Tulane misses bowl bid -- and a game-winning TD -- by inches

(via CBS Sports Network)

Should Tulane be bowl eligible?

The Green Wave were denied a 6-6 season and possible bowl bid when quarterback Jonathan Banks was stopped apparently inches short of the goal line on the final play of the game vs. SMU on Saturday.

With the Mustangs leading 41-38, Tulane had the ball at the SMU 1 with eight seconds left. Instead of kicking a game-tying field goal, the Green Wave went for the winning score. Did Banks get into the end zone?

(Via CBS Sports Network)

Officials ruled him just short, meaning replay had to have definitive evidence that he got into the end zone. Is there definitive evidence from any of these angles?

(Via CBS Sports Network)
(Via CBS Sports Network)

The key is where Banks is holding the ball. He had it in his right hand but switched to his left as he got hit. Had the ball continued to be in his right hand and he somehow held on when he got hit on that side, it probably would have been ruled a touchdown on the field.

But since it wasn’t, replay officials clearly weren’t willing to go out on a limb and say he got in, even if it appears that he may have done so.

The loss means Tulane finishes the season 5-7. That’s not only a blow for the Green Wave, but also for the conference itself. Without Tulane at 6-6, one less AAC team will be heading to a bowl game.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!