Officiating has been a hot topic in college football lately, with several poor calls getting enormous attention. But long ago, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and Auburn coach Pat Dye did their best to make sure officiating wouldn't be an issue in the FSU-Auburn game Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Normally, officials from the Southern Independents Association or the Southeastern Conference _ or a combination of both _ would officiate a game between an independent and an SEC school.
But Bowden and Dye got officials from the Big East Association to work the game.
"Pat and I both agreed on it," Bowden said. "We felt like they've done a good job in the past. I don't think it's common. Most of the time you see split crews or you bring your officials on the road."
Officials from the Big East Association were used during FSU's Sugar Bowl game with Auburn in 1989 and last year's game in Tallahassee. Bowden is among many coaches displeased with the officiating this year.
"After what I've seen this year, I'd jump up and down right now for instant replay," Bowden said. "I've been disappointed with the officiating, but they're trying their best."
FSU's Stevenson shows versatility
FSU's Robert Stevenson is a man of many positions and he's shown his versatility all season. Stevenson got his third start of the year in his third different position. He earned a start at tight guard over Mike Morris. But Stevenson has been a valuable replacement due to injuries, having also started games at split tackle and split guard.
4 injured players fail to make trip
The Seminoles brought 72 players to Auburn, but some key ones stayed home in Tallahassee because of injuries. Outside linebacker Grady Ross (broken ankle), cornerback Corey Fuller (sprained ankle), tight end Marvin Ferrell (sprained ankle) and nose guard John Nance (pulled hamstring) did not make the trip.
Odds and ends
Lawrence Dawsey's two receptions in the first quarter tied him with Hassan Jones, who is now with the Minnesota Vikings, for seventh on the FSU all-time receiving list with 98. Dawsey also extended his consecutive-game pass-catching streak to 27, three shy of the FSU record of 30 held by Ron Sellers. The game was FSU's 10th appearance on ESPN, the first this year. Network television appearances, including CBS and ESPN, are worth about $350,000 to each school.
Florida State returns home for a 12:40 p.m. game next Saturday against Louisiana State. The game will be televised by TBS. LSU played host to Kentucky on Saturday night.
_ BOB HARIG