"Oh, it's crying time again ... I can see that far away look in your eyes"
(Crying Time, Buck Owens)
Haven't heard such whining since the alternator on my 1969 Chevelle went out (in 1978).
Haven't listened to so much criticism of officials since John McEnroe wore short shorts and a headband.
Haven't witnessed so many waterworks since Dick Vermeil hung up his whistle (and handkerchief).
Yes, like the great Buck Owens sang ... it's crying time again.
Especially in the SEC.
Welcome back to The Campus Game, where you can get all the college football news fit for print or comment with nary a complaint (well, I may have one a few paragraphs down).
The Southeastern Conference again admonished coaches this week for critical comments toward game officials.
Bobby Johnson garnered a public rebuke from SEC commissioner Mike Slive after the Vanderbilt coach complained about calls in the Commodore loss to South Carolina.
Then, the usually mild-mannered Dan Mullen drew a reprimand by calling for severe sanctions against the replay booth official in the Mississippi State-Florida game. Mullen's ire resulted from a play in which Gator linebacker Dustin Doe appeared to have the ball slapped from his hand before getting to the end zone with an intercepted pass. Mullen, in a not-so-forgiving mood hoped "he's severely punished ... if he ever works another SEC game."
Finally, the league's favorite bad boy - Lane Kiffin of Tennessee - got summoned to the principal's office yet again. This time Slive threatened to put him in detention - I mean suspend him - when Kiffin blasted officials after his Vols lost to Alabama when a last-second field goal was blocked.
Kiffin not only felt Bama blocker Terrence Cody should have been penalized for taking his helmet off after the block (but before the whistle), he also claimed that he let the clock wind down because he "wasn't going to let the refs lose the game for us ... or wait for some magical flag to appear."
These smackdowns come a week after Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino vented about poor officiating in a Razorback loss to Florida (the SEC admitted a mistake), and in the aftermath of the conference acknowledging another bad call in Georgia's loss to LSU.
While some complaining may be justified, crying time needs to be over.
Scolding officials has darn near become a national sport in America and it's unseemly. Officials are easy targets. The only time they get attention is when something bad happens.
Quick ... how many college football officials can you name?
Just once wouldn't it be funny to hear a ref lay into Kiffin in the papers?
"Gosh, did you see Lane's playcalling on the goal line against UCLA? Daddy's last name didn't help him much then did it?"
Or how about a zebra getting overheard on the loudspeaker saying ... "How many more lies did Kiffin tell today? Let's see, he accused Meyer of cheating, South Carolinians of being dumb career gas-pumpers, and told a big fib about firing a UT staff member who picked him up late from the airport. What a punk."
Maybe the ref in the Miss State game should have queried Mullen on why he blew the fake punt call against the Gators. Ref to Mullen ... "Nice call coach - you should be penalized - if you ever get another job."
Refs are easy targets and moderately compensated.
Coaches are spoiled, rich, and (some of them) are not real bright (my guess is Kiffin's IQ combined with his SAT score is below 1000).
I'll side with the guys in the stripes.
Here are this week's Top Ten Lists.
The Campus Game Top Ten Rankings (Week 9)
10. Oregon ... Ducks have made remarkable turnaround since disastrous week one.
9. Boise State... Broncos bound for a BCS bowl but not the BCS bowl.
8. TCU ... Horned Frogs defense will give anyone fits.
7. Georgia Tech ... have called Jackets ACC best all season and now they are atop the league.
6. USC ... beware the Trojans if they beat Oregon this week.
5. Iowa ... an undefeated Big Ten champ has been left out of title mix before (see Penn State).
4. Cincinnati ... Bearcats a long-shot to reach title game, but have a chance.
3. Texas ... Longhorns in best position to reach title game.
2. Alabama ... Crimson Tide offense is struggling (as mentioned here a week ago).
1. Florida ... Gators move back to top of TCG rankings.
The Campus Game Top Ten Games (Week 9)
10. Miami at Wake Forest: Hurricanes need help to reach ACC title.
9. Kansas at Texas Tech: Can a Big 12 North team win a meaningful game?
8. Ole Miss at Auburn: Rebels try to continue resurgence against tumbling Tigers.
7. Michigan State at Minnesota: Big Ten bowl bound teams battle for best Florida destination.
6. South Carolina at Tennessee: Mr. Brash (old) meet Mr. Brash (young). Only one has ever won anything though.
5. Cal at Arizona State: PAC-10 is deeper than most "experts" think.
4. West Virginia at South Florida: Mountaineers try to keep Big East hopes alive.
3. Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville): Can Dogs break Gator grip on the largest outdoor cocktail party?
2. Texas at Oklahoma State: The biggest remaining obstacle between Longhorns and title game.
1. USC at Oregon: Winner likely on way to Pasadena ... for granddaddy or BCS title game.
See you at kickoff.