SEC officiating — NEW! IMPROVED!

Steve Shaw takes a victory lap.

The SEC improved officiating accuracy by nearly 8 percent in 2016 thanks to having more eyes on the replays, SEC officiating coordinator Steve Shaw told CBS Sports.

Eight per cent!  That’s awesome.  And just how did Shaw come up with the math for that?

Last season was the first in which the NCAA let conferences use people other than the stadium replay official to assist on reviews. The SEC had three replay officials at a command center in Birmingham, Alabama, to help the stadium replay official for all reviews. Shaw said he determined that collaboration helped 18 of the 226 reviews produce a correct outcome. The SEC declined to specify Shaw’s methodology for how he evaluated that a correct outcome was due to collaboration.

Greg Sankey could tell you, but then he’d have to kill you.

Mockery aside, if collaboration is really that great from an accuracy standpoint, shouldn’t somebody be insisting on a nationwide application?  I mean, who could be against getting more calls correct?

The Pac-12 experimented with a command center in 2016 to monitor replays only for Oregon and California conference games. No decision has been made yet on whether the Pac-12 will use collaborative replay full-time in 2017, league officiating coordinator David Coleman said.

“It was a good experience for us,” Coleman said. “It gave us an opportunity to advise and consult and make sure our replay staff in those two locations was considering everything they needed to get a call right. We see the possibility of it growing in the future. Obviously, there are costs involved. That has to be considered.”

Yeah, we all know that times are tight in P5 conferences.

There are other reasons why centralizing reviews makes sense:  consistency and a reduction in bias, as the Big Ten’s officiating coordinator explains.

But Carollo expressed concerns that command centers located in conference offices create conflicts of interest.

“I don’t like the structure of a collaborative center down the hallway from the commissioner because the conference may have something to gain if a certain team wins or loses – money-wise, playoff-wise, bowl-wise,” Carollo said. “Of course the conference wants certain teams to win. Conferences don’t make calls, but there is some pressure. That’s why we separate our officials away from the conference office. I want neutrality. That’s what the coaches want.”

“Of course the conference wants certain teams to win.”?  I bet that gets a memo from Jim Delany.  Carollo may be the most honest person in college football.  A somewhat low bar, I know.  But he’s right, and the best way to remove that pressure is to take reviewing out of the hands of conference officials entirely.  It would also save money.  Man, you’d think that’s about as win-win as things get for CFB.


Filed under College Football, SEC Football

17 responses to “SEC officiating — NEW! IMPROVED!

  1. Russ

    So they only suck 92% of the time now? I guess that’s progress.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    “may have something to gain if a certain team wins or loses”.
    There sure has been a good rolling boil of that sentiment for about 10 years.

    And then there’s the other kind of bias: When a pissant Barney Fife wannabe named Penn Wagers gets the proverbial hard on for Georgia,


    • Agreed–remember when the fix was obviously in for Florida (at the cocktail party) when they had a chance to get to stay undefeated or with 1 loss? Man the officials sure seemed to love da Corch–it was blatant.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Russ

        I also remember the refs absolutely screwing Arkansas one year when they dared to challenge Corch and the GPOOE in Gainesville. There were a few terrible calls late in that game that allowed Florida to win and maintain their ranking.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 69Dawg

          It was the same crew headed by Georgia Tech grad Mark Curel (sp) that had cost us the LSU game earlier with the call on A.J. The Ark UF game got them suspended for a game or two and also got rid of the Umpire on the crew that was so fat and out of shape he literally could not spot the ball down on the LOS.


  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Eight percent improvement?
    Over what?


  4. "THE" ChilliDawg

    Who knew flipping a coin in the remote booth could be so accurate? Guess it gets expensive when they have to keep replacing the coin after continually losing it under the control tables.


  5. Timphd

    Carollo: soon to be known as the “former coordinator of officials of the Big Ten”.


  6. The SEC wants Alabama and Auburn to win every game until they play each other? Who knew?


  7. Macallanlover

    Only one way to go for SEC officiating since the Gasten/Redding/Shaw era began. And Carollo’s remarks about a conference benefiting from certain teams succeeding surprises someone? Really? It is like saying a local county sheriff’s office prefers to ticket non-local cars. Get a national, professional association of officials and eliminate conference control immediately. Standardizing training, and assigning crews from other regions would be a huge boost for CFB. And let’s not pretend there isn’t enough money available to do it right.


    • Spot on Mac. I can’t like this post enough times. The fact that officiating remains controlled by conferences is yet another indication of a lack of leadership and vision that plagues college football. There should be no “crews” that work together. Every week bring the individuals together from across the country to eliminate regional or personal biases. have them all trained to call the game the same way.Have an independent third party provide supervision that is funded by the NCAA and its member schools whose mission is simply to improve officiating and the application of the rules. No worries about which conference or school benefits from a particular team winning. The goal should be to have games officiated as close to perfect as possible within the reasonable constraints of time and technology.


      • Mayor

        There is so much bowl money at stake that the temptation for fixing games is enormous. When Mike Slime was SEC commish IMHO he was deciding the outcomes of games before the game even started. That manipulation is how the SEC got its champ into the BCSNCG every year for years and one year got BOTH slots for the SEC–absolutely cleaned up all the dough that season.


  8. mwo

    I would like to ask Steve Shaw how the hell you review a play for a fumble and then call a penalty against the defense on the previous play for too many men on the field? They missed a trapped pass on that series which was called a completion, but no review was used. Yeah, I’m still bitter about losing to the vowels. We can screw up enough on our own without the officials breaking us open like a 12 gauge too!


    • Macallanlover

      Exactly. And let’s not forget there were three TN players on the field sans helmet after the sack fumble on Eason. One was an injured player in street clothes. No penalty called, but they damn sure nit picked one UGA player from the sideline congratulating a teammate on our last score. Is a rule a rule, and if so, isn’t it a rule for the entire game? And for both sides? That was an outright theft. Yeah Sir Shaw, your guys were so damned good last year. No wonder they don’t get better with you praising them with failures throughout that game.


  9. Shaw said he determined that collaboration helped 18 of the 226 reviews produce a correct outcome.

    So… what about the other 208 calls? Even collaboration wasn’t enough to get those right? What about the calls that weren’t reviewed and were wrong? Would collaboration have helped that?

    It sounds like the conference reviewers picked the “correct outcome” in 18 instances over what the onsite replay official would have chosen. Then when you hear things that Carollo said, you can begin to piece together what Shaw is really saying. “Correct” has a much different meaning in Birmingham than in the stadium.

    Poor SEC officiating is due to:
    a) a conspiracy that aids the teams most likely to make playoff / tournament
    b) incompetence
    c) both a & B


  10. 69Dawg

    I’m still pissed that any graduate of Yech gets to officiate a UGA game. Hell for years the head of officials for the SEC was a Georgia Tech grad who was replaced by another GT grad until we finally got Shaw from Ala. I actually thought Shaw was one of the best Refs in the SEC. I want Florida to enjoy the thrill of having an FSU grad or Miami grad head up the crew. How about South Carolina getting hung with a Clemson grad. It’s just stupid to think that these guys aren’t conflicted.

    Alabama gets away with everything in conference play. When the playoffs start and the refs are from neutral conferences, Alabama finally finds out that they have been holding and pass interfering all along.

    With all the eyes on the game how about using the buzzer that’s already on the official to give him instant feedback on a call/fumble/anything that the refs have screwed up so bad the entire TV audience knows it’s boggus. They the could just pick up the flag and wave it off. Also why with all those communicators the crew is wearing do you still have to have a summit meeting on plays. I know that certain refs have certain areas of responsibility but when a flag flies from 30 yards down the field and there are two officials right on the play WTF is up with that. As mentioned above about the Arkansas Florida game, the Umpire actually was on replay watching the Florida player hit the Arkansas player first but the flag was thrown later by another official who only saw the Ark player react to the punch. The Umpire should have intervened and changed the call but he didn’t and thus ended his career and got his whole crew suspended.

    End of Rant.