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SECcccc you in Atlanta and the Death of Officiating

All you can ask for is for your team have a clear path to the National Championship and that is what the Gators have this morning. With terribly overrated Penn State out of the way, if Florida wins out, they go to the BCS title game. While Boise State and Utah will have something to say about this (perhaps they can form one superconference and shut up about being left out?), the BCS championship is rightly the winners of the Big 12 and SEC; the two best conferences. Although, if the Big 12 South winner (Texas Tech, Texas or Oklahoma) gets upset in the Big 12 title game, that throws a wrench into the gears. At that point the most deserving teams would be teams who did not win their divisions or Penn State. Which means...

President-Elect Barack Obama has to step in and implement the eight-team playoff he talked about Monday on ESPN. He's not president yet, so he can't make policy decisions, but he can throw his influence around. Maybe he can get Joe Biden (who attended Delaware and the I-AA playoffs) to show off his statesman skills and bring together the superconferences. Of course, the playoff could have been another look into the Obama campaign's strategy of "no stone unturned"; apparently college football fans are more likely to go to the polls than their counterparts. What better way to get them to the polls than making a playoff as part of your platform?

More pressing right now than who is president is the horrific state of officiating in college football. In the Penn State-Iowa and UF-Vandy games, officials blew two goal line fumble calls. With Penn State, QB Daryll Clark fumbled the ball and it appeared to be recovered by Iowa in the end zone. However, the call on the field was PSU recovered at the 1. This call happened AFTER the whistle blew. Because of that, the decision of touchdown Iowa, safety Iowa, or PSU recovery was put in the hands of the replay booth. What did they do? PSU ball at the one, despite Clark only having one hand on the ball and an Iowa defender had it in his belly.

Later in the evening, Percy Harvin dove over the pile and broke the plane, apparently scoring a touchdown. But when the ball hit the goal line, it loosened in Harvin's hand, and was ripped out after the whistle should have been blown (Harvin was flat on the ground). Vandy was awarded the ball at the 20 and replay upheld the call. In both cases, officials gave the benefit of the doubt to one team, rather than assessing the actions on the field. The officials in question refused to make a call and chose to leave the decisions in the hands of the replay officials who have to decide what the officials saw. Remember, the replay officials can only overturn if they see indisputable evidence. In both questions they refused to overrule because something popped out at them (Clark's one hand on the ball, Harvin having the ball jar loose) that they assume was the reasoning for the field officials decision.

This is incredibly important because a game will turn on a decision like this. Everyone; announcers, coaches, fans, sees the play. But the officials operate in an alternate universe where logic is thrown out.