The Official Candy Report Awards: Stanford

The Halloween Spice Drop Award of Excellence
This was a weird week for me in watching the game.  A lot of players played well and I saw a large attention to detail by certain players.  It was  a tough game against a good team and I thought the Beavers looked prepared and ready to play the game. While he may not have the stats or the glory, one player stood out to me play after play on Friday.  Justin Strong was everywhere and he was definitely taking care of the details.

Early in the game, Justin tipped a pass that was intercepted by Cyril Noland-Lewis.  He had jumped the route so well, that had the ball not been thrown behind the receiver, he would probably have had the pick. Instead he tipped it up and Noland-Lewis came down with it.  Repeatedly #4 on defense was blowing up receivers trying to block and forcing the ball carrier inside by creating a pile on the edge of the play.  He also was seen filling in on blitzes, taking on the full back without a care in the world about his own safety.

If you want to know why I like Justin, look at the 7:15 point of the third quarter of the game Friday.  #94 is the defensive tackle that they put in as full back came running through and Justin sprinted up to the line and took him head on.  He stoned #94 and got in on the tackle.  Those that have seen Mr. Strong will attest that he is not huge, but his heart is and that is why he is getting this award. He plays smart, does the little thing and sacrifices his body to do his job.

Great work Justin Strong and have a great week off, you deserve it!

The Jujifruit Award of Most Improved
This one was easier.  I have not talked about him much this year, but I thought Seth Collins looked better this week against solid competition than he did against Michigan.  He is young and it will take time for him, but plays like his scramble and toss to Storm Barrs-Woods and his long run that unfortunately got called back at the end of the game are the reasons he is in there.  While he has a long way to go, those plays are big time plays that OSU needs to be able to make and Seth is doing a good job of playing within himself.  I think the coaches are also doing a good job making sure he is doing the things he can do well

It is a long season and we are only 1/3 through it, but if Seth can continue to improve, especially on 3rd down, there is a lot of upside to this team and a lot of opportunities.  Remember, he only has two defenses left this season of the same caliber of Stanford and Michigan.  When he gets to WSU, Arizona, Cal and the ducks, there are going to be more opportunities on the ground and through the air.

Good work Seth!

Good N’ Plenty Award of Shame
There are a lot of people that could get this award, which is common. For me, for the first time, I am giving this award to one play. There were lots of shameful plays around college football this weekend.  The fake punt and punt return against the ducks, the fumbled punt by Texas, the final TD by TCU, the delay of game after two time outs in the Jets vs Philadelphia game.

But the worst to me was the official’s spot after Sumner Houston’s 3rd down stop in the Stanford game Friday night.  It was the end of the second quarter and the game was tied at 14.  Stanford had just crossed the 50 yard line and was driving a bit when Sumner Houston single handedly tossed the offensive lineman blocking him, wrapped up the running back and drove him to the ground where he stood.  Not only did said running back not get the required yard of progress they needed for a first down, he didn’t even make it to the line of scrimmage.

The stadium erupted and the defense high fived, only to notice that the ref from the west side of the field was standing a full yard and a half in front of where the runner was actually tackled, while the official from the east side (the one with the clear view) had accurately marked the spot of the ball. In true Pac-12 officiating style, they took the view of the guy with a poor angle who also happened to be wrong and gave the Cardinal a first down.

Luckily for me in mid melt down, the refs blew their whistles before Stanford could take the next snap and wanted to review.  “Thank goodness!” I thought, “now they can get this obvious mistake corrected!” I lied to myself. Imagine my surprise when the decision was upheld. A decision that was literally the worst ever.

But don’t just take my word for it, here is a clip you may like. I pause it when the two officials are out there for effect:

So boo.  Boo bad refs, boo cowards not wanting to overturn a bad call and boo the Pac-12 for not caring.  In 2007 after another terrible  call, then head of the Pac-10 replay officials Verle Sorgen was quoted as saying “wasn’t that egregious unless you are an Oregon State
fan.” Apparently it is OK to screw the Beavers because no one but us cares.  It does the Pac-12 no good to have us knocking off their sacred golden calves.  I know this is tinfoil hat territory, but for me, the above video and above quote show me that it may not be a conscious decision by the Pac-12 to screw Oregon State, but they definitely don’t care.  Especially when we are playing highly ranked teams like Arizona in 2010 and they have an Arizona alumnus working as replay official.  It is almost as if they are working an Intramural flag football game and just start letting things go (except for bad holding calls) because they want to go home before the parties start.

No offense, but that sucks, so thanks to this play for reminding me that most of the time, Beaver Nation is the only ones who care when we get screwed. Tom Hanson apologized to Oklahoma and suspended the officiating crew when they got jobbed, but we just get told no one cares but us.

Well, I care.  Screw you refs.

Go Beavs – (PRO)



One thought on “The Official Candy Report Awards: Stanford

  1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    Only Oregon State fans care about bad calls against Oregon State, but they are not alone; Washington fans care about bad call against Washington, but few others seem to, and Utah fans are primarily the only ones who care about bad calls against the Utes.

    And there is this old saw about not complaining about calls because its an excuse for losing. Or that mistakes are ok if they don’t change the outcome, or affect the play (in someone’s judgement). These lines of thinking of course only allow the problems to continue.

    I don’t doubt there are problems with the on-field officiating (there are and have been), but I’ve become especially concerned this season about poor spots and other errors where the what/when/where of what happened clearly weren’t observed accurately, including in cases where it wasn’t that difficult to see, and even more so problems with replay not correcting problems where clear video evidence exists. Some times they are allowing calls to stand, and some times they aren’t even reviewing calls that clearly need to be reviewed, not always because of an obvious error like the one you noted, but sometimes just because they are very close and very critical.

    Many people seem to oppose replay (which makes NO sense given the issues on the field, even given that some of those are legitimately hard to get right), but I’m a big proponent of it, and wish it would be used even more. I especially like that in college it doesn’t require a challenge, score, or change of possession, such that if one of those key conditions doesn’t happen, OR the allotted number of challenges has been exhausted (even if successful), its then somehow “ok” to ignore errors.

    But its still a judgement issue, and there is currently a significant problem with questionable, and in some cases, clearly poor. judgement casting a pall over what is fundamentally a good system. What bothers me are 2 things; one is the still prevailing old-school culture that continues to produce clearly wrong calls and affirmation of them, the other is as was noted in the story, that the conference does not seem to see that this is a problem.

    Denial of the problem comes with the comment that we still show up for the games and watch them on tv, so its not really that big of a problem. But I’m not convinced that this issue isn’t contributing to what we are seeing, an actual overall decline in attendance and some leveling off of viewership. Even if you only lose a handful of fed up customers following each uncorrected and unacknowledged error, eventually, that adds up to numerous lost customers who have had enough of a product that lacks credibility.


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