On another board we were recently having the same discussion and I got blasted for this opinion, but here goes anyway.
Over the years I have coached recreational, competitive travel ball, and some high school in several sports. One thing I have always stressed to my players (and sadly asst coaches and parents) is that the only way a official gets to decide a game is if we fail to do our job. If it comes down to one call making that big of a difference then 99.99999% of the time you can point at some earlier point in a game with something we failed to execute on that had we done our job it would have made that call irrelevant. Blame the refs for the Sugar Bowl loss all you want, but if you don’t lose 22 yards on the 1st and goal play in the 1st quarter and instead have to settle for a FG the game never gets to overtime. Or don’t get the penalty on the game tying FG drive to go from 3rd and 1 to 3rd and 6 and maybe you win it in regulation.
I agree with you up to a certain point. What about Ohio St. vs Miami in the national title game—-> with the bogus late flag in OT?? It’s easy to say that Miami should have closed them out in regulation… but sometimes these calls really do affect the game.
Sure we can come up with many what ifs:
- D wilsons 22yd loss
- Our kicker getting suspended for breaking and entering before the game
- Just missing Michigans 1st td pass (it was hit or miss… it was either going to be a pick or TD… )
- Not going for the kill late in the 4th quarter instead of playing for a safe fg
- danny coales fake punt after our defense had been playing great
We could go on forever… It was a bad call. Did it cost us the game? Maybe…. maybe not… Maybe Michigan would have scored a TD too… who knows…