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Old 11-30-2003, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default History of College Football 101: The Great Robbery in Florida

It'll soon come to all history books across the country. The game itself meant nothing to Florida State other than rivalry. For Florida, it meant a possible chance to go to the SEC Championship game and with a win head to one of the 4 major BCS bowls. Not to mention, rivalry. It also meant something to LSU, who had an outside chance at being in Sugar Bowl bound, but needed Florida to jump ahead of Tennessee in the BCS so Florida could take the East.

ACC, SEC, and PAC-10 officials all had selfish reasons for wanting to call the game. ACC would have loved to screw things over for the Gators. SEC officials would've loved to see Florida win and LSU make a jump at a national title, something an SEC team hasn't done since Tee Martin and Tennessee beat FSU for the title in the 1998-1999 season. And Pac-10 would've loved to keep LSU on the outside sending USC to the title game.

Lo and behold, in the rivalry game in Gainesville, it was the ACC officials who got to call....and as no college football fan wants to see, called it miserably. Everyone wants to see it fair...a battle between 2 top teams to see who really is the better team. Despite the bad calls, Florida still fought hard to stay alive with a 34-31 lead, something the officials just could not do anything about. But FSU performed a good play...a 52-yard strike to P.K. Sam for the TD and the go-ahead score.

Florida got up to the 18 yard line before time ran out. Still it was the bad calls and the fight at midfield that made the game the most controversial in a while. Florida State got lucky on fumbles, picking up the ones they lost and picking up the ones Florida lost despite the rules of fumbles. Such as an FSU player losing the ball well before his knee touched the ground but still being called 'down'.

The calls were absolutely horrible. And I think we all know that UF is the better team for hanging in for that long. The odds were stacked up against them, and the Gators took a big bite out of them. However, no NCAA team can overcome a refereeing worthy of speculation of being bought off (that's just how bad it was) and a good team. There is no cheap shot at FSU...they are a good football team. UF was simply cheated out of the win.

It'll go down as the 2003 Robbery in Florida, and when Lee Corso begins teaching College Football History 101, it'll be availed to new generations of fans.
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:17 PM   #2
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I have to agree. The officiating was beyond horrendous.

Although, the offciating had nothing to do with a 4th and 14 conversion or a 56 yard bomb.
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:19 PM   #3
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I always thought it was against NCAA rules to have an officiating crew from either conference call a game in an inter-conference game.

I would have assumed a Big East crew or something would have had the game.
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Old 11-30-2003, 08:55 PM   #4
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Yeah that's the way it should be. I guess they figure since Florida had homefield advantage, they should give FSU an in-conference officiating crew or something. Usually I'm of the opinion that bad calls even out, but I don't think that was the case this time. The refs gave FSU about 21 undeserved points off bad fumble calls.

Then to dance on the Florida F after it, come on.
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Old 12-01-2003, 02:30 PM   #5
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In the contract FSU and Florida signed to continue to play this rivalry game, both teams agreed to allow the road team's conference officials to call the game. After this game, the AD for Florida has said when the next contract comes up he will only sign for officials from teams outside of each conference to call the game.

All the bad calls have already been touched on, and watching this game was just so hard to do. Even after all those bad calls, the Gators can't allow FSU to win the game in the final minute the way they did. Bad calls kept FSU in the game, and then bad defense by Florida lost the Gators the game.

I am surprised the fight at the end of the game was not much worse than it was. This was the best game between Florida and FSU in quite some time, but it will be tarnished due to the ACC officials.

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Old 12-01-2003, 07:55 PM   #6
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Like or not, fighting is part of this intense rivalry. Usually, it's at the 50 BEFORE the game, not after. Florida has started their fair share of them too.
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