The Pac-12 said the officials messed up.
Video and photographic evidence seem to back up that claim.
The Arizona State Sun Devils beat the Wisconsin Badgers 32-30 Saturday in Tempe, but their big win has been overshadowed by the controversial ending to the game.
Did the referees, who came from the Pac-12, determine the outcome of the game?
The answer to that question likely depends on your perspective and rooting interests, and as far as ASU Athletic Director Steve Patterson is concerned, people just need to move on.
“The reality is it’s not our issue,” Patterson told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta Tuesday. “I didn’t call up and whine to (Pac-12 Commissioner) Larry Scott when our volleyball team lost its only game on a bad call from a Big Ten official last week at the Illinois Classic playing volleyball, otherwise we’d be 9-0.”
Added Patterson, with a chuckle, “The reality is great teams — you’ve got to beat everybody. You beat the other team and you beat the officials.”
Patterson said a look at the game tape from Saturday’s affair would show instances where bad calls went against the Sun Devils, and that’s true.
Even on the final drive, replays seemed to show Wisconsin tight end Jeff Duckworth stepped out of bounds long before he was tackled at the Arizona State 26. However, it is the final sequence that is garnering the national attention, and that’s what people may end up remembering this game for.
To that point, Patterson, said this was a game between two good teams where little plays and small mistakes ended up being the difference.
“Every play becomes absolutely, 100 percent important, and I think that’s part of the fun of college football,” he said. “It’s not the pros that have been doing this for 30 years of their lives, it’s student-athletes that are going to go out there day in and day out.
“If you lollygag around behind the ball for the last 15 seconds like you’re at the Sunday buffet and don’t get set up, then you’re probably not going to get the next play off, and then you’re doing to blame the officials. Jeez, I watched their quarterback, I thought he was trying to pick between the bacon bits and the sausage to go on his omelette.”
The way Patterson sees it, Wisconsin could have run its end-of-game offense much, much better.
“Hand the ball to the official, line your guys up and go play.”