November 12, 2007

Signals from the static: Texas

Officially Foul: Before the Texas game, many Red Raider fans expressed presentiments of doom about the treatment Tech would receive from the officiating crew in Austin. And although it probably did little to affect the game's outcome, the Red Raiders did indeed receive the short-and-thorny end of the officiating stick And they received it "where the sun don't shine."

UT's first touchdown, for instance, was utterly bogus. Longhorn receiver Jordan Shipley got a toe down in the end zone, but his heel plunked down out of bounds as the instant replay clearly showed. But even the Roentgens of the Replay Both could not get this right and refused to overturn the faulty call. The later explanation that Shipley's move was a toe-drag was a pathetic rationalization insofar as a toe-drag, by the laws of physics, occurs in the absence of a heel touch down, not in conjunction with it.

The second egregious officiating blunder came on a Texas "touchdown" in the second quarter. Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy snuck the ball in from a yard out to give Texas a 21-10 lead. Problem: McCoy clearly slipped, fell down and crawled into the end zone. Instead of being awarded a touchdown, McCoy should have lost half a yard.

Whack job number three: On Graham Harrell's lone interception of the day, UT linebacker Rashad Bobino completely mauled Tech's Edward Britton in order to position himself for the pick that led to Texas' final touchdown.

Again, the officiating did not cost Tech the game-the Red Carpet defense is responsible for that. Still, is it too much to ask that officials at the game's second highest level at least be competent, and dare one say, unbiased? Apparently so.

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