If you want to put your finger on the real problem with the inconsistent level of officiating plaguing college football that we continue to see and rail about seemingly on a weekly basis, check out this wonderfully useless statement from Verle Sorgen, the Pac-10’s point man for its replay officials, who, in response to a question about what constitutes irrefutable proof (the amorphous standard by which a replay guy has grounds to overturn a ruling on the field), had this to say:
… I called Verle Sorgen, director of instant replay for the league, and he gave me an emphatic explanation. He said there must be irrefutable proof that the original call was wrong.
Sogren said if you gathered 100 college football experts in a room to look at the play, 99 of them would have to come to consensus.
Too bad there’s only one guy in that replay booth. If that’s your standard, why even bother to have a review at all? But that’s Sorgen’s point. After all, remember that this didn’t constitute irrefutable proof for the replay official.
You may also remember Sorgen’s response to that replay official’s decision.
Sorgen was quoted saying the lack of replay on Bernard’s fumble “wasn’t that egregious unless you are an Oregon State fan.”
You know what is egregious? That this was irrefutable proof last weekend – in the Big Ten.
That’s some consensus you got there, fella.
There is one thing conference officials do respond to consistently.
There has to be a better answer than conference commissioners reprimanding coaches for criticizing officiating crews that end up getting suspended because the coaches were right about the refs being wrong.
Open-ended standards inconsistently applied from conference to conference and an overall lack of transparency in the review process make for a bad system. Unfortunately, I’m not sure where the motivation to change things for the better would come from.