We get what they pay for.

Again, I’m not going to stoop to blaming Georgia’s loss on the officiating or try to pretend there was anything sinister to why the Dawgs appeared to wind up on the short side of the stick so often in the second half, but I do find it interesting how we got stuck with a crew that was at best spectacularly inept for college football’s crown jewel.  Chip Towers explains.

For that it’s worth, I followed up on all that with the CFP folks and with the Big Ten. I was told by the CFP the NCAA selects from what conference the officiating crew is chosen for the championship game and the conference itself chooses those officials.

I was told to contact the Big Ten’s supervisor of officials, Adam Augustine, for comment on any specifics calls that took place in the game or any other details I might be interested in. I did that via phone call and email and haven’t heard back. And probably won’t.

So Jim Delany handpicked a crew headed by this guy:

Closed in the mind of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany perhaps, as he buries his head in the sand and refuses to answer some important questions. Starting with:

Why was Dan Capron, the lead official on a crew disciplined by the Big Ten in 2002 after a game between Purdue and Wake Forest, working as the referee during the Ohio State-Michigan game?

We get a guy Joe Tiller described as “not a bad official, not a top-rated official” because college football doesn’t care enough to put its best foot forward in a national title game by handpicking a crew of the conferences’ top refs.  If there’s a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy of dunces.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big Ten Football, General Idiocy

54 responses to “We get what they pay for.

  1. Timphd

    Wish we could have had the ACC crew that did the Rose Bowl. Thought that was a well officiated game. The refs didn’t let Tua get away from four of our best tacklers on third down, and didn’t blow the coverage on the final play, but damn I sure would like to know how the game would have ended if the blocked punt stood and/or if the face mask had been called, not to mention the offsides on the 4th down TD.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Got Cowdog

    The calls should be reviewable. Hell, they replay every single one anyway.


  3. Huntindawg

    Or maybe a confederacy of dunces?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gene Simmons

    I guess this was Delany’s way of remaining relevant in the CFP this year….


  5. ASEF

    Two words: Penn Wagers.

    30 seconds after he wore out his welcome in the SEC, he had a job in the ACC. Why? Because he was ridiculously more qualified than the hordes of other professional refs clamoring for the position? No, because he met a minimal proficiency and wanted the opening – and probably had a buddy connected to the ACC office.

    This is the world of CFB officiating. Every season produces some comical officiating performances, but either we laugh at it (not our team) or howl at it (our team). Or in basketball, stalk the offending ref (hello, Kentucky).

    And the TV media pays too much money for this prosuct, so they aren’t going to run down the product.

    No way to fix it that I can see.


  6. Gene Simmons

    Why is it forbidden for coaches to criticize the officiating?
    Someone certainly needs to!


  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    I would want to know when the crew was chosen before reaching a conclusion about motives. If it was before the playoff teams were chosen, I’d say it was dunces. If after, especially if after New Years Day, I’d say Delany told his officiating supervisor to send his worst. There are no consequences for such things so he didn’t worry, maybe even got a laugh out of it.

    On a related issue, IMHO there has been a recent increase in criticism of officials, which increase can be correlated with HD broadcasts and broadcast of almost every single game on TV. The more we get to watch and the closer we get to watch, the more ordinary the officials look.

    Perhaps the NCAA would accept that there is an issue and institute some extra training and professionalism standards? Nah.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. John Denver is full of shit...

    Currently Zero Repercussions for officials, maybe start there?


    • Cousin Eddie

      This is the issue. If the conferences will make public punishments and allow for full disclosure of reviews after the game, I believe, the fans would feel better about the officiating. I don’t expect them to be perfect but I do expect them to be held accountable for their actions.
      No other job, except maybe ADs, allows for such ineptitudeness while being totally covered up by ones bosses.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Uglydawg

    The problem with reviewing every play for penalties would be..there are infractions on practically every play. The game would never end.
    NCAA should make it known they are cracking down on holding..that’s the big one they miss most often…and coaches will start coaching kids not to hold instead of the other way around.
    I can understand why coaches can’t criticize officials during a game. But there should be a 24 hour cooling off period after which they could.
    This whole thing is a Charley Foxtrot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The problem with reviewing every play for penalties would be..there are infractions on practically every play.

      This is true, but certain things are black-and-white should at least be challenge-able by the coaches. UGA had a play where the booth initiated a review because there were too many players on the field, so this already happens to some degree. A penalty was called because of the review. That is black-and-white. There are more than 11 on the field or there aren’t. GT had the illegal fair catch signal called by review (which was nonsense, so…) Offsides, I think, is yes-or-no. Either the player is offsides, or he isn’t. Holding and pass interference are judgment calls. Holding happens every play, but “did the player truly gain an unfair advantage from his illegal contact?” is too nuanced to be a yes-or-no answer from a slow-motion review.

      Coaches can challenge judgment calls like spots, so why not be able to challenge penalties that aren’t judgment calls like offsides?


  10. 92 grad

    I will vent my view this last time.

    It was obvious to me that the officials working the game were unable to comprehend the level of talent and execution during our last game. The caliber of athlete far outperforms the skill level of these officials. The game has passed them by. I think all of the video reviews were just confirmation, the non calls happened because the play was fast, the bad calls that were made were reactionary. They just went with “when they do that it’s always a foul, so I’m throwing the flag”.

    These athletes are making plays happen on the very razor thin margin of what’s possible. They use every square inch of field and they push the limits of play to what appears to be an infraction.


    • Uglydawg

      That’s at least a part of it. I tried reffing basketball a few years ago..the game moved faster than I process things. I’m sure it takes a lot of experience and practice to become the quick and efficient judge that a ref must (should) be.
      Now baseball, I can do…and I could ref Chinese Checkers in a pinch.


    • I said the exact same thing when it happened. The game seemed to move too quickly for the officials. The same ones kept making mistakes, seeing things that weren’t there, not seeing things that were plainly obvious. I think the moment was too big, and the game was moving too quickly for some of them.


  11. Dawg in Austin

    First things first, these refs sucked on a Monday. That said, we can’t claim a conspiracy until this crew’s ratings over a period of time are disclosed (which will never happen unless FOIA extends to the Big 14) and demonstrate a pattern of mediocrity or poor performance. Getting suspended for a game 15 years ago doesn’t necessarily mean they have continued to suck for all these years since that suspension.


    • Getting suspended for a game 15 years ago doesn’t necessarily mean they have continued to suck for all these years since that suspension.

      The screaming after the ’16 Ohio State-Michigan game would suggest otherwise.


      • Dawg in Austin

        If you make one arguable call (I watched the game live and all the replays of the fateful play and I still don’t know if he made the first down) in a hyped rivalry game with so much at stake, you are bound to get howling from one side. Especially with those head coaches. That doesn’t make it a poorly called game. Refs make mistakes. Again though, without their whole record (or at least the last 3-5 years) and comparing them against their peers, how can anyone make a judgment call as to whether they were qualified to do our game?


  12. paul

    With money pouring in so fast few schools or conferences can even spend it fast enough why can’t college football develop professional referees? The money for salaries is there. As long as refs are part timers who have regular jobs during the week we’re going to get less than stellar results.


  13. There were 4 things at work for our loss: 1) secondary play ; 2) Tua ; 3) not being the aggressor on offense in second half; 4) fuck job by the officials.

    If number 4 doesn’t happen, it makes 1-3 irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. sniffer

    Now this piece of information may make my blood boil. Not because there is some conspiracy to rig the officials but because the CFP guys didn’t do their due diligence.

    ….or maybe they did.


  15. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Never ascribe to malice what can more easily be ascribed to incompetence. These refs weren’t corrupt. They just weren’t good. Period.

    To miss all those calls, in one half, of the biggest game of the year in college football is just sad. Sad most of all for the players. Sad for the staff. Sad for the fans. Sad for the fans of college football. Sure, Alabama fans are over the moon that shockingly all the calls in the 2nd half that were wrong favored them, but college football deserves better.

    Perhaps instead of giving an extra billion dollars to the conferences to spend in coaches and lazy rivers, they could carve out a pittance to fund better refs. Obviously they’ll never give that money to the players, but perhaps the officiating, in the form of more training and more scouting of top officiating talent.

    I don’t know, but if I failed that badly in my job with all eyes on me, my butt would be on the street collecting unemployment.


  16. Macallanlover

    All officiating crews will miss calls and catch grief so I never get too much into holds occurring in the middle of the OL, or the bang/bang pass interference calls. Over the course of a game, if these always go one way and never the other, with similar techniques, that would be a problem. I didn’t see that with Monday’s game, they pretty much “let them play”.

    What was surprising to me was the open visibility of the most significant missed calls people are talking about. The blocked punt being the worst (and no, if that call against UGA had not been made, it would have been a blocked punt, not a false start against Bama as many are saying), worst because it was not close, and the official as that LOS as a primary focus.

    The missed face mask call wasn’t guaranteed points but it certainly would have made a difference in field position, additional time off the clock, and potential points. And it was in clear view, and had nothing to do with the defender grabbing a jersey after the face mask. That call rarely gets missed, it sure didn’t along the sideline later.

    The other significant miss was the false start by Najee Harris on the TD pass that tied the game at 20. It was closer than the others, but still obvious because it was the closest player to the sideline ref, and again, his primary line of focus. Another call that would usually be made, say 80%+ of the time.

    Doesn’t excuse us putting our offense in a shell the 2nd half and trying to run the clock out, especially the entire 4th quarter. That is on Chaney and Smart. Had the simplest of those calls been made, it might not have mattered for them. But as it turned out, they have to take a major piece of the blame for a game UGA let slip through their fingers. You would think seeing Lincoln Riley get skewered the prior week for similar lapses in offensive strategy in the late stages they would have not fallen into the same trap.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Normaltown Mike

    I’m being half-funny here….but was SEC speed to much for those guys?

    It seemed t(at times) hey were calling penalties based upon “clues” and not actually seeing infractions.

    The punt was the most egregious b/c they missed the false start and then penalized UGA not for being offside but b/c our guy was so quickly across the line the ref thought…well he musta jumped.

    Similarly, there was a PI call against us that was not PI. Our DB had his arm extended which often is a clue that a player is HOLDING the jersey of the WR. But in this instance, the DB and WR were pushing each other as they ran. Neither the WR or DB committed an infraction, bu the stripes appeared to flag based upon an inference.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. CPark58

    Quick question because I simply don’t know. Does an official crew do a better job if they’ve worked together?

    It’d seem to me that since there is a playoff, they could simply take the linesmen and referees that grade out the best from each league and compile “all star” officiating crews for these big games.

    Wouldn’t have helped in this game I don’t think the poor officiating wasn’t a product of competency but at least the best possible officiating crew for the stakes.


  19. Debby Balcer

    That crew should have never been officiating a game this important. They choose crews not connected to the conference to prevent bias which is important but also should make sure the crew is the best in the conference. That crew should not still be officiating Big 10 games much less bowl games.


    • TampaDawg

      If it’s an all-SEC national championship game then what does it matter if SEC refs call the game. They’re the ones calling the SEC regular season games so why not an all-SEC national championship. Hands down they would’ve been the best prepared to officiate this game.


  20. Why do people always have to preface with “I’m not going to stoop”? The game was clearly affected my the officiating. The second half was clearly one-sided. Call it making excuses, call it stooping. We definitely hurt ourselves but that crew was trash and their early second half calls aided in the huge momentum shift.

    The call on the blocked punt changed the game. The no call when Fromm got punched in the head ended a possession. It was a 3 point game so it’s certainly possible that the refs screwed us. Doesn’t matter if we hurt ourselves- the NC game has no business having an officiating crew that affects a game the way they did in that 2nd half.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ASEF

      So was last year’s. No one outside the Bama fanbase cared because they were entertained and the bad guy lost. No one cares this uesr because they were entertained and omg! trie freshman Tua!


    • CPark58

      As an outspoken conspiracy theorist about the officiating and it’s motivation, people preface because it makes you look like a whiner or a quack. It’s a defense mechanism of credibility which is understandable because complaining ain’t going to change the outcome anyway.

      With that said, I have never complained about bad officiating effecting the outcome of a game before in any sporting event played or watched (except 2009 vs LSU) but I’ll say it again, at 13-0 the game was kept close in the second half to give Alabama a chance to cover because that’s the way certain people’s money went. Still didn’t cover and I’m hopeful that one day the visitor sideline line judge will tell all in a 30 for 30.


      • CPark58

        Or they preface because they actually don’t believe there was a motive for the poor calls other than normal “misses”


      • ASEF

        Championship refs in all TV sports put their thumb on the scales for a close finish. Watch long enough, the pattern becomes pretty obvious.


  21. Erk's Forehead

    I don’t want to follow down a fake news rabbit hole. But is it true the lead official (who is an attorney) owns a firm contracted by Alabama? I saw pics on Twitter so it must be true!


  22. TampaDawg

    Senator –

    Do you recall the sack on Fromm in the 4th quarter (12:17 mark)? It was a 3rd and 5 play from our own 46, score was 20-10. We had moved the ball on the ground for a couple of first downs up to this point. On this play a Bama D-lineman busts through the middle and sacks Fromm and in the process delivers a vicious blow to Fromm’s head. One, not sure how this wasn’t flagged (in my opinion, maybe the biggest missed call of the game that nobody talks about), and two you have to wonder if this blow dazed Fromm. From this point moving forward Fromm didn’t seem to be his usual self. Now you can potentially attribute that to a number things I admit. Thinking out loud, if the penalty is called then we have the ball at Bama’s 39 with a first down on the edge of Rodrigo’s range. At a minimum, this was a hugely momentous play in the game that I haven’t heard anybody talk about as it ultimately ended in a punt giving Bama the ball back with lots of time left.

    Wondering what your thoughts are on this play and the potential impact or non-impact in the game?


    • Boz

      Granted I’ve not watched the replay, and only saw what I saw at the game, but I’m not sure I would call that a vicious blow. Poor sportsmanship,sure, and deserving of a personal foul.


      • TampaDawg

        To make sure we’re clear I’m not referring to the zone read keep play…this was a drop back play in the pocket. The level of viciousness can be up for debate but in my estimation it was a pretty violent hit to the head area. Just my opinion.


        • Tim in Sav

          2 Tickets to the Championship game – $4000, Catered tailgate at said game – $1750, Paying off B10 Refs to throw the game – $350,000, having said refs despite best efforts still not having Alabama cover- PRICELESS