SEC Explanation of Blown Arkansas-Auburn Call Is Unsatisfying

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The SEC addressed the call at the end of Arkansas-Auburn, in which Auburn QB Bo Nix clearly threw a backwards pass on a spike, Arkansas clearly recovered, it was ruled intentional grounding, and the play stood as called upon review:

So the SEC is acknowledging that the officials got the call wrong on the field, but that by the letter — because they blew the whistle — there was no immediate recovery and thus it could not be overturned. What the SEC is effectively saying is that a backwards pass on a spike would never be overturned if it is ruled a forward pass on the field, because the whistle would always blow before the ball gets immediately recovered.

Here is what NBC Sports officiating expert Terry McAulay said about the call:

One thing this SEC statement doesn’t change: Arkansas fans have a right to be livid that they were deprived of an upset over Auburn.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. Not a fan of either team (Arizona, bear down) but this might be one of the worst calls in the history of replay. It’s a backwards pass. Arkansas recovers. Confirmed on replay. Game over. Nope. Guess the SEC needs to keep Auburn ranked for Alabama. Sad.

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