Cancel Refs
January 03, 2020

This is it, this is the worst spot of the ball in the history of the Gator Bowl, and maybe organized football

Earlier this week, our own Shane Ryan wrote a great piece on why replay/technology in sports should be killed, a knee-jerk reaction to the awful replay calls in the Clemson-Ohio State College Football Playoff Semifinal. His argument was that bad calls are better, or easier to swallow, than bad replay, which I 100 percent agree with. That said, technology can still fix glaring mistakes from 60-year-old dudes with whistles every once in awhile, like it did last night late in the Gator Bowl between Tennessee and Indiana.

Late in the game, the Volunteers held a 23-22 lead over the Hoosiers with just over a minute to play. Facing 3rd and 6 on their own 38 yard line, Tennessee's Jauan Jennings took a direct snap and picked up about five yards, making one last reach for an extra yard but appearing to come up well short of the line to gain. At least, that's what it looked like to literally everyone watching on television.

But the officiating crew at the Gator Bowl had other ideas, marking the Vols for a game-clinching first down, as Indiana had no more timeouts to stop the clock. Here was the image we all saw:

Not even close, right? Well, as every play-by-play guy ever has said, the yellow line is NOT official. In this case, that was true, it was actually further away as replays would later show. Here's video of the play, which isn't the best quality:

Fortunately, replay fixed this one, setting up the Volunteers with 4th and 1 at the 43. That's where the Tennessee center tried this sneaky little move:

In a major upset, the refs were on top of this one, immediately flagging the center for a snap infraction and backing up the Vols five yards. On 4th and 6, Tennessee punted, and Indiana had one final drive to try to win the game. The Tennessee defense came up big, making a stop to win the Gator Bowl, making the entire fiasco with the refs irrelevant. But that didn't stop me from writing this angry post about it despite having zero dog in the fight.