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.