The Duke Dilemma: College Football Cavalcade of Whimsy, Nov. 3

    How is it possible to keep Duke from being awarded the win? Pete Fiutak comments on the college football world.

    November 3, 2015

    Follow and/or Contact or Baskets of Mini Muffins to @PeteFiutak

    Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

    I was coerced by a Notre Dame academic coach into writing it. For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on, I didn’t get the daughter offer.

    Because the basketball team never, ever, ever gets a call

    Okay, so we’re all in agreement, backed up by the ACC’s suspension of the officials, that the referees messed up at the end of the Miami-Duke game.


    Got it, so can we also agree that arguing over the missed block in the back call is irrelevant – chalk that up to a whiffed judgement call – and the Miami players running on to the field too early has nothing to do with anything?

    “Fine. Whatevs.”

    It’s also acknowledged that, by ACC rule, the outcome of the game can’t be changed after the fact.

    “Yeah, hurry up. Sajak is on in five minutes.”

    Okay, so you can’t change the call now and give Duke the win.

    “Dude, yeah, we got that …”

    Well, why not?

    “Because you can’t.”



    Because why?

    “Because, the game had ended.”

    But isn’t the whole point of replay to get the call right? Right is right, wrong is wrong, right?

    “Uh, yeah, but … “

    And isn’t EVERYONE in agreement that Mark Walton’s knee was down?

    “Pretty much, but … “

    And the game should’ve and would’ve been over and Duke should’ve and would’ve won because time had run out and that would’ve been the final play.

    “Sort of, but … “

    So why does it matter if the call is reversed three seconds after the play, nine minutes later, or four days after the fact as long as the call is correct? Is it the physical act of walking off the field, showering, and leaving the stadium that suddenly renders the entire reason for replay moot?

    “Mom! The meatloaf!!!”

    Okay, I get that a call can’t and shouldn’t be reversed after the fact for anything other than the absolute final play, and it’s only fair that nothing can be reversed after the next play happens, so before Duke or Miami’s next game, can’t the ACC simply say that the call is reversed because it’s the fair thing to do? What is it about the lapse of several hours that makes the ability to reverse a call any less possible or Walton’s knee any less down? There’s no nobility in a missed call …

    “Look … You can’t. You just can’t. Bad calls are made all the time and mistakes happen in every game. Even though this was a whopper, human error is a part of the equation. And besides, once a game is in the record books as won, you can’t take it away. There’s no precedent for this – what, you’re going to go back and reverse 1982 Cal-Stanford, too? You can’t …”

    Again, the statute of limitations should be up until the next kickoff for either Miami or Duke. And when it comes to precedent for taking away victories, NCAA on line three. Two words: vacated wins.

    “Uhhhh, yeah, but it’s not like the NCAA gave those wins to someone else.”

    Bottom line – and as a sportsman, you know this – the knee was down, game over, Duke won.

    “Hey, look over there … is that Buster Poindexter?” (sound of running and a door slam)

    Duke fans, Laettner didn’t get kicked out after stepping on Timberlake. You’re still ahead of the game.

    Yeah, Duke, you got screwed. It doesn’t matter.

    Just like Oakland still had plenty of chances to overcome the call in the 2001 AFC divisional playoff game against New England – the Tuck Rule game – and just like Miami had several shots to win after the questionable pass interference call against Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, if Duke doesn’t win the Coastal, the ACC, and maybe the national title, it’s its own fault.

    Here’s the great part about the College Football Playoff committee – it can take the “loss” to Miami and spin it any way it wants to.

    So if Duke beats North Carolina, and Pitt, and Virginia, and Wake Forest, it’ll be 10-2 and it’ll win the Coastal title. Win the ACC title, and especially if it’s against a 12-0 Clemson, then it’s up to the committee to take into account how the Miami game went down.

    And then, Notre Dame will happily acknowledge that Cleveland Gary was down

    Miami, do the right thing and give the game back.

    You lost. You know you lost. It might not be legal, and it might not technically be possible, but Miami, you’re starting off a new era of Hurricane football and this would be the perfect time to make a statement that you’re going to do everything – every thing – the right way.

    Come out and say you didn’t deserve the victory and you refuse to accept it, mainly because it’s the right thing to do.

    Chasing Dreams: epilepsyfoundationmn

    Considering the week it had, and considering it was Halloween against Michigan, Minnesota would’ve looked totally badass if it put KILL on the back of the jerseys instead of MINNESOTA.

    Or let guys like Johnny Manziel come back

    146 yards, 159 yards, 128 yards and two touchdowns, and 133 yards and a score. NCAA, either let guys with undeniable pro talent like Todd Gurley go off to the NFL whenever they want to – and let it be okay for them to come into your precious league, NFL – or admit that it really is sort of silly to get into a twist over players signing autographs for money.

    Thanks, Big Slim.

    2015 Florida-Georgia might have been a big dull dud, but once again, the best part about Cocktail Party week was the constant airing of the classing 1980 “Run, Lindsay Run” game – along with the underappreciated 1981 second act.

    My two favorite parts about the 1980, 26-21 Bulldog win that turned out to be the key to the national title run were 1) a freshman Herschel Walker looking every bit the part as the greatest college running back you’ll ever see – with Barry Sanders No. 1A in the discussion – and 2) Florida WR Tyrone Young.

    If you’ve never seen the game, and you’re a geeky enough college football fan to be reading this, order two pizzas tonight, disappear into whatever sort of man-cavey thing you use to ignore your family, and watch. If you know the game, come up with a better debut for a wide receiver.

    Considering Young had never caught a pass before this game, it’s among the most fascinating one-off performances in college football history. On the big national stage in a giant rivalry game, the 6-6, 190-pound former quarterback caught ten passes for 183 yards and a key two-point conversion, running like Jerry Rice in the open field and a 1980 version of Calvin Johnson whenever QB Wayne Peace threw in his general direction. 

    He was okay over the rest of his Gator career, finishing with 58 grabs for 888 yards and seven touchdowns spread out over three seasons, and he caught 36 passes for 682 yards and six touchdowns in two years with the New Orleans Saints.

    Tyrone Young died on September 15th after a battling cancer on and off for ten years.

    For one day, the guy was every bit as good as the guy who was the best player on any college football field he stepped on.

    And since I’m apparently stuck in 1980

    Before you spend the rest of your week whining and moaning about the playoff rankings, consider what life was like before this.

    Imagine that this year LSU goes 13-0 with an SEC championship. Then, let’s say that just about everyone else of significance, other than Florida State and Ohio State, have dropped off as the regular season finished. Florida State’s one loss is by the slimmest of margins, but it made up for it by beating Clemson, giving the eventual 11-1 Tigers their only loss.

    Meanwhile, Ohio State is ranked No. 1 all year long, but it ends up tying – work with me here – Kansas 3-3 and loses to Michigan in the final game of the regular season. So in this scenario, you have a 13-0 LSU, a 12-1 Florida State, and an 11-1-1 Ohio State.

    Which two out of these three teams deserve to play for the national title?

    If this was 1980, it would be LSU vs. Ohio State.

    Replace LSU for Georgia, and Ohio State for Notre Dame, and that’s exactly what happened in 1980.

    Georgia ran the table going 11-0 in the regular season going on to the Sugar Bowl as the SEC champion. Meanwhile, Notre Dame was No. 1 for most of the year thanks to wins over terrific Michigan, Purdue, Miami and Alabama teams – all four finished with nine wins or more – but it suffered a 3-3 tie against a Georgia Tech team that finished 1-9-1 and got drilled 20-3 by USC to close out the regular season. Even so, the Fighting Irish got to play Georgia for the somewhat theoretical national title.

    Florida State – an independent that could’ve gone to any bowl – ended up in the Orange Bowl after losing 10-9 early to Miami, but beat a Nebraska team that finished 10-2 in Lincoln, handed a loaded Pitt team its only loss of the year, and went on to beat Florida for a 10-1 regular season.

    Okay, so Florida State lost an absolute classic to Oklahoma 18-17, and Georgia dominated Notre Dame, but still, the process is far, far, FAR better now, even if it isn’t perfect.

    Because the problems have nothing to do with a run D that’s getting ripped up

    There’s a difference between a Best Player Plays policy, and what Texas A&M is starting to look like when it comes to quarterbacks.

    The problem with always having several elite young passers around is that there’s always some hotshot waiting to step in the second there’s any adversity – that means there’s no real chance to grow into the gig.

    Kyle Allen threw for 358 yards against Arkansas and 322 against Mississippi State, but he gave up three picks against the elite of the elite Alabama D, and he struggled against a frothing-at-the-mouth Ole Miss D in Oxford. While he was supposedly banged up, he also go the hook just in time for Kyler Murray to be able to roll against a bad South Carolina defense.

    Last year, Kenny Hill was putting up massive numbers, but he gave up a few too many picks against amazing Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama defenses, got suspended for two games, and then it was Allen’s turn and that was it for Hill as an Aggie.

    So Texas A&M quarterback recruits, yeah, it’s true you might play right away, but don’t struggle in your development or that other top prospect the Aggie coaches brought on will step right in.

    The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid lock, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it picks of the century for this week

    ARRRRGH. Iowa, really, it’s Maryland and you’re at home. You run on everyone else but you couldn’t pull away? Another dead-even week going 2-2 against the spread.
    – 27-6 straight up so far, 19-14 against the spread

    1. TCU -4.5 over Oklahoma State
    2. Florida State +12 over Clemson
    3. Oregon -5 over California
    4. Arizona +17.5 over USC (USC straight up)

    C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …

    The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world

    1) Overrated: Pitt Fourth Quarter Party … Underrated: North Carolina 26, Pitt 19

    2) Overrated: Greg Hardy slapping a clipboard … Underrated: Brian Kelly “control the sideline”

    3) Overrated: Oregon-Arizona State 1,203 yards and 116 points … Underrated: Arizona State’s Pat Tillman

    4) Overrated: Go Bo, Bad Bo … Underrated: Good Chad Kelly, Bad Chad Kelly

    5) Overrated: The World Series … Underrated: Taco Bell free AM crunchwrap

    Sorry if this column sucked, I wasn’t my fault …

    This column is “like your girlfriend going on a blind date with somebody else. You never know what’s going to happen.”


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