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Thursday, December 29, 2005

About the Refs...

I usually don't like to complain about the officiating of a game. I'm a firm believer that refs are a) human so it's not a perfect science and b) over four quarters, things will even out. And I also want to be clear that I'm not blaming the refs for Michigan's Alamo Bowl loss. We should never have put ourselves in a position to let a call decide the game.

But give me a fucking break!

I mean, did one of the refs have a dinner reservation at the Red Lobster they thought they might miss? Is that why they didn't spot the ball right away on Nebraska's last 4th down, costing Michigan at least 10 seconds for its final drive? Also, what constitutes PI in the Sun Belt Conference where these refs came from? Does the receiver actually have to be tackled? Because judging from Michigan's second to last offensive possession, simply holding onto a WR's arm so he can't catch the ball isn't enough.

What I saw last night was the worst officiating in all my years of following college football. When respected ESPN analysts like Mike Tirico and Kirk Herbstreit think it's a joke, that has to count for something. How many bad calls were there? Starting with Nebraska's "non-fumble" on their first drive right up until the last play of the game (and too many to count in between), these guys -- and the Sun Belt Conference that uses them -- should be embarrassed.

And for crying out loud -- if a call is even remotely close, review it! THAT'S WHY THEY HAVE INSTANT REPLAY! A coach shouldn't have to burn his timeouts in the hopes that these officials will maybe take a look!

And for cryin' out loud, as was "hinted" at by Herbstreit and Tirico, for your bowl game, get some officials who at least officiate major college football games, not the Sun Belt League or wherever these jokers came from. Sweet mother of Pearl! Granted, I'm sure these guys did a helluva job ref'ing the big Middle Tennessee State/Arkansas State thriller in front of 56 people last fall but they shouldn't be officiating a game between two of the winningest programs in college football history.


Anonymous said...

The ten seconds was outrageous, but probably didn't make a difference. (Remember that Rose Bowl when the refs let the time run out? Now that's a difference.)

But that interference was unbelievable. In fact, when the Michigan people were asking for it, I thought it was just desperation, until they showed the view from the back. Can it be clearer. My only fear should have been would Michigan score too quickly, giving our defense another chance to lie down and give the game back to Nebraska.

Yost said...

And by too quickly for our "D", I assume you mean with anything more than :01 seconds left.

Benny Friedman said...

And though - biased as I am - I thought the majority of the bad calls went against Michigan, let's not forget the horrible punt-catch interference they called against the 'Huskers, and how they originally ruled Leon Hall's knee didn't hit the ground on his first INT even though it was obvious to the naked eye at regular speed. At least they overturned that one - and Callahan didn't even have to use a time out.

Anonymous said...

What is funny is the losing team always complains about officals. There must have been no bad calls against nebraska give me a break.

Yost said...


Michigan should have never put itself in a position to let calls decide the game. That is their fault.

And yes, there were bad calls against Nebraska. Please show me where on this site you read otherwise? The officials sucked, no matter who won. Period.

Anonymous said...

Blown calls that CLEARLY went against Michigan:

1) Clear fumble in the first quarter that Michigan recovered. Incomplete explanation, and there was no review. Nebraska scored their first TD a few plays
2) Obvious pass interference on Avant in the 2nd quarter. Refs give no explanation, but I can only assume that they thought the ball was tipped, but it clearly wasn't. Avant was tackled well before ball got there and it was definitely catchable.
3) Obvious Nebraska drop in the endzone called incorrectly, but the replay official was not paying attention so UM had to waste a timeout.
4) 3rd quarter pass interference call waved off due to "ball being tipped" when it was not only not tipped, but Henne wasn't even touched. If it was tipped, how was it a minor overthrow? I could be off on this - perhaps Tirico was the only one who mentioned the tip.
5) BLATANT pass interference on 4th down at the end of the game. This was a textbook PI. I have no idea how a ref can possibly miss this. Honestly, it's fourth down, the defender grabbed him way early and the ref doesn't throw the flag. Kudos to the UM players for not punching a ref after another blatant, uncalled pass interference.
6) The extra ten seconds that came off the clock before they started the play clock at the end of the game. If a team is hustling down to try to score they always place the ball right away.
7) Nebraska's team rushing the field before the play is over. That is a penalty, pure and simple. This is not the band. This is their entire team. Why did Ecker run to the right sideline? Because there were 45 Huskers on the left side of the field. Or maybe just because he's Tyler Ecker.

Potentially questionable calls:
1) The 15-yard facemask penalty on third down in the third quarter. No idea if this is questionable because ESPN never bothered to show it. With these refs, I have to question it.

2) Chad Henne's "fumble". I put this in the questionable range because you could technically make a case, but in my mind, it was clearly a forward pass. His arm was going forward before the ball came out and the ball even had a spiral on it (not a tight one,
but that's a friggin pass). This really belongs in the top section because UM had to waste ANOTHER timeout. Both those timeouts would have changed the end of the game dramatically.

Blown calls that CLEARLY went against Nebraska:
1) The kick-catch interference on Breaston
2) The interception in the endzone - oh wait. Of course, reply dude is now Johnny on the spot and buzzes down immediately.

All those horrible calls, and UM should have still won that stupid game. As usual this season, the offensive line played like garbage and therefore we could not run the ball. UM had to go to the passing game towards the end, and unfortunately, Avant fumbled (and I feel terrible for the guy, because that play could have kind of sealed the game). Then Henne had to drop back and he "fumbled". Of course, the defense couldn't make a big stop when it counted just like they have all year. That said, UM STILL should have won. If Rivas makes his chip-shot, it comes down to a second chip-shot at the end of the game. If Manningham hauls in the third-down catch, the blown PI call is irrelevant. If the secondary tackles better (Nebraska's first touchdown and a third-quarter run where Barringer had the RB in the backfield and whiffed on him - they later scored on the drive), UM wins. If Tyler Ecker laterals the ball to Breaston at
the end (that WAS the play we were running, right?), UM wins. But because none of that stuff happened, Michigan loses.

IC said...


Thank you for pointing out how weak our O-line has been all year, particularly in run blocking. While our defense deserves the criticism it receives for the fourth quarter collapses, we would have won some or all of our blown-lead losses if we had an offensive line that provided some holes for our backs, particularly at the end of games.

Also, good job calling out Rivas for missing that FG last night (his third key miss under 35 yards this season). It seems the longer he's at Michigan, the lousier he becomes.

Anonymous said...

The refs didn't "let the time run out" in the 1998 Rose Bowl. Spiking the ball takes a couple seconds. From the time the ball is spotted to the time it's snapped to the time it's spiked . . . it's impossible to do that in under 2 seconds unless you have a Spartan Bob as timekeeper.

Anonymous said...

you michigan fans are the biggest whiners of all time. Going on an on about settling the score for 1997 before the game and excuse after excuse for not finishing off a team that had inferior caliber players. You should all be ashamed.

Yost said...

Hey, pin hole, this is called the MICHIGAN FOOTBALL FORUM not the UNBIASED FOOTBALL FORUM. And trust me, nobody on this blog was talking about settling '97 (speaking of whining, Scott Frost) in the Alamo Bowl between two 7-4 teams.