First of all, what a great first weekend of college football. Michigan and Michigan State both won handily and there were some doozies, capped off by Labor Day’s finale between Miami and No. 18 Florida State.
What a freaking game. Miami recovered from a 24-13 deficit and scored 21 4th quarter points to knock off the ranked Seminoles. It didn’t end without the obligatory Labor Day dramatics, though.
Florida State marched down the field with 1:53 left on the clock to put themselves at Miami’s 2-yard line and in a great position to score the game winning touchdown. After three failed plays, Miami was called for a HUGE pass interference penalty (that ESPN announcers downplayed big time) that would give FSU four more cracks at the end zone — time permitting, of course. Time actually allowed for three cracks at the end zone, but should there have been a fourth down chance to score for Florida State? As I watched the final replay, after the referees said the call on the field was confirmed (incomplete pass) and the time had expired, I couldn’t help but wonder if the ball was actually on the ground before that final tick ran off. Here’s the screen shot I captured:
What do you think? Is the ball on the ground at this point? If so, there should be one final play according to the clock.
I want to believe it’s a home clock job gone bad, but after watching it over and over again that final second seemed awfully long as it was. Also, if you remember after the 2001 game between Michigan/Michigan State, the NCAA now keeps the official time. Therefore, it’s not an issue of what the FSU clock-keepers did or did not do. Either way, perhaps the NCAA official time keepers failed on this one and in doing so we have another “Clockgate” controversy on our hands between in-state rivals.