Our apologies for not recording a podcast following this past weekend’s football game. The University of Tulsa prides itself for its education. “A Top 50 Private University!” the commercial brags. Unfortunately for start-up student-run sports blogs, this means there are weeks where a multitude of tests, lab reports, and homework assignments take precedence over sharing our thoughts regarding whatever sporting events took place recently. Again, we apologize and appreciate your understanding.
Also, this is absolutely not to say that I don’t have thoughts following that Navy game Saturday morning in Annapolis.
It was robbery. It was a cowardly ruling by a replay crew that chose, for whatever reason, not to let the game play out as it should have. We posted a video of the replay on Twitter Saturday afternoon:
— Reign Cane Sports (@ReignCaneSports) November 12, 2016
Star linebacker (and fellow Jenks alum) Trent Martin has some thoughts regarding the non-call:
There's just no way they make that call at home on veterans weekend/senior day
— Trent Michael Martin (@Trentboom40) November 12, 2016
Maybe so, but that doesn’t make it right.
In fact, in a season where teams like Western Michigan crack the top 25 for the first time, along with the Troy Trojans with their first ranking, it is shameful that a historically good team like Tulsa doesn’t get respect from its own conference’s officials.
— American Football (@American_FB) November 4, 2016
For the conference to talk so much about being part of the “Power 6” of college football conferences, with their gratuitous use of the hashtag #AmericanPower on Twitter and their “P6” stickers shown above, the refereeing hasn’t appeared to keep up. I was a strong proponent of the Power 6 idea before, but the small things are starting to differentiate the American from the Power 5 conferences.
Even if we gave the officials the benefit of the doubt in the Houston game earlier this year, missing the “too many men on the field” and “offsides” calls at the end of that contest, the Navy non-reversal of the call was blatantly wrong. The replay crew seemingly took about 45 seconds to look at the call—a call that decided the game, and with huge conference ramifications. This sequence was only made more unscrupulous when we turned to the Texas-West Virginia game and a fairly obvious call was reviewed for at least twice as long as the Tulsa-Navy crew took.
As anyone who talked to me after the game knows, I can understand the referees on the field not being sure. But that’s what replay is for: verifying that the call on the field was correct. And, somehow, that simple task was failed.
It just hurts me because this team is truly special. So many valuable seniors, an incredible rising star of a coach, and a season that broke right for us, with Houston giving the conference a national spotlight, yet faltering just enough that Tulsa could come out on top. The team had the opportunity to control their own destiny, win out, and play for the conference title. The same team, largely, that endured the two win season not long ago.
It sucks that incompetent and perhaps biased referees could take all of that away from these guys. One of the many reasons I love having Coach Monty in our locker room is he will fight for his players.
Montgomery: "This is not the first time this year this has happened to us…. If I don't (stand up for players) I'm doing wrong as a coach."
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) November 15, 2016
He is open, honest, and truly upset that the mistakes of some outside party could so severely harm our players’ immediate future prospects. One of my friends looks up the college football analysts’ bowl predictions every Monday when they are released. It is so disheartening to see the national “experts” think we should be playing against Ohio, Appalachian State, or Old Dominion. This team hung with Ohio State for a half and was a foot shy of beating a highly ranked Houston team. It pains me that referees are the reason this squad is 7-3, and not 8-2. (An argument could even be made for 9-1, which is much closer to the skill and potential of this team.)
So, yes, I’m angry. So is noted Tulsa fan, Vype publisher, and former Tulsa football player Austin Chadwick.
— Austin Chadwick (@AustinChadwick) November 13, 2016
So are countless others. The real tragedy is that, being the smallest D1 football school, and one that has under-performed for several years previous to Montgomery’s reign, TU doesn’t get the respect or attention it deserves. Can you imagine the sports punditry Monday morning outraged if Clemson lost in the same manner? It may be a pipe dream to expect the same coverage for Tulsa, but the point remains the same: the Hurricane should have won that game Saturday afternoon. The refs, regrettably, decided otherwise.