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Putting bias aside, should Virginia Tech's TD have been upheld?



VestedInterest's picture

Askig Bucks fans to put bias aside in any and all things M*ch*gan is like asking the pope to not be catholic. Regardless...score is good.

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I thought the ball may have moved when he hit the turf and rolled but even so, it is not enough to overturn call on the field.  It's not indisputable.

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

rkylet83's picture

Wasn't enough to overturn the call on the field.  AS usual this season Michigan catches a break.

ArTbkward's picture

If I'm VT today, I'm livid.  No way that was indisputable, the poor kid who caught it looked like he might cry.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

addman1405's picture

This bowl game was gift wrapped with a bow on top for hokeamania in the last 3 minutes. No doubt in my mind that was a catch. PAC-12 refs can suck it.

ih8rolltyde's picture

2 things on this subject:

1) I hate this whole completed catch through going to the ground nonsense.  Can we go back to control equals catch and ball touches ground equals incomplete?  Under the rules in place, I think it has to be incomplete because the ball touched the ground and moved ever so slightly.

2) I REALLY hate the whole indisputable evidence to overturn a call rule. For example: a possible fumble... the ref has to let it be a fumble so it can be recovered, if the ref blows it down, then they can't determine who would have recovered it. So then, there is extra burden of proof on the side of the runner being down, because it has to be indisputable to overturn the call of a fumble. There should be a way for the ref to just say they need a review cause the play was too close to call on the field. That way, the replay official can just call it as they see it, as oppossed to having to have extra evidence for an overturn. Just my long-winded two cents.

****igan smells like old water that hot dogs were boiled in.  FACT

Scott's picture

I was cheering for Michigan last night, but I don't think the play should have been overturned. Regardless of whether it was called a catch or an incomplete pass, I don't think there was enough evidence to overturn an initial call.

Class of 2008

Mark's picture

When one of these controversial calls happen, I always try to look at it from the other side.  Even if it's a call in a Buckeyes game.  If I were a Va tech fan, I would be pissed that the call was overturned. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

A conspiracy theorists would claim the fix was in the because it was Pac 12 officials. And how convenient that they call a Big Ten game after they sign the agreement about a week ago.

Va Tech did get screwed. With that call, and the bogus pass interference call. Incompetence on VT's side didn't help either. "Let me cut back for a 22 yard loss". lol

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Bucksfan's picture

The ball clearly hit the turf.  I don't know how none of you saw it.  It was in 1080p and super slow-motion, and it could be seen from 2 different angles.  You guys watching it on an old black-and-white?  If any part of the ball hits the turf and this causes the ball to move, then it's incomplete.  RULE.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Except that the reciever's (and, simultaneously, the ball's) contact with the turf did NOT cause the ball to move. The receiver had complete control of the ball. The ball only "moved" after contact in relation to his entire body still being in motion.

Bucksfan's picture

First, none of that is in the rule book at all.  If the ball hits the ground through the possession and either a) moves, even the slightest bit or b) helped the player secure the ball, then it is incomplete.  In this case, the ball most certainly bounced off the turf before it was fully brought into his body.

Anyway, it's a meaningless exhibition.  Just like all the bowls.  In fact, everyone was saying how neither Michigan nor Virginia Tech should have even been there.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

When a player is going to the ground in the process of catching the ball, then the laws of physics make it virtuallly impossible for the ball not to be moving. The player is moving and the player is holding the ball; ergo, the ball is moving.

All you had to do was read the excerpt provided by M Man directly below to see that the rules do not state that if the ball moves "even in the slightest bit" (after coming into contact with the ground), therefore it is an incompletion.

In this case, the ground did not help the receiver secure the ball.  

Run_Fido_Run's picture

C/HS FB officials from Hokieland don't agree with MoGoBlog. Obviously, they're biased, but so is MoGoBlog. See:

 What if the Pacific 12 officiating crew had upheld Danny Coale's 20-yard touchdown in overtime? ACC supervisor of officials Doug Rhoads believes they should have.


A group of retired football officials in the Lynchburg area are speaking on the condition of anonymity, saying it should have been ruled a touchdown.

M Man's picture

Blog fight!

You don't have to click if you don't want to.  The applicable rule is (emphasis added):

Incomplete Pass
ARTICLE 7. a. Any forward pass is incomplete if the ball is out of bounds by rule or if it touches the ground when not firmly controlled by a player. It also is incomplete when a player leaves his feet and receives the pass but first lands on or outside a boundary line, unless his progress has been stopped in the field of play or end zone (Rule 4-1-3-p) (A.R. 2-4-3-III and A.R. 7-3-7-I).

The rule was literally cited by the referee in his post-replay announcement.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

That's fine, except the ball was firmly controlled by the receiver.

M Man's picture

Right.  Bouncing between his forearms.

TheHostileDwarf's picture

But it didn't bounce between his forearms and it didn't bounce at all until it hit the ground. The ball IS allowed to touch the ground and it's even allowed to move once it hits the ground as long as the receiver has firm control of it through the catch. Firm control != that the ball cannot move at all when contact is made with the ground.

First, as has been mentioned, if that was called an incompletion on the field, there wasn't enough to overturn it, but there wasn't enough to overturn a completion on the field either.

Second, to be honest, if that catch is made against the Buckeyes, you're Goddamn right I'm arguing from your side instead. :)

M Man's picture

Speaking of the call going the other way, that very call DID go against us, as a game-changer in the final seconds in our game versus Iowa this year.  And, pretty much indisputably, in the Iowa play, Michigan's Junior Hemingway had more "hands" on the ball, and more "firm control" than did Danny Coale.  The Iowa play is referenced within the MGoBlog post; it is yet more proof that if the rule is going to be employed at all as it is written, the correct call for Va Tech was "incomplete."  

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Know if that play is on Youtube and/or who the players involved were so I can look it up?

M Man's picture


That's Chris Spielman on the commentary, suggesting it is a Michigan td.  The announcers don't do a very good job; they first think the call was Hemingway out-of-bounds, which he clearly wasn't, with a knee and a foot clearly in bounds.  Then they get to the part about controlling the ball and the ground 'moving' the ball within the player's grasp.

There is only one way to make sense of both rulings and that is as suggested by the MGoBlog post and a strict reading of the "firmly control" rule.

(Link corrected.)


TheHostileDwarf's picture

Very similar, but it appears to me to be slightly more of a trap against the ground, but yes, very similar. Also, the play on the field was ruled an incompletion and wasn't overturned due to lack of evidence. That all matters.

xtremebuckeye's picture

So your opinion is Jr Hem made his catch for a completion but the Va Tech WR didnt make the same catch for a completion? if one is disputable then so is the other , either way you lose a game.

IMO both were complete and tsun made out pretty good

The Va Tech receiver had full control of the ball before he hit the ground and the ground didnt help him secure it and after the tip of the ball touched the ground the receiver still retained possesion and the ball never touch the ground without being in his possesion.


O H I O is the Buckeye State

M Man's picture

You are talking about nice things that really don't matter; did the ground "help him secure it," etc.  As if it were a matter of intent or some such thing.

What matters is one thing; did the ball touch the ground without the reciever having "full control."

I thought Junior Hemingway's ball was a catch, because he had "full control" under the rule.  Hemingway had the ball secured in two hands as he and the ball hit the ground.  The only reason the ball budged at all was because it was under him as he fell.

I think Danny Coale's ball was not a catch, because he didn't have "full control" under the rule.  Coale had the ball bouncing loose in his forearms as he hit the ground.  Per the exact wording of the rule, the ball hit the ground without Coale's having '"full control."

Your are free to disagree with my parsing of the two plays if you wish.  I've looked at the video many times, and I'm satisfied that I'm right.  If you wish, you can call them both catches, or you can call them both incompletes.  Two different sets of referees (one Big Ten, one Pac 12) called them both incomplete.  What would really be insane -- and the real reason to make a big deal out of the Hemingway/Iowa catch in this instance -- is that if the Va Tech ball had been a td while Hemingway's catch was invalidated, it would have rendered the rule meaningless.  (I gather, from what you've written, is that you think Michigan got ripped off in the Iowa game.  We agree on that.  And you think that it would be a consistent call, to have ruled Coale's play a catch.  I can live with that disagreement.)

I don't know what else you might think about the review, but I think that the video was clear enough in both cases, that it gave the review refs a good basis to overturn.  And in both cases, the back judges were not as well positioned as the 2-3 camera angles equipped with slow motion.

I think that is as clear as I can make it.  Again, I am pretty happy with the way that the Va. Tache review was done, with the exact right rule clearly employed and cited to the audience.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The MGo poster suggests/implies:

A). That a ball cannot move when it touches the ground - i.e., that ball movement simultaneous with, or subseuqent to, it coming into contact with the ground = "not firmly controlled." However, the rule states no such thing. Hypotethically, a receiver could legally leap up to catch a ball in the EZ firmly with BOTH hands, get sumersaulted by a DB, land hands/ball first on the ground while simultaneously cocking the ball back-and-forth between his gloriously gifted hands - just 'cause that's how he likes to roll. As long as he has complete control of the ball, movement of the ball is not a disqualifier.

B). That it's impossible to catch a ball to the extent that it is "firmly controlled" by using a body part(s) other than one's hands/fingers (in this case, the received partly used a forearm). By that analysis, MGo has insulted low-skilled high school ball craddlers, not to mention aspiring one-armed receievers, everywhere!     

741's picture

Didn't watch.

faux_maestro's picture

 I wouldn't root for Michigan if they were playing the Devil for my soul, so I have a hard time putting aside my bias. Sorry.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Bottom line is its VT's fault it ever came to that call, or OT for that matter. They kicked skunk bear tail the entire game and Lil Wayne threw up prayers and VT did nothing about it, much like the ND defensive coverage. Neither team won their mediocre conferences and played in a BCS game. So, meh. Let them enjoy, because regular 3-4 loss seasons await the team in A2.

BigRedBuckeye's picture

Def. not a catch. Using the Youtube link ( pause and unpause it in as short an interval as Youtube will allow, starting at 40 seconds. You can see clearly from :42 to :43 that at the moment the ball touches the ground, his right hand is curled awkardly around the ball, his left hand is empty and pointing towards the sky, and he is in the process of trapping the ball with his left forearm to secure it.. Thus, at that moment, it is not "firmly controlled," so it violates the rule. But it is interesting that the rule includes the adverb "firmly", which is very subjective. 

And we'll drink to old Ohio, 'Til we wobble in our shoes!