UPDATE: The Big East issued this statement from the conference office Saturday evening.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Sept. 24, 2011) -- BIG EAST Conference coordinator of football officiating Terry McAulay has issued the following statement, with regard to a play in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s football game between Syracuse and Toledo.
"After studying the videos of the Syracuse extra point attempt at 2:07 of the fourth quarter, we have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling. In reviewing the video, we have determined that the angle from behind the kicking team shows conclusively that the ball passes outside the right upright.
Our review of the process determined that the replay official mistakenly focused his attention on the sideline angle, which proved to be distorted. We are confident that our officiating staff will learn from this situation in order to prevent a reoccurrence. "----------------------------------
One thing the 2011 season had been blessedly free of through its first three weeks was a major officiating controversy. So it's a shame that all good things do come to an end.
The scene: in a back-and-forth game against Toledo, Syracuse scores a touchdown with 2:07 remaining to go ahead 29-27 on the visiting Rockets. Ross Krautman lines up for the extra point. The kick is signaled good, but the call goes to the booth. And then this happens:
We'll offer a modicum of forgiveness for the official on the field, who at least has the excuse of the ball whizzing over his head at an high rate of speed. But this blogger doesn't believe he's ever seen a more glaring example of indisputable evidence than the ball remaining in view during the entire replay, which means that according to nothing less than the laws pf physics which govern the universe as we know it, there is no possible way the ball passed inside the left upright.
It would have been nice for the Rockets if this stunning display of incompetence hadn't affected the outcome. But of course the Rockets drove for a field goal on the final play of regulation--a field goal that should have given them a deserved 30-29 victory. Instead it only took them to overtime, where Austin Dantin threw an interception on the Rockets' first play of OT, dooming them to the 33-30 loss.
We want to give the officials the benefit of the doubt, we really do. But sometimes there's just nothing to say other than: this was a terrible, terrible mistake, and this result is terribly, terribly unfair to Toledo. A suspension or reprimand is no doubt coming for the replay official -- you did watch the video, right? -- but we doubt that's going to make the Rockets feel any better.