Syracuse vs. Toledo - Sorry Rockets, But We're Going to Keep This One

Do I feel bad for Toledo?  Of course I do.  It sucks when the referees have a direct impact on the outcome on the game, and Saturday was no different.  However, there is absolutely no way that anyone can consider taking SU's win away. Toledo didn't lose the game because of the botched call.  Did it hurt their chances?  Absolutely.  But let us not forget that Toledo had a drive at the end of the game, where they could have easily tried for the touchdown.  Instead, their offense got super-conservative in the red zone and they played for the tie.  Pat Dye was a Rockets fan on Saturday.  

The argument that Toledo "would have won" is so flawed it's unbelievable.  After we went up by 3, we played very soft defense, as we did for much of the game outside of the red zone.  If they were only down two points, there is no way that we would not run more blitzes and take more chances to try to keep them out of field goal range.  Toledo may have very well had similar success and won the game, but the drive would not have been a play-for-play repeat of what we saw on Saturday, at least on the defensive side.

People also forget that SU had two timeouts left.  If Toledo moved the ball and scored, it wouldn't have been with 2 seconds left.  We could have definitely had a good chance for a drive up the field, and Ryan Nassib is dangerous in the fourth quarter.

Toledo ALSO had a chance to win the game in overtime.  Instead, they threw the interception to Kevyn Scott, but it's not as if the referees forced them off the field after blowing the call.  There was a lot of football left to be played.

As for the actual call/review, I'm not quite sure how you mess it up on the field.  Either the ball went through the uprights or it didn't, just look up.  I can understand, however, how that review process may have shown inconclusive evidence.  While the behind-the-kicker view looks pretty straightforward, the side shot which the Big East says the ref saw was definitely inconclusive.  The ball disappears somewhere, and if the evidence is inconclusive, a call cannot be overturned.  That's the way the rule is written, and I think the replay judge held to that pretty tightly.  That's not to say that the right call was made, but I get why it was.  The refs who were under the goalposts should be the ones getting the most heat.

And if we're going to overturn that one bad call, how about Alec Lemon getting hip-checked in the endzone on a very catchable ball by a defensive back who was not making a play on it, directly in front of a ref?  That play was right in front of me, and I was just shocked that the ref didn't throw a flag.  It was about as blatant as pass interference can be.  Also, how about Antwon Bailey getting his helmet violently ripped off of his head after a play was dead, and tossed five yards into the backfield?  Can we get that penalty?  

There is no way that this game result gets overturned though.  That is just the single most dangerous precedent we can set in sports.  If they give Toledo this game, we're going to see teams filing for wins every week, and we're going to see teams taking games to court.  If that happens, we might as well just stop playing sports.  

Human error is part of every game.  That's just something that we're going to have to live with.

The thing that is most striking it me, is the fact that we've come out as the 'bad guy' in all of this.  Did Doug Marrone become to replay official?  Where did SU do anything wrong in this entire event?  We played the game within the parameters of the situation that was laid out for us, nothing more and nothing less.  Anyone who is vilifying Syracuse in this, whether it is Toledo fans or self-hating SU fans or other Big East fans who are butthurt about the ACC thing, is being absolutely ridiculous.  This blown call may be unfortunate, but nothing that happened is Syracuse's fault at all.

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