There are two schools of thought regarding the controversial ending of the Wisconsin-Arizona State game Saturday night in Tempe in which time ran out on the Badgers who lost 32-30.
One goes like this: Wisconsin had a potential win stolen in the final seconds by Arizona State linebacker Anthony Jones laying on the ball and poor officiating by the Pac-12 crew that failed to penalize the Sun Devils or get the ball spotted in a timely manner. Doing so would have allowed the Badgers to spike it and trot on the field goal team for a possible 32-yard game winner.
Another view is this: Wisconsin bungled a chance to win the game after quarterback Joel Stave moved the Badgers into position for a winning field goal but awkwardly tried to kneel down, then set the ball down on the ASU 15-yard line encouraging the Sun Devils to pounce on it and confusion among the officials as the clock kept running.
Regardless, both versions come to the same horrible end for the Badgers. They're going home with a loss that could have been a win with better execution of some pretty fundamental details in the waning moments.
Stave and his teammates seemed to not realize the clock was continuing to run after he gave himself up at the 15-yard line with about 13 seconds remaining. Only as the clock ran down to 5 seconds and the officials were finally spotting the ball did the Badgers seem to realize what was happening and by then it was too late.
It also didn't help that when Wisconsin did get to the line ready to snap the ball, the official who took a lackadaisical approach to getting the Sun Devils off the ball and marking it set for play, held out his hand prohibiting the Badgers from snapping it.
Of course, this is college football and we've seen plenty of place-kickers flub big kicks for their teams in recent years. There is no way of knowing if Wisconsin junior Kyle French would have made the kick had everything else gone normally. French has already missed a field goal and an extra point this season.
Not everyone with Wisconsin ties seemed to think the Badgers got a raw deal.