The Sweep

SI.com's All-American Blog Team

Filice_gennaro
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AP

No. 15 BYU cleared a major hurdle in its quest for a BCS bid, thanks in part to a huge assist from an overzealous official.

With Washington trailing BYU 28-21 late in the fourth quarter, QB Jake Locker led the Huskies on an exhilarating 17-play, 76-yard scoring drive, scrambling for a two-yard touchdown plunge with just two seconds left in the game. After the touchdown, Locker jumped to his feet, exuberantly tossed the ball over his head and rejoiced with teammates. It seemed like a pretty ordinary celebration to these eyes -- no premeditated routine, no taunting and nothing I would describe as "excessive" -- but one official didn't see it that way and called a personal foul on Locker.

Forced to take the potential game-tying PAT from the 18-yard-line (as opposed to the 3), Washington had the kick blocked. Ballgame.

Now, let me get one thing straight -- officials did not hand this game to BYU. The Cougars played well enough to win at a tough road venue. And even if the excessive celebration penalty had not been imposed and Washington had converted the PAT, the game was still headed to overtime.

That being said, this is no way to end a football game. This game should have been decided in the exciting college football overtime format, not by an official's (mis)judgment. You simply cannot throw that flag at that point in the game. (Personally, I don't think you should throw that flag at any point in the game.)

Like I said before, this was a huge win for BYU in the BCS picture. The Cougars face UCLA next week before kicking off Mountain West play against Wyoming. If BYU ends up receiving a BCS bid, naysayers will undoubtedly reference this Husky hosing.

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