Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Operator? Could you help me make this call ... ?

I have noticed a lot of anger lately over officiating, and now we are hearing gripes from nearly every major conference.

References (in no particular order):

  1. Fanhouse -- Memo to the ACC commissioner.
  2. Fanhouse -- Down with Geriatric Replay Officials [Isn't this age discrimination? -- ed.]
  3. CSTV -- ACC keeps High-Tech Eye on Official's Performance
  4. Sunday Morning Quarterback -- They All Fall Down ... Until the Two-Minute Drill
  5. Lexington Herald-Leader -- Seven is So Much Better Than Six
  6. Fanhouse -- Mike Leach is Not Afraid of Fines
  7. Kermit the Blog -- If Only I Knew Your Name, Mr. Line Judge
  8. Fanhouse -- Pac 10 Officials Outdo Themselves
  9. Sunday Morning Quarterback -- Ask Mike Leach
  10. CSTV -- Red Raiders Coach Leach Stands Behind Comments On Officiating
  11. ESPN -- Tranghese punishes ref who made call; won't elaborate on penalty
  12. Fanhouse -- YouTubesDay: Pac Ten Referee Incompetence
  13. Fanhouse -- YouTubesDay: Refs Muff Huskies-Beavers

Seems like some people are not real happy about the officiating these days, and I have seen enough questionable calls this year to make me wonder what we have to do to get it right. More and more calls are either falling under the rubric of "unreviewable", or just plain, unalterable incompetence, that fans must be wondering where it all ends.

For me, I think everything aught to be subject to challenge. If there is a play where the call is blown, there has to be some way to salvage the situation. The same rules would apply, but all the things that are "off limits" should be challengable except non-called penalties. How many hits out of bounds have we seen this year, for instance, when the replay showed clearly that the player was not out of bounds? How many roughing the passer calls have we seen where it wasn't just marginal, but obviously wrong? How many interference calls have we seen where it wasn't Those are major penalties, yet they can't be reviewed by rule. And what about the "oops-I-didn't-mean-it" fair catch against Louisville? Is it not ridiculous that was unreviewable?

Any personal foul penalty aught to be subject to review, but only on challenge. Unlike the current system where the challenge only costs a time-out if the ruling on the field is not reversed, challenging a penalty aught to cost a timeout no matter what the outcome. That way, the trade-off will sometimes lead coaches to accept the judgment of the officials.

Some way must be found to eliminate the impact these badly missed calls have on the game, at least as much as possible. It is an epidemic, and the conferences are not doing enough to ensure they don't happen.


mlmintampa said...

College football has the same problem the NFL has; the refs are not full time employees. Imagine the stress on an official, and that's only their part time job. The Conferences don't spend enough time educating their officials because they can't.

As for challenges, go to the NFL system.

BestofSEC said...


Great points all. I agree that the NFL system would be an improvement.

I would still like to see major penalties subjected to review. That's where we have seen many of the biggest problems this year.