On a day the Pac-12 conference needed a clean football championship game, they got to within 27 seconds of achieving that goal.
But, Washington’s 10 – 3 victory over Utah Friday night was partly upstaged by a pass interference non call as Utah was driving for the game-tying touchdown. Utah turned the ball over on downs, but Utah wanted pass interference on the fourth down incomplete pass.
Dean Blandino said slow-motion replay makes the contact look earlier than in real-time.
In real time that’s a bang-bang play at the end of the game. If you go frame by frame it’s early. Officials on field obviously don’t see it in slow motion.
— Dean Blandino (@DeanBlandino) December 1, 2018
While we can understand why the officials made the no-call in real-time, they will see after the game that they should have thrown a flag.
The game ended a few moments later with Utah coach Kyle Whittington gesturing angrily at the officiating crew.
— GoUtahUtes (@UtahUteFans) December 1, 2018
Earlier this year, Pac-12 officiating and instant replay came under fire after a report that showed Pac-12 executives, with no officiating training or experience, over-ruling instant replay decisions.
On Friday, the day of the Pac-12 championship game, The Oregonian came out with a comprehensive story that exposed what former Pac-12 employees said is a toxic culture in Pac-12 leadership that helped contribute to the instant replay fiasco this fall. Current NFL official Tony Corrente used to supervise Pac-12 officials and he abruptly resigned in 2014, citing the Pac-12’s lack of support for officials. The article highlighted Corrente’s frustrations while at the Pac-12.
So the crowd was already in a mood when Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott presented Washington with the Pac-12 football championship trophy.
hmm how popular is Larry Scott? Let's go to the crowd audio feed: pic.twitter.com/MRA3xdBFnF
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 1, 2018
Washington will now go on to play in the Rose Bowl, most likely against the winner of the Northwestern – Ohio State Big 10 championship game.
And the Pac-12 enters the offseason with plenty of controversy swirling around its officiating.
Screen grab from Fox Sports