SEC commissioner Mike Slive wasn’t real interested a couple of weeks ago at the spring meetings in doing any backseat driving concerning the officiating last season in the league.
Obviously, it was a hot topic among the fans and hotly debated and something that will remain on the front burner heading into the 2010 season.
Nobody in the SEC office wants to go back down that road, but the reality is that there were far too many controversial (and missed) calls to suit anybody last season.
That said, here’s your chance to weigh in on which one was the worst.
Let me know if I’m forgetting one:
LSU’s Patrick Peterson appeared to intercept a pass on the sideline in the fourth quarter of the Alabama game, but the officials on the field ruled it wasn’t an interception. It looked like he got one foot down and had possession of the ball after watching several replays. But the replay official in the booth sided with the officials on the field and ruled that there wasn't indisputable video evidence to overturn the call.
Georgia receiver A.J. Green was whistled for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration after scoring a go-ahead touchdown against LSU in the final minute. The SEC came out that next week and said there was no video evidence of excessive celebration and that the flag should have never been thrown.
Arkansas’ Malcolm Sheppard was penalized for a 15-yard personal foul for a hit 20 yards away from the ball. But replays showed that Florida offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert actually initiated the contact, and it was Sheppard who sent Gilbert to the ground. The SEC later said that no personal foul should have been called, and the crew -- the same one that worked the Georgia-LSU game -- was suspended for a week.
In that same Arkansas-Florida game, Arkansas cornerback Ramon Broadway was called for pass interference in the end zone on Florida receiver Deonte Thompson when both players were going for the ball and it was Broadway who actually had inside position.
Florida linebacker Dustin Doe held the ball out in celebration on the tail end of a 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Mississippi State, but it appeared that he might have been stripped of the ball before crossing the goal line. The play went to the replay official, who looked at it and didn’t overturn the call. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said afterward that the replay official should be suspended and added, “I don’t even know why we have replay right now in the Southeastern Conference if they’re not going to utilize it.”
Mississippi State quarterback Tyson Lee was penalized for throwing the ball after crossing the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down pass completion that took the Bulldogs inside the Houston 10-yard line in the third quarter. Replays showed that he was a yard behind the line when the ball left his hand, but the play wasn't reviewed by the replay official. The Bulldogs had to turn the ball over on downs and ended up losing 31-24.
In its 16-13 loss to Army in overtime, Vanderbilt had a go-ahead touchdown nullified with 1:01 to play in regulation when receiver Udom Umoh was called for offensive pass interference on a pick play. Replays showed that Umoh was actually pushed in the back by one Army defender into another Army defender, but the penalty was called on Umoh. The Commodores had to settle for a field goal and lost in overtime.