clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USC has its own Flag Day at The Coliseum...

Getty Images

So, with regards to the penalties it looks like the plan will be to just ignore it for the time being.

Constantly harping on it doesn't seem to be getting the message across so maybe if they just ignore it things will cure itself.

Lane Kiffin posted evidence on the walls of Heritage Hall for his penalty-prone players to see. He talked about correcting the problem daily in team meetings and also before, during and after the Trojans' 17-14 victory over Virginia.

But two games into the season, the Trojans have accrued more penalty yardage than any team in college football.

So, USC's coach said Sunday that he would adopt what amounts to the silent treatment when it comes to penalties, which cost the Trojans at least one sure touchdown against Virginia and possibly more.

As I noted yesterday, you can't bench players for poor play when your depth is so thin to begin with.

In reading the numerous articles on this it is clear that Kiffin is also taking a different tack than his predecessor...he is uninterested in placing blame on the officials for specifically targeting USC with harsher scrutiny when it comes to penalty calls during the game.

Former coach Pete Carroll was not shy about publicly questioning why USC was regularly called for more penalties than their opponents, the subtext being that the Trojans' success made them targets for officials.

Kiffin dismissed that suggestion.

"There's a couple questionable calls, but I refuse to buy into that 'Because it's SC or people are jealous' or whatever the reasons are that people think that," Kiffin said. "I actually heard that [Sunday] in our staff meeting. Someone said that. That won't be said again around here."

The buck stops with the staff and the team...

I am not sure it matters though when it is clear that the officiating continues to be sub par when you look at the two questionable calls that stood out in that game.

The scramble that ensued after the end-of-game onside kick resulted in tight end Rhett Ellison being ejected – one of several calls that left USC coach Lane Kiffin puzzled.

Ellison said after the game that he simply was trying to pull Virginia players off of Jordan Cameron, who was down on the turf. Kiffin said he didn’t see any cause for an ejection in the films he reviewed Sunday.

More puzzling was the targeting call on T.J. McDonald.

It is tough to simply stop on a dime in the heat of the play and as Kiffin eluded to it was a split second decision for McDonald on that play. Then there is the mysterious unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Ronald Johnson when he scored the TD that was nullified by a penalty...after the play was called back.

How do call a penalty on a play that was nullified?

The problem once again is consistency.

Why? Because the NCAA does a poor job of training their refs unlike the NFL. Now, the NFL has a had a few bonehead calls the past couple of years from pretty respectable refs so no one is perfect but the NCAA has at least one major controversy each week.

There is also the possibility that both Ellison and McDonald could face further punishment from the Pac-10...

According to NCAA protocol, the Pac-10 should review both plays to see if further punishment is warranted. The rule change went into effect last season. It reads as follows:

If a player is ejected for any flagrant personal foul, the conference must review the game video for possible further action. In addition, if officials call fouls for targeting defenseless players or using the crown of the helmet and the player is not ejected, the rules mandate a conference review. If the review by the conference reveals actions that should have resulted in a personal foul but were not called, the conference may impose sanctions.

Then again, if both calls were bogus, no further action should be necessary.

Again, there is a problem with consistency.

These were garbage calls...and this wasn't even a Pac-10 crew, someone on one of the bards said it was an ACC crew...

I am not sure what the standards are but the whole idea of having regional refereeing crews has got to go. They should all be on the same standard and be able to ref any game, in any conference, at anytime of year. Their compensation should also be based on performance.

This still doesn't excuse some of the stupid penalties that occurred on Saturday night...Matt Kalil I am looking at you.

Like I said yesterday it is just going to take some time to rewire some of these guys to identify when not to do something stupid on the field. You can't expect things to change overnight but there should be some progress and right now we aren't seeing it.