Flipping channels to catch the end of the Stanford / Notre Dame game I watched a fourth and goal play by Stanford which came up short giving Notre Dame the game. For those who are not sure whether or not Standford scored or not, or whether or not Notre Dame legitimately won the game, here is my perspective. Notre Dame players began celebrating even before the play was over. The Stanford ball carrier was lying on top of bodies, twisting and turning, and finally nudged the football over the goal line. The refs called him down but a replay called the decision into question. The ruling on the field was not overturned. I have watched the replay several times and the first dozen or so times I came away with the conclusion that Stanford was robbed. Then I watched a different angle and here is what I saw. The runners elbow hit the ground before the arms were fully extended over the goal line. From this viewpoint it is far less clear that the ball crossed the goal line. On face value it appears that the ball is clearly not over goal line. If one factors in the camera angle this is less clear. The tip of the ball may still have barely crossed the goal as the runner's elbow hit the ground. If that is the case then it explains the verdict of the review. The tape is inconclusive and the refs who were the closest to the play called the runner down. Thus the play stands as called.
So why do I go into all of this? Because,and this really aggravates me, no fewer than four Notre Dame players were already celebrating before the ball carrier's elbow hit the ground. Any one of them could have added their weight to the runner or simply pulled his arm away from the goal. Perhaps they will claim that the whistle had already blown. If that were the case there would have been no review of the play since it would have been blown dead long before the runner twisted a final time and crawled toward the end zone.
I feel like every year I see more and more examples of undisciplined play in college ball. How many times have you seen a defender make a play and signal like a ref signaling an incomplete pass just because he stuffed a run or stopped a screen pass for a loss? A Missouri player did this against Alabama totally oblivious of the score and the fact that this was just one down on a series of downs that ended up with a touchdown for Alabama.
I am going to quit ranting now. So here is your question. Are college football players more undisciplined than ever?