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Go deep inside last week's OSU-A&M game

Colleague Ivan Maisel was in College Station along with yours truly and Pat Forde last weekend, but he was a little busy.

He was with the game's officials for the weekend, getting a rare look inside exactly what it's like to officiate a game with the Big 12's best crew.

Game day is quite a bit different for these guys, but it's also very similar to actual teams, writes Maisel.

"Let's be the best team out there," [Walt] Coleman said.

At their essence, the officials see themselves as the third team on the field. They share traits with the other teams. They wear uniforms. They stay in shape 12 months of the year. Their performance is graded by their "coaches." And they watch film of the other teams.

Maisel also drops a "semaphore" on us, so read ahead and learn what that is. Texas A&M fans will enjoy this tidbit, too. There's a ton more interesting insights.

At breakfast Saturday, he brought up Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior.

"He's a man-child," [J] Taylor said. "We were talking about it on the way down here. A lot of times, it looks like he's holding, but he's not. He's so strong they can't get away from him. You've got to look at kids like him differently, because they're overpowering kids."

Great piece from Maisel. Check it out.

"Everybody wants to be perfect," [Scott] Novak said. "When I got into this, the game would be over and I'd watch the game until 4 a.m. and I would beat myself up. I still do that, but I understand mistakes are part of the game. There are 170 plays in a game. You've got to work it one play at a time. It's a competitive game. You've got to learn how to focus 170 times, seven to 12 seconds, and then you start over. Be the best you can be. That's what you learn over time."