By admin | December 6, 2009
By Richard Allen
NASCAR fans, do these allegations sound familiar? They just want certain teams to win. They made calls to help that team. They change the rules however they want to, sometimes in the middle of the contest. There’s a conspiracy to see to it that everything works out a certain way. It’s a stupid way to choose a champion.
NASCAR has been accused of these type transgressions for years. Now, it looks as if they are not the only ones. College football officials are now taking some of the same criticism their auto racing counterparts have faced for years, if not decades.
Earlier this season, University of Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin was reprimanded for accusing SEC officials of making calls to help Alabama and Florida get to the SEC Championship game and thus allow one of them to have a shot at the BCS National Championship. Some dismissed Kiffin immediately, calling him a sore loser and saying he was simply making excuses for his team’s losses. Now, some may be beginning to pay a bit more attention to the coach who has shown he is not afraid to speak his mind.
Take, for example, Saturday’s Big 12 Championship between Texas and Nebraska. At the end of the game Texas quarterback Colt McCoy rolled out of the pocket, seemingly unaware that time was slipping away, and somewhat nonchalantly threw the ball out of bounds. Texas trailed 12-10 and needed to stop the clock in order to get a chance for a game winning field goal. Trouble was, after McCoy’s pass sailed out of bounds the clock wound down to zero. The game had apparently ended and Nebraska began to celebrate their victory.
But wait! The officials huddled, then the referee headed for his headset near the sideline. The official in the replay booth sent word down that after further review there was to be one second placed on the clock. This meant Texas would have an opportunity at a game winning field goal after all.
The subsequent kick sailed through the uprights as time expired and Texas won the Big 12 title. Fortunately for them, they will now face Alabama in the BCS National Championship in January.
Immediately, the message boards began to light up. Depending of course on the partiality of the posters, there were all sorts of claims made in regard to the ending of the Texas-Nebraska contest. Some posters said that there was no way Nebraska would have gotten the same treatment had the roles been reversed. Others went to the rule book and pointed out that placing time back on the clock was not a reviewable situation. One poster I read brought out a comparison to the 1972 Olympic basketball game between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.
I am no expert on the rules of college football. I just enjoy watching the games and rooting for or against certain teams. However, I do know that NASCAR has been accused of many of the offenses(often times on this very website) that I have heard the NCAA, the SEC and the Big 12 be accused of over the past season.
But with that said I ask this, to those non-racing fans who have always been quick to point out NASCAR’s illegitimacy for the very reasons mentioned above, what say you now?
And as far as the accusation that both NASCAR and college football have stupid ways of selecting their champions, there is not enough space on the internet to address that.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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