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2006
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Instant Replay Was A Big Loser

by Mike Mitchell
9/17/06

Instant replay was supposed to prevent blown calls. Saturday's instant replay fiasco at the Oregon-Oklahoma game only magnified the blown calls as two horrific officiating errors shocked everyone watching and helped allowed No. 8 Oregon to upend No. 20 Oklahoma 34-33.

After Oregon had closed to within 33-27 with 1:12 left in the game, the Ducks kicked an onside kick. Officials ruled Oregon recovered the ball, even though a Duck player was clearly the first player to touch the ball and did so before it went the necessary 10 yards. I won't even bring up the point that Oklahoma recovered the kick, not Oregon.

If that's not bad enough, Oklahoma was called for pass interference on Oregon's ensuing drive on a play where the ball was obviously tipped at the line of scrimmage (an event that would nullify interference).

The calls undeniably tarnished Oregon's first win over Oklahoma in seven meetings. For an officiating black eye, it ranks ahead of the infamous Colorado 5th down against Missouri in 1990.

If this is what Instant Replay is going to produce, dump it. I can accept human error at the moment a play happens. But if watching it over and over again on tape can't produce the correct call, instant replay is absolutely worthless. It already seems to have gotten to the point where officials are afraid to call a close play, and review many calls that no one would have debated to begin with.

In other games involving CCR Top 25 match-ups, No. 1 USC turned back No. 24 Nebraska 28-10, No. 7 Auburn defensed No. 3 LSU by a score of 7-3 (echoing their respective rankings), No. 6 Michigan blistered No. 9 Notre Dame, and No. 17 TCU beat No. 10 Texas Tech 12-9.

Meanwhile, No. 26 Miami (Fla.) stomped on No. 5 Louisville's logo prior to the game. Then, the Cardinals stomped all over the Hurricanes, 31-7.

No. 27 Clemson scored with 8 seconds left for a 27-20 win at Florida State. It marked Tommy Bowden's third win in the last four years over his father, Bobby. It was the first win for the Tigers in Tallahassee since 1989.

No. 12 Florida snatched a 21-20 win at No. 37 Tennessee, taking the lead with 6:30 to play. The win leaves Urban Meyer undefeated (4-0) against the Gators chief rivals - Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State.

SINKING SHIPS
North Carolina State fell to 0-3 with a 37-17 loss at Southern Miss. It's the Wolfpack's worse start since 1996.

Colorado is 0-3 after a 21-3 home loss to Arizona State. The Buffaloes have scored a total of 23 points in three games.

Miami (Ohio) is 0-3 for the first time since 1990 after a 16-14 home loss to Kent State.

PAC-10 RULES, BIG 12 DROOLS
PAC-10 teams went 4-0 against Big 12 teams as Arizona State beat Colorado, Oregon downed Oklahoma, USC beat Nebraska and Baylor lost to Washington State.

The week before, the PAC-10 split four games with the WAC.

UNBEATEN TEAMS
44 teams were unbeaten entering the weekend and and that number was cut to 29. The first-time losers were Colorado State, Connecticut, Florida State, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pitt, Tennessee and Texas Tech.

WINLESS TEAMS
28 teams began the weekend without a victory but that number was almost halved as 13 teams pocketed their first win. The first-time victors were Central Michigan, East Carolina, Hawaii, Idaho, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada (over previously unbeaten Colorado State), North Carolina, Northern Illinois, SMU, Syracuse, Toledo (over previously unbeaten Kansas), and Tulane.

WEEKEND STARTERS
West Virginia jumped to an early 14-0 lead on Maryland and never looked back in a 45-24 rout. The Mountaineers have won three in-a-row over the Terps after Maryland had won four straight.

1-A vs. 1-AA
The NCAA has officially re-named them the Bowl Division (1-A) and the Championship Division (1-AA).

12 teams played 1-AA schools over the weekend and 1 was beaten as Southern Illinois upended Indiana 35-28.

The 1-A schools went 52-2 in such games last year. So far, they're 50-5 this season. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the 1-A schools are now 214-23 in games played against 1-AA schools.

Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent during the 2006 season.

COMPUTER HITS AND MISSES
The computer picked Clemson's upset of Florida State, a week after picking Boston College's upset of Clemson.

I went 11-1 straight up and 10-2 against the spread on my feature picks after analyzing the computer's choices.

The computer went 2-for-4 on outright upset picks. While it also predicted USF's win over UCF, it missed on called upsets of Memphis over East Carolina (ECU won 35-20) and LSU over Auburn (Auburn won 7-3).

STREAKS
USC beat Nebraska 28-10. The Trojans have won 34 straight regular season games and also own a nation's-best streak of 28 home victories. USC has won 23 straight games against conference foes. USC's streak of 34 straight wins over-all came to an end in a 41-38 loss to Texas in the BCS title game at the Rose Bowl. The 34-game over-all winning streak stands as the longest in PAC-10 history, breaking their own record of 25 games set in 1931-1933.

TCU stretched the nation's longest consecutive wins streak to 13 with its 12-3 victory over Texas Tech.

Boise State has won 32 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (20-0). They won at Wyoming 17-10.

New Mexico State is 2-0 against 1-AA teams this year but still has a 14-game losing streak to 1-A teams.

Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak - now at 15 games - after a 62-0 loss at Minnesota. Louisville beat them by the same score last week.

Syracuse ended an 11-game losing streak with a 31-21 win at Illinois.

NEW COACHES
2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. Two of the new coaches went head-to-head on opening weekend when Turner Gill and Buffalo beat Al Golden and Temple 9-3 in overtime.

Two more went head-to-head this past weekend when Bret Bielema and Wisconsin beat Chuck Long and San Diego State 14-0.

We'll track the progress of the new coaches throughout the season.

Boise State, 3-0 under Chris Petersen, beat Wyoming 17-10.
Kansas State, 3-0 under Ron Prince, beat Marshall 23-7.
Wisconsin, 3-0 under Bret Bielema, beat San Diego State 14-0.
Middle Tennessee, 2-1 under Rick Stockstill, beat 1-AA Tenn. Tech 44-0.
Northwestern, 2-1 under Pat Fitzgerald, beat Eastern Michigan 14-6.
Buffalo, 1-2 with Turner Gill, lost to Northern Illinois 31-13.
Idaho, 1-2 under Dennis Erickson, beat 1-AA Idaho State 27-24.
San Diego State, 0-2 under Chuck Long, lost to Wisconsin 14-0.
Colorado, 0-3 under Dan Hawkins, lost to Arizona 21-3.
Rice, 0-3 under Todd Graham, lost to Texas 52-7.
Temple, 0-3 with Al Golden, lost to Minnesota 62-0.


2006 POST-GAME ARCHIVES
12/03: BCS Becomes Bruin Ruins
11/26: USC Routs Irish; USF Upsets WVU
11/19: Big Day For Ohio Football Teams
11/12: Texas, Auburn and Cal Go Down
11/05: There's No Place Like Home - To Be Upset
10/29: Two Major Streaks Come To An End
10/22: Spartans Stage Record Comeback; Texas, Notre Dame Avoid...
10/15: Saturday Shockers Shake-Up Standings
10/08: Auburn and Georgia Fall; Clemson and Ga. Tech Escape
10/01: GT Upsets VT; Illinois Wins In Big 10
09/24: A Day Of Upsets and Many Escapes
09/17: Instant Replay Was A Big Loser
09/10: Longhorns Roped and Tied; Seven Games Go To Overtime
09/05: FSU Makes A Field Goal; Three 1-AA Teams Pull Upsets