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Friday, December 30, 2005

A Letter to the Coordinator of Football Officials for the Sun Belt

Below is a copy of the letter I emailed to Don Lucas, Coordinator of Football Officials for the Sun Belt Conference, and cc'd to commissioner Wright Waters in the "Ask the Commissoner" section of the Sun Belt conference staff directory page.

Mr. Lucas,

If the officiating in the Alamo Bowl last night is the standard for the Sun Belt, you and the entire conference should be embarrassed. Those referees were so bad, even the ESPN announcers working the game were pointing out how atrocious they were.

In the future, here are some helpful tips for your crews. First, the easy ones:

* When a runner drops the ball before his knee hits the ground, the rest of the conferences in America call that a fumble.
* When the ball goes through a receiver's hands and hits the turf where he traps it, that is NOT a touchdown, even if the receiver is in the endzone.
* When a DB wraps his arm around one of the receiver's arms preventing him from catching the ball, that is called pass interference. The DB does NOT need to grab both of his arms, draw blood or rip off the WR's helmet first for this to be called, contrary to how they may call it in the Middle Tennessee State/Louisiana-Monroe game.

Now for the tougher ones:

* With the game winding down to a thrilling finish, one team desperately trying to get the ball back for one final drive, once the ball is set, the play clock normally starts within, oh, a day or two of being spotted. Most refs in other leagues don't check their dinner reservations or email first.
* Finally, when one side has their entire team, coaching staff, trainers and the kid who carries the coach's headset on the field DURING A LIVE PLAY, you might want to consider calling a "Too Many Men/Women/Children on the Field Penalty." Just a thought.

Well, hope this helps so in the future the Sun Belt refs don't conduct themselves on a national stage in a way that would be an embarrassment even at the Pop Warner level.


The M Zone Staff


Anonymous said...

bitter? I think so.

Yost said...

Bitter? No. Pissed. And rightfully so. As should ANY fan of college football, no matter what team they play for, when a game is officiated in that manner. That was a joke.

Anonymous said...

Got news for you Michigan had guys on the field too....so if you look in the rule book that is off setting penalties. Also there was no one sided calls the bad calls went both ways. Just get a clue Nebraska was thrilled get better and make it to a bowl game while Michigan was still licking their wounds from being preseason top 5. Face the facts Nebraska out played Michigan

Yost said...

Oh, I agree w/ you Anon that Nebraska a) outplayed Michigan and b) deserved to win.

But that doesn't change the fact that the refs sucked. Period. One has nothing to do with the other. I would have said the same thing had we won.

And I'm guessing if we HAD run that last play back, Nebraska fans would be in an uproar as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Meatchicken fans,

I didn't hear this outcry when you needed 60:00.02 to beat Penn State.

Give me a friggn break

Yost said...

Anon, watch the Penn State game again. Then tell me if the correct call wasn't made based on a) when M called timeout and b) when the first ref acknowledged that timeout before the clock was stopped.

As for the "Meatchicken"...is that really the best you got? Uh...ok.

IC said...

Gentlemen, gentlemen...can't we just agree that:

1)regardless of which team they may have helped more, the refs were embarassingly inept last night.


2) "Meatchicken" is by far the worst insult since George Costanza came up with "Jerk Store"?

Yost said...


Yeah, I still can't figure out the "cleverness" of that insult. What was the thinking? Let's take any two words that kinda, sorta sound like "Michigan?" As I said before: Uh...ok.

Anonymous said...

Lol this is commical! You are obviously forgetting about the calls that could have gone against you as well right? Want some cheese with that whine?

Yost said...

No, not forgetting at all, Anon. They were bad all around. Doesn't matter if you weren't a fan of either school as any unbiased observer (like the ESPN announcers) would think these guys sucked.

Anonymous said...

1) To Yost: So "meatchicken" is a pun on "Michigan." I honestly hadn't gotten that before. Now it's even dumber than I thought.

2) To Ian Gold: Oh yeah? I slept with your wife!

Big Buck said...

I’m a Buckeye fan first and a Big Ten fan second. The fact is Michigan got screwed at the Alamo. That was the worst officiated game I can think of. Oh and how about Bubba the replay official? Maybe he wasn’t told the phone was to be used to call the officials and not his mama in Alabama. You guys have a great program and deserved better than third rate officiating. Wouldn’t it have been great to knock over the photographer on the way to a touchdown and retire the Cal – Stanford game ending play from TV?

skeetskeet said...

Jeebus. There have been lousy officiating calls in ALL levels of college football for years, and last night's game was not outside the normal distribution spectrum, though it was near the crappy end of that spectrum. So you shouldn't be surprised that other schools' fans think you're protesting a WEE bit too much when you vent so much spleen over the officiating, to the point that you have to scroll halfway down the page to find a post of any length about the game and/or Michigan's program in general.

Surely the dire state of Michigan's program is a bigger deal than one badly officiated game. To go on about the refs at such length makes you sound like you're attempting misdirection. Remember, this is a voice from inside the A2 bubble.

Tennvolchamp said...

Funny (and sarcasm can be very on-point) letter. My beef as a non-partisan (pulling for Michigan more than Nebraska because a UM grad took me to the Big House for the ND spanking 3 years ago in return for me taking him to Neyland) was the fact that Carr had to call timeouts to get plays reviewed. With timeouts in his pocket, the last set of downs would've left more than 7 seconds on the clock.

It's ridiculous that replay folks can't trigger stoppage without a coach having to burn a timeout.

James said...

The PSU griping about the 2 seconds would hold more water if they hadn't benefitted from the SAME EXACT THING just before. With 3:05, JoePa asked for 2 seconds, and they were put back on to make it 3:07. Funny how that was "OK" in PSU fans' book but the later 2 second addition somehow wasn't.

Anonymous said...

To make all fair in the world. Mecheatagian should go back in time and donate those 2 seconds to Washington St. in '98 Rose Bowl.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the Sun Belt conference, I have just one thing to say.

HAHA Hows it feel going through the same thing we go through every freakin week!!!! Couldnt have happened to a nicer bunch of guys...

Yost said...

Anon, sorry to hear that. Wow. That was appalling!

Anonymous said...

Hey I am a fan of team that plays in the sunbelt. Our refs are the worst. It seems like they have to have a twenty minute conference ever time a flag is thrown. There horrible, I am sorry you had to have them.

bigten4life said...

id like to extend a big sorry to all of you michigan fans. as a die hard iowa fan i know can see what its like to be completely screwed out of a bowl game. we had conference usa referees and the same type of stuff was goin on in our game: it was just too fast paced for the jv refs. its ok though, because i feel that these two games will hopefully cause a change in how things are done in the bowl games in regards to officiating.

Yost said...

I hope you're right about the changes, BigTen.

Anonymous said...

Both you guys (UM & Iowa) got screwed with a big rubber d*#k by the officials. While the bad calls did go both ways in the Alamo bowl, I think UM got the worst part of it. And for you Iowa fans, I don't know what to say, but it must have been tough for those refs to see what was actually happening on the field while they were busy servicing the entire football team. I know if I had a giant orange and blue d*#k in my mouth it'd be hard to call call a clean game.

Anonymous said...

yost - you didn't honestly refer to espn as "unbiased"? I hope that was sarcasm....i agree that the officiating was disgusting, and the sun belt refs should be forever relegated to officiating ymca youth league games, but the fact remains...we won. yes, we'd be pissed if it went the other way...been there - done that - more than once. i know that don't help the pain, but that's the way it goes into the books.......skers4ever