Did Washington get hosed by the refs?

One of the most talked-about plays this weekend was the final play of the Washington-BYU game. If you somehow didn’t hear about it went like this:

  • BYU was leading 28-21, with a few seconds left in the 4th quarter
  • Washington QB Jake Locker scores with 2 seconds left to make the score 28-27
  • After he scored, he threw the ball in the air behind him and then hugged his teammates in celebration
  • An unsportsmanlike penalty was called by Larry Farina for excessive celebration, resulting in a 15 yard penalty
  • The resulting extra point (now about 34 yards instead of 19) was blocked, winning the game for BYU.
Here’s a clip of the end of the game:

So the big question: was it the right call?

On one hand, it was completely fair — the rules clearly state that it should be called as a penalty. However, the rules also clearly state that the ball should be “returned to the official or left near the dead ball spot”. How often does that happen? 50% of the time, maybe? I guess I missed all of those other penalties when players toss the ball on the ground.

The PAC-10 has come out and said it was a good call. What do you think?