Patrick Peterson's apparent interception was ruled an incomplete pass and upheld upon review late in the fourth quarter of LSU's 24-15 loss to Alabama. (Photo by Mark Almond/Birmingham News)
I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I must admit while I was waiting to see if the replay official would rule that LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson had indeed intercepted a pass on the sideline late in the fourth quarter against Alabama instead of upholding the incomplete call of the officials on the field, I told my wife, who was watching the game with me, that the incomplete call would stand.
And I said the reason it would stand is because the Southeastern Conference office had deemed that Alabama and Florida must remain undefeated going into the SEC Championship Game, so that an SEC team would have a chance to win the national championship for a fourth consecutive season.
I was joking, but after watching a few calls go
Following the review of Peterson's interception, the incomplete call was upheld.
It's not like
Then again, the officiating in the SEC this season has created one controversy after another, such as that celebration penalty against
Now, the coaches have been told by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to muzzle their criticisms of officiating or face fines and/or suspensions.
"I mean, can somebody stand up and fight for these guys and what they do for the game - and probably get less for it than anybody?" Saban said. "If I was an official, and I was making what I made officiating because I love the game and I love doing it, and I was getting criticized by the media - including our announcers on TV - like these guys are getting criticized, I'd step back and say, 'I think I'll go to the lake this weekend. You can have this.' That's what I'd do."
As for the non-interception call with Peterson, Saban said, "If it was an interception, that doesn't mean they win the game."
No, it doesn't mean LSU wins the game, but it would have given the Tigers one more opportunity to win the game. And because that opportunity was denied, it does seems as if when the game involves Florida and Alabama this season the close calls will go the way of the Gators and Tide.
Which brings to mind this question: Who gets the close calls when they meet in the SEC Championship Game?