Wednesday, October 01, 2008  
Pops Tider's first post
For several years now we have seen the dumbing down of our fan base. From missed holding calls to excuses for lack of on field discipline, some of us have complained and cried and become no better than some of our conference brethren.

We have all made it convenient to believe that SEC officials are not very good.

This first post is to attempt to turn that thought process around. Not that it mattered, but I was left with my mouth hanging open at the missed call in the La. Tech – Boise game Wednesday night. It mirrored the call in the Bama – Ole Miss game last year and the replay official in Boise simply blew it. Not because he made a poor judgment but because he (like many Alabama and Mississippi sports writers and Ole Miss fans) doesn’t know the rule. The SEC officials know the rule, what they can review and what they can’t and why. The on field officials in Boise didn’t know and they got no help from the replay booth---even though they had plenty of time to go look up the rule if they wanted.

Be prepared to hear the Rebels whine even more now that they think they have a call that matches and was made for a team in their same position. Be prepared, as we get better and begin to show that the process is working, to listen to the taunts of the corndogs, bulldogs, tigers, and gators that some of us older fans endured while Coach Bryant was walking the sidelines-----“Ya’ll bought the refs!”

To review the play, a Boise receiver went out of bounds (with some minor contact) and came back in to make a catch. It was called a catch on the field and the replay showed he had gone out of bounds. At the point he left the field of play he is ineligible to be the first to touch the ball and he plainly came back in bounds and was the first to touch the ball. But the on-field official did not rule him out of bounds. When the replay showed he was out of bounds, he is not eligible. Because he was not “ruled” on the field to have been forced out, the only thing the replay official can rule on is whether he went out of bounds. Whether he was “forced” out is not something that can be reviewed. That is like pass interference and cannot be ruled on from the booth. The only review is if the receiver was out of bounds.

They blew it.

We’ll not notice it (until we hear the howls of the conquered). Us older guys expect it. It’s coming. On field discipline will yield respect. A knowledgeable staff, a disciplined team and respect will get you the benefit of the doubt. Lack of penalties leads to even less penalties and more frustration from the opponent---which leads to more mistakes for them. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear Tennessee complain about the conference office and the officials.

- Pops Tider

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