000 people at a game isn't doing that....We do our best every week to fix what the problems are offensively, defensively and special teams wise. Well what's everybody across the state of West Virginia, including the student body, doing to fix the fact that our players had to play in front of 40,000 people.

"We have a conference game coming up this week. It's at noon. I can give you some excuses now: Playing a team that's 2-3. Well, they should be 5-0. Playing at noon. Well, who cares? Get up. Mantrip's at 9:45. Are we going to have a good crowd or are we going to have nobody there? Is the weather going to be 85 and sunny or 25 and snowing? It really doesn't matter because the coaches and players and trainers and everybody else is going to be there. That's what our job is. What's the support people's job?"



Paul Johnson: I had to flame-spray them

If you want to see an animated coach, Paul Johnson's press conferences are probably not for you.

But with that said, he tends to give good insight into his thinking about his team. 

At this morning's presser, Johnson mentioned that he didn't think his team played well in their 45-35 win over NC State on Saturday and said that he didn't think they had practiced well last week either.  

A reporter asked Johnson if he could tell last week that they weren't practicing well or if he realized it after the fact, Johnson's response, "I could and I got after them accordingly.  They will tell you that there was more than one occasion that they got flame-sprayed in practice last week...I'm a firm believer that you play like you practice most of the time and we're we just not sharp and that's how we played."  

The Yellow Jackets are 5-0 and Johnson says this is a fun bunch to be around.  "They genuinely like each other...They've tried to get better.  They want to be good.  That's fun to coach...if somebody is willing to work hard and do things then you want to work hard with them and get them to be as good as they can be."


Did the refs get the call right (Aub. vs. South Carolina)

According to SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw they did get the call right.  Screen_Shot_2011-10-04_at_2.34.04_PM

Here's what happened.  Down by 3 (16-13), South Carolina was driving. South Carolina did not have any timeouts remaining. Bruce Ellington caught a pass and was tackled at the 30 yard line (well beyond the first down marker). On TV (and in the pic to the right...which is very small), there appeared to be 2 seconds on the clock when he went down. 

On the field, the refs did not appear to signal to stop the clock (for the first down) until there was no time remaining and thus the game ended.  Spurrier was slightly animated calling for a replay. The refs ruled the game over and that was the end.

After the game, the SEC put out the following statement:

According to rule 3.3.2e, when a team is awarded a first down, the game clock is stopped when the covering official gives the timeout signal. Based on review, the covering official followed proper procedure.

Today, Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News reached out to Shaw to see if he would elaborate on the explanation that the refs got it right.

Here's the relevant part of the exchange between Solomon and Shaw:

Shaw said today there is "no question" Ellington's knee was down with one second left. The question then becomes how reasonable it can be humanly expected for the covering official to signal for a timeout because of the first down.

"The covering official very quickly squared it off, got the mark, recognized it was beyond the first-down marker and started to stop the clock," Shaw said. "But when his arm first made a movement, the clock was at 0:00. That is what the replay guy sees."

NCAA rules allow for the replay official to correct "egregious" errors, including those involving the game clock.

"Let's say (Ellington) hit the ground with five or six seconds left and our crew did not stop the clock, that's an egregious error," Shaw said. "This one was not. The covering official is very, very quick stopping the clock. He was dead on. There was perfect protocol by the covering official. That's why no time was added."

Shaw said the Auburn-South Carolina ending differed from the Texas-Nebraska finish at the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game. In that game, a Big 12 crew put one second back on the clock for the Longhorns to kick the winning field goal and reach the BCS Championship Game.

"That was an incomplete pass where you look to see when the ball hit the ground," Shaw said.

Some of you have asked why the replay official did not look at the Auburn-South Carolina finish. Shaw said the play was "absolutely" reviewed, but because people were pouring on the field, the replay official was only prepared to hit the buzzer signaling a stoppage if the play was overturned.

"Trust me, our replay guy was intently focused on the play and looking at it," Shaw said. "In this case, a coach (Steve Spurrier) was out of timeouts and couldn't challenge the play, but it's still being reviewed. What we tell officials is if it's 0:00 (on the clock) and the score is eight points or less, the crew will head to where they're going to leave but they won't leave.

"They'll sit there and the replay guy will come down on walkie-talkie and say, 'I've looked at it, we're not stopping it, you're free to go.' That's what happened here. Our ref had a conversation with Coach Spurrier while waiting."


The above photo came from 30fps.mocksession.com


Hail to the victors

Dave Brandon, Michigan's athletic director and former CEO of Domino's Pizza, is running his athletic department like a business.  

He has completely revamped the department including adding approximately 10 new staffers in athletics marketing. 

Further, we have just seen the deal that Brandon struck as part of the agreement to play Alabama in the season opener next year in Dallas....

Michigan will receive $4.7 million for playing in the game.  They also get 200 tickets, two luxury boxes and one field level suite.  Oh, and did we mention massive national TV exposure compliments of ESPN?  

Dave deserves a bonus.


Harbaugh still rollin in coach

Jim Harbaugh left the college ranks this past offseason for the glitz of the NFL.  His introductory presser was filled with bling.  In truth, it felt awkward.  Didn't feel like a Jim Harbaugh event.

Well, this morning we saw a note that described the 49ers flight back to San Fran after their win Sunday over the Eagles (the Niners are now 3-1 and leading the NFC West by two games).

The players and coaches board the flight back to the west coast.  Harbaugh's seat is up front in first class.  What does Jim do, he goes and finds his big center Jonathan Goodwin and trades seats with him...Goodwin to first class, Harbaugh moves back to coach.  

He spends the five hour flight watching some of the tape, walking around, talking up the players.  That's how Harbaugh rolls.

If you have a few minutes and want to read up on how Jim and John grew up, read the article.  It will give you an interesting take on hard work and perhaps a lesson on the values you want to instill in your kids.

Zook does his best Allen Iverson impression

We all recall AI's SportsCenter highlight, "I supposed to be the franchise player; and we in here talkin'bout practice. We talkin about practice...practice?"

Zook, unfortunately, had to go the same route yesterday when a reporter asked him about something that happened during a spring practice. Yes, you read that right, the guy asked him about something that occurred at practice 6 months ago.

Zook: "You asking me a question about the Spring? [gratuitous eye-roll]" If only he had added, "We talking about practice?"

Well done Coach, well done indeed. 


AI's infamous, "We talkin'bout practice?"