First, let’s give full marks to the Kansas State Wildcats for their thrilling, gutsy 31-28 overtime win over the TCU Horned Frogs in the Big 12 Championship game.
Now, let’s get to the officials in this game, who struggled throughout, and never more so than on TCU’s goal-line stand, which really started when TCU quarterback Max Duggan ran five yards inside the Kansas State one-yard line. Duggan’s elbow hit the turf just before he was able to get the ball in the end zone, but the officials spotted the ball at the one-yard line after the play was over. After a lengthy review, the officials spotted the ball a few inches forward, but not where Duggan’s elbow landed.
As it turned out, those inches would matter… a lot.
On the next play, which PFF also shows here, running back Kendre Miller certainly appeared to get the ball over the goal line while maintaining control. This would have put TCU up and forced Kansas State to respond with a touchdown instead of a field goal, so it was a pretty important moment.
But the officials never appeared to review it, and simply moved on to the next play. Which saw Miller fall short of the goal line — this time legitimately — and Kansas State got the ball at the TCU 25-yard line. Six plays into their sequence, Kansas State was propelled to the conference championship by Ty Zentner’s 31-yard field goal.
That’s two missed calls in a row in the most important part of the game until then. Again, full marks to Kansas State for the win, but you can bet that people will be talking as much about the refs as anything else, which is always a shame. We don’t yet know how the results of this game will affect TCU’s place in the final four, but it shouldn’t have come to this.