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Friday, December 31, 2010
3-point stance: Refs at fault in New York

By Ivan Maisel

1. Kansas State wide receiver Adrian Hilburn got flagged for one quick salute to the crowd after scoring a touchdown with 1:13 to play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl that pulled the Wildcats within 36-34 of Syracuse. Kansas State had to go for two points from the 17, and failed. If the standard is an excessive act that calls attention to the participant who committed it, then the Big Ten crew that flagged Hilburn committed the more egregious act. But if you saw the game, you don’t need me to tell you that.

2. Army’s 16-14 victory over SMU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl means the Black Knights finished with a 7-6 record. You could talk all day about the rebuilding job that Rich Ellerson is performing at West Point. But let’s all salute Army, Navy (9-4) and Air Force (9-4) for having winning records in the same season for the first time since 1996. That is, unless there’s a Big Ten officiating crew lurking around.

3. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema sounded a genuine note of remorse that he couldn’t see his college coach, Hayden Fry of Iowa, be inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Thursday. “He's the first man that believed in me in coaching,” Bielema said. “I walked on and I earned his respect right away. He didn't know my name. He called me 86. That was my jersey. At least he knew my jersey. But I began to work and he'd see me do things every day.”