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Herbstreit: Pac-12 is worst conference when it comes to officiating

Do a quick Internet search for worst college football officiating, and you will find a clear answer. The Pac-12 has the absolute worst reputation in the nation, by far.

It's no secret to Pac-12 fans that the conference's officials have a well-deserved reputation for incompetence.

This year, they cost Wisconsin a possible game-winning field goal against Arizona State by forgetting to stop the clock.

In year's past, there was the onside kick mistake that allowed Oregon to beat Oklahoma. No one in Seattle will forget the 15-yard flag Jake Locker got for celebrating a touchdown, and the blocked extra point that followed.

"The thing that worries me most about the game Saturday in Seattle is Pac-12 officiating," said ESPN College GameDay host Kirk Herbstreit. "If there's one conference that needs to button up its officiating and do some offseason seminars and work to try and get these guys up to speed, it's the Pac-12, by far ... the worst conference when it comes to officiating on a consistent basis."

Former Husky Damon Huard, who calls the games for UW, alongside Bob Rondo, said he agrees with former Ohio State QB Herbstreit. He said there is one statistic that illustrates just how bad they are.

"This conference is the most penalized," Huard said. "Three of four, I believe, of these teams are in the Top 10 in America. I think Herbie's onto something, but what are you going to do? This isn't a full-time job. These guys are teachers. They're firefighters. They're doing the best they can."

Some would argue that they aren't. Not even close.

Just to be fair, Washington has been on the positive side of some of these blown calls. Mason Foster's interception against Arizona that appeared to hit the turf comes to mind. So does the Oregon State fumble on the goal line where the player was clearly down.

So the good news is it appears the officials don't play any favorites when it comes to making bad calls.

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About the Author


Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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