An unwritten rule for referees is, barring a blatant penalty, to try to swallow your whistle late in the game. The idea is that the players should decide the outcome of the game.

When Washington played Brigham Young last week, the Huskies scored a late touchdown and needed an extra point to send the game into overtime.

But, as Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.” After Washington quarterback Jake Locker scored the touchdown on a 3-yard run, he threw the ball in the air and turned to his teammates in celebration. The problem is, throwing the ball in the air is a direct violation of NCAA rules and calls for a 15-yard penalty.

The referee dutifully called the penalty and turned the extra-point attempt into a 35-yarder, which was blocked.

Would Washington have won without the penalty? Who knows. The point is, the referee may have followed NCAA rules, but he broke the code. Bogus call. Let the players decide the game.

And now, the casualties of that boneheaded call:

No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners at Washington Huskies

After two close losses to start the season, it has to be hard for Washington to even take the field this week.

And it doesn’t get any easier with No. 3 Oklahoma coming to town. Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 76 percent of his passes, and the play action should prove deadly as the Huskies have to take into account the dual-threat rushing attack of DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown.

One thing we know about Washington coach Ty Willingham is that he has about as many facial expressions as the Terminator. Hopefully, he’s been able to maintain his reserved exterior in front of his players. If they see that he’s not discouraged, it’ll go a long way toward giving them some hope.

Guaranteed: Willingham will jump in the air and scream like a pre-teen girl in front of Zac Efron after the Huskies score their only touchdown.

Rating: 2 out of 5 footballs.

No. 14 East Carolina Pirates at Tulane Green Wave

There’s always one lovable underdog that takes down a perennial powerhouse. But it’s not every year that the underdog comes back with another bite and takes down an entire slate of powerhouses.

Enter No. 14 East Carolina.

Fresh off victories against Virginia Tech and West Virginia, the Pirates will be looking to knock off Tulane in what should be a cupcake game.

Guaranteed: Pirate quarterback Patrick Pinkney completes 75 percent of his passes, and becomes the second East Carolina quarterback ever mentioned on national television (the first was Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard).

Guaranteed: Tulane coach Bob Toledo cries in the locker room after the game when he realizes that Chicago Bears running back and former Green Wave star Matt Forte graduated. He spends the night watching highlights of Forte tear up the Colts defense with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.

Rating: 3 out of 5 footballs.

No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 19 South Florida Bulls

After last week’s narrow victory over a mediocre Central Florida team, the Bulls have to prove that their number two ranking last year wasn’t a complete fluke. In an ultimate game of contender versus pretender, Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing will look to outdo South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe in a contest to see who can blow more scoring chances.

Guaranteed: Kansas coach Mark Mangino sweats through two shirts on the Jayhawk sidelines as South Florida’s monster defensive end George Selvie sacks Reesing three times.

Guaranteed: Grothe breaks the ankles of three Kansas linebackers on his way to 100 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns.

Rating: 4 out of 5 footballs.

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