Ready for play: ARTICLE 4. A dead ball is ready for play when: a. With the 40-second play clock running, an official places the ball at a hash mark or between the inbounds marks and steps away to his position. b. With the play clock set at 25 seconds, or at 40 seconds after an injury to or loss of helmet by a defensive team player, the referee sounds his whistle and either signals to start the game clock [S2] or signals that the ball is ready for play [S1]. (A.R. 4-1-4-I and II) Point "a" above is not relevant because the 40 second play clock was not running. Point "b" states that "ready for play" begins when the referee sounds his whistle or signals the ball is ready for play. Then by rule, once the referee sounded his whistle ready for play began and the clock started. The offense, by rule A.R. 7-1-2-I, has to be set for 1 second before they can snap the ball. When they snapped the ball immediately, they referees should have thrown a flag. If they had stayed set for 1 second, the game clock would have expired and the snap would not have mattered because it would have happened during halftime, which starts once the 2nd quarter game clock expires.
I'll agree some fans, on all teams, are too caught up far too much in the wins & losses of their beloved sports teams. They need to lighten up and get a life. However, I'll ardently disagree with you about the interception returns. As the 4th quarter was winding down, we were not down by 14, or even 7 points. We overcame those two pick-6's and were only down by 3 points. It definitely hurt that our kicker didn't make a tying FG in the 4th, but the INT's didn't lose the game for us.
There are two major issues here that need to be addressed by the governing authorities. First, the instant replay review should not give one team an advantage they would not have had if the review had not taken place. I.e. substituting in a kick team when they would not have been able to if the refs had stopped the clock w/ 0:01, moved the chains, and started the clock again. Second, when there is 0:01 on the clock and the clock is started at "ready for play", by rule there is no legal way for the offense to get the play off before 0:00, or time has expired. ARTICLE 2. a. Shift. After a huddle (Rule 2-14) or shift (Rule 2-22-1) and before the snap, all Team A players must come to an absolute stop and remain stationary in their positions without movement of the feet, body, head or arms for at least one full second before the ball is snapped. (A.R. 7-1-2-I) If the ball is snapped before all players are set for 1 second, then it is an illegal motion penalty. If the offense correctly is set for 1 second, the clock expires to 0:00 and by rule the ball cannot be snapped after the clock has expired. Auburn didn't cheat and Bama didn't deserve to win given how they played, IMO. But the referees failed to call an illegal motion penalty on Auburn's Field Goal team and, according to the rules, awarded Auburn 3 points for a field goal that was scored during half time. This is from a lifetime Alabama fan and I am trying to be as objective as I can. Personally, I felt the punt/non-punt formation in the 4th quarter to be a bit gimmicky. And I'm not sure if the referees correctly allowed Bama the time it needed to substitute since Auburn did, but that's kind of gray area for me. Bama, IMO, didn't have championship-caliber defense this year. We did have championship-caliber offense, until Tua was hurt. I think it would have been a different game if #13 had been in playing but that is a moot point. The pick-6's hurt badly, but we made up for them. You can't say that they lost the game for us because we didn't lose by 14, we lost by 3. If our kicker had been able to make the FG, it would have been a tie game and on to OT. But if the referees had called the end of the 2nd quarter correctly, Bama would have won by 3 points.
Kind of a running theme on this site lately. The headlines are exaggerated and the articles weak on content.
The amount of inside information in this article boggles the mind.