Arianne's Arsenal: Referees show subpar performance<BR>

It's a new year, although it doesn't seem like one.

Even though I laid on my couch all day Wednesday watching college football like I always do, it was different.

I didn't have my mother chasing me around the house all day, trying to get me to eat a spoonful of sauerkraut for good luck.

My dad and I didn't put the two TVs next to each other so we could watch two games at once.

We didn't get confused over which remote went to which TV and changed the channel on the wrong one.

(When there are four games on, we don't watch commercials.)

Instead, I was by myself.

But there are some things that never change – like lousy officiating.

In the midst of a lackluster bowl season, and let's face it, quite a few of the bowl games thus far haven't been good, the only thing that has topped the mediocrity of the match-ups has been the subpar performance of the referees.

I know everyone likes to complain about officiating, but I saw some things Wednesday I didn't like.

In the Penn State-Auburn game, for example, there was one play where Penn State quarterback Zack Mills had his head practically ripped off while the referee stood three feet away and watched.

Yet no penalty was called on the obvious face-mask.

In the Florida-Michigan game, Gator quarterback Rex Grossman made a dash toward the sideline on Florida's second to last drive of the game.

Three yards after he had gotten out of bounds, a Michigan player barreled over him, then over the referee.

Yet no late-hit penalty was called.

The referee was right there, the guy ran over him.

It was an obvious late-hit.

I could go on, but I'm under space constrictions.

Those are just two examples that stuck out in my mind.

It's one thing if the refs are out of position and just didn't see the play, but in both of these cases and a couple of others, the official was staring directly into the face of the blatant penalty and didn't throw the flag.

I can only hope that bad calls won't affect the outcome of the national championship game.

Speaking of the Fiesta Bowl, it's finally here.

After everything that could possibly be said or written about the game has been done, the game is upon us.

And all I have to say is – Go Buckeyes!

I was born in Ohio; my father went to Ohio State.

Most of my relatives still live in Ohio.

I was raised watching Buckeye football.

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard my mother utter in disgust the phrase "Cooper, you stink!" at the former coach, I would never have to work again.

My first day of school in first grade, I had all of my supplies, my pencils, safety scissors and my eraser that said, 'Go Bucks.

Erase Michigan.'

I even have a stuffed Brutus the Buckeye.

How many people can say that?

Ohio State won't disappoint, at least I hope they won't.

Not many are giving the team a chance against the high-powered Hurricanes.

The morning of the Ohio State-Michigan game, I told one of my friends that if the Buckeyes lost, I wasn't going to talk to my dad for a week because he would be mad about the game.

Same goes for today.

My family loves their Buckeyes.

And today, in Phoenix, it will be like a mini-Scarnecchia family reunion.

Several of my relatives are traveling to see their beloved Buckeyes play the evil Hurricanes.

I, of course, will be there, cheering on the scarlet and gray.

Go Bucks.

Erase Miami.

Arianne Scarnecchia is a sports writer for the Miner.

She can be reached at 753-6397, ext.

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