The Game and the argument about how "it is not all on the refs" that Michigan lost.

Submitted by Brandon_L on November 27th, 2016 at 11:29 AM

The head ref was fired in 2002 (Daniel Capron), or suspended and somehow allowed to ref again in the Big Ten. 

link to 2002 LA times article

The ref who made the call on the 4th and 1 spot was none other than ohio native (Cincy) and OHSAA hall of fame ref Bobby Sager who is a known Buckeye football fan. He is also the ref that threw the flag on Harbaugh for a personal foul when he threw his headset. Ironically when the Buckeyes didnt get the first down on the fake punt Urban threw his headset without getting a foul. Bobby Sager is the ref who told Habaugh he was a basketball ref and that what Harbaugh did would have been a tech in Basketball. 

Here is another link…

Lastly, Michigan turned over the ball 3 times, but when you add in the peppers Int, and urbans whiffed fake punt call call that is basically the same a s a turnover in their own territory it gives the Buckeyes a plus 1 in the turnover margin. We also sacked Barrett 8 times, 8 god damn times and still lost the game.

Now, add in the 3 "missed" PI calls and he fact that Ohio State got the same calls to go their way, and the 4th and 1 spot this game looks and feels like a cheap sleazy night at motel six that ended with crabs and Chlamydia. 

Ohio State has the talent advantage and its being bridged quick because we have the superior coach. It took Saban 3 years to beat Urban and we know the deal down in T-town. Michigan has just gotten started and if by the tiniest margin we get a rematch with this years Buckeyes in January, they will feel the fury of a thousand suns from this team. If Michigan must wait the requisite 365 days so be it. They are going to beat them in A2 next year. One way or another this will go our way at some point. 



November 27th, 2016 at 11:36 AM ^

Yeah and add in that they'll get a higher playoff seed than the team that won their conference. It's garbage and a system that is set up to have Ohio state and Alabama play for the national title. Next year at home we just need to get enough points that the outcome can't be swerved by big ten officials. If you have someone tell you we lost because of turnovers they're a fool. We turned the ball over and still should have won if the games called evenly or even in the 25 to 75% range. This was outrageous.

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You Only Live Twice

November 27th, 2016 at 12:11 PM ^

we actually played well enough to win despite the picks.  Speight also throws into coverage for completions, don't forget. An occaisonal turnover in football is part of the game.  What these officials did was cower in front of the hometown crowd, which most assuredly should not happen.  Not to mention the grandstanding abuse of power throwing the flag on Harbaugh - that was pitiful.

Speight has improved as a QB this year while Barrett has regressed.  Don't know if it's injury or having been sacked too many times.  

We made mistakes, they made more mistakes; reffing in this game is not something that can be rationalized away.  There's too much on film, there's known conflicts of interest, and noticeable crowd influence on their actions.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:16 PM ^

No. You rarely can win three turnovers.

Especially when one was taken back for a touchdown. Your position is fundamentally flawed in that it ignores the fact that the two INTs lead directly to touchdowns. Touchdowns that were all the difference in the game.

You can cry foul all you want about bad officiating, but the fact remains is that the interceptions--particularly the pick 6--was the difference in the game. Take away the pick six and OSU is down ten late instead of three.

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November 27th, 2016 at 12:41 PM ^

Crying about officiating when UM made numerous egregious errors is a bit ridiculous.

You cannot remove the impact the turnovers had on the game just as you cannot remove the impact the officiating had on the game. Change either one and the outcome is different.

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November 27th, 2016 at 12:57 PM ^

take away the INT for the TD, UM wins

spot the ball correctly on 4th down, UM wins

a play is a play.  all are the same before the snap.  a bad call by a ref can be every bit important as  an INT for a TD.  the INT is the fault of UM or good play by OSU.  the bad spot is the fault of an "independent" party; not by any great play by OSU.


November 27th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

also destroy mistake-free games as well.

Ohio State made mistakes as well. Not every team that made mistakes in that game could lose. Both teams made mistakes. Neither team deserves to lose solely on that basis.

The argument here is that unforgiveable referee malfeasance changed the outcome of the game. Mistakes have nothing to do with it.

Unless you want to argue that the only way you deserve to win at all is to win 78-0.

Goggles Paisano

November 27th, 2016 at 4:48 PM ^

I am so sick of this stupid fucking argument.  You can control the turnovers and yet they will happen when you play a great team.  You have ZERO control over the refs and what they decide and decide not to call - NONE.  And that is the difference here.  Mistakes and all, we won that fucking game and the refs stole it from us.  


November 27th, 2016 at 3:49 PM ^

Speight made up for the pick 6 by leading the offense on a TD drive, the bad fake punt negated the fumble on 1 yard line, but we had no answer for the second pick + TD. One more scoring drive would have ended the game.

Still have every right to be angry at the refs. The pass interference non-calls alone were incompetent officiating.


November 27th, 2016 at 1:04 PM ^

officiating is a bigger reason than your play for a loss is lame. It gets you nowhere. But for the sake of day after ranting and venting, it's almost theraputic. Officiating is a part of the game just as turnovers are. Bad officiating impacts game outcomes just like turnovers and mistakes do.

If the Buckeyes don't get a PI call on a third and long uncatchable ball after the crowd roars with 4 plus minutes left in the fourth quarter, they've got a bigger problem than making up a three point deficit with a fresh set of downs 15 yards further up field and closer to field goal range. And that's where judgment and fairness over a standard come into question. What's your standard for calling it one way and not the other? Michigan was called for multiple PI calls. Holding was never called in the game, period, on both sides.

They tried to officiate the game without flagging either side. If you rewatch the game, you'll see reaction shots of the same sideline official who flagged Harbaugh for unsportsmanlike, at the tail end of Michigan's first possession after Perry is run over by Buckeyes after being held on a third and medium. No call. And this official's face is flush and he vehemently shakes his head when the Michigan sideline protests the failed PI call. It's the same guy. That non-call and Michigan reaction no doubt led to the flag on Harbaugh putting the Buckeyes first and ten inside he Michigan five after the second pick.

This official needs to be identified and called out and that crew needs to justify its performance. It was a crew governed by crowd reaction in every meaningful way a crew can be intimidated. And if you can't handle the atmosphere, you have no business ever doing a game of this magnitude ever again.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:25 PM ^

Maybe not, but you can certainly expect to win with a defense sacking JT what, 8 times?  And holding OSU to 150 yds in 3 quarters.  Also, Ohio State has exceptionally-talented players trying to induce Michigan into said mistakes.  The refs just have to call the game consistently.  There is a difference.

I get the "refs didn't lose the game" for something like Iowa, when there was an isolated, dubiuos call at the end of the game that did have some potential impact on the outcome, but was not as influential as 12 other plays Michigan didn't make.  The frustration from yesterday is NOT from one isolated, dubious call.  There's a reason Harbaugh said nothing about the face mask on the Iowa punt and everything about the refs yesterday.

snarling wolverine

November 27th, 2016 at 1:08 PM ^

I guess OSU isn't a "good team" either?  Two missed FGs, an interception (in their own territory) and botched fake punt (also in their own territory) - that's a lot of mistakes.  

Your whole Cool Negative Guy act is tiresome.  Look, both teams screwed up a bunch.  That happens in a game played by 18-22 year-olds.  Sure, some mistakes were factors in the outcome.  

We should expect the referees to call the game evenly, though, and if they aren't, there is a problem.  They shouldn't also be a factor in the outcome.  But they were.




November 27th, 2016 at 4:10 PM ^

If UM plays a turnover free game and OSU does as well and then we get jobbed on a few calls then we have the right to bitch about outrageous, blatant non-calls on pass interference?

Do you need to play to a certain level, and commit only X turnovers to realize that the officiating was biased and screwed 1 team?  2 penalties for 6 yards when absurd penalties like tackling a reciever before a ball is even thrown is not worthy of protest?

Sorry...the tough guy, internalize all losses bs doesn't fly in this case.  Two very good teams, played a very good game, and both teams made numerous mistakes/turnover/missed fg's, etc.  

You absolutely can blame officiating when 1 team gets every call and the other gets none, regardless of whether they play a perfect game or not.

Millie's Cookies

November 27th, 2016 at 4:05 PM ^

Darboh was held so badly, his jersey was basically ripped off him as he was thrown to the ground. It's just behind the interception downfield. Just another play on which we got boned. Rather than an OSU 1st down in our territory, it should have been Michigan first down nearing midfield.

I'm sure Brian will catch it in UFR.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:05 PM ^

It is also a fool who denies that poor, one-sided officiating played a huge role in the loss.

I can make 2 statements:

1. Without the 3 turnovers by Speight, Michigan wins the game despite poor officiating.

2. WIthout 5-6 questionable to outright wrong calls, Michigan wins the game despite the turnovers.

Those statements are not mutually exclusive; they can both be true.  Therefore, asserting that poor officiating cost Michigan the football game, in and of itself, does not imply that crucial UM mistakes also cost Michigan the game.

The difference is that in 1 case, there is an exceptionally talented football team trying to induce Michigan to make bad plays.  The refs just have to call a consistent game.  An error-free game against an opponent like OSU is an unreasonable expectation.  A fairly called game from the officials is an entirely reasonable expectation.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:11 PM ^

It is a fool who puts words into others mouths.

I never said that poor officiating did not play a huge role. What I did say is that turnovers were just as big of a factor.

It is not unreasonable to expect a QB to protect the football well enough to win a game. Speight did not do that.

Turnovers are of extreme importance in football games. Every coach will tell you that. Dismissing or minimizing them is not a valid argument. Not when Two lead directly to 14 points. Take just one away and OSU loses. UM did not even have to win the TO battle to win. They just needed two instead of three.

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November 27th, 2016 at 12:18 PM ^

You just put words in your own mouth.  In your first reply, you made no mention whatsoever related to bad officiating.

Now, you say "[w]hat I did say is that turnovers were just as big of a factor".  No, originally you made no comparison between the impact of bad officiating versus the impact of the TOs.  Like I said, you put words in your own mouth.

So...  What does that make you?


November 27th, 2016 at 4:22 PM ^

and keep changing your tune.  The contrarian act is getting old.  Fuck off.

2 weeks ago our defense was overrated, then we shut down OSU for 3.5 quarters and you find something else to be the contrarian about.

Just stop, it's fucking annoying and obvious.  You're the "I'm part of the fanbase not a troll, but kind of a troll" guy.  


November 27th, 2016 at 12:48 PM ^

Could Michigan have played better than they did to win the game? Yes.  But the reffing should be even enough that the team that plays better should win, and Michigan unequivocally played better than the other team and should have won even with the turnovers.

No team should be expected to play perfectly or significantly better than the other team to overcome lopsided reffing just to win.

That's why both teams start with zero points.  Your argument is like giving the other team a ten point head start, having them win by three and saying, well, the losing team could have played better and still won, which is true but it's equally unfair.  You would blame the ten point head start for the loss, not the mistakes the losing team made.


November 27th, 2016 at 1:19 PM ^

made mistakes that cost it the game. They did. The question is whether in the context of playing whether the plays that it made to prevent the Buckeyes from even having a chance to win the game occurred without the help of calls that they either got or didn't get on an equitable basis on whatever standard the officialing crew chose to apply for the game.

That is the way I see it. If Ohio State doesn't get Hill's PI call, they must either punt or go for it on 4th down in their own territory with a little over 4 minutes left. That call enabled them to extend a drive that tied the game and sent it into OT. That play was called in the first and the fourth quarter, but it was only called against Michigan, not Ohio State. That is where the fairness issue lies for me. If you decide how you are going to call the game, then enforce that standard and edveryone knows. And don't let the crowd decide your judgment. And they allowed that to occur as well.

The way protocol works in the league, we will never hear about any officiating bitches, officially or otherwise. The league may issue some bs pr statement about something pc but will never actually acknowledge mitstakes in judgmemt were made. And then you will never see that crew work a Michgan game again.


November 27th, 2016 at 1:49 PM ^

Regarding the PI call, Delano Hill had his arm wrapped around the receiver when the ball was in the air. You could clearly see it in the replay and there was not a lot of other traffic around blocking the officials view. If it was so egregious, why did Hill have his arm wrapped around him? The fact is, even Hill must have thought the receiver may have been able to make a play on the ball. I disagreed with the call because it had not been called all game, but that kind of inconsistency happens in every game.

ole luther

November 27th, 2016 at 12:21 PM ^

Turnovers are part of any game and yes, they got 14 points off of ours but they missed 2 field goals so there's 6 points. That takes it down to 8. They won by 3 so that takes it down to 5.

I doubt that anyone disagrees with me that the officiating didn't cost us many chances at 5 or 6 points.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:29 PM ^

That last point is weak. You do not provide any examples to show that they did prevent UM from earning more points.

and the fact is that the turnovers occurred before the one blatant example where did cost UM points.(hold on Perry in second overtime)

The TO's in regulation directly lead to points. You have not show how uncalled penalties rob UM of chances for points in regulation.

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November 27th, 2016 at 12:52 PM ^

the missed PI on the third down throw that ended Michigan's second drive.  It was far worse even than the one in double OT.  WR just got tackled before the ball got there. Michigan was dialed in, moving the ball easily, clearly had done a great job prepping.  First drive, Butt dropped an easy first down, so that's on us, but the second drive was killed by that no-call which would have put us nearly in FG range with no indication OSU was ready to stop us at that point.  Should have been up more early on, but weren't thanks to the refs.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:58 PM ^

gave up 3 points (since we're putting 14 on the offense), which is 14 points less than the 17 OSU's defense gave up.  Your argument is completely invalid.  Yes, in one aspect of the game, Michigan played a lot worse than OSU (TOs) but UM played better in other aspects of the game to the extent that they deserved to win, if not for the refs.  

Toasted Yosties

November 27th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

This. As much as I want a scapegoat, and the refs did a good job at that, we spotted them 14. The spot was a close one. Close ones come down to the ref's decision. That's that. Even if he was biased, I see that call going either way. I'm bummed to see our defense play such a great game to lose like this. Love this team so much.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:49 PM ^

It is a fool who denies that TO's played a huge role in the loss.

I've yet to see a single person on these boards "den[y] that TO's [sic] played a huge role in the loss."  The point, very credibly made, is that notwithstanding the TOs, we would have won the game but for the horrendous officiating.

Is it a fool who refutes a strawman of his own creation?

Clarence Beeks

November 27th, 2016 at 11:37 AM ^

The rematch in the playoffs angle would be fantastic. Not just because I want us to make it, but because it would be a fantastic game for the playoffs. That said, the "others are more deserving" (note that deserving does not mean better) drumbeat has begun on ESPN. If the goal is to put in the four best teams there is no way we can be left out. We all know, though, that isn't how they'll make the determination, though.

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November 27th, 2016 at 1:47 PM ^

have to go through Alabama at some point.  Why not beat them in the semis?

It's also not a pipedream.  It's pretty much as simple as Colorado winning Friday and the committee deciding that head to head wins are more important than conference titles, since the PAC12 champ and B1G champ will both have lost to us. Who knows if that's what they'll do, they probably won't, but they'd have an argument.  No one that watches college football could possibly think Colorado or Wisconsin (or Oklahoma or Ok St) are better than us.


November 27th, 2016 at 12:09 PM ^

I don't expect Michigan to be put in no matter what happens, but if this were another team somewhere else, say, in the SEC, and they lost in OT to the #2 team, couldn't you see the playoff committee putting them in for a rematch and the ratings? There would be nationwide outrage and we'd all be lamenting the money grubbing NCAA, but I can imagine it happening.

Michology 101

November 27th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

The four best teams or the four most deserving has been a strong issue since this playoff system started. Many people talk about picking the four best, but most deserving is probably going to always win out.

If it was all about picking the four best teams, then we would still be ahead of PSU and WIS in the playoffs discussion. I doubt that's the case, even though we beat both of those teams this season.

Since one of those teams will win the Big 10 Championship, that throws in the issue of most deserving.

I knew once this playoffs system was setup that some seasons it would still be difficult to actually pick the four best teams. The committee would have to sometimes disregard some Conference Champions.

I guess we'll see what happens.


November 27th, 2016 at 1:50 PM ^

Wisconsin or PSU or Colorado or Oklahoma or anyone else would be more deserving than us.  Wisconsin, Colorado and Oklahoma's only argument is that they'd have a conference title but in far weaker conferences/divisions.  That is literally the only criteria in which those teams would have an advantage and conf title is arbitrarily based on your conference schedule. Just because you play in a weaker division/conference and you won it, you're more deserving?  Sounds more like they're just fortunate.  Wisconsin plays in a division bad enough that two losses was still good enough to win the division outright and go to the title game.  That makes them lucky, not more deserving.

PSU's only argument would be that they won the division in which Michigan is in, so from the "deserving" mindset, that could be a valid argument.  But Michigan's absolute dismantling of PSU makes it hard to think PSU "deserves" it, especially when PSU had much easier crossover games, and it was Michigan's tough crossovers (wisconson and @iowa) that were the only reason PSU won the division. And PSU's argument would be moot if Wisconsin wins the conference title.


November 27th, 2016 at 10:59 PM ^

get you into the playoff, does it? If that mattered, USC would be in for sure. But it only matters if you improve enough that you're a top four team and they are almost certainly not.

They beat both teams we lost to at home and we played them both on the road.  Big difference.  We beat them 49-10.  49-10!!! That's a very compelling argument for the committee.  They've shown in the past that head-to-head has been the most important factor.  I do agree that they probably have the best argument over us, but they probably won't win next week anyway.