12-1 isn't as good as 13-0. But MAC referees aren't as good as advertised.
You might call me a homer and you might say I'm biased... And you'd be right.
The entire dynamic of the game changed when the referees called MiQuale Lewis', reviewed, and recalled his touchdown incorrectly, the "dropped" pass, that again was incorrectly reviewed, and again when they missed a call on a defensive pass interference. But did the refs cost BSU this game?
Short answer, yes.
When MiQuale Lewis rushed into the endzone, it put Ball State up 24-14, and all momentum was with the Cardinals. Life was good. I saw a replay on the screen, and it confirmed what I saw, touchdown Lewis.
But then it happened. The ref overturned the call. What?! How did this happen? The ball was clearly over the plane of the goal!!!
The problem wasn't solely the refs, and I won't completely place blame on them since the team fumbled four times, and had two of them returned for touchdowns. I refuse to say the Bulls earned this though.
The Cardinals had seven points removed off the board, and then Buffalo had seven points handed in the gift wrapped fumble. From that point, the game changed.
I can't explain how exactly it happened, but the team was different after the fumble. As surprised as I was to see the horrid reffing, I was still not as shocked at how it kept recurring.
There was the "incomplete" pass to Briggs Orsbon. The ball never hit the ground. The momentum for BSU was again slashed.
As a player streaked down field (I can't remember who), there was a Bull that tackled him around the seven-yard line, and then the ball hit at the 2. The game was over.
I never lost faith. I never thought Ball State would lose that game, but no matter how hard we tried, the refs kept handing the game back to Buffalo.
The Cardinals played hard, but fell short of the 13-0 mark, but if you root for BSU, you need be proud of the fact that they played well in spite of the fact that 3 blown calls sucked the life out of this team.
And don't forget the bowl game. I'll see you there.