2013 BCS Championship: Officials Blow Early Calls In Alabama’s Favor

Mandatory Credit: Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s one thing the Pac-12 is synonymous with, it’s have referees that could be out-reffed by flag football officials. Yet, despite their notorious reputation for being just awful at officiating, they’ve been put on the grandest stage that college football can roll out.

So what do you think happened?

Of course, not even 15 minutes into the game, the Pac-12 officials have blown two major calls that favored the Alabama Crimson Tide. The first was a sideline catch by Tyler Eifert that was called incomplete. Upon replay that showed Eifert made the catch, two referees can be seen immediately in the vicinity of the play, yet they called the pass incomplete.

This forced Notre Dame to punt, but the officials were not done making questionable calls.

The ensuing punt was bobbled by Alabama and recovered by Notre Dame. Yet, the officials called fair catch interference as a Notre Dame player was seen running very close to the punt returner. Again, replay showed there was no contact made that could have possibly forced the fumble, in fact the only contact that could be argued to have been made was incidental at that.

However, as much as Notre Dame can point to the officials for their early woes, they have to look in the mirror. You can only blame shoddy Pac-12 officiating as long as you hold your own. Right now the Irish are holding something else, and it’s not the game.

Topics: Alabama Crimson Tide, BCS Championship Game, NCAA

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  • Bob Papadazzio

    If you’re going to comment on “bad calls” it would serve you well to actually consult a damn rulebook first, you moron! TWO Notre Dame players actually committed interference on that play: #41 committed kick catch interference, and #8 committed fair catch interference.

    Per NCAA Rule Changes 2012: ” Through officiating interpretation, kick returners are provided
    protection of one yard (in front of the returner) to complete a catch
    before the kicking team is allowed to make contact.”

    At the time the ball was falling into Jones’ arms #41 was within a yard in front of Jones. Had he not been called, given the fact that Jones had signaled a fair catch, #8 was in clear violation of NCAA Rule 6-5-1-b.

    “When a Team B player makes a valid fair catch signal, the unimpeded opportunity to catch a free or scrimmage kick continues if this player muffs the kick and still has an opportunity to complete the catch. This protection terminates when the kick touches the ground. If the player subsequently catches the kick, the ball is placed where he first touched it (A.R. 6-5-1-I-II).”

    The ball had never touched the ground when #8 touched it, and thus Jones was not, per the rules, given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the ball.

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