WVU vs. Cincinnati: Wanted A Good Home for Big East Officials

Scott Pauley@scott.pauleyAnalyst INovember 14, 2009

First of all, I want to take nothing away from the Cincinnati Bearcats.

I want to take nothing away from the WVU Mountaineers.

However, I want to take everything away from the Big East officiating crew for the Friday night game in Cincinnati.

This game could have ended in a very different way, with the Mountaineers on top.

The contest gets off to quite a decent start.  The officials flipped the coin and it landed.  Not a bad start, EH?

Well, that’s when the officials really showed their aspirations of working in the SEC and getting paid to help the undefeated remain undefeated.

See, I like to “just let the kids play.”  However, we often notice that the officials don’t work with that ethic.

Yes, there are times when the officials make calls that we may not see on TV or from the stands. 

The sly fox holding penalty, the double clutch snap.

Howbeit, there are many calls that make me think the guy just wants to talk on the loudspeaker.

“Look mom no hands.”

Well, at about the 5:15 mark in the second quarter, Isaiah Pead was thinking the about the same phrase as he fumbled the football before crossing the goal line, and still ending up with the touchdown.

After watching the replay of this handy-dandy play, one will see that Pead was bobbling the ball as he hurled himself into the air and attempted to reach the ball into the end zone.

The outcome—a fumble and WVU recovery.

But wait!

Cue referee with headset.

“The previous play is under review.”

No big deal.  It’s obvious that he was fumbling the ball and there is no way there is enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.

But wait! 

There is an officiating crew who hasn’t gotten enough attention, and a replay official that would like to score $30,000 from the West Virginia coaching staff.

The call on the field is overturned and Cincinnati gets a free touchdown.

“Look mom, no brain.”

Fast forward to about nine minutes left in the third quarter.  West Virginia has the ball on third down with 11 yards to go for a first down.

Jarrett Brown throws the ball to Alric Arnett.  Arnett fails to catch it.

Why does he fail to catch it? One might ask.

It seems Cincinnati’s Drew Frey had dinner with the officials.  It’s an obvious case of pass interference.

Would one of the great officials call the penalty? NO!!!

I realize the officials have a tough job and I am sure that Coach Stewart will say the same thing when asked about these blown calls.

Nevertheless, they very well may have cost the Mountaineers a victory over Cincinnati, a Big East title, and a BCS bowl berth.

Though there isn’t much that can be done about this game, one may believe there should be stricter penalties on officials.

Should they be fined when blowing calls?  Could Bill Stewart, Urban Meyer, or Nick Saban cause the NCAA to look a little closer at the bad calls?

Apparently not, it might hurt the feelings of the men in stripes.

Let the kids play ball but, let them play to win.

If a team loses, let it be because they blew the play, not the officials.


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