The only reasonable conclusion is that the Big 10 is corrupt

Submitted by Rdog on November 27th, 2016 at 7:36 AM

The call disparity is just too large and it has happened enough times.  There is lots of evidence that recruits are paid to choose some universities, should we be surprised that referees are also paid off?

What is concerning is that the Big 10 seems complicit in these occurrences.   As bad as our calls were yesterday, the 2014 Penn State game had an even worse call-   OSU was credited with an interception that clearly bounced before OSU caught the ball.  This one call gave OSU that game.   Penn State complained but the Big 10 did nothing.

So now, what do we do?  Unless somehow things change The team we love is going to be repeatedly hosed on calls in most Big 10 games.   I don't think it is likely possible to trace the money being paid to the officials.  However, I think a statistical analysis will show that there is a consistent anamoly in OSU's favor.    Just this game shows it -  OSU had 6! yards of penalties versus an average for OSU of 52 yards of penalties a game.  I'm guessing that the refs didn't want the disparity to be so large but Michigan outplayed OSU by enough that the refs were forced to be even more one sided than usual.  My hope is that the disparity is so obvious that changes will have to be made.

I also hope that Harbaugh is angry enough to force the Big 10 to fix this.  The Big 10 leadership seems to be involved as this has been happening at least as long as Meyer has been at OSU without the Big 10 addressing it.   You don't give Michigan 2 away games at Michigan State in a row without an intent to hurt Michigan.   Similarly, the initial divisions within the Big 10 put Michigan at a disadvantage-  this was changed only because the Big 10 wanted to add two bad teams (Maryland and Rutgers) to make more money.

I'm not sure I want to watch football if I know my team is going to be at a disadvantage in every critical game.  I don't buy lottery tickets or gamble in Vegas because I know that the odds are not in my favor-  I'm saddened to realize that Michigan is also playing against the house in trying to win the Big 10.






Clarence Beeks

November 27th, 2016 at 7:41 AM ^

"I'm not sure I want to watch football if I know my team is going to be at a disadvantage in every critical game."

We had people in our house saying exactly the same thing yesterday even before "the spot" about sports in general. It just isn't fun to watch if it isn't officiated fairly. It's true of all sports and it's disgusting.

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November 27th, 2016 at 8:03 AM ^

I've stopped watching the NBA altogether because of this. During the tail end of Lebron's first sting in Cleveland, it became obvious that the NBA wanted him to succeed no matter what. It got to the point where a Piston player could barely even think about defending him without drawing a foul.


November 27th, 2016 at 7:42 AM ^

I think the issue is that the OSU AD bitches and complains and wields their status around with the B1G, while other programs don't. Michigan and PSU need to get together and start doing the same.


November 27th, 2016 at 10:30 AM ^

The bucks should stop there. He has a stake in seeing the Buckeyes do well and until he steps down or retires or gets run out on a rail OSU will forever be the B1G darlings. He is single handedly destroying the conference by allowing the Buckeyes to get every break possible without an investigation. When was the last time OSU got slammed by poor officiating? How about cheating they can easily get through any investigation without much penalty. Compare to UM stretchgate and the Basketball team in the 90's. It's always Buckeye opponents who are getting screwed with the obvious bullshit calls and sanctions. I felt those referees would lose their jobs if they didn't help the Bucks out significantly in that game to the point of emberrassing. 

John O'Neal seems to be the name I keep hearing most when these problems surface. We should not know the officials names for any reason good or bad. I would be willing to bet dollars to nickles that this John O'Neal is an In Law or a close friend to Jim Delany if not an obvious relationship it would be less than obvious but it wouldn't hurt todig it up. Delany who Bo knew and Bo hated for so long and he is still here stepping on UM's throat still, my father wanted Delany's head on a platter back in the 70's how long can he go on. It seems he has had his fun and now it's time for him to run and not have anything to do with appointing a successor. Thats my morning rant and I am sticking to it.


November 27th, 2016 at 7:51 AM ^

The Big 10 officiating has seemed to favor home teams for several years now, and that's even more true in basketball. Now maybe some home teams benefit more than others, and maybe not. But I think home teams in the Big 10 get an officiating advantage that stands out compared to other conferences.

I also have watched the Big 10 enough years to notice that officials seem to slant calls in the direction of a team that falls behind a few scores. That didn't enter into yesterday's equation, but I've seen it both help us when we've been bad and hurt us when we've been good.

Bluefin tuna

November 27th, 2016 at 11:49 AM ^

Yesterday was the worst of all worlds. Had to drive home from turkey day with relatives. My wife and I were listening to ESPN Chicago broad cast, and there were regular comments by one of the announcers about official calls and non-calls. They weren't from David Norrie who rarely notices anything positive about Michigan and whose claim to fame was being the back-up quarterback to Rick Neuheisel at UCLA. I began to notice the pattern and my wife doing her "show me the money" with her thumb against her forefingers in front of me, as we sped down the freeway, again with comments about what a waste of time it is to listen to and watch these events.

With non-calls the play-by-play announcer was just trying to show the whole landscape of what was going on. He noted the phantom PI calls as well as the non-calls. It just seemed crazy. Michigan made enough mistakes that the officials did not do everything but came often enough that we just couldn't put a lesser team away. That was bad enough, but when it came to the 2nd OT both thought that the ball didn't reach the 15 yard line and expected it to be overturned. While the officials were "deciding" one of them told an apocryphal story (perhaps made up on the spot) about Franco Harris and the "immaculate reception" which had a consulting referee checking with stadium security about whether or not the referees would have enough protection to get them out of stadium with their lives -- and the result was, now let's say it all together... "Touchdown!"  at which point they both laughed. Then came the decision and (you could hear by the roar of the crowd). The silence of the announcers was deafening. I presume they were looking at each other going "Oh, S..." and the tune immediately changed from Michigan making mistakes but dominating, to the fantastic game that OSU played. JT Barrett was the greatest thing since sliced bread, ... yadda, yadda, yadda. 

There has to be a point in the game where you know the fix is in. Should Harbaugh have left the field with the team before the official ruling, running to the exit while raising their hands and celebrating all the way? That would be the ultimate thumb in the eye instead of complaining about it afterwards. But hey, Las Vegas won. That must mean that everytying is right with the world.


November 27th, 2016 at 9:27 AM ^

I mean... this argument would hold more weight if it hadn't happened before. (see Kings vs Lakers western conference finals)


Refs don't even have to be aware of what's going on to have an effect. Just pick refs you know/suspect to have a bias in favor of teams you want to help/against teams you want to hurt. 

L'Carpetron Do…

November 27th, 2016 at 10:19 AM ^

I agree - I think the officiating was horrible but I don't think the idiots who run the conference are smart or clever enough to effectively execute a game-rigging conspiracy.

Also - where is the benefit in constantly screwing over Michigan?  How does the league benefit from that?  Michigan has widespread appeal and is high profile enough that people want to watch them. Plus, they have one of the more interesting and whacky coaches in the game.  This isn't the NBA where markets and ratings are the driving force behind fixing games and series but I have to think that if those things are factors at the college football level MIchigan would actually be the benefactor of shoddy officiating (Exhibits A & B: Bulls & Lakers).  The only thing I heard that makes a little sense is that the B1G wanted to possibly get TWO teams in the playoff and if Michigan won it would be likely only one (Mich or Wisc) or even none would make it. But that seems like kind of a long shot.  Don't you think people are sick of Ohio State by now?   

While a lot of people are saying we shouldn't bitch about the refs because Michigan should've won the game when they had the chance and their own mistakes doomed them blah blah blah, I say: 'true'.  BUT - despite that Michigan was still in position to win and the actions of the officials dramatically changed the outcome of the game.  Michigan had the lead and made a play to end the game on 4th down but the refs gave Ohio St new life.  That was it - that was the game right there and they blew it.

Maison Bleue

November 27th, 2016 at 10:53 AM ^

The benefit to screwing over Michigan? Now the B1G has a very good chance to have two teams in the CFP instead of just Michigan. Which isn't smart because Michigan gives probably gives the B1G their best shot to win the CFP, but I guess having two teams in gives them a better mathematical shot.

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November 27th, 2016 at 8:02 AM ^

agree the officiating was bad, and is has an effect on the outcome, but we should not allow it to completely alter our perception of the game. The refs should not have been in a position to alter the outcome. We had two ugly picks, both that pretty much went for 7, and a goal line fumble. Throw in a disastrous (and legit) hands to the face and (another) running into the kicker and you don't beat Ohio State that way. Let's take our medicine and go kick the shit out of SC or Louisville or somebody. This is not the last time we will play Ohio State. The trajectory of the program is still very much on the rise, and drastically so.


November 27th, 2016 at 9:13 AM ^

And next year is another year with Harbaugh and his recruits in place to forge greatness unkown to mankind.  Another year of influence from a man(our coach) that will keep us at the top of college football! I will take it all day, and twice on Saturdays.  Go Blue!


November 27th, 2016 at 9:20 AM ^

I normally agree with this logic, but the fact is that it's flawed for yesterday's game because we did get a stop on 4th down that ended the game, save for a horrible spot that game osu the win. It's rare that the refs actually decide a game, but in this case they did. The spot was bad, there should have been some ref on the line who saw where the the forward progress was. It's a nationally televised game on abc, but only one fucking replay angle? What the fuck?


November 27th, 2016 at 9:42 AM ^

We got hosed on a number of things- you are focusing your angst on the wrong thing friend. That spot was dead on- the ball is on the hip of #88 just below the numbers- it easily has the 15 yard line. Let's focus on the dpi nonsense with our angst, because at least there we are clearly correct. Focusing on the spot- which ok is a 50/50 call for sure that went against us just makes us look like cry babies.


November 27th, 2016 at 11:31 AM ^

I agree the non pi call was agregeous, but the fact that I want the refs to spot the ball correctly and for there to be more than one replay of the critical game ending play is pretty rational. As for if that makes me look like a baby, I'm well aware what a baby looks like because I have a 1 week old in the house, and even he thinks the spot was bad. Crap, he's crying again.

Plus, the screenshot you show (despite being cropped and rotated) shows pretty convincingly that he did not reach the 15. Look at the feet of #88, Barrett is over his feet. He'd have to be several feet in the air to be over his butt and on top of the 15. That white thing on his shoulder is the Michigan players arm, which is in line with where the ball is. Therefore, it's pretty clear that even despite the angle, he's a good foot short. If this is spotted correctly, we win the game. The defense was asked to make a stop, they did.


November 27th, 2016 at 10:48 AM ^

when you start at exactly the 25 yard line. Did they make it exactly to the 15 yard line? Check the ball and the yard line. Chains aren't needed.

The pass interference that wasn't called on Michigan's 2nd OT possession is egregious. It appears that the refs were focused on Michigan players only and missed a lot of stuff OSU players did. Just sad.

ole luther

November 27th, 2016 at 12:07 PM ^

but, if I remember correctly, a 1st official stood to "spot" the placement of the ball. The ball is handed to him. Another official runs to the hashmarks and "quickly" tries to mimmick the foot postiion of the 1st official. Number 1 official tosses the ball to number 2 official and he places the ball at the hashmark.

The chains are exact and the sideline official is the first to spot the ball.  Shouldn't he place the ball at HIS feet and wait for the chains? By tossing the ball to another official who is 10-15 feet away and THEN spot the ball is wrong. 

I can't believe that "professional" officials would do such a thing in such an important game under such important circumstances.



November 27th, 2016 at 8:03 AM ^

Go win the rose bowl while Ohio state loses in the playoff. Beat them next year by not letting the game be close enough to get screwed. Basically what we did in east Lansing this year, by the time the weird crap started we were ahead enough to not be effected.

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November 27th, 2016 at 8:07 AM ^

So in this game, with fair officiating, UM beats OSU by a minimum of 3 points. Why shouldn't that be enough? Should UM have to plan on being 10 points better than every team they play to ensure they don't get robbed? 14 points? 21?

As long as UM plays at least 1 point better, they should end up with the win. To say we need to play way better to account for garbage officiating is ridiculous.


November 27th, 2016 at 8:26 AM ^

Officiating is up to humans. The law of averages suggests that one team - even with officials who don't have any dog in the fight -  is going to get a slight advantage in any given game.

We don't need to play better to make up for garbage officiating. We need to play better, period. And that's mostly on the offense. You can't throw pick-sixes and lose the turnover battle (3 to 1) and expect to win.

Blue in St Lou

November 27th, 2016 at 11:33 AM ^

Look at the hashmarks.  They travel a clear angle across the picture. A line through the midpoint of each hashmark would go from the upper right to the lower left.  Yet the 15 yard line is nearly straight up and down.  Someone obviously altered it in the photo.  If you restore the angle of the 15 yard line to where it undoubtedly was originally -- parallel to the hashmarks -- the ball is onviously short.