Skip to main content

Big 10 Supervisor Of Officials: Fiesta Bowl Refs Were Wrong

Ryan Day is furious with the refs in the Fiesta Bowl.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 28: Head coach Ryan Day of the Ohio State Buckeyes argues the call with the referee against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Saturday night's PlayStation Fiesta Bowl was easily one of the most entertaining games of the season. Unfortunately, the play on the field isn't what's being discussed two days later.

The Fiesta Bowl's officials - which supposedly makeup the SEC's finest crew - made a couple of game-deciding calls. Clemson got momentum following a questionable targeting call. Then, the refs overturned a Clemson fumble that was returned by Ohio State for a touchdown.

Since Saturday night's controversial calls, former and current referees have offered their perspective on the play. Big Ten supervisor of officials, Bill Carollo, is the latest to weigh in.

According to his judgement, Carollo thinks the SEC officials made an incorrect call.

"I haven't talked to anybody who thought it was an incomplete pass," Carollo said on CBS Sports Radio. "To reverse it, it has to be really obvious. ... We would have preferred it stand. Don't reofficiate it [in the replay booth] on judgment calls."

There's no question this is one of the most-controversial calls of the past decade.

The controversial play occurred in the third quarter of Saturday's game with the Tigers leading the Buckeyes 21-16. Clemson WR Justyn Ross caught a short pass before being tackled by OSU CB Jeff Okudah, who proceeded to knock the ball free forcing a fumble.

Ohio State DB Jordan Fuller picked up the loose ball and found his way into the end-zone for a quick score. The defensive touchdown would've given Ohio State a 23-21 lead.

But the referees got in the way of the game, reversing the call despite the replay review seemingly confirming what was called on the field.

Officials need to start being held accountable for these types of massive officiating errors.