Pac-12 admits another football officiating blunder

November 9, 2015

At least the Pac-12 is not living in denial.

The Pac-12 Conference and Commissioner Larry Scott issued a press release acknowledging yet another error by one of its officiating crews during Saturday’s game between Arizona State and Washington State in which the Cougars were given an extra down.

During the second quarter of Saturday’s game, Washington State completed a fourth-down pass when the receiver’s forward progress appeared to have been stopped and short of a first down when a whistle blew the play dead.

The Line Judge indicated it was an inadvertent whistle. By the NCAA football playing rules (4-1-2-b-1), due to an inadvertent whistle, when the ball is in player possession, then the team in possession may elect to put the ball in play where declared dead or repeat the down. Washington State elected to repeat the down and subsequently scored a touchdown on the next play.

The Pac-12 has reviewed the play and has determined it should have been stopped at the point when the whistle blew as forward progress was stopped short of the first down. The ball should have been turned over to Arizona State on downs. As a result, the officiating crew erred in ruling this an inadvertent whistle and not officiating the initial whistle as the end of the play.

The entire officiating crew has been downgraded and the Line Judge has been suspended for the next game.

Such punitive measures are a step in the right direction toward getting the zebras on their toes, but the incident nevertheless further adds to the Conference's reputation for having incompetent, flag-happy officials.

In other Pac-12 news . . .

  • Quarterback Luke Falk of WASHINGTON STATE, linebacker Gionni Paul of UTAH and tight end Raymond Hudson of CALIFORNIA have been named offensive, defensive and special teams Pac-12 Players of the Week in football.
  • BOWL ELIGIBLE: USC, OREGON, STANFORD, UCLA, USC, UTAH and WASHINGTON STATE are bowl eligible. The Cougars are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 and just the second time since 2003.
  • PAC-12 SCORING RECORD: The career scoring record is within reach for UCLA PK Ka’imi Fairbairn. With 389 points, he’s closing in on former Bruin John Lee’s 390 points (1982-85).
  • POLL WATCHING: STANFORD moves up to No. 7 in the Top 10 of this week’s polls. The Cardinal is the fifth different Pac-12 team this season to be ranked in the AP Top 10 ... UTAH climbs to No. 10 in this week’s AP poll ... UCLA jumped four spots in the AP Top  25, coming in at No. 18 ... Over the last two seasons, nine different Pac-12 teams have been ranked among the AP Top 25, while six different Conference teams have been ranked among the Top 10.
  • ALL-PURPOSE: STANFORD sophomore RB Christian McCaffrey continues to lead the FBS with 241.56 all-purpose yards per game, more than 25 yards over the next player (Tyler Ervin, San Jose State, 216.00 ypg) ... McCaffrey has rushed for 100 or more yards in seven straight games. His 2,158 all-purpose yardage breakdown is as follows: 1,207 rushing, 325 receiving, 605 kick return, 21 punt return ... Since 1978, only four other Conference players have averaged 200 or more all-purpose yards per game for an entire season - USC’s Marcus Allen in 1981 (232.6 avg), Stanford’s Glyn Milburn in 1990 (202.0 avg), USC’s Reggie Bush in 2005 (222.3 avg) and USC’s Marqise Lee in 2012 (206.4 avg). Coincidentally, Milburn’s teammate in 1990 was Ed McCaffrey (father of Christian), who had 61 receptions for 917 yards and a Conference-leading 91.7 receiving yards per game that season ... In addition to McCaffrey, the Pac-12 boasts OREGON’s Royce Freeman (7th, 167.89 ypg) and UTAH’s Devontae Booker (9th, 157.67 ypg) among the FBS all-purpose leaders.
  • Adoree' Jackson from USC, Charles Nelson from Oregon, Christian McCaffrey from Stanford and KaVonte Turpin from TCU all return to the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll after making big plays on offense, defense and special teams in week 10 of the college football season. Pittsburgh's Jordan Whitehead earned his first Honor Roll selection after scoring two rushing touchdowns and leading the Panthers in tackles against Notre Dame.

Latest FWAA Rankings

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5. Notre Dame
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7. Stanford
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By Staff of and news services

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