Big 12 referees are at it again. Just one week after corrupt officiating objectively and irrefutably caused Texas to lose to Oklahoma State, a hideously officiated game caused Kansas to lose 38-13 to the Cyclones in Ames.
I have no doubt that the Big 12 will continue to sit idly by and pretend that there is no problem to be addressed here, but I, for one, have had enough. Week after week we continue to see calls in Big 12 games that go against one of the teams involved. It's infuriating, and today was no exception. It started early when, on Kansas' first drive, they found themselves going for it on 4th and 1 near the Iowa State 20 yard line. The ball was snapped, a hole opened up, and running back Ke'aun Kinner had a huge first down, only to have the whistle blown and the play stopped. Why? The referees couldn't stand the thought of Kansas getting off to a good start, so they flagged the Jayhawks for a false start just because an offensive lineman happened to move before the snap! On the ensuing play, Kansas went for a field goal, only to see the referees, no doubt in Iowa State's pocket, call it "no good," seemingly citing the fact that it failed to fly between the uprights as some sort of sorry justification for the call.
I don't believe for one second that this crew was simply bad. It goes further than that. A bad crew will make an even number of bad calls against both teams. No, this crew, either at the direction of the Big 12 or due to some sort of gambling ring, clearly singled out Kansas throughout the game. Later in the first quarter, Iowa State's kicker sent a field goal attempt toward the goal post in almost exactly the same spot, yet they were awarded the three points, simply because this kick went inside the uprights!
The calls continued throughout the game, as Kansas was flagged FIVE times over the course of four quarters, giving the Cyclones an unearned 37 yards. Take those 37 yards back, and Kansas could easily have covered the 25 point deficit for their first win of the season. Unfortunately, the horrendous state of Big 12 officiating wouldn't allow it. Iowa State was flagged just twice, meaning that the refs netted a massive 27 yard advantage for the 'Clones today. Referees also repeatedly opened up gaping holes in Kansas' defense, allowing Iowa State players to simply run through sections of wide open field for huge gains and long touchdowns. It also appeared that they drugged the Kansas offensive line, which was constantly confused on the field, seemingly unable to block anyone.
I'm sure Iowa State fans will be among the first to admit that the fix was in on this game, as they've never been shy about pointing out perceived slights by officials before. In fact, the brave fans at Iowa State and Kansas State have been leading the charge in bringing this obvious problem to our attention for years. Now that I think about it, it seems like every time they lose a game they use it as an opportunity to bring up poor officiating.
We'll never know if these referees were paid by Iowa State, had money riding the game, or if they're part of the same anti-KU Big 12 conspiracy that forced Shaehon Zenger to hire Charlie Weis in 2012 (because seriously, there's no way he actually thought that was a good decision, right?). Whatever the reason, I'm done with this league. It's clear we're a better cultural fit with the Big 10/SEC/whatever league will let us in anyway.
We just watched a fixed football game. What's the Big 12 going to do?
Nothing, that's what.