But a win, as they say, is a win. It was an important one, too. It's a conference win, and it's a win over one of the better teams in the conference in their home stadium. Kudos to you, Cougars.
Rather than talk at length about the game, though, I wanted to talk about one specific play. Specifically, I want to talk about a leaping TD catch on third down by Andrew George. For those who didn't see, George made an incredible grab in the back of the end zone, and it was promptly signalled a touchdown by the referee standing 5 feet from the action.
Replay officials, however, took the catch away after almost 7 minutes of deliberation.
I was outraged, and listening to Greg Wrubell talk about it on the Cougar post-game show only made my mood worse. I remembered some other key calls where the Cougars were screwed:
- September 24, 2005: TCU running back Cory Rodgers fumbles the ball over the BYU end zone, but replay officials call it a touchdown. TCU wins 51-50.
- November 25, 2006: David Nixon hits Utah QB Brett Ratliff's arm and forces a fumble, which is recovered by Bryan Kehl and returned for a called touchdown. Replay officials overturn the call, and Utah goes on to score. (Fortunately, we won the game.)
- September 8, 2007: BYU tight end Vic So'oto catches a pass from Max Hall for a first down, and is dragged down by a UCLA defender and the ball pops loose. UCLA recovers, and despite obvious video and photographic evidence to the contrary, the call stands and UCLA wins the game.
- September 8, 2007: Max Hall leads the Cougars to the UCLA 20 yard line where he is poised to lead the Cougars to a go-ahead touchdown. He is hit from behind during a throw, however, and the call on the field is a fumble. UCLA recovers, and wins the game.
- And of course, September 29, 2007: Andrew George catches a beautiful touchdown pass, but after a 7-minute review the pass is ruled incomplete.
Before anyone lectures me on the rules of instant-replay review, let me first state that I know it takes absolute evidence to overturn a call. While I don't argue that fact for some of the cases mentioned above (the Max Hall fumble for instance), I do have to raise an eyebrow when calls are so consistently overturned in favor of BYU's opponents. Brett Ratliff's fumble, for example, could have been called either way. The call on the field, though, was a fumble and should have stayed that way unless there was INDISPUTABLE evidence to the contrary. Was there? Apparently there was, according to replay officials.
George's catch last night is just the latest in a line of iffy calls by NCAA officials against BYU. The call on the field was a touchdown, but the officials were so intent on taking it away that they had to analyze and dissect until they could find a way to negate the touchdown. A message to MWC officials: IF THERE IS A QUESTION, OR ANY DOUBT AT ALL, ABOUT A CALL, THE CALL ON THE FIELD STANDS!
Maybe this isn't just incompetence, though. Maybe this is something else all together- something dark and sinister. Mistakes are one thing, consistent mistakes are another. What do you think, readers? Is BYU the subject of a massive football official conspiracy? Are NCAA officials intent on bringing down BYU, and, in turn, the LDS church? Is the BCS system merely a puppet establishment brought on by high-ranking members of the Christian Coalition who seek to destroy the BYU institution? If so, did they create the mtn. television network?
Intriguing questions, all. Only Pete Carroll and Charlie Weis know for sure...