The Sports Broadcast

A blog about sports broadcasting from the great state of Florida. They report. I decide.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Can't Let Go

30-28.

Just the look of that is disgraceful.

It's been nearly a week, but I can't let it go. Another loss for the Florida Gators due to disgraceful officiating.

"But maybe they should have made the field goal in the third quarter. Or covered over the middle in the fourth. Or this. Or that." Or maybe, the refs could have ran the clock correctly.

All football requires is doing enough to win. Being convincing is not required. Ohio State has taught us that countless times over the past couple of years. The Gators did enough to beat Tennessee. Any time a team is punting from anywhere outside of the endzone with 30 seconds to go and a lead, they have done enough to win, barring a special teams collapse. That's exactly what the Gators did. Only problem was, due to ineptitude of the officials, the game clock sat at 0:55 instead of running down to 0:31. Brilliant!

It's still a loss, and that won't be changed. At least the SEC supervisor of officials was big enough to admit the error, as opposed to the ACC supervisor's smarmy non-apology after the catastrophically bad officiating by ACC officials in last year's FSU-UF game. This loss to Tennessee isn't just a regular loss. It has more meaning than that. Consider:

-UF had not lost consecutive games to Tennessee since 1970-'71. That streak was broken.
-UF does not control its destiny in the SEC East this year due to bad officiating.
-UF has lost two straight rivalry games due to bad officiating.
-UF has lost two of the past four games due to bad officiating.
-UF is 6-3 in it's past nine games instead of 8-1 due to bad officiating.
-Ron Zook is on the hot seat due to losing two straight to Tennessee and two straight to FSU, instead of being lauded for winning the most recent games against those two due to bad officiating.

And it goes on. I'm not that concerned about the SEC this year because that Tennessee team is not good enough to run the table or lose just one conference game. The other things matter though. That streak was impressive. Rivalry games count more than other games. Regular season games determine bowls. 8-1 looks a lot better than 6-3. And I like Ron Zook. I think he's a good coach with the potential to be great, and he is the one who brought Chris Leak, Channing Crowder, and many other highly talented players to Florida. Whether or not UF is the kind of place for a first-time coach to learn to be great or not is another debate, but anyone deserves better than these past two UT and FSU games on top of all of the fireronzook.com madness. No, I can't just let that game go. I won't.

30-28.

Disgusting.

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