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An Iron Bowl Official Does the Two-Step

With 12:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter of the 75th Iron Bowl, Greg McElroy lined up behind his center on 4th-and-inches at Alabama’s 49-yard line. Auburn had just trimmed the Tide’s seemingly insurmountable 24-0 lead to just ten points a few plays earlier. Needless to say, this was a very important play in regards to the momentum for the rest of the game. If McElroy was stopped, Auburn would get the ball around the 50-yard line with a chance to cut the lead to three points very early in the 2nd half.

McElroy took the snap and lunged forward behind his linemen, barely making any forward progress from the line of scrimmage. His helmet did definitely touch the 50-yard line, but you don’t carry the ball with your helmet. To my Auburn-biased eyes, it was definitely worth a review or at least an extra look, but not to worry McElroy. Mr. Line Judge has your back.

What you are seeing in the video above is the line judge placing his foot at the spot the ball, but once he notices that it might be a little too close to giving the Auburn the ball on downs, he nonchalantly brings his back foot up next to his spotting foot. He then drops the spotting foot back. This “process” gives Alabama a good 4-5 inch gain. Football is a game of inches, and those inches mattered on this play.

I’ll be honest, the overhead replay shows that McElroy probably did get the first down, but why would an official do this? Why would he be moving his feet so discreetly to move the ball up a few inches on a 4th-and-inches play? This was a huge point in the game with an easy opportunity to continue the Tide’s drive by just a bump of a few inches, and this flat out looks like he took advantage of that.

I’m not completely calling foul, but I think someone should look at this.

@JHokanson with the credit.

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brian039 11/28/2010 at 9:25 pm

Wouldn’t have made a difference. They got the first down by two feet. Line judges do this all the time, he was just thinking about where to spot the ball. It’s not an exact science for sure.

Crocksa 11/29/2010 at 5:51 pm

I watched the end of that play over and over today. (<3 DVR) I don't think he got it. It didn't look all that close to me.
A gamecock fan asked Finebaum how he could have any confidence in the SEC officials in ATL Saturday, saying that the SEC had everything to lose if the game went their way. I ask how you can have any confidence in them at all. We've been getting railed by bad calls all year; especially in games that mattered. As far as the SEC is concerned, they're probably still worried about how Camgate is going to come out. I'd say they'd rather see SC win, and not have a BCS contender, than to have a title taken away.
Either way, the SEC officials haven't given me any reason to feel confident in their calls from AU's standpoint.

3000GT / Stealth / GTO - The 2012 College Football thread!!! 01/03/2013 at 2:34 pm

[…] Then I see crap like this and wonder how anyone beats Alabama AND the refs in the same game. An Iron Bowl Official Does the Two-Step – With 12:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter of the 75th Iron Bowl, Greg McElroy lined up behind […]


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