When it comes to targeting, can you ever have enough eyeballs?

Seth Emerson has a good run down on the thinking behind the SEC’s shiny new collaborative replay review set up.

A command center in Birmingham, where the SEC offices are located, will be manned by three replay officials. They will work in tandem with the replay official on site at each SEC home game.

The ultimate, final decision still belongs to the main replay official.

“But if you’re going against the three guys in the command center, you better be able to bet your career that you’re right,” SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said, smiling.

I get that the conference remains concerned about targeting and worries that some calls are being missed.  It’s a good thing about which to be vigilant.  Buuuuttt… (and you knew one was coming, right?) I can’t help but wonder if another level of buck passing is inevitable.

Remember, the way the conference defended the initial version of the targeting rule, with its automatic 15-yard penalty regardless of whether the call on the field stood on review, was to let the officials on the field know they had their backs.  Flags needed to fly, err on the side of caution, etc.  The penalty call is no longer enforceable if targeting is waved off by the replay official on site, so at some point, cooler heads weighed in and prevailed on what led to certain travesties.

Now the replay official on site has someone looking over his shoulder.  And ultimate, final decision or not, if you’re that guy, do you really want to find out if Steve Shaw was kidding?

If they’re still missing targeting calls after this, do they introduce another level of review above the conference command office?  I mean, why not?  Either that, or crowd source it…

16 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

16 responses to “When it comes to targeting, can you ever have enough eyeballs?

  1. heyberto

    What I hope is gained is some consistency in how the rule is enforced. I’m not sure if this is the best solution or another layer that leads to more problems, but.. from the first part of that statement, it at least makes some sense.

    • Macallanlover

      Agree, I see more positives than problems and think it can be done with insignificant delay. Still feel the word “targeting” is a part of the issue, that, and opening up the whole upper body as a protection area. I have no problem with a PF penalty for a bang/bang upper body hit at full speed, but I think there has to be intent, or adequate time to make a different hit before someone is ejected.

      • heyberto

        You’re right, and what constitutes ‘intent’ or ‘enough time’ is at issue… it’s too subjective. With one group judging this stuff, I hope they just judge it consistently.. whether I agree with how they judge it or not.

  2. Cojones

    Hey! Thumbs up or thumbs down from the crowd, just like in the Roman Coliseum. And when we really get into the resultant blood-letting, there will be another penalty against the thumbs-up fans. That way you can smear the responsibility for brutality in college ball to every swingin’ dick who cheers that kind of savagery.

  3. DawgPhan

    Effort spent on getting the call right for targeting seems much higher than say getting the call right on a guy that punched a defenseless woman in the face repeatedly.

    Weird juxtaposition for the SEC.

  4. CB

    They have to stop kicking kids out of games for “targeting” penalties that were unintentional/unavoidable. 15 yards is fine, but an ejection is too much in most cases. It’s all about PR and the NCAA is trying to make up for years of neglect, but I don’t think the punishment fits the crime.

  5. 69Dawg

    I hope but am unsure if this oversight might also help the officials to stop making stupid mistakes on calls. The referee calling hands to the face on clearly the wrong side comes to mind. If they don’t correct those kinds of blatant errors then it’s just the old lip stick on the pig thing.

  6. It’s SEC officiating … Let’s face it. It just sucks.

    The targeting rule is the worst rule in the book. Officials always have had the ability to call a hit unnecessary roughness, and for shots that were intentional, the ability to eject the player. This was about PR and nothing else as CB noted.

    • Otto

      It really isn’t better else where and the PAC is worse. The hit posted above is legal but is being flagged more which is why I have turned the NFL off, and watching fewer College games.

  7. Cousin Eddie

    I say just let ESPN make the call, they are writing the checks so they are the only ones that count.

  8. Actually, this “Command Center in Birmingham” is just me on my couch in front of the TV. When they have a problem, someone is going to text me and I’ll give it a look see.

    • Gravidy

      I wish. You’d probably piss me off less often than whatever system the SEC officials come up with.

  9. sniffer

    We all know targeting when we see it. So, we no longer will enjoy Greg Blue type hits and for safeties sake, so be it. Since rules are being made to make the game safer, what about a running back, or receiver, lowering his head to take on a tackler? Those are the most vicious hits left and players get their bell rung all the time. I guesd my point is, where does it end?

  10. JCDAWG83

    The targeting penalty is the worst rule ever implemented in football. The old spearing call took care of the leading with the helmet but the officials would not call it. Unnecessary roughness took care of late hits. Targeting was a pansy ass response to a non existent problem in a PC world.

    In 10 years I can imagine a “tackling to the ground” penalty.