Blog Entry

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

Posted on: November 27, 2010 3:12 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

So, Boise State lost at Nevada tonight, after leading 24-7 in the third quarter and 31-24 with under 5:00 to play. Did you watch? Please tell us you watched. While Nevada's comeback against the vaunted Boise defense was certainly startling, and the Kellen Moore bomb to Titus Young with 0:01 left to set up a game-winning field goal was one of the greatest plays of the year, all anybody will be talking about tomorrow will be the 26-yard field goal that Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman missed(?) in regulation that sent the game into overtime.

Here's the video of the kick, which from the end zone angle looked so good that ESPN momentarily gave the points to Boise State on the bottom ticker:

Now, immediately after the kick, many viewers thought the kick was good, and wondered why there weren't any referees under the goalposts -- it's hard to see any signals coming from the usual spot, right? Blame the camera angle and fans, though; as the picture to the right shows, the referees were there, just completely obscured from the televised angle until well after the kick (which, annoying as it may be to viewers, doesn't prove that the referees weren't in correct position at all).

As to whether the kick was good or not, that's plainly impossible to tell from the end zone angle there -- the ball "crosses" (relative to the camera's angle) the upright when its path is above it, so anybody who declares an answer one way or the other based on that footage is just a self-sure speculator, and lord knows the world doesn't need more of those. For what it's worth, I thought it was good when I first saw the kick. I also know there's a reason referees don't use that camera angle.

More to the point, though, it's a wonder in this day and age that it takes the judgment of two referees to determine whether a field goal travels through the uprights or not. I've been (pardon the term) kicking this idea around for a while now, but what's to stop college and pro football from developing a more foolproof solution to this? After all, Arena Football doesn't need two referees under its uprights, because the equipment itself is sufficient: outside the two uprights are two tight nets designed to bounce the ball back into play, while inside the uprights is a looser net designed to catch a successful kick. There is never, ever any controversy as to whether a kick is good or not with this setup.

Obviously, Arena Football's outside nets are completely useless in college football, but designing a new goalpost with its loose netting attached to the uprights all the way down to the crossbar seems like an obvious choice -- as would be raising the posts to a regulation standard of 37 feet, to minimize judgment calls like what Boise State and Nevada just went through. Considering the vast sums spent on college football programs this season (and, ahem, the ludicrous amount the NCAA and its conferences receive from television contracts), it seems unfathomable that all I-A teams could not easily afford a new set of goalposts designed to take judgment out of the "is the kick good" equation once and for all.


Since: May 1, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:44 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

The minute the ref's said the kick was wide right I thought to myself, 'what kick were THEY looking at?' I have no doubt the kick was good, but it never should have come down to that.

Since: Nov 25, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:43 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

This is a reason I prefer the higher uprights at NFL stadiums and some of the wealthier colleges (i.e. USC, the Big Ten and SEC schools, etc.), it eliminates a judgement call on kicks like this.

From the angle, I would say that the kick was around a foot wide, or would have hit the uprights in the stadium if there was noticeable wind.  Either way, the kick would end up being no good, but it is too close to call without being right underneath or having technology to help.  Also, this is a reason why they have the goalpost camera in the NFL, you can go back and look frame by frame to see if it passes within the uprights (although you still need the uprights to be taller for this case).

Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:38 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

The field goal is irrelevant compared to the boched call on an obviouos fumbled punt by Nevada, a questionable pass interference call on Boise St and a no call on Nevada's defense for pass interference when the player had hooked Boise St's WR around the neck to kill the drive. All these in the 3rd Qtr when Nevada's "Great" comeback happened, well , maybe they had a little help. Without these plays the field goal would be a mute point. Unfortunately officiating in all of sports is taking away from the game. I,ve watched sports since I was a kid for over 48 years and it seems that the regulators have just made the game too complicated for officials to handle. Possibly sports should return to the simpler rules to make calls easier and let the games be real compititions again.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:37 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

Did any one watch the game?  Are you kidding me?  this was one of the best games yet of the whole season..If the Michigan - OSU game is anywhere as good or as tight, I'm going to be a nervous wreck.  and, controversy?  what controversy.  There is no controversy over the missed field goal.  Only if you consider that ESPN put up points for a while that weren't there.   That ticked me off.    Otherwise, yep, he missed the field goal.  they were lucky to get that big play that even put them in near position. Then they blew it.  Twice.  Nevada looked a WHOLE lot better than Boise during the second half.   In fact, Boise looked tired, almost desparate, in second half, like, 'what's happening, we've never had to play this hard this long before'   About time the Little Sisters of the Poor got a good challenging opponent.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:34 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

I watched this game.. I almost turned it off because it was looking like a laugher.  Then Nevada came back & BSU looked like they were trying to coast in.  Now to the first attempt of a field goal.  I could tell it was no good & I could even see the ref to decipher.  I was texting so fast I didn't notice the score change.  I did notice that the kicker started to hang his head and I didn't pay attention to any other player.  Just him.  He looked like he was gonna puke right there.  Then they showed BSU's head coaches reaction from the second he touched the ball w/ his foot He raised his hand up at was getting ready to cheer.. and everyone else thought it was going to be good, cuz that ball looked like it was going to & supposed to hook back in... but it never happened.. and the coach was the last one to hang his head down.  Someone should had approached that kicker & told him.. a leader should had said.. keep your head in the game.. we are going to need you still.. even if they weren't.. someone should say to him.. you will get another chance, hang in there stay focused.  Cuz we all make mistakes on the field.. some bigger than others.. and its up to the leaders.. your captains to come up & pat you on the head & help keep you focused even if they are disgusted with you.. lol.  No one did that for this kid.. and I could tell he was going to miss then next kick.. I texted that and said.. its going to be no good.. you could read his language.  
Very proud of Nev.. And who this hurts the most, after BSU will be TCU.. since they are associated with each other.. you couldn't mention one w/o the other.. the pollsters will hold this loss against them too.. I see LSU and maybe Stanford jumping them.  BSU shouldn't be in the top 15 now.. I see this loss hurting them more than Bama & OSU's 1st losses did.. where they fell to 9.  
The nets are not a bad idea.. but what about a kick above the posts that the net wouldn't catch, or something like that where the angle goes from inside out?  

Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:31 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

It's odd how everyone is focusing on whether or not the field goal was good and still, NO ONE knows for sure. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY THIS WASN'T REVIEWED??!?!?!? It's 2010 and the fact that they keep showing one angel and people still don't know for sure is quite suspect. I am pretty sure I have the answer, but you are not going to like it.

Let's go back a bit to the 3rd quarter when Boise was up 24-7, punted the ball, made a perfect tackle in the kick returner and recovered at Nevada's 20 yd line.  The ref called punter interferece and it CLEARLY wasn't.  That call was probably the most horrendous call I have ever seen and why they don't allow something like punter interference to be reviewed is mind boggling. More importantly, Nevada got the ball at the 40 and then scored a TD making it 24-14. It changed the entire game.

On the very next drive for Boise, it was 3rd and long and Moore bombed it down the fireld. I forget the intended receiver, but whoever it was got hit WAY before the ball got there. Not only did he get hit but the defender on Nevada actually grabbed and pulled his facemask. NO PENALTY WAS CALLED and the receive was looking around in shock that there was no flag on the field. Nevada got the ball back and scored again.

There were also a myriad of other callss that went against Boise that were extremely questionable (including a pass interefence call when Nevada had the ball, 4th and 2 to go).

The sad thing is, even after the refs clearly made calls in favor of Nevada, Boise still should have won, but their kicker missed...or at least put it close enough so the refs could get away with saying it missed.

I personally think an investigation should  be held to confirm the legitimacy of the officiating in this game. There were way too many very suspect game changing calls that went against Boise State and quite frankly, the fact that the controversial field goal was not reveiwed (and there seems to be only one camera angle) is just icing on the cake.

Since: Nov 9, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:27 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

As for the players reactions....  The reactions from both teams are delayed.  Neither teams does anything right away.  Looks like that call could have gone either way and it would still be controversial.  It looked very strange, and nobody did anything until they saw a call from the Ref.

Since: Sep 7, 2007
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:17 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

No Controversy.  Two referees under the posts.  And on top of that, just look at the players' reactions moments after the ball was kicked.  The Nevada players are celebrating and the Boise players are dejected.  Every player on the field that was able to turn their head saw what the referee saw - a field goal that missed.  Boise had a great run, but didn't play well enough to win this one.  Congrats to the Wolfpack.

Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:08 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

if u watched the game u'd have known Boise St would lose the game. in the 3rd quarter, Nevada pass interference was not called even when the Boise St wide receiver's helmet was pulled and his head turned. Boise St corner back turned his head around and patted the ball away from Nevada receiver, and was slapped with a flag. and then you could obviously see holding and block-in-the-back fouls were not called against Nevada. I turned off the tv in the 3rd quarter feeling bad for Boise St. FYI, I've been rooting against Boise St because i still don't think they belong like Auburn or Oregon. I just feel sorry for them having to lose the game that way. they should have won big. Nevada shouldn't be too proud they won that way!!

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:05 am

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

Nets maybe but how teck do you want to go.Chip players and ball so you can tell when thet go thru post ,over goal line and out of bounds. The game is getting to slow as it is especially in pros. Be carefull what you wish for or it will slow to a crawl and take  the human ellement out of it. If they want to now you can turn it into a video game played with live players ,no refs required,just to set the ball.dont teck the game up anymore.

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