Sunday, November 28, 2010

NC State-Maryland Spot Controversy Brings Up A Logical Rule Change

In case you missed it yesterday, NC State almost made a feverish comeback to at least tie Maryland and send the game into overtime.  A Wolfpack win would have given the school their first ACC Championship Game appearance.

Late in the game, Maryland was attempting a fourth down conversion to seal the game and appeared to be stopped short of the line to gain. I certainly thought so watching live.

From Sports By Brooks:
"Trailing 38-17, NC State staged a furious comeback in cutting the Maryland lead to 38-31 late in the fourth quarter. Facing a 4th-and-1 with 38 seconds left and the ball on the Wolfpack 32-yard-line, the Terps elected not to punt.

A dive play by Maryland running back D.J. Adams apparently gained the necessary single yard needed for officials to award the Terps a first down - ruining NC State’s comeback bid. But video replay of that 4th down play tells a different story."

But the Terps got a favorable spot from the line judge and gained the first down effectively ending the game.  Now I am a realist and I understand State would have needed to gain 68 yards in under a minute, but that is not the point of the argument.   

My beef is not with the spot Maryland was given, but who is giving it!

You have a line judge viewing the play from at least 70 feet away making the determination of how far the ball carrier gained.

If you haven't noticed, most officials are in the eyeglass wearing age category yet they need to have microscopic detail from 70 plus feet away on plays like this.  Its absurd! (Sports By Brooks has a great illustration here of the position of the referee making the call)

When the runner is downed inside the hash why can't the referee who is standing RIGHT OVER THE BALL make the spot!

It seems logical that the person closest to the action could make the best determination, right?

This need for a rule change on who spots the ball is further evidenced on goalline plays where, again, a referee must run in 70-80 feet to determine if the ball carrier crossed the plane.  While the eyeglass wearing, 50 year old official is running in to make the call players are eye gouging, clawing, and pushing.

The kind of stuff going on in that pile would make an adult film producer blush.

Again, there is a referee with a MUCH better angle standing right over the ball, but he cannot make the call.

The NFL is very much in tune as to what is fair and what is not and makes quick, decisive changes too rules as we have seen this season.

Sadly, College Football is way behind the times in this regard as evidenced by the delimiting power of the referees to make the correct call.

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