Monday update: The Pac-12 has reprimanded and "taken additional sanctions" against the game's officiating crew, the conference announced today.
Trailing 32-30 late Saturday night, Wisconsin appeared to be in great position for a potentially game-winning field goal. Only, they never even got it off.
The Badgers reached the Sun Devils' 13-yard line with 18 seconds left, plenty of time to run the field goal team on for an easy 30 yarder. With the ball on the right hash mark, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave took the snap and immediately slid down in the middle of the field, but in his haste to get off another snap to spike the ball and stop the clock, he got up without the ball. Arizona State's defensive line stood over the ball, and stood some more, and kept standing, and before anyone in white knew it, there wasn't enough time to clock it.
There are a few problems here.
First, Stave was clearly down.
There are two options for the official here. Either he thought Stave fumbled, which obviously gives Arizona State a right to the ball, but is clearly a reviewable play. Or he didn't think Stave fumbled, which means the Sun Devils were guilty of a defensive delay of game. No review was called and no flag was thrown.
Here is the Wisconsin offensive line pointing at the clock, while the ref won't get off the ball.
No matter how you look at this, the officials jobbed Wisconsin of a chance to win the game. Watch how it happened in real time. And job one of every official is to ensure a fair ending for both teams. They failed this objective in spectacular fashion.
Here's how you know the officiating crew botched the end of this game: Todd Graham, head coach of the winning team, had to confirm with two separate officials in the minutes following the discombobulated ending that the game was actually over.
“It was a shame it went down the way it went down at the end and that’s really all I want to say about it," said Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen “It is a shame it went down that way.”