Nobody wants to come right out and say it, but Kansas State thinks it got homered by the SEC review booth in a loss to Vanderbilt, and a review of the video makes it difficult to argue otherwise.
As you can see, this is a touchdown play that was called back after review in the second quarter of a game that ended 14-7. So the outcome of the play is critical to the outcome of the game. Kansas State’s complaint, as reported by the Wichita Eagle, is that the play was called a touchdown on the field, and there is no clear visual evidence the fumbler, Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Schurmur, was down.
K-State coach Bill Snyder complained about this in a regularly scheduled teleconference Tuesday with the media.
“My understanding about replays is there has to be a clear cut purpose for overturning a call that is made on the field,” Snyder said Tuesday during a teleconference with local media. “From my vantage point, strictly mine, I could not see that on video tape.”
Here is where things veer a little more into the realm of speculation and conspiracy. The officiating crew which called the touchdown on the field is from the Big 12. But the replay crew was from the SEC, the fact of which was noted with interest in the Eagle.
The Big 12 crew that officiated the game signaled for a touchdown and K-State’s kicking team took the field in hopes of giving the Wildcats a 14-7 lead.
Then the play went to review, and things got weird. Though Big 12 officials were working the game, the play was reviewed by SEC officials in the conference’s centralized replay command center in Birmingham, Ala.
You can see the whole thing in this video, starting at the 28:57 mark:
The first slow-mo replay we get doesn’t come from a helpful angle.
A second angle doesn’t do a lot for us, either.
The broadcast team was as surprised to see the call overturned as Snyder was, with analyst John Congemi saying, “Wow, that’s a shocker to me there,” and play-by-play man Mike Couzens going, “I thought all the Shockers involving Kansas were Wichita based, but we’ve got one here tonight.”
You don’t even need to hear from a Vanderbilt fan to know the Vandy argument is that only a Big 12 crew would have ruled that a touchdown in the first place, and Congemi did allow that, “You can assume his knee is touched, but I sure didn’t see it.”
That is a hypothetical, and therefore beside the point. It’s just not clear one way or the other whether the knee was down, and based on the rules of instant replay, that means this should have gone in the books as a Kansas State touchdown.
Does that make it a conspiracy? No. But good luck convincing anybody in the Big 12 of that.