Refs let Florida State and Auburn play — and we got a great reward

January 07, 2014 | Drew Forrester

I hope the NFL watched Monday’s NCAA title game between Florida State and Auburn.

Now…THAT…was football.

Did you notice what happened?

The officiating crew didn’t take over the contest with flag-after-flag.  I saw horse-collar-tackles, face masks grabbed, hits on the sideline and some midfield collisions that left me shuddering.

And guess what?

No one got killed.  I didn’t see one player arguing or screaming with the officials on the occasion when a flag WAS thrown.  Even the Davis kid at the end who was flagged for pass interference took it with grace — because he knew he was guilty.

I’ve watched a lot of football in my life and that game will go down as one of the most enjoyable “viewing moments” ever.  They just played football.  Good football, at that.

It was such a pleasure to see the officials “let ’em play” as the old saying goes.  The pace of the game was quicker, for starters, and you didn’t feel like the whole thing was being decided by anything or anyone — other than the players and coaches.

Even the late taunting penalty on Florida State could be accepted much easier — particularly when replays showed that nitwit standing in the middle of the field by himself gesturing over at the Auburn sideline after the Seminoles cut the lead to 21-19.

The refs get a lot of grief in the NFL because they throw more flags and call more ticky-tack stuff than any of us feel is reasonable.

They should watch Monday night’s championship game.

That was football.

5 Comments For This Post

  1. John in Westminster Says:

    I’ll agree with the quality of the game in the 2 half. The first half was tough to watch as FSU looked like a herd of deer in the headlights. After watching that game, I’m wondering if the real Heisman winner was the running back on the other side of the field. I was also wondering how Manziel or Bridgewater would have looked behind center for the Noles.

  2. Ruben Says:

    If that ref had seen the horse-collar tackle on that FSU receiver on their final drive, it absolutely should have been called.

  3. Matt Says:

    Get out of here John. Winston is a freshman and the kid has one bad half of football the entire season and you want to take the Heisman away from him?? Please. They were clearly outcoached in the 1st half, but made great adjustments at halftime and Winston played like the Heisman winner he was in the 2nd half.

    Tre Mason did nothing spectacular until that final 37 yard run, which can be credited to a great blocking scheme. All of Auburn’s TD drives except the last one came on extremely short fields. FSU’s defense did a great job to keep them in that game in the 3rd quarter, Auburn had several chances to put that game away but didn’t.

    Sure Manziel and Bridgewater have unbelievable talent, but do they have the moxie to bounce back after a tough 1st half and lead their team when it matters the most in the biggest game of the season?? EJ Manual who was a 1st round pick in the NFL had the exact same talent, if not more then Winston and his team lost to NC State last year.

    Don’t think for a second Winston isn’t a rare, special talent and he most certainly deserved the Heisman. I don’t want to take anything from Tre Mason, but do you really think he will have that much success in the NFL in a pro offensive system?

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    No question about Winston’s athleticism and success! But, he brings to mind JaMarcus Russell who failed miserably in the pros! In fact, the NFL is littered with Heisman Trophy Winners who couldn’t make it in professional football! That being said, this kid does look….special!

  5. John In Westminster Says:

    Sorry Matt, but I’m here to stay for a while 😉 I give credit to Winston for winning the game, but just expected the Heisman winner to look like the best player in college and didn’t see it. It seemed like FSU finally had to start dinking and dunking with the pass game and running the ball more for them to get back into a rhythm. Even their last touchdown drive resulted primarily from a short pass in which the Auburn defenders looked like the Keystone cops, knocking each other out of the play, as the FSU receiver ran for 50 yards.

    For some clarification, Manziel actually had to overcome a 21-point half-time deficit in the Chick-Fil-A bowl on New Years Eve, with less overall talent, against Duke. And if you want moxie (Manziel’s picture is in Webster’s dictionary beside the word), go back to the SportCenter Top10 play where Manziel evaded the pass rush forward then had to jump over a Duke D-lineman backwards to create space for himself to make a touchdown pass. Also, Mason rushed for 195 yards on 34 carries Auburn so I think he did much more than you credit him with.

    The Heisman should include bowl performances because those are the ‘big’ games, in part, because the schools finally get to play the best schools from other conferences and the players are seen by a larger audience. Although I’m not sure how many votes it would swing given regional sports writer bias, I think last night’s game would have had an influence.

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