The officiating was bad in Austin on Saturday. So much so the Longhorn faithful are convinced the game was fixed. Whether it was incompetency or collusion, Oklahoma State owes the Big 12 officiating crew a beer. However, the conference is standing behind the performance.
Walt Anderson, The Big 12 coordinator of officials (and Texas alum), told the Austin American-Statesman that while there were a few questionable calls, by far and large the game was called correctly.
“I’ve been working on that (Texas game) all day. I’ve seen the whole tape. I evaluate every play, and I think we got the vast majority right. The good news was the vast majority of fouls were there and correctly called. Unfortunately, a couple of them were missed, and we’ll correct that. I’ve never seen one perfectly officiated, and I’m not expecting to do so.”
Somehow I doubt many Longhorn fans would agree with Walt, but he did address a couple of the more controversial calls, including the flag on Charlie Strong for unsportsmanlike conduct after the coach berated the side judge for a defensive holding penalty.
“We never like to have to flag coaches for saying things or being on the field when they shouldn’t, but that’s a point of emphasis this year by the rules committee.” Anderson said. “We’ve had talks with people and told coaches that if you come out onto the field, especially if you’re going to be confronting a call – whether it’s right or wrong – and get in the face of officials and make comments that are not appropriate, we’ve told the officials to feel free to flag it, and we’re going to support them on that.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t ever complain about a call, because that’s the nature of the business. One of the things we’ve told officials, which I think you saw in the game the other day: We’re going to try to walk the coach back to the sideline. If he is going to say something, it’s okay for him to say it. We still want him saying it from the sideline. We don’t want him saying anything, really, from the field.”
Anderson addressed the holding call as well. Coach Strong said after the game that defensive holding shouldn’t have been called because it was a run play, but that’s not exactly true. While not often, it does happen.
“Oh, I’ve seen a quite a few of them,” Anderson said about defensive holding called on a run play.“We’ve got a lot of examples of that. I’ve already shown our staff a couple of examples on video.”
Maybe now we can put this game behind us. It sucks to lose like that. Texas got jobbed, but they aren’t going to get too much sympathy from around the league. It’s happens to everybody, and let’s not pretend the Longhorns haven’t benefited from it from time to time.
For the officials part though, Anderson acknowledged some minor mistakes were made, and they’ll work on those.
“None of them (mistakes) in our opinion were egregious,” Anderson said. “Those, we’ll correct that, move forward and learn from them.”