In some way, we are missing the point.
It's not the bad "luck" of the reversals. It's the bad luck of highly emotional events--momentum turners--being taken away and turned into emotional and momentum deficits going the other way, even if the reversal is partly 50/50 justified. Even a just and honest reversal is a huge momentum shift, the closer the call, the worse it is emotionally for the team that got "robbed."Those calls were all essentially turnovers, and all those calls could easily have gone Ohio State's direction. The ejection was a decisive event. By the time of the touchdown reversal, everyone knew what was coming.
At some point superstitious humans (all of us) begins to feel that fate is against them, or that the fix is in. All our lucky jerseys and various talismans show how superstitious we are about events we can't control.
Every close call reversal represents a turning point in the invisible game of momentum, and taxes a team's confidence that things will go right . We should start quantifying the number of close reversals as part of the statistical pattern, both to check for bias and to measure impact.
And, if we are going to keep fighting the Civil War in politics and football, we should be conscious of it. Sure, southern teams hate each other, but Clemson is in the heart of the Confederacy, and SEC officials weren't going to cut any breaks to the Northern team. Witness the close calls that all tipped Clemson's way, when a ruling could have easily been justified either way. I don't think any other conference would have ejected and overturned. Those were game savers for Clemson.
Two interceptions, dropped passes, missing the fumbled Clemson punt, not going on 4th and 4, Borland's missed pick six. Dobbins ankle, Field's knee,etc. Ohio State lost in a perfect storm. The only breaks I recall for the bad guys was one key Clemson drop, Higgins concussion, and one Clemson missed pick six, and one big mistake, when Etienne didn't down the ball at the one so Clemson could run out the clock.
the failure to go for it from the 39 with a two point lead, punting and thinking we were going to stop Lawrence and Clemson on 4 straight downs somewhere, doomed Ohio State to a low percentage chance to win the game, maybe 20-30 percent. Day needs to understand on his road to greatness that this loss was on that decision. You go for the win when you have a knockout opportunity against a Quarterback with a Heisman in his pocket and a set of NFL backs and receivers.
Chances on 4th Down and 4: 50 percent to ice the game
Chances to win if Clemson takes over on downs: Not much different than punting, probably 20-30 percent.
In short, this was a staggering upset by a very good team against a young but great team. It's a sickening event. We missed the Burrows-Ohio State narrative of the ages, a real loss to CFB history.