L.A. Times columnist says something’s fishy.

Does this here look like a catch to you?

(Herald-Times photographer Chris Howell caught this picture of the second disputed Terrance Turner touchdown catch. It was ruled a touchdown on the field but over-turned by the replay officials.)

Not sure if I want to contribute to this conspiracy theory or not, but Los Angeles Times columnist Chris Dufresne floated the notion in his column that refs are giving preferential treatment to teams with BCS hopes.

He’s not saying they are, he’s not saying they’re not. And for the record I’m not either. Plus, keep in mind one of the two touchdown reversals didn’t matter because Damarlo Belcher scored on the next play, and Iowa still won by 18 points. But this is definitely worth adding to the discussion.


  1. That overturned touchdown was disgusting. Add that to the ‘turnover’ at the end of the Michigan game. The refs just can’t let the traditional losers come away with a shocking win. There needs to be a good scandal shakeup in light of this cr*p.

  2. Not a big proponent of conspiracy theories, most of which are just that –theories. However, the incidence of controversial calls, including but not limited to those involving IU, seems to be increasing at a rate that certainly warrants a “look see.” My guess is that it has nothing to do with preferential treatment of BCS bound teams, but rather a reflection on a need for improved training and quality metrics for offcials.

  3. IU gets play in LA
    You know things are not okay,
    The game is on the line
    Refs say some other time,
    No, its always been this way

  4. I’m so glad that the issues with this game have not been overlooked by the national media. I wonder how the Buckeye fans are going to react in a couple weeks when they find themselves as the victim rather than beneficiary of questionable calls. Anything to get a Big 10 team in the BCS finals, eh Delany?

  5. yeah, and then we have to watch a sad loss and try to defend the Big 10. I figure someone will blow the whistle sooner or later. It really was crazy. The hit that was 15 for a helmet which was really not much helmet at all, the Turner touchdown, and the spot. It got to be a joke!!! I have never heard announcers more in shock and then they were coached on what to say toward the end! Funny to me.

  6. “….but rather a reflection on a need for improved training and quality metrics for officials”.

    What!?..Come on, WK…What a bunch of garbage..Let’s start with a pair of eyeballs!! You don’t have to admit to conspiracy theories to point out the obvious..

    The official involved in the Iowa replay booth reversal call was 3 feet from the play…You could see him staring at Turner’s feet. If he can’t see that play, I sure as hell hope those replay guys didn’t let him drive home.

  7. I would suggest to anyone that believes IU was not royally shafted by the officials, or claims that the TD reversal was not a totally fixed call, to read the comments on this ND message board during the IU game…Yes, you read correctly, an ND message board.

    Here’s one of my favorites:

    Posted by Jimmy…CCFOND
    Re: IU just got fawked

    HARDCORE! That replay booth idiots should have bought them drinks before that “fawking”. That was an indesputable disgrace.
    Posted on 10/31 2:29 PM |

    Heads need to roll…

  8. After the third review went against us things were pretty obvious. The outcome may have been the same but it seems that it was NEVER really going to be in doubt anyways.

  9. I watched Mike and Mike on espn radio this morning and they couldn’t believe that play was overturned.

  10. I am not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to NCAA officiating. I think less than a conspiracy, it’s just piss-poor execution by officials. However, after spending a few minutes reading the Tim Donaghy excerpts on Deadspin, it makes me think a little longer about this sort of stuff.

  11. Has anyone mentioned the personal foul call for the helmet to helmet. To me, that was the biggest turning point. We have them at third and long, get the stop a yard shy of the first down, and get flagged for a personal foul. That was such BS. If our guy doesn’t make that hit, Iowa gets the first down. I just couldn’t believe that one…

  12. Calls or reversals like these make the Big Ten look foolish. Football can be such a game of momentum, something like this can effect the outcome of the game. Maybe some of the stimulus money can be used to create jobs that will refine the system. Now that’s a change we could believe in!

  13. Juan, worst part about it was he used his shoulder and put his arm up like a “flipper” to make the hit on the sideline…just like coaches teach it. He also has to use that one side of his body because of the injury. I was able to put the Mich game behind me quickly but this one was “rigged” and there is not a person out there that could ever tell me different!

  14. There doesn’t have to be an overt conspiracy per se. Officials read the papers and know which teams should win to make the conference money. Officials are graded and have their performance reviewed after every game and after each season. These evaluations determine who gets the plum assignments and even who is retained for another season. Now, if you were an official (in the booth or on the field) and you had a play in front of you that could go the way of Iowa (entire conference wins with mega-bowl revenue) or Indiana (several hundred IU fans are happy) which call do you want to defend in front of league supervisors? As long as we’re under-supported, under achieving, underdogs we can’t put ourselves in a position where officials can take a game away.

  15. I should add, that those of us who witnessed the “glory years” of IU basketball must admit that we’ve been on the other side of this phenomenon more than once. Among RMK’s other talents, he made a heck of a fourth official.

  16. I was watching the game in a cigar bar here in South Florida and the first comment made by one the those watching was “the Big Ten is protecting the BCS dollars.” The man making the comment was in full University of Florida garb waiting for the game with Georgia.

    I was amazed that the the majority of the group (about 25) were in agreement.

  17. Phantom pass interference. Helmet to helmet personal foul. One TD pass ruled incomplete, ruling up held, second TD pass ruled complete, ruling reversed.

    All 4 of those calls combined cost IU a total of 7 points. The PI and PF both led to interceptions by Taylor. The first TD pass became moot with a TD scored on the next play. The 2nd TD pass cost IU 7 points on the board.

    All of these calls happened in the 1st 3 quarters of play. After all this was said and done, IU had a 24-14 lead (2 scores) to start the 4th quarter.

    The melt down at that point was not officiating.

    The officials didn’t give up a 92 yard TD.

    Still up 24-21, the officials didn’t call 3 straight pass plays going into the wind that used less than a minute off the clock.

    The officials didn’t give up a 66 yard TD pass to go down 28-24.

    The officials didn’t throw an INT after getting stuffed for a 2 yard loss on a run play and then an incomplete pass.

    The officials didn’t give up a 6 play TD drive to blow the game open.

    The officials sucked, but the game was still in IU’s hands. They (IU) blew the game.

  18. Forgot to mention the bad spot that led to a 4th & 1 that Iowa jumped offsides and gave IU the 1st & 10 any way. That was in the 1st 3 quarters as well.

  19. Mike P, I agree with all of what you say. In fact, that is why I made the comment about Willis wanting to transfer and being pissed. Passing the ball in that crazy wind and all of the short yardage situations Willis did not get the ball made no sense. It was crazy so I realize the officials did not lose the game for IU but you and I both know something was up there in the review box that was just not right and we all know it kept killing any momentum built up by IU.

  20. J Pat,

    I know something was going on in the booth. It was painfully obvious. My point is they had over came all the BS officiating the 1st 3 quarters to have a 10 point lead going into the 4th, only to get throttled for 28 unanswered points.

    For the life of me, after the 92 yard pass, with a 24-21 lead, I can not figure out why they would throw 3 straight passes INTO the wind?

  21. J Pat and Mike P,

    One reason might be that we weren’t running the ball very successfully.

    The sequence was bomb on 1st down, 7 yard completion on 2nd and busted play/prayer throw on 3rd. Actually, if you go back and look at the 3rd down play, Doss flashes open on a quick slant from the slot. Why Chappell didn’t go there I don’t know, maybe he wasn’t primary.

    But I think the whole sequence hinges on the 1st down bomb. Probably shouldn’t have tried that going into the wind, especially knowing that Iowa had turned it over twice trying the same thing.

  22. GFDave, I agree about the bomb throw for sure. As far as not running the ball successfully…we get so far away from it and waht works early that we really never know if it could be successful. At NW Willis runs outside the tackles for 80 yards first play and after that IU runs up the gut or wildcat rest of the way. Vs Iowa holes are opening up the middle in first quarter for huge gains. I could not believe what I was seeing and then…no more short yardage running, only throwing and wildcat. Also, the wind was wicked at the end of the game!!!

  23. Mike P,

    You covered exactly what happened it the game. And you could say all of those things only cost IU 7 points. However, what if IU doesn’t get that personal foul penalty and runs the punt back? Every play changes something in the game. You know that man…

  24. GF Dave,

    Go to the post yesterday with the numbers. I posted some more today that you might be interested in looking at.

    J Pat,

    Here is numbers for you. Willis, 6 carries, 35 yards and a TD on the opening drive. After that drive, he gets 15 more carries for a whopping 19 yards.


    You have got to do better than that man. You should know better!

    Iowa, 3rd & 10, they throw an out route complete for a 10 yard gain. The result of the play was a first down. A personal foul for helmet to helmet contact put 15 yards onto the end of the play. The PF did not give Iowa a first down, the pass play did. What it gave them was 15 extra yards. That’s it. No punt was upcoming.

    You can argue the PI call if you want, it gave them a first down on a 3rd down play, though a punt return for a TD? Grabbing at straws there?

    Fisher was out of the game. IU has not returned a punt for a TD this year, and Iowa had not gave up a punt return for a TD this year.

    Come on man, you can do better….

  25. Mike, I am speaking more of the plays they are choosing for him to run whether inside or outside of the tackles. I would rather run him in short yardage and when wind is terrible than have Chap throwing, for sure.

  26. J Pat,

    I knew what you were talking about. Just thought the 1st drive stats compared to the rest of the game were significant to see.

    What changed from the first drive?

    I really need to re-watch the game play by play to know for sure.

  27. I didn’t think he got the first. At least a yard short. But I’m sure you have watched the replay at least a dozen times so you are probably right.
    I don’t have time to look up numbers and argue stats with you. All I am saying is blown calls change football games. Thats a fact! Man..

  28. Juan,

    I have watched that replay. I am almost positive he would have been marked for the first down without the personal foul being called.

    Like I said though, the pass interference gave them a first down on what was a 3rd down stop. They would have had to punt, instead they ran 2 more plays and through another interception. I’m pretty sure that was the INT that set us up for a field goal. Probably had better field position after the INT than we would have after a punt.

    Just saying.

  29. Mike, I still have on DVR and will watch friday night most likely. I too need to watch again.

    Juan and Mike, it was a first down and I am sure of it. I was able to rewind it 7,8,9 times and pause…it was a first. I would say the refs were off at least a football length if not two.

  30. It’s like playing Whac-A-Mole with you, Mike P.

    You’re the mole that keeps popping out of the ‘what if’ holes…I don’t give a damn about the ‘what ifs’…I care about what happened!…What happened in the game was a corruption of values..What happened was a big slice of integrity taken away from college football..You can talk about IU’s stat sheet and failed ability to put points on the board until your head’s flat…The integrity of the game was damaged once again…It takes the heart and joy out of watching sports…Iowa never had to prove they were true champions….You should pop out of the Iowa stat sheet for a while….Jump up with all the great numbers that prove how they put a second half licking on a sorry ass Indiana team …Sweep the integrity of the game under the artificial turf…At the end of the day, it’s all artificial.

    What if…?

  31. I think that Willis’ ankle is pretty bad, that’s why he is listed as questionable every week.

    Iowa’s has a pretty good run defense. After the initial drive they really started filling the gaps.

    Surprised there is little to no criticism of the Wildcat formation.

  32. Mike P, I think maybe you got a little lost in the weeds with the quarter-by-quarter, year-to-year comparison.

  33. Sounds like more Fox News talking..

    This just in…I found out my kid just stole $50 from an old lady sitting on a park bench…I was infuriated….I scolded him so harshly he’ll never forget the fastest route to run home…

    I’d like to “fill some gaps”…gaping holes of honor and integrity found in the souls of some vegetables that sit in the Iowa review booth.

    You guys are too much.

  34. GFDave,
    There was a post earlier on this thread that went on an on, without making much of a point concerning Mike P. What you said in one sentence is sufficient. Mike P. was trying to make a point.

  35. I’m not arguing that the integrity of the game was not damaged. I have said that the officials should be suspended, investigated and fired if need be.

    My argument is even with everything that happened, all the obviously biased calls the officials made, IU still was in position to win the game and their own mistakes cost it for them.

  36. Mike,

    I agree with your every detail…I’m simply saying it’s like studying the slew of different vegetables in a soup laden with botulism. The Iowa game was poisoned.

    You know a lot about the game of football and seem very passionate about the Hoosiers..It makes me even more infuriated to know that your passion is not being rewarded in fairness on the field.

  37. Downing,

    I learned a long time ago that officials are human. I have never met an official who calls the perfect game, nor one without bias.

    I have had a referee tell me that being an ex QB makes him quicker to flag a hit by a d-lineman and more lenient toward offensive lineman who are protecting the QB.

    This guy is one of the best and most well respected officials in the IHSAA.

    Some games and officials are worse than others. We have a couple here locally that are well known for their calling games on personal bias.

    Long ago I stopped blaming officials for the outcome of a game or getting mad about bad or wrong calls, unless the call pertains to the safety of the players on the field.

    If I hadn’t learned to do that, I could never watch and enjoy a Big Ten or SEC officiated game.

  38. I always thought they were aliens. Please don’t condescend. You can’t excuse what happened at that game..Nothing to do with being imperfect.

  39. I’ve yet to see anyone else posit that the Iowa player had the first down on the pass that was flagged for the phantom helmet hit.

    Don’t know where the chains were, but by the marker on the sidelines he was a yard short.

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