This is what I said/retweeted on twitter during and after the game.
I apologize in advance for not using the customary neutral tone I try to pursue, but I just can’t right now.
I think this is worse than the Auburn game in 2006, which had been the worst-officiated game I’d seen. Granted, I don’t always watch every play of games involving other teams. I’ve seen huge calls there were touchdown vs. not a touchdown that were bigger calls that directly affected the outcome. Sometimes referees get a big call wrong, but it’s not a mistake to give one team just about every break imaginable.
In the case of LSU, two calls stand out for the impact they made. One correct call (either no flag or offsetting penalties) would have retained the LSU possession at about the 5 instead of the 20 before the go-ahead field goal (that could have been a go-ahead touchdown). Another correct call (pass interference in the end zone) would have given the Tigers a great chance at the tying touchdown in overtime. There was a less obvious penalty earlier in the possession (I believe on the previous play) and while the second-down throw was not a good one, there was a hold of the jersey/shoulder pad that preceded the throw.
There is absolutely no justification for how many calls went against LSU. Borderline catches were un-reviewable catches for Alabama and were un-reviewable incompletions for LSU. Penalties against Alabama could be rescinded if Saban put in a strong word against them. Mutual pushing and shoving after a short gain was a personal foul against LSU, completely legal play for Alabama. The Tide players consistently had their hands on the faces and facemasks of LSU players. I don’t believe they were called for it even once, not even when the facemask came off of Anthony Jennings. LSU was around their own 30 and had a clear first down. Not when the referee marked it almost a yard short. LSU got the first down anyway, but the fix was in the entire game.
Other people are giving credit to Alabama, but I won’t. In anything approaching a reasonably called game, they lost a close game to a team that should show up in the standings tomorrow as having two losses on the road AGAIN. They can’t take the pressure. Good thing they had help.
I updated my blog about the series.