Alarming Officiating Trends

Submitted by MGoStrength on November 9th, 2017 at 8:53 PM

I was just watching the Michigan Podcast and came across some alarming statistics.  We all know we have felt like we are getting a raw deal this year with penalties.  Here is some data from the podcast.  UM is dead last in the Big Ten in the number of penalties called against them this year.  That means they get more penalties called against them than any other team in the B1G.  Their opponents are ranked 13 out of 14 teams in penalties against them.  That means that UM is getting the most penalties called against them while their opponents are getting the second fewest number of penalties called against them.  In 2016 UM was second to last in penalties called against them and their opponents had the fewest of any team in the B1G in penalties called against them.  Also, Rashan Gary, who is widely recognized as one of the best pass rushers in the country, has only had one holding call go against his offensive line counterparts. This is really alarming.


I know this blog as been vocal in the past and made a difference in getting people to pay attention to problems with Michigan sports ala Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke’s handling of Shane Morris’ concussion.  Is there anything we can do as a community to bring some of this information to light?  Here’s a link to the episode of the Michigan Podcast discussing it.




November 9th, 2017 at 11:29 PM ^

When I was still in shock after that game I found a view from behind that seemed to me to show that Barrett was obviously short of the first down. I have stopped trying to look for it because you have to sort through so much Buckeye celebration in order to make that search.


I still think we got jobbed last year. I don't buy into the whole 'parallax' explanation that was posted here last year. It was a theory in attempt to explain reality. 


November 10th, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

This call is so close that it is ridiculous to argue about it. It was inches either way in during a game no human being is going to be able to reliably discern that small amount of space in a moving pile of players. If we were even talking about 5 to 7 inches I would understand it, but nothing I have ever seen has shown this to be more than a two or three in decision.

The overall statistics on holding and penalties are actually a bit concerning, but hanging your hat on a call that was one or two inches either way as indicative of cheating just doesn't hold water. 

Bo Nederlander

November 10th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

Not even all the other calls. The most egregious part, not even by a close margin, is that one line judge originally spotted him short. Another line judge came running up to give him the favorable spot. Watch that horse-shit again. You'll see what I'm talking about if you haven't already. I'm convinced someone got paid for that. 


November 10th, 2017 at 9:36 AM ^

and I'm not one to want to make excuses and blame crap on the officials. But in saying that the numbers don't lie. Not sure it's any type of conspiracy against us, but I think it should be looked at.  It has gotten ridiculous how many penalties are called against us. A few times this year I have found myself screaming at the TV, there are two teams on the field and I have seen plenty of calls being ignored what the hell is going on.......


November 9th, 2017 at 9:18 PM ^

So, let's look at the Big Ten's own stats page, shall we? Or do you think they made up all the stats?

Looks like we're actually only the second most penalized team, in terms of yards, in the conference. Who's first you ask? Well, that's Ohio State of course. I guess the Big Ten hates their really prominent teams.

What's even better is the penalties against. 5 of the 6 teams with the fewest penalty yards against are UW, PSU, OSU, MSU, and Michigan.


November 9th, 2017 at 9:52 PM ^

Gary is held on almost every play. How about that stat. Fuck off!!!!!!!!!. If they call holding on every series we will never lose and they no it. There is a reason Gary will be a top three pick and it is because the nfl knows he is being held on every play he is not doubled. When he is not held or doubled he is in the backfield immediately. They don't keep stats on penalty's not called and that is the point. One penalty called against osu the whole game last year. That is the only stat I will ever need to see. You joined in 2008. Step off in 2017 we don't need you treewhore. Tree jumper. Whatever. Also your own statement totally contradicts itself so I guess you just want to piss people off.


November 9th, 2017 at 10:19 PM ^

Gotta admit, I'm actually a huge fan of the 'treewhore' name.

I'm not out to try to piss people off. I've always hated the whole "blame the refs" thing. I find it amusingly whiny when Penn State fans do it (seriously, ask any of them what their thoughts on officiating in UM-PSU games is like). I really don't want the Michigan fanbase to become whiny ref blamers. Everybody remembers the calls that go against their team, but instantly forget all the ones they get away with. Sure, I wasn't happy with the officiating in the OSU game last year, but that's also not the only reason we lost. There was the pick 6, the fumble at the 1, the interception giving OSU a short field, barely breathing on Samuel after the fourth down conversion in OT, etc.


November 10th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

Gary is held on almost every play. How about that stat.


Yes... and holding is almost never called... for any team.


Looking at some of the best DL in the country -


Michigan opponents have been called for holding 6 times in 9 games.

Ohio State opponents have been called for holding 7 times in 9 games.

Alabama opponents have been called for holding 3 times in 9 games.



November 9th, 2017 at 10:44 PM ^

You're getting a lot of downvotes considering no one has an argument against you yet.

Agreed that the refereeing stuff has gotten insane. Every week there's some big conspiracy about how all the refs hate Jim Harbaugh. As you point out, they also apparently hate Urban, just not quite as much. No one seems concerned about that oddly enough.

It is interesting though that there seems to be a slight correlation between how good you are and how few penalties are called against you. I'd be curious to see past years and whether that holds up.


November 9th, 2017 at 11:47 PM ^

how is it a conspiracy when the head of referees was on tv bashing Harbaugh during a review his first year here. How is a conspiracy when they are calling penalties from different sports on the guy? And don't even get me started on intent to decieve...yeah conspiracy.. right


November 10th, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

What people are talking about are solely UM games. If you've watched any of them there has been a huge discrepancy in how many penalties are called against UM compared to how many have been called against their opponents.

It's something that should at least raise an eyebrow if you've paid attention to their games.


November 10th, 2017 at 12:08 PM ^

Yes, they are compiled for each game but broken down into team-centric values. The point of me posting it was to show that the difference this year in Michigan games is pretty close to the difference for Ohio State. In our 9 games this year, we've had 69 penalties for 619 yards for, and our opponents have been called 43 times for 362 yards. In OSU's 9 games, they've received 71 penalties for 695 yards, while their opponents have 56 for 468 yards. Some quick math shows that Michigan receives, on average, 2.9 more penalties for 28.1 more yards per game than their opponents. OSU recieves 1.7 more penalties for 25.2 more yards per game than their opponents. Considering we're one of, if not the youngest team in the FBS this year, it shouldn't come as a surprise that we're getting more penalties than our opponents.

Quick thing on the stat breakdown: the one competitive game this year with an eye-popping discrepancy, Indiana, has a massive impact on the stats (there was a pretty big difference in the Minnesota game as well, but that wasn't really competitive for much of the second half). Remove that game, and the difference drops to 1.9 penalties for 20.9 yards.