My NCAA Football Top 25 – Week 6

RK (LW) School Comment
1 1 Oklahoma The Sooners have been averaging nearly 50 points per game but I doubt they keep that up, facing Texas this week.
2 2 Missouri The Tigers average 53.4 points per game. Their game against Oklahoma State this week should be fun to watch.
3 4 Alabama The Tide barely beat Kentucky 17-14, but Glen Coffee looked very impressive.
4 3 Louisiana St. LSU is coming off a BYE week and hopes to hand florida their second loss.
5 5 Texas The Longhorns average nearly 4 sacks per game and only give up 52 yards per game on the ground. Something has to give this week when they play Oklahoma.
6 6 Pennsylvania St They travel to Wisconsin this week, and the Badgers will be looking for redemption after two straight losses.
7 8 Texas Tech The Red Raiders are averaging over 48 points per game and get the Cornhuskers at home this week.
8 7 Brigham Young BYU is on a roll and doesn’t look to slow down any time soon.
9 9 Georgia Tennessee comes to town for a warm up game before the Bulldogs face Vandy, LSU and florida in three straight weeks.
10 11 Southern California The Trojans should finish the season with just the one loss. The question is will they?
11 19 Vanderbilt 5-0 for the first time since World War II.
12 13 florida LSU comes to town this week. Go Tigers.
13 14 Ohio St. The Buckeyes get Purdue this week and then have to face Michigan St and Penn St.
14 15 Utah I said it in Week 1. The Utes are good.
15 16 Boise St. 35-1 at home since 2003. That’s amazing.
16 20 Oklahoma St. Third in the country in scoring with 52.6 per game, behind only Mizzou (53.4) and Tulsa (56.4). We could see 100 points scored in their game against Mizzou this week.
17 21 Virginia Tech The Hokies have bounced back from the loss in their season opener and none of their remaining opponents are currently ranked.
18 10 South Florida We’ll see how well the Bulls can bounce back from a disappointing loss.
19 17 Kansas The Jayhawks came back from being down 20 points against Iowa St, which is the third biggest comeback in school history.
20 25 Wake Forest Clemson comes to town this week. The Tigers lead the all-time series 20-9-1 but the Demon Deacons should have the upper hand this time.
21 NR North Carolina Butch Davis has his team on track and should be able to beat Notre Dame this weekend.
22 26 Michigan St. Javon Ringer is a stud.
23 12 Auburn Auburn is 104th in the nation in yards per game at 322.3 and 103rd in scoring at 18.7.
24 30 Ball St. The Cardinals look like they could run the table.
25 28 Tulsa As I mentioned before the Golden Hurricane leads the nation in scoring with 56.4 points per game.

Others to note:
26 NR Illinois
27 18 Wisconsin
28 NR Northwestern
29 NR Pittsburgh
30 29 Kentucky

NFL Games Being Decided By Officiating Mistakes

Is it just me, or does it seem like there have been some blown calls in this year’s NFL season that have greatly impacted that outcome of a game? I can think of at least 4 games off the top of my head that have had this happen. Either by keeping a team’s game winning drive alive or by changing the momentum of the game. I started thinking about this when the Vikings beat the Saints last night by just three points. I bring up that it was only three points because if it had been many more than that, then I don’t think it would have made a difference.

What I’m talking about is the missed facemask call on Chad Greenway when he forced a Reggie Bush fumble that ended a promising drive for the Saints in the second quarter. As soon as the final whistle of that game was blown, my thoughts took me immediately back to that play. Not only did that play end a drive for the Saints that was sure to end up in at least three points, but it also changed the momentum of the game. It was Bush’s second fumble and it seemed to me that it took a little while for him to bounce back from that.

Now if this had been the first time this season that I had a thought like this, then I probably would have disregarded it and moved on with life. However there are a few other games that jumped to the front of my mind and it intrigued me enough to write about it. The most recent of which happened just the day before the Saints-Vikings game.

With less than six minutes left in the Titans-Ravens game on Sunday, the Ravens led the Titans 10 to 6. The Titans were facing a 3rd & 10 on their own 20. Kerry Collins dropped back and threw an incompletion on a pass intended for Justin McCareins. The Titans would have had to punt, but a roughing the passer penalty called on Terrell Suggs kept the Titans drive alive, and they marched down the field and scored a touchdown. That drive turned out to be the game winning drive. The reason I bring this game up is because that rouging the passer call was a little ticky-tack, and by ticky-tack I mean Suggs hand hit Collins on the shoulder right after Collins had thrown the ball. Not only that, it actually looks like he was pushed into Collins by the Titan that was blocking him. Either way it gave the Titans their game winning drive.

Going back to Week 3, with less than 30 seconds left the Colts were leading the visiting Jaguars by a score of 21 to 20, because of a drive where Peyton Manning had just driven down the field and scored a touchdown with just over a minute left in the game. About 40 seconds later (game time) the Jaguars were facing a 4th & 1 on their own 29, with 29 seconds left. David Garrard threw a pass to Reggie Williams that was low and behind the intended target and fell incomplete. There was another ticky-tack flag, but this time it was on the Colts. Pass interference was called on Freddy Keiaho, keeping the Jaguars drive alive, and they went down and kicked a field goal to win the game. If it were just this flag that had altered the game, I would have just said it was a close call, that could have gone either way. But looking back to a play that occurred about two-thirds of the way through the second quarter when Rashean Mathis intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning and returned it all the way for a touchdown. The problem here is that Mathis clearly should have had a pass interference penalty called on him, especially when you consider how easily they threw the flag for pass interference on Keiaho. This was a huge momentum swing in the game, because at this point the Colts were up 7 to 3, and had just stopped the Jaguars on a 4th @ 2 in the red zone. Then next thing you know there was a missed pass interference call, a pick-six and the Jags are up 10 to 7.

My final example is the most famous of them all. In the Week 2 matchup between the Broncos and Chargers, when just over a minute remained in the 4th quarter. The Broncos were trailing 38 to 31 and had a 2nd and goal from the Chargers 1-yard-line. Jay Cutler dropped back to pass, when the ball slipped out of his hands, and was recovered by San Diego’s Tim Dobbins. The play however was ruled an incomplete pass. A challenge came down from the Replay Assistant. The play was reversed and ruled a fumble, but due to an errant whistle by Ed Hochuli, the ball was declared dead at the Charger’s 10-yard-line, and remained in Denver’s possession. Two plays later the Broncos scored a touchdown and converted a two point conversion. This gave the Broncos a one-point victory.

Just for the record, this is not a conspiracy theory or anything of the sort. I am not accusing anybody from any of the officiating crews of purposefully “throwing” a game. I simply made this observation and was curious as to if anybody else had noticed that this seemed to be happening more often this year than in other years. Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment, let me know if I’m crazy and that it’s not happening that often, let me know if you think that I’m right, let me know if you think that any of the examples I used didn’t actually change the outcome of a game, or let me know if you can think of any other games that this has happened in. I’m curious to see what other people’s view on this is.

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