College Football’s Worst Calls in 2016

In honor of Clemson having their shot at the national title taken away this weekend, we’re gonna have a go at the Top 5 Blown Calls in CFB this year (so far)…

No 5: Pitt vs Clemson // 12 Nov 2016


This one’s a big deal because it seismically (yeah, like an earthquake) affects the entire landscape of the CFB world.With five and a half minutes left, and the ball on the Clemson 20, Pitt bungled a 3rd and 10, leaving them to (likely) kick a FG or (unlikely) pin Clemson really deep. Except for that yellow piece of linen on the field. What’s that all about?

Apparently, without actually doing anything to deserve it, Clemson’s K’Von Wallace was flagged for defensive holding on that play. Replays showed nothing resembling holding, not even close, but Pitt nonetheless got another series of downs with which to play, and they capitalized big time.

Without that blown call and the ensuing TD on the very next play (which would have otherwise been a punt or a FG), Pitt simply doesn’t win that game, and Clemson is still ranked #2, with a perfect record, and is clearly in the Playoff. But with that blown call, Clemson is out of the playoff picture (even with the Michigan and Washington loses), and unless Deshaun Watson (stupidly) decides to play his senior year in Clemson, SC rather than on an NFL roster, I’m guessing it could be their last legitimate shot at the national playoff for a while.

Seems like a pretty important call, no?

No 4: Clemson vs Florida State // 29 Oct 2016


Boy, do I hate Florida State and their racist mascot, but I’ve gotta give it to them on this one: #TheyGotHosed.

In the fourth quarter, the ‘Noles were leading 28-26 and had the ball. On 1st and 10, FSU fullback Freddie Stevenson was called for an illegal block that negated a huge Dalvin Cook run that ended deep in Clemson territory. This was precisely the sort of momentum that FSU needed to maintain an edge at home. Another score here, and their crowd likely wouldn’t have stopped with that stupid chop for the rest of the game. But no, the ref just HAD to blow his little whistle and toss his little flag. LOOK AT ME, everybody!! I have so much power!!

Bottom line, the block was simply NOT illegal. Jimbo Fisher was willing to pony up $20K just to say as much. But that raises another issue: why can’t officials be criticized for blowing (or even not blowing) a critical call. We all get to criticize the players and the coaches. Last I checked, the refs were also getting paid to play the game — and they’re the only team out there that doesn’t have an opposing team trying to stop them from doing their job.

Thanks for nothin, jerks.

No 3: Troy vs Clemson // 10 Sept 2016


This is one that nobody was talking about. Hell, I couldn’t even find video for it online (and if you look, you can find video for nearly ANYTHING online).

But here’s the deal: Beginning of 4th quarter, 13-10 Clemson. Clemson at the Troy 1 yard line. Clemson gets stuffed at the line and fumbles the ball. Troy grabs the fumble and returns it all the way for a TD. However, the play is ruled dead. It’s not ruled dead when Clemson is stuffed, mind you. It’s ruled dead after the Troy player has scooped up the ball and is well on his merry way down the field. No challenge, no nothing. On the very next play, Clemson throws a TD.

So that makes it 20-10 Clemson, instead of 13-17 Troy. Granted, there’s still time in the game for…whatever to happen. But Troy had all the momentum (or would have) and a silent stadium. Instead, Uncle Mo got all hopped up on Clemson and their home crowd and ultimately exploded into an unearned win. Total bullshit. But it was an early season game with a playoff darling that CFB needed for one of their two or three orchestrated narratives to play out.

Thanks, NCAA.

No 2: Central Michigan vs Oklahoma State // 10 Sept 2016


This is the worst one, because regardless of context or stakes or any other factor that could heighten the importance of the game, it’s simply the stupidest fucking call we’ve seen in we don’t even know how long. And it’s one of the only calls where the lion’s share of people that watched or cared simply said, “Why don’t they just reverse the call? The other team should obviously win.” For instance, my wife just learned the difference between a football and a basketball, but it was crystal clear to her. Some things are just obvious — to everybody but the zebras.

To recap: the refs gave Central Michigan a play after the game was over (never should have happened). Of course, they scored a ridiculous game-winning TD on said play.

HAYZOO KRISTOW. You couldn’t make this shit up!

No 1: College Football Fans

In a system where the players don’t get paid and the referees aren’t full-time employees, how the hell do you hold anyone accountable? The officiating this year has been a train wreck, and it’s no surprise why…

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