(12-30-19) Ohio State fans still are wondering what happened on Saturday in their loss to Clemson in the college football playoffs.

Controversy has been a big part of this final week of the season….from the the final College Football Playoff rankings, to several key calls made against the Buckeyes (were there any that went against Clemson), the selection of SEC officials for the game and an announcer who maybe should have skipped this game.

So what do you think??????

The rankings

So why did LSU get the #1 ranking the final week of the season, after Ohio State had been the ranked #1 the week before?  That is a good question.  The committee doesn’t share the whys, just the final ranking.

Selection Committee members see review of video, statistics and their own expertise to guide them in their deliberations. They will emphasize obvious factors like win-loss records, strength of schedule, conference championships won, head-to-head results and results against common opponents. The playoff group has retained SportSource Analytics to provide the data platform for the committee’s use. It will also include general information such as each team’s opponents’ record. The platform will allow the committee members to compare and contrast every team on every level possible.

There are 13 members on the College Football Playoffs selection committee. It’s a collection of people with experience as coaches, players, college administrators, athletic directors and journalists. Here are the members:

  • Rob Mullens (chair) (Oregon athletic director)
  • Gary Barta (Iowa athletic director)
  • Frank Beamer (former Virginia Tech head coach)
  • Paola Boivin (Arizona State professor)
  • Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma athletic director)
  • Ken Hatfield (former head coach at three FBS schools)
  • Chris Howard (Robert Morris president)
  • Ronnie Lott (Former Southern California All-American)
  • Terry Mohajir (Arkansas State athletic director)
  • Ray Odierno (Former United States Army Chief of Staff)
  • R.C. Slocum (former Texas A&M head coach)
  • Todd Stansbury (Georgia Tech athletic director)
  • Scott Stricklin (Florida athletic director)

The plays –

The NCAA rule-book defines a catch as maintaining “control of the ball long enough to enable [a player] to perform an act common to the game … long enough to pitch or hand the ball, advance it, avoid or ward off an opponent.”

SEC Referee Ken Williamson who was a game official-

“the ball was becoming loose in his hands and he did not complete the process of the catch.”

The play was reviewed by SEC video review official Gerald Hodges who initiated the booth review  and also at the SEC “video center” in Birmingham, Alabama

Just one former officials opinion –

More comments on the above tweet from Terry McAulay –

Time to summarize the facts and move on:

1. The receiver controls the ball and takes 3 steps with control (if you disagree then you can’t be part of a reasonable conversation)
2. The receiver pulls the ball into his body
3. The receiver loses control as his 4th step comes down
4. In real time the player loses the ball quickly
5. The NCAA catch rule is quite subjective
6. The onfield ruling is a catch fumble
7. The fundamental principle of replay is the ruling on the field is correct unless there is indisputable video evidence to reverse.

Thus, regardless of the ruling on the field on this play, replay should have let that ruling stand.

Ohio State DB Shaun Wade Ejected For Targeting Call vs Clemson

The replay official (from the SEC) noticed something he had been trained to watch for. He stopped the game, looked at the play again, applied the rule to the situation and found the officiating crew had no choice but to eject Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade, who had hit Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the head with the crown of his helmet on a third-down sack.

Officials –

Neutral Power Five crews are assigned to CFP games. Might be time to make the crews completely neutral. Using crews who do not have teams from their conference in the playoffs, from non-Power 5 conferences.

LSU-Oklahoma game was officiated by ACC officials, SEC officials were in charge of Ohio St-Clemson game.

Big 10 and Big 12 officials were not selected, those conference schools both lost in the semifinals.

Did the referees cost Ohio State the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson?

The announcers –

Controversy with Kirk Herbstreit? His twin sons are members of the Clemson team and he is a former Ohio State QB. No matter how you see this one, it might have been a good decision by both ESPN and Herbstreit to by pass him doing this game.

His comments to a tweet calling fans ignorant and #sheep verifies some of those concerns about him being on the broadcast.