They have proven that they can perform on the big stage. Proven they have nerves of steel. Proven they can win!
With the games going down to the wire both Michigan’s Tate Forcier and USC’s Matt Barkley proved they have what it takes. Of the two Barkley had more of a challenge with his team on the road at Ohio State while Forcier was at home. Both true freshman Quarterbacks however came out with important wins.
Controversy did rear it’s ugly head in each game though but eventually is was the teams that wanted the win bad enough that came out on top. I won’t go so far as to say that Big Ten officiating crews, who officiated both the Notre Dame/Michigan and USC/Ohio State games, were trying to ensure their conference had a chance in this years BCS but I’m not saying they weren’t either. If both Michigan and Ohio lost to ranked teams the Big Ten’s chances for a BCS birth would have been slim to none.
Notre Dame was penalized for ‘excessive celebration’ after scoring what seemed to be the winning conversion in a very close game. Michigan was not docked yardage however when they celebrated albeit much longer and with more people. This penalty is what gave Michigan great field position and eventually go on to score the winning touchdown. Though the controversy seemed to be more focused on the last kick off play where 2 seconds were docked off of the clock when a Notre Dame player touched the ball before it went out of bounds. There was something fishy there as well as the clock showed 10 seconds left after the play was dead, then it looked like they were going to add the extra second but then decided to dock an additional second from the clock. Granted 2 seconds in the grand scheme of things shouldn’t, and wasn’t, the deciding factor but it’s just more evidence.
In Ohio the game was reviewed many times at the start and rightfully so. As a big game for both conferences it seemed like they wanted to get the calls right from the start. There were close calls early and each deemed a review, however on a USC pass to the end zone where the receiver was real close to landing out of bounds and neither ref could decide what happened a review was not called for. The main issue was the refs in the best position to see it discussed the play for some time before finally calling it a incomplete pass. This play should’ve been reviewed but wasn’t and it gave the Buckeyes confidence that almost won them the game.
In both games the teams either won or lost the games for themselves and the calls didn’t completely effect the outcome. The calls did, however, provide a boost and in College Football that’s all a team needs to win.