THE TOP 10: Bad Calls

In today's installment of Tiger Rag's Top 10, we look at the most memorable "bad calls" in LSU history. Tomorrow, we focus on "bonehead bloopers."

BAD CALLS

The worst calls by officials for or against LSU

 

1. 1979 – Phantom Facemask versus USC

In the waning moments of USC's 17-12 win over LSU, the Trojans got the benefit of a generous facemask call from the officials that kept the drive alive. The top-ranked Trojans went on to score the game-winning touchdown. Tailback Charles White won the Heisman Trophy, and USC eventually was named the national champion. Many LSU fans still swear it was the greatest game in the history of Tiger Stadium.

 

2. 2006 – Pass Interference waved off against Auburn

The call is still being discussed on Internet message boards. Pictures of the non-pass-interference call remain on Web sites to this day. In the final minutes of LSU's 7-3 loss to Auburn in 2006, it looked like the Tigers were headed for the winning score when wide receiver Early Doucet was held badly in the Auburn secondary on fourth down. But after a brief discussion by the officials, the refs picked up the flag and awarded possession to Auburn. LSU did get the ball back, but came up just short of the goal line on the final play.

 

3. 2004 – Ronnie Prude flagged for leverage against Auburn

Two years earlier, a call by the officials proved to be LSU's downfall. Auburn tied the score 9-9 on a late pass from Jason Campbell to Courtney Taylor. But kicker John Vaughn missed the ensuing extra point. As LSU celebrated, an official dropped a late flag saying Ronnie Prude came over the top of the line and hit the long snapper. Vaughn got another chance and banged home the game-winning extra point, snapping defending national champion LSU's 10-game winning streak.

 

4. 1970 – Orduna ruled down by contact, negating crucial fumble for Nebraska

Nebraska running back Joe Orduna appeared to have fumbled the ball near midfield in the closing minutes of the 1971 Orange Bowl. However, officials said he was down and awarded the top-ranked Cornhuskers possession. Nebraska ended up scoring on the drive and the No. 1 Huskers held off surging LSU 17-12.

 

5. 1959 – Cannon's two-point run ruled short of the goal line, winning streak snapped

LSU and Tennessee fans alike felt Billy Cannon crossed the goal line, but the official said he was just short. Tennessee beat the No. 1 Tigers, snapping LSU's 19-game winning streak. To this day, Cannon swears he was in the end zone.

 

6. 1968 – Chain gang gaffe against Miss. State

Chain gang misses a Miss. State down near the LSU goal. State ends up kicking a field goal instead of scoring a touchdown in a 20-16 LSU victory.

 

7. 2000 – First-ever instant replay in Tiger Stadium

While officials discussed a possible illegal hit made on LSU return man Domanick Davis, they seemed to have forgotten who had possession. When referee Steve Landis awarded possession to Alabama saying Davis had fumbled, LSU players began pointing to Tiger Stadium's replay screens. Landis glanced up at the screen, determined LSU had possession, and made the correct call. LSU went on to win the game 30-28, the Tigers' first win over Alabama in Baton Rouge since 1969.

 

8. 1999 – Miss. State awarded late, controversial touchdown

It seems almost ironic that LSU had its worst team in years in 1999, while Miss. State had one of its best ever. However, the Bulldogs needed help from the officials on a late touchdown run by Rod Gibson to steal a 17-16 win over LSU.

 

9. 2004 – Corey Webster interception against Alabama

While the Tigers benefited from this bad call, most everyone will agree Corey Webster knocked down an Alabama wide receiver in the end zone and came up with the pick. The Tide was about to make it a 17-6 game, but Webster's interception turned the momentum of the game. LSU won 26-10.

 

10. 2006 – Replay reverses Hester catch

There were plenty of questionable calls on that day in Auburn. While no call will ever overshadow the controversial pass-interference call, an instant replay reversal of a Jacob Hester reception on fourth and one, deep in Auburn territory, could have changed the early momentum of the game.

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