Alabama defeated Georgia 27-24 in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, but the win didn’t come without controversy.
Coming into this outing, most people felt like the Crimson Tide had a ton of momentum. Despite a slower-than-usual start to the 2023 season, Alabama rallied late and looked like a force heading into this weekend.
Surely enough, they gave the defending champs all they could handle on Saturday. Unfortunately, their win was ultimately mired by clear cheating that was aided by the SEC referees officiating the game.
Everyone with a pair of eyes could see that the fix was in:
“These refs man,” college football insider Danny Kanell wrote midgame. “Completely one-sided.”
Kanell wasn’t the only national writer to notice how the refereeing was biased.
“That’s a BAD call against Georgia,” USA Today’s Dan Wolken noted during one of the many botched calls of the game.
No sequence illustrated how things went on Saturday more than what occurred just before halftime.
With Alabama up 10-7 and just over a minute remaining in the second half, quarterback Jalen Milroe tossed a pass down the right side of the field to Isaiah Bond on a 4th and 4 play.
Bond dove for it and was credited with a catch – despite the fact that he clearly used the ground to haul the reception in. Everyone could see it at home, but apparently the folks at the game couldn’t.
If that play had been called correctly, Georgia would have taken over at their own 37-yard line with a little more than a minute remaining in the quarter.
What happened instead? The Crimson Tide retained possession, marched down the field, and scored – making the score 17-7.
Georgia wound up losing the game by three points.
At halftime, replays showed that the SEC referees blatantly helped Alabama cheat:
The ball contacting the ground does not unequivocally determine if a pass should be ruled complete or not.
However, when loss of possession occurs as the ball contacts the ground, the ground is essentially aiding the receiver in the process of the catch.
— Gene Steratore (@GeneSteratore) December 2, 2023
In a college football weekend that saw a Florida State cheerleader’s wild photos leak out, it is telling that nobody is talking about that.
Instead, the big story is how badly the SEC’s own referees botched the conference’s potential ability to be represented in the College Football Playoff.
Sad Georgia Fans From Alabama Game Identified (Photos): https://t.co/GIn9vxA0RS
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 3, 2023
Because of Alabama’s loss to Texas earlier in the season, it is very possible that no SEC squad will be in the CFP.
Will the SEC’s referees be forced to account for blatantly handing Alabama a win over Georgia this weekend? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.