Night game at Big House will feature Big East refs

Submitted by HAIL 2 VICTORS on July 20th, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Why would DB agree to this?

In a recent negotiation with the University of Michigan, Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick achieved a feat that once might have been thought unattainable. has learned that Notre Dame’s Sept. 10 game at Michigan will be officiated by the Irish “home” Big East officials instead of a Big Ten crew. In the past, the language in the Notre Dame-Michigan contract stipulated that any Michigan game in its own stadium is to be officiated only by Big Ten crews.

Traditionally, Irish football contracts have had it that a visiting team to Notre Dame Stadium would bring its conference officiating crew to the game. So if a USC or Stanford visited Notre Dame, the referees would be from the Pac-10 conference. Then when the Irish would visit USC or Stanford, Notre Dame would supply its “home” officials (the Big East).

That has not been the case with Michigan, which had mandated that Big Ten officials are used for games in Ann Arbor while Notre Dame uses its Big East crews for its home games with the Wolverines.



July 20th, 2011 at 4:41 PM ^

Yeah right.  You'd be AMAZED at the theories that float around down here. 

  • Big Ten refs? Biased because Michigan is in the Big Ten. 
  • Big East refs? Biased because they are at Michigan Stadium/because they're pissed ND doesn't play football in the Big East/because they're overcompensating as the 'visiting conference' refs.
  • Other refs? Biased because [insert tinfoil hat theory here], or just generally haters

It's hilarious... and they wholeheartedly believe these things.


July 20th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Notre Dame has consistently gotten the best calls in the last forty years.  They are so used to "friendly" refs that they think they are being cheated when a game is called down the middle.


July 20th, 2011 at 7:47 PM ^

I went to one of the Catholic high schools in South Bend (essentialy a ND feeder school, academic wise not sports wise) and literally after every game, the first things you hear are complaints about the refs. It's insane.


July 20th, 2011 at 3:42 PM ^

That's straight up fucking stupid. DB has done some good things, but he's done some bad things too. This would be one of those bad things.

Shop Smart Sho…

July 20th, 2011 at 4:04 PM ^

Perhaps this is the beginning of reversing the home/road exchange with ND so that we don't have boring home schedules on the even years?

I, for one, am very excited about my season tickets this year.  Next year?  Not so much interested in making the drive for all of those home games when the "best" one is MSU.


July 21st, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

first of all I didn't say anything about getting jobbed every time. Not once.  What I did do is make a joke that big ten refs at UM stadium = 9 points which is pretty funny

Two holding calls and a WR walking into the endzone?  Ok lets break this down.

#1,2 Holding huh, bringing out the big guns I see. There is holding on every play, was he held? yep.  Was there some huge desparity in holding calls during the game? Nope.  What was that whole 12 yards of offense you're looking to take off the board? It is a little sad to see the UM defense get montana'd though.

#3 Does he drop the ball before crossing the plane? Yep.  Is there any camera angle or photo showing anyone other than a ND player picking up the ball after it falls to the ground, nope.  With all the cameras at the game there should be 1 somewhere which would show that wasn't a TD, and if there was such proof it would have been everywhere.  Don't give me a hypothetical as proof of something.


Wolverine 73

July 20th, 2011 at 4:13 PM ^

Unless they are going to reciprocate and allow Big Ten officials at the games in South Bend, I don't understand this.  ND needs the Big Ten more than the Big Ten needs ND, especially now that Nebraska is in the fold.  Let the Irish find teams to replace Michigan, MSU and Purdue on its schedule and see how that works out.


July 20th, 2011 at 5:55 PM ^

Write Angelique about catering to ND sometime.  She agrees 100 pecent that the Big Ten should stop scheduling them.  They have been able to get the kind of computer rankings you get from playing a few Big Ten teams without being ground down like Big Ten teams get at the end of the season.  

I don't really blame them, either.  If the Big Ten is stupid enough to let ND cherry-pick and use the Big Ten as a tool for higher rankings, why on earth would ND stop doing it?  I certainly wouldn't.

This is why Kelly scares me so much.  An elite ND team could easily find itself playing for the NC every other year under the current system.  And this year could be the first year we see it happen.  Yes, I am saying ND can make it to the NC game this season.  Now that the BT has added Nebraska and a title game, ND once again has the easiest road to the NC game.  All they have to do is play well enough to take advantage of it.


July 20th, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

I always thought he was a pretty good tight end.

But c'mon, man... even if it wasn't Breaston, Ecker should have given the ball up in that spot.  The fact that it WAS Breaston (the best Wolverine in the open field since... Desmond? AC? Harmon?) turns it from "damn, he's gotta pitch that" to "[unintelligible muttering and profanity]."


July 20th, 2011 at 4:37 PM ^

Will Brian Kelly wear his supercool ND visor for the night game. I think I've spotted him wearing it in a few other night games. The man can not be taken by surprise. He's even prepared for the next day's sunlight.


July 20th, 2011 at 5:39 PM ^

are going to tilt towards Notre Dame. ND is still an independent in football, and I think it's just as likely that the crew would dislike ND as not.

But I do wonder why Brandon agreed to it, considering we'd had a prior agreement in place.


July 20th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

I've always felt that all refs were biased against Michigan anyway.  In fact, looking back on my life, I've felt like every sporting event that has mattered to me the refs have always done their part to make sure that my side loses.

I am curious as to why the switch by DB, but I don't think it will have any affect on the game.


July 20th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

I would prefer Big Ten officials and I have no idea why DB agreed to this. I feel slighty uneasy about this. Has anyone seen any other conformation on this?


July 20th, 2011 at 6:00 PM ^

The bitching in this thread is embarrassing. The Big East (don't laugh) somehow has managed to have some of the best officiating in college football, year in and year out. 

Notre Dame football isn't even in the damn conference. And as someone noted, Big Ten refs have never had any aversion to giving ND favorable calls.

Seriously, everybody STFU.



July 20th, 2011 at 6:18 PM ^

don't we almost always require big ten refs? maybe it was just espn tin-foil-hat-wearing commenters but I thought I read somewhere that Michigan was one of the only (if not THE only) team to require their own conferences refs for all non-conference games


July 20th, 2011 at 6:59 PM ^

Yes they never allowed any other refs on the field, which is what ignited all the conspiracy theories.  

Have to admit when Team A only allows its own refs on the field and then those refs go on to negate 200+ yards of offense from Team B, it looks bad.