The Overturn

Submitted by Brian on September 15th, 2009 at 12:11 PM

I addressed a couple of the Notre Dame officiating complaints after the game in yesterday's UV but didn't get around to the big one (other than what I'm pretty sure will be specious complaint about the holding call on Rudolph's screen touchdown, as I've seen a number of Michigan DL hogtied in the first half already). That would be the overturn of Armando Allen's screen touchdown, which was… you know… correct:


Notre Dame fans are accusing Big Ten referees of bias because they did not call Allen out of bounds despite the fact he was, and they are complaining that the video review made a correct call. This may be the most very special instance of internet Notre Dame mentality ever.

The argument here relies on the idea that the review was "inconclusive" given the replays shown on the TV, but those things are not necessarily the same things the replay guy sees. If we are parsing the shadows and whatnot—some Notre Dame fans see that picture and suggest that Allen's heel is not out of bounds—then we're back to semantics. What is "voluntary"? What is "conclusive"? If I close my eyes, does the universe cease existing?

The call was correct. You are not allowed to complain about a referee getting something right. That's not how complaints work.



September 15th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

i'm sorry, but you're just wrong. every objective observer thinks he's out, in the pictures you've linked to and the new ones. i watched the game in columbus and osu fans all agreed with the call. he stepped out.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:12 PM ^

I'm glad you're still posting here, Irish. The whining ND fans in meltdown mode complaining about this are one thing, but the rational, reasoned response from you on this are another.

Based on only what I saw on TV, I wouldn't be too happy if that call went against my team. I wouldn't make asinine comments on message boards (my team's or others') and I understand it's possible that the replay referee had other angles, but, if I ignore the color of the jersey that guy was wearing, I'm not sure if I would say I saw conclusive evidence, either.

That said, as a Michigan fan, I sure am happy the way it broke.

I will say that I thought Cissoko committed another PI penalty that wasn't called in addition to the few holding penalties I saw ND commit that weren't called. And the holding penalty that brought back the long Rudolph pass maybe possible wasn't holding on replay, but that take down gets called nine times out of 10, so tough for any team to complain about that one.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:17 PM ^

Based on only what I saw on TV, I wouldn't be too happy if that call went against my team. I wouldn't make asinine comments on message boards (my team's or others') and I understand it's possible that the replay referee had other angles, but, if I ignore the color of the jersey that guy was wearing, I'm not sure if I would say I saw conclusive evidence, either.

That said, as a Michigan fan, I sure am happy the way it broke.

thank you for everything you posted but in particular the part above.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

Yes but the key point is that ultimately is was the right call. No one can possibly argue with a straight face that the refs failed by making the wrong call. How many times do we see shit that's 100% conclusive to any rational human being not overturn a call?

Also, if we're going to have to continue this discussion, Greg Mathews caught a TD pass last year.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:26 PM ^

What is your response to all of the pictures of the terrible non-holding that Sam Young was doing to BG (particularly the Headless BG picture).

The calls went both ways Michigan had just as many penalties and most of ours weren't stupid I.E. having a junior qb who doesn't know to look up at the play clock.

Maybe you should stop bitching about the reffing and look internally at your Junior QB (who had a hell of a game) but did not MANAGE the game well. (NO SUGARCOAT)

Also either way the OOB call should have been reviewed and Michigan should not have had to waste a time-out on that. No matter who you root for you had to have saw the replay and said "well shit that deserves a second look"

matty blue

September 15th, 2009 at 2:57 PM ^

...and i'm not convinced he was, it wouldn't be effective anyway. forcier is already moving in the other direction. he'd be holding the shoulder pads and...pushing? he wouldn't even be ABLE to hold him that way, let alone gain any kind of advantage from doing it.

the blocker's arms are not outside his frame. it's not holding.

i gotta say - if this is the worst example of uncalled holding you can find, it was an extremely well-called game.

this one seems really marginal.


September 16th, 2009 at 11:37 PM ^

The one on top isn't conclusive.

From this video, I'm not even sure the guy has a head. If he doesn't have a head, the O-lineman is just resting his arm on another guy's shoulders, not wrapping him up.

I'm not saying it's not HOlding. I'm just saying it's not conclusive, so it shouldn't be called.

Nothing should ever be called on Notre Dame if it isn't CONCLUSIVE. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, I always say.

The second one, however, is Conclusive. The blue blur clearly is stopping the white and gold blur from going where he wants to, which is toward that other blue blur. That's just mean. What if someone did that to Charlie Weiss at Old Country Buffet? That's a HUGE foul!


September 15th, 2009 at 3:25 PM ^

(EDIT: Moved original section to a new post)

You know what, Irish, sometimes ref blow games. Sometimes the calls go more one way than another, and the final score might have been different if it hadn't.

There are times that Michigan has had a blown call win a game for us. If any Illinois fan comes up to me and says they should have won the 2000 game I will say "yes."

I don't think this is one of those cases.

ND employed an effective strategy of holding for what I think was the entire game (it's hard to see and I've only re-watched the 1st quarter so far). The reason it was effective is that it was only called part of the time. It negated Michigan's pass rush and allowed Notre Dame fans to see the 300-yard, 3-TD per game Clausen they always thought they were getting.

Say the Irish won. I'm sure I'd be harping about the holding and you'd be telling me that offensive linemen get away with holding and circle-circle.

But this is getting ridiculous.

So is Notre Dame officials crying to the Big East office. So is Weiss complaining about it afterwards.

I'm sure if you reviewed the game footage you'd find a bunch of things the referees got wrong, or missed. I can think of a handful off hand. Focusing on the call they got right is stretching credulity.

Want to convince me Notre Dame got a bad fish from the stripes, put together a Ref-FR. Every play. Tally them all up. Compare that to the normal spread toward one team or another.

Until then, this is sour grapes.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:47 PM ^

Most involving an ND lineman holding Brandon Graham, and at least one perpetrated by Sam Young. But the "headless Brandon Graham photo" is not the result of Young's fine work. It is LG Chris Stewart and, if it is from the play of which I am thinking, it was called a penalty, negating a six- or seven-yard Clausen scramble in the 3rd qtr.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

Dude, he was out and you know it. It sucks, but them's the breaks. It was also in the 1st Q; the entire game would have been different.

Edit: What's even funnier is the joke on PSU boards that UM got the 2 seconds taken off the clock there to make up for the added 2 seconds in the 2005 PSU game.

And yes, once I start comparing you to PSU fans, you should probably stop this line of bitching.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

That's from the network replay and it is inconclusive. As Brian already pointed out, the refs in the booth have access to more than just what is shown to the TV audience. Hence the picture above, which is pretty conclusive.

Dhani Bowtie

September 15th, 2009 at 4:09 PM ^

To be honest I think the call was questionable. I was at the game and although it did look like he MAY have stepped out of bounds, it did not seem like the evidence was conclusive. Either way, the call was made. Bad calls are a part of all sports, they are something a team must overcome. UM lost the 2006 OSU game because they scored less points than OSU, not because Crable was called for that late hit.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:07 PM ^

Armando A. actually did the same "shhhh" finger to lips taunting at the end of that TD that was called back. When he ran into the endzone he ssshuussed the crowd. Check it out. Not sure if he was warned about that but if he was, it could explain why it was called taunting when he did it again later.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:12 PM ^

I don't know why domers keep harping on this touchdown being called back. If it had stood, the universe would have branched into a new reality where the rest of the game would not have happened as it did. The 4 point difference in this case is moot.

In this parallel universe, Michigan may have still won. Maybe by even more.

Think of it this way: If, instead of being in the mood, your mom had a headache the night you were conceived you would not exist.

IOW, get over it. Be happy you exist and that you were witness to one of the greatest games this rivalry has ever produced.

dr eng1ish

September 15th, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

The other thing that really gets me about stuff like this is that even with the overturn, ND had a first down in the red zone. They still had plenty of chances to score a TD. The refs didn't stop them on the next three plays, UM's defense did.

So to act like this call was the difference in the game is ridiculous. Our D still had to stuff them 3 times. And wasn't this the series where FrontButt tried to have Clausen run a draw up the middle? That's just your own stupidity failing you, not the refs.

mr plow

September 15th, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

correct me if i'm wrong, but i think i remember where minor ran the ball and they called a fumble where the replay clearly showed he was already down. they didn't review and we lost a couple yards that could have made a difference. or how about when clausen chucked a ball right into a db's stomach and he dropped it. unlucky breaks and calls happen for both teams all the time, you can't blame a loss on them.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:40 PM ^

There have been a few comments, including Brian's, that there are secondary video feeds available to the replay refs beyond what is being broadcast by the network. Does anyone know anything further about this? I had been under the impression that the replay guys were working with what the network supplied. Is there a separate camera crew for the replay system that is used in addition to the network crew? Is this separate feed tied in with the video for the scoreboards?


September 15th, 2009 at 1:38 PM ^

I love how the local news station presents an exclusive video of Allen stepping out of bounds then titles it "WNDU cameras show ND's Allen MAY have been out of bounds." Well played.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:51 PM ^

I think this still shot may actually be from WNDU's camera and not from ABC. I'm sure they sent a cameraman and reporter to the game given the excitement level leading up to Satruday. It makes sense that they would be standing on the ND sideline and this could very well be an exclusive.

I know very little about video and hopefully someone can add more detail, but isn't there a frame rate for video - something like 60 frames every second? Is it possible that the ABC feed and WNDU feeds were essentially a half cycle off from each other? The WNDU screen shot makes it clear that Allen stepped out, and perhaps the ABC video captures his foot the instants before and after he steps out, but the split second his heel touched the sideline wasn't captured. I have no idea if this is plausible, but seems like a possible explanation for the differences between the ABC and WNDU shots.

Another theory on which I know absolutely nothing - is there a difference between HD and the shoulder held Beta cameras that TV stations use? Could that explain the differences in the stills?


September 15th, 2009 at 2:05 PM ^

But I think the situation described above is certainly possible. None of us know for sure, but if I had to guess if the replay officials had footage from WNDU, I would guess not. They could have had other angles that we didn't see on replay, but likely not this one if it was, in fact, captured by a WNDU cameraperson.

In short, is it possible that conclusive evidence exists that Allen stepped out of bounds but that the replay official did not have access to this evidence at the time he had to render a verdict? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible the replay official had evidence (other ABC camera angles) at his disposal other than what we saw on TV (which, IMHO, was inconclusive, despite my prayers that the replay official would see it differently)? Sure.

Unless somebody here knows how many cameras ABC had at the game, where they were positioned and why or why not producers would show viewers the best shots and what other video footage, other than from ABC, to which replay officials have access, or unless somebody gets an exclusive interview with the replay official, we're just not going to know.

Sgt. Wolverine

September 15th, 2009 at 1:46 PM ^

I find it hilarious that sports fans -- including me -- will expend extraordinary amounts of time and energy arguing things that will never change. It's in the record books that ND lost, but Irish will still argue the call was wrong; it's in the record books that Michigan won, but numerous people will still tell Irish he's wrong. It's comical.


September 15th, 2009 at 1:47 PM ^

I keep waiting for ND fans, once they realize that the call was, in fact, correct, to shift gears and somehow blame the out of bounds incident on Tyrone Willingham.