For the second straight week, the Washington Huskies had to play against a tough team and the guys in the striped shirts. For the second straight week there were several calls that were very, very questionable. Does the Pac-12 have something against the Huskies?
You hate to bring up conspiracy theories, but…
It started last week when the booth overruled the officials on the field despite a total lack of video evidence. That stopped the Huskies on what might have been a game-winning drive. The Stanford Cardinal escaped with a questionable win and their undefeated record intact.
Against the Oregon Ducks, the poor officiating started early. In the first quarter, the Ducks fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback. Overturned. Later, the Ducks did not actually get into the end zone, but the officials gave them the score anyway. Another bad call.
In the third quarter, Keith Price was pulled down from behind by an obvious horse-collar tackle. The back judge was right there, staring at the play. Did he pull the flag? No. The Huskies settled for a field goal. That missed call directly cost the Huskies four points.
Mike Pereira confirmed this assessment:
For those watching Washington, yes, that was a horsecollar. Pulled him down by being inside the back of the collar.
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 12, 2013
The final insult came in the fourth quarter when the announcers suggested that the officials and the booth had done an “excellent” job officiating the game.
What? Seriously? What game are you watching? Normally I really like Gus Johnson and Charles Davis, but there is no excuse for that kind of comment.
Ironically, moments later the officials called a penalty on the Huskies but could not remember the number of the offending Washington player. Exactly.
Several plays later the Huskies had a big offensive play nullified by a phantom holding call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The zebras strike again!
As fans, we are supposed to be objective. We are supposed to say things like, “The Huskies lost because they turned the ball over” or “The Huskies lost because the Ducks were just too strong on offense.” In other words, we aren’t supposed to believe in conspiracy theories. We aren’t supposed to give credence to the argument that the Pac-12 conference wants Oregon and Stanford to be undefeated when they meet on November 7.
And yet, it almost feels like the Pac-12 might have hinted to their officials that financial life would be better for everyone if certain calls went a particular way. The conference wouldn’t really do that, would they?
One thing is clear. This isn’t just about the fans in Washington having a slanted view. Kirk Herbstreit tweeted this:
Hear those “terrific” PAC 12 officials are at it again today in a “fairly” important gm in Seattle. Shame. Real shame they can’t fix this.
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 12, 2013
In the end, would the Huskies have beaten the powerful Ducks if a few more calls had gone their way? Perhaps not. The world will never know. Washington was talented enough to beat Oregon, but unfortunately they faced more than just a powerful offense.
Maybe now that the Huskies are done with Stanford and Oregon, the Pac-12 will leave them alone.