Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's Done is Done

It was disappointing for me — as it was for other Arkansas alumni — to watch the Razorbacks lose to top–ranked Florida on Saturday, 23–20.

Especially because the officials made bad calls that gave the Gators new life — and, ultimately, enabled them to win the game.

Make no mistake about it. It wasn't Tim Tebow's heroics that won the game for the Gators.

Now, it's not my way to blame the officials when a game doesn't go my way, but I have to say that I felt the pass interference call in the fourth quarter that helped Florida get the touchdown that tied the game at 20–20 was ridiculous. And I have to agree that, as someone I have never met observed in a comment that was posted online, the refs at that game should have been wearing blue and orange instead of black and white.

But, yesterday, the Southeastern Conference acknowledged that the officials made a mistake. The SEC would only concede that an error was made on a personal foul call. It did not address the pass interference call. I thought both calls contributed to the outcome of the game.

So I have to agree with what John Taylor wrote for NBC Sports: "Look, it's all well and good that the SEC is willing to admit that their officials are not infallible. But, when are they going to, you know, prevent it from happening before it really costs someone a game?"

I hate to be the one who has to point it out to Mr. Taylor — although, at this point, I doubt that I am the first to bring this to his attention — but those calls on Saturday did cost Arkansas the game. A pretty big one, too. It doesn't get any bigger than a game against the top–ranked team in the country.

Well, anyway, the Gators got the win and they remained unbeaten, but the Razorbacks exacted a measure of revenge. The Associated Press pollsters were not impressed with Florida and permitted Alabama to leapfrog into the top spot in their weekly poll.

Of course, it's October. It will be about 2½ months before the national championship game will be played. And, in that time, Florida could return to the top spot and be positioned to win yet another national crown. But their failure to convincingly defeat Arkansas worked against them — and I believe the Razorbacks continued to grow and improve.

No matter what the scoreboard said, it was a win for the Razorbacks and a loss for the Gators. And I think most people who watched the game would agree.

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