Updated Sep 16, 2013 - 5:54 pm
Cry on, Wisconsin
The amount of whining coming from Wisconsin is embarrassing. Anyone who blames officials for a loss can only be described by one word: "loser."
I can understand Badger frustration if the referee had tested positive for PEDs. Badger fans should be going crazy if the umpire stood over the ball with four times the amount of testosterone as the average man. If Wisconsin would like to appeal to the Pac-12, they should consider accusing ASU's timekeeper of being an anti-Semitic Golden Gopher fan who tainted the clock's results.
I love Gary Andersen's response that he feels so bad for his kids. He's just as dishonest as the players he's coaching. Let me ask you something coach, if you're so worried about opportunities for kids being taken away by officials, why did you take away the chance for Michael Caputo to make a play? In the second half, ASU drove the ball inside the 2-yard line. Caputo looked to the sideline and then took a knee. The officials didn't see Caputo. Fearful that ASU would run a play while he was on the ground, he sprang to life like a crippled sidekick of an 1800's traveling salesman.
Yet an official noticed him on his knee right before Caputo stood and blew the whistle, stopping ASU's momentum. Hearing the whistle, Caputo went back down to a knee and grabbed his chest. Then he grabbed his abdomen/lower rib cage. Then he made us believe his groin or scrotum was screaming in pain. What an amazing block ASU must have been able to execute to injure three different parts of the human body but delaying the pain to occur 13 seconds after inflicting the damage.
There is an alternative explanation. Michael Caputo and Gary Andersen are liars. He was never hurt. Andersen couldn't handle the ASU offense, so he instructed his kids to cheat in order to win. I love the hypocrisy of fans and administrators who call faking injuries part of the game but then want to question the character of the officiating crew. If Wisconsin fans and administrators care so much about doing the right thing, we'll wait for the announcement of reprimand and fine coming Andersen's way. The officials proved incapable of handling major college football games, but at least they didn't compromise their integrity.
No one in sports loses games because of the officiating! There has been and will be poor officiating/umpiring forever. Get over it. Does Wisconsin fan really think they are the first team to be frustrated by Pac-12 officiating? Wisconsin lost because they gave up 350 yards passing. Wisconsin lost because they continually left their cornerbacks on an island and never figured out that back-shoulder fades and 9-routes were torching their defense. Wisconsin lost because they had a clear advantage against ASU's front seven but wanted to play the "out-think the room" card and come out throwing. Wisconsin lost this game because their coaches did not practice the fundamentals of running the hurry-up. Stave choked with his weird slam of the ball into the ground and standing there. Hand the ball to the umpire! That's coaching.
If you want to talk about officiating, let's do it. It was atrocious. Interestingly enough, I don't hear Wisconsin fans talking about the number of holding calls most officials would have called against the Wisconsin O-line. Did you not see the completely healed and re-energized Michael Caputo grab D.J. Foster over the middle with 12:18 to go in the fourth quarter? Bad calls happen all over place. Winners win anyway. Losers whine.
I'm not writing anything in defense of the referees. The Pac-12 waited until Monday afternoon before issuing a statement saying the refs messed up, but wouldn't tell us what the discipline was. This defines the term gutless. The nation is discussing the play for 36 hours before you issue a statement. Just because you put up a closed sign on Sundays doesn't mean the news cycle ends.
Wisconsin fans -- as sad as some of them are -- deserve an answer to the choke job your officials displayed. Why was there no clear whistle after Stave did his half-kneel down? Why didn't ASU receive a delay of game penalty? Why was the umpire standing over the ball not allowing Wisconsin to snap the ball? Why am I the only one in college football that noticed Marion Grice run out-of-bounds with 4:30 to go in the fourth quarter, yet the clock was only stopped momentarily? Inside of 5 minutes, that clock should never have re-started which cost Wisconsin 20 seconds. Even worse, why are the suspensions/penalties of a Johnny Manziel announced publicly but adults are allowed to hide? Are kids below the drinking age better able to handle public flogging than grown adults with regular jobs?
Every Wisconsin fan deserves a lot more than they got from the Pac-12. Every Wisconsin fan has every right to be outraged at the way the game ended and be told of the punishment received by the officials.
However, if you're more angry at :18 seconds worth of officiating more than the 59 minutes of coaching and mistakes by Wisconsin, you're a loser.
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug & Wolf