January 11, 2011

Auburn Tigers Win BCS Title Over Oregon Ducks: In a much lower scoring game than expected, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton led the Auburn Tigers to the Bowl Championship Series title in college football with a 22-19 win over the Oregon Ducks. Tigers kicker Wes Byrum kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired. Neither offense lived up to billing. "TCU, anyone?" asks Christine Brennan.

posted by rcade to football at 01:11 AM - 20 comments

Hated to see the game decided by the fluke play where Dyer wasn't down and everybody thought he was (including him). His wrist may have touched, but the ESPN crew never looked at that.

posted by rcade at 01:37 AM on January 11, 2011

At the end of this season, I think that Stanford would have beaten any of these teams (TCU, Auburn or Oregon).

My heart just can't be in NCAA Div. I football until they get some sort of playoff system in place. I know this will never happen, but it doesn't hurt to dream...

posted by slackerman at 02:09 AM on January 11, 2011

According to Brennan:

Word was the decision was "mutual" between Auburn and Cecil, who has been ordered by the NCAA to keep his distance from Auburn for trying to sell his son's services to the highest bidder.

I kept expecting an October surprise, with new facts and allegations emerging about the Cam Newton shopathon over the weekend.

No way that tale is over and done with as briskly and clinically as portrayed during the investigation a few weeks ago.

Now that the TV spectacle has been delivered, the truth hounds can go forth again.

posted by beaverboard at 08:05 AM on January 11, 2011

Not real crazy about the ruling on the Dyer run. Football is trying to eliminate hits that injure players in vulnerable positions, yet they don't rule him down? I wonder what would have happened if a Oregon defender would have flown in and laid the lumber to Dyer. It probably would have resulted in a flag for hitting him when he was already down. I realize you play to the whistle, but that's a tough one.

posted by dyams at 08:07 AM on January 11, 2011

One, you play until the whistle, there wasn't one.

Two, that photo doesn't make it look like the wrist touched ground, the white wrist band isn't touching the ground. His palm is on the ground, and his arm bends up from there. Try putting your palm on your desk, but keeping your elbow about 8 inches off the desk. Does your wrist stay on the desk? You ought to see a bone specialist if it does. (I fully understand that wrist bands are sometimes worn a few inches up from the wrist, no need to clarify)

Three, it's not like regulation would have been over had they called him down. Auburn still had time to run more plays, and all they needed was a field goal.

All that being said, if they had ruled him down I wouldn't have had too much of a problem with it.

posted by dviking at 10:11 AM on January 11, 2011

I think the difference is the palm of the hand versus the back of the hand. I didn't actually realize until the Sugar Bowl that you could be down by wrist, but when your palm is down, you are supporting yourself and/or pushing yourself up. When the back of your hand is down, you are hitting the ground. At least, I think this is the rationale, anyway.

posted by bender at 10:18 AM on January 11, 2011

Not real crazy about the ruling on the Dyer run. Football is trying to eliminate hits that injure players in vulnerable positions, yet they don't rule him down?

I wanted Aurburn to win (go SEC!!!), and though it was technically the correct ruling, I still didn't like the end effect. You can see the Oregon linemen let up precisely because they thought he was down and didn't want a penalty. With the crackdown on cheap shots, they did the right thing and got penalized for it.

I wonder if a late hit penalty can be taken away under review? Say Oregon does drill Dyer while he's on the other play and get flagged for 15. Could booth review come back and say, "He wasn't down at the time of the hit, therefore no late hit"?

posted by jmd82 at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2011

Try putting your palm on your desk, but keeping your elbow about 8 inches off the desk. Does your wrist stay on the desk?

Your desk is not grass and you're not falling down while being tackled. There's another angle where his elbow is low and his wristband is touching the ground or pretty close to it.

I don't know that he was down, but I wish the broadcast crew and referees had looked at that more closely while it was still under review. I just hate the way it practically sealed a win for Auburn.

posted by rcade at 10:52 AM on January 11, 2011

Well there was contact, and his forward motion came to a halt. There should have been a whistle. That said, there was no whistle and I fully expect the defense to ensure a stop by drilling him even if he is just standing there.

posted by Atheist at 10:55 AM on January 11, 2011

1) All these pictures of his wrist being down/not down are interesting and thought provoking but don't fall into the category of conclusive evidence required to overturn a call on the field (in my opinion)

2) Given that the whistle had not been blown, the officiating crew clearly did not believe the play was over and therefore would not have hit Oregon with a penalty if they had played until the whistle and put a hit on Dyer

3) Dyer's forward motion only came to a halt when he stopped running. That in and of itself is no reason to call the play dead

posted by MW12 at 12:22 PM on January 11, 2011

I don't think that second photo shows his wrist on the ground at all.

Yes, my desk is not the ground, but your arm is still your arm. Show me a picture of your elbow 8 inches above the ground, and your wrist on the ground and I'll change my view of this. I don't think it can be done without breaking your arm.

posted by dviking at 06:41 PM on January 11, 2011

If you keep saying his elbow is 8 inches off the ground in those photos, maybe it will magically become true.

posted by rcade at 08:55 PM on January 11, 2011

Count me among those who think "This is for all the Tostitos" was an amusing Musbergerism. Even if I'm alone in thinking that. It's not like it injected a discordant note of crass commercialism in an otherwise untainted event.

posted by rcade at 09:00 PM on January 11, 2011

So...here's a question: why was this game shown on cable TV? What other major US sporting championship is NOT shown on a broadcast channel? Even the Stanley Cup is shown on NBC. Why wasn't the BCS championship game shown on a broadcast channel?

posted by NoMich at 09:37 PM on January 11, 2011

Anyone else appalled by the state of the field? It's one thing to water the pitch (which it looked like they did) for soccer so the ball can zip around, but quite another for American football. From the opening kickoff injury all the way through the game, I saw no less than a dozen players slip because of the sorry state of the turf.

posted by sbacharach at 11:54 PM on January 11, 2011

amusing Musbergerism


posted by cjets at 01:17 AM on January 12, 2011

I couldn't tell if the field was the problem or the new cleats.

Auburn's assurance that Cam Newton's dad was not at the game was bullshit. Broadcasters kept going on and on about how he wasn't there. Psych!

posted by rcade at 08:30 AM on January 12, 2011

And then once they saw Cam's father it was, "Oh that was such a great job to keep him hidden to keep the news off of him!!!"

posted by jmd82 at 09:46 AM on January 12, 2011

Anyone else appalled by the state of the field?

The stadium houses a NFL team, and the conditions seem fine for them on a weekly basis, so I don't know why the team, Oregon in particular, had so many issues. Maybe they should spend less time on flashy uniforms and more time making sure they have footwear that will actually allow them to run and cut.

As for the neon socks/shoes the Ducks wore, it was distracting to say the least. Several times I would think I saw a penalty flag being tossed, only to find out it was someone's foot.

posted by dyams at 09:53 AM on January 12, 2011

Anyone else appalled by the state of the field?

Purely anecdotal, but it looks like some journalists certainly found the field to be a crappy surface. Torn ACL, ouch.

posted by deflated at 06:36 PM on January 12, 2011

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