Wisconsin vs. Michigan State: Breaking Down Controversial Game-Ending Penalty

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIDecember 4, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 03:  Jared McGaha #75 of the Michigan State Spartans sits alone on the bench dejected after they lost 42-39 against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big 10 Conference Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The first meeting between Michigan State and Wisconsin earlier this season ended in dramatic fashion, when a final second hail mary captured the win for the Spartans.

The two met again in Saturday night's first ever Big Ten Championship Game and the teams left us with yet another dramatic ending.

This time it wasn't a play on the field, but a call by a referee that sealed the deal.

Wisconsin led 42-39 in the closing minutes of the game, only to be held by the Spartan's defense.

On fourth down the Badgers lined up to punt the ball back to the Michigan State offense, giving the Spartnas another shot at a miracle fourth quarter comeback.

This time, that didn't happen.

Michigan State fielded the punt and Keshawn Martin took off.

He took off all the way to the five yard line with almost two minutes remaining in the game. The Spartans were in position to take the win.

They may have if their wasn't laundry on the field.

Isaiah Lewis was called for running into the kicker.

To be fair, he did run into him. After a moment of hesitation, the punter took a dive to draw the penalty.

The call is by all means debatable. I'm sure it's something that will be talked about for quite some time.

Even in a normal game this kind of call raises controversy. The stage is even bigger since the winner of this game will likely be in the Rose Bowl.

There has been talks for awhile about eliminated the running into the kicker penalty due to flopping.

This event not only raises that question, but should pose further questions. Maybe players and even coaches should be penalized even further for the action of flopping.

Is it not cheating the rules of the game?

Last week in the NFL, a flop by a player was the center of controversy all week.

If we don't want people to manipulate the game this way, rules need to be made.

Maybe after this incident we will see some action taken.