I'm not very clued in to basketball, and I was hoping the community could explain something from last night's game (sorry to go poking around that open wound).
It seemed to me that VT got to the line, A LOT; like they were in the double bonus while Michigan was still inbounding the ball after a non-shooting foul. I checked the box score, and sure enough VT was 19-21 on free throws and our Wolverines were 4-7. (The whole game in a nut shell right there; they had fewer misses on 21 attempts than we did on 7!)
However, I've seen no consternation at all among our community, either during the game or after. I saw no reaction from the Michigan bench. Were all those foul calls (and non-calls) legit? Is there a reason why we maize and blue colored glasses wearing fans have no beef with the officials? I'm not looking to start a controversy; I honestly believe there is something about BB I don't understand.
We need to do something about B1G officiating to make sure these problems are minimized in the future. It can be done. (NOTE: I've updated this thread to account for comments here and on the regular board.)
As a historical reminder, it was the Big Ten that introduced instant replay to college football. In the 2002 season, Joe Paterno was furious that blown calls on fumbles had cost Penn State several games. As a result, the Big Ten introduced replay in the 2004 season.
The same thing can happen again, if Jim Harbaugh and Warde Manuel make it a priority. We can improve the replay process and get the officiating subjectivity out of important parts of the game. Here are some areas that are relatively easy to improve. Perhaps you all have others?
1. Pass interference. In the CFL, coaches are allowed to challenge interference calls and non-calls. The Big Ten could adopt this rule, and also make any pass attempt on third or fourth down, or over 20 yards, reviewable if the replay booth wants to review the call or non-call. The replay booth wouldn't have to review the call each time, like with a fumble, but rather if the call was clearly worth reviewing.
2. Spots. The problem with the fourth down call was that the replay was at a bad angle, and therefore didn't produce what officials would consider indisputable video evidence (though it is geometrically obvious that he was short). There has to be a way to get better spots in situations where the linesmen can't see what's happening. Perhaps cameras can be put on poles at the first down marker and at ground level to look over and under the play on each side of the field—or perhaps from cameras with telephoto lenses higher up in the stadium. You could have a camera on one of those pulley systems directly above the ball's yardage line at all times, kind of like the goal line cameras in the NHL.
3a. Higher quality refs (pay them). As we've discussed on the board in the past, the B1G refs are part-time and don't appear to conform to a rigorous quality standard. The conference could easily afford to have full-time refs who are high end. NFL referees made $173,000 on average in 2015; the Big Ten could easily serve as a farm team for near-NFL quality referees by paying them.
If a full-fledged B1G officiating crew cost $400k a year, times 7 conference games a week times 9 conference games a year = $25.6 million annually. The B1G's latest television contract pays the conference $440 million a year, and that doesn't include bowl game revenues and other income sources.
If the conference feels that's too much to spend, the conference could instead have two full-time officiating crews that rotate through the conference's most important games each week. That would cost $8.4 million a year ($400k x 10 regular season weeks x 2 games/week + championship game).
3b. Higher quality refs (grade them). Furthermore, the conference could have a weekly, public, grading of the officiating teams in each game, giving awards to the officiating crew that did the best, and caling out the ones that made mistakes. It would be after the fact game-wise, but it would give fans confidence that the B1G takes officiating seriously.
3c. Higher quality refs (eliminate conflicts of interest). As noted in this thread by Magnus, the official who called the personal foul on Harbaugh was in Ohio's officiating hall of fame. It appears that the B1G used to have a rule that refs from Ohio and Michigan couldn't ref The Game (h/t NYCBlue). While I'm sure that there are officials who can call the game fairly even if they are from the same state as one of the teams, there have been too many instances of poor officiating associated with this problem.
Another way to address this solution, suggested by researchers at Miami University (NNTM) and Florida State, is to nationalize FBS officiating. This is apparently done in most other NCAA sports. The researchers found that there is significant bias toward the home team in college football officiating, among other things, and suggested that officiating be run by the NCAA nationally rather than by conferences. Such a change would limit the likelihood of a local official or conference-associated official biasing the outcome of a game.
4. Replay booths at a neutral site. Instead of the booths being at the site of the game, have them in Chicago. This is what the NHL does with all replays being reviewed in Toronto. This removes the pressure on replay officials to play to the home crowd.
The Big Ten has an opportunity to be a leader in improving the integrity of competition in its flagship sport. It should take advantage of it. Warde Manuel, the ball's in your court.
I thought an open thread to discuss bad calls might be a good idea. I thought the M game was pretty well officiated, but when I saw this, I couldn't let it go.
How the heck does that stand?
The Gator Bowl will be officiated by the Big East, no names of officials have been released.
Also, The BCS National Championship Game will be officiated by the Big 10.
Breakdown of which Conference will officiate each bowl game.
I've been thinking about this a bit. I recall one play where an ND player hit DRob after a pass with his hands to Denard's face.
I wonder now if the refs will be tempted to protect Denard a bit more with his rise to national prominence, or will they consider him a virtual running back and an open target?
I know it's not exactly a new flash to people, but the officiating of the Wisconsin game was horrendous. This is not MarioKart on N64, officiating should not handicap a team for being ahead. Michigan can't get a call all game, especially in the first half where time after time Michigan players got fouled without call and Wiscy gets the benefit because they're behind. But once there's a minute and a half left, Manny gets the call he hasn't gotten all game and Gibson (who played terrible) gets away with an egregious foul.
You might say this is sour grapes and you'ld pry be right considering this game coupled with the UConn win would give new life to the season. As such, we go right back to having to go probably 8-4 the rest of the way against a brutal schedule.
Finally, I want to say it's still not the reason we lost IMO, as we missed layups and couldn't manufacture offense down the stretch, but it still kills me to have games influenced so strongly by the officials.