Monday, October 3, 2011

South Carolina Got the Screw Job

South Carolina fans, if you woke up Sunday pissed off, let's drag that anger into the work week.

Quick setup - South Carolina lost to Auburn this weekend with the game finishing on a (what I would think should be more) controversial ruling that time had expired as South Carolina had gotten a first down to put themselves in field goal range. South Carolina was down three at the time.

I was watching the game, and it sure looked like there was at least one (I think two) seconds left as Bruce Ellington's knee went down to get a first down on what ended up being the final play of the game. Take a look for yourself (not my voice in the video):

Now, I am not going to defend Spurrier's clock management during that final drive. They spiked when they should have called timeout, and called timeout when they should have spiked. There are those that say, 'Well, if he had just managed the clock correctly, that last play wouldn't of been that close.' I don't buy into that crap. Yes, he mismanaged the clock. But it doesn't matter - even with the mismanagement, there still should have been 1 or 2 seconds left on the clock.

I watched Spurrier's TV show last night, and he was still hot about it. (I think they tape it Saturday nights) And I think he should be. If South Carolina gets the field goal, the game goes to overtime, maybe they win, and South Carolina stays undefeated. Or they could of still lost - totally possible. But, the Gamecocks were not given the opportunity that they earned. They played well/bad enough to be in a position to tie the game with :01 second left, and were not allowed the opportunity do it.

To this point, the SEC is standing behind the official's decision to end the game. Chuck Dunlap, at last check, is the Associate Director of Media Relations for the SEC Office. After the game, from Chuck Dunlap's Twitter account (@SEC_Chuck):
Statement regarding end of SC/AU game: According to rule 3.3.2e, when a team is awarded a first down, the game clock is stopped when the covering official gives the timeout signal. Based on review, the covering official followed proper procedure.
Okay, rule 3.3.2e you say? Well, let's give it a look:

Rule 3.3.2e
I don't necessarily see that in the rule he cites, but I am also sure that the clock does stop when a covering official gives the timeout signal. But in the rule he does cite, it does show in 3.3.2e1 that the clock stops when a team is awarded a first down.

But okay, so the guys on the field screwed up. Spurrier wasn't really pissed about that. He just wanted it reviewed. Every play in college football is reviewed, after all. Why wasn't the play reviewed?

South Carolina fans, go ahead and get ready to run your head through a wall. This is going to hurt. Because when it comes to reviews I introduce you to rule 12.3.5c:

Rule 12.3.5c
Looks to me like they check mark conditions 1, 2, and 3, and 4 doesn't apply.

Which makes me think: 1) the play should have been reviewed and 2) time should have been put back on the clock.

I've badgered Chuck Dunlap on this via twitter, but no response as of yet. I'll let you know if anything comes around. If you want to join in on questioning him on this, feel free.

Of course, nothing like this has ever happened before, right? Oh, wait...

South Carolina fans, if anyone tells you that you didn't get screwed this past weekend, well, they're lying to you.

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