A ref told Devin Bush where to line up Saturday

Submitted by Bambi on September 17th, 2018 at 8:18 AM

Stolen from this Reddit post, but at the 8:24 mark of this video you can see a ref bump into Devin Bush when everyone is getting lined up. Normally in these situations you see the ref get lined up behind the LB or in a new spot, instead he keeps telling Bush to moves until he forces Bush to a new spot. Bush is then trying to find a new spot when the ball is snapped and not set when it is, and this probably helps SMU on a reverse that goes for a first down.

Another instance of the incompetence from the refs on Saturday.



September 17th, 2018 at 8:30 AM ^

I went into this video thinking it must have been some mistake/lack of communication between the two, but no. The ref is standing directly in Devin's face forcing him to leave his spot of alignment AFTER he is set. Is there any standard for that to ever happen? If there's no excuse for this it should easily result in a suspension for the referee. 


September 17th, 2018 at 9:22 AM ^

I was at the game and sat near a couple SMU fans.  They were questioning a lot of the calls, even in SMU's favor.  On a PI call they were saying it was offensive PI because the WR pushed off, and they seemed to be correct, but they called it against M anyway.  The last QB roughing call I thought was ridiculous, the QB was almost in the DL's grasp when he dumped the ball.

These refs were either incompetent or paid to keep the score as close as possible, SMU owes it's last 2 scoring drives to the refs.  This was the most questionable refereeing I've seen since the 2016 OSU game.


September 17th, 2018 at 10:18 AM ^

In today's world...where SMU has zero impact on UM...I'd bet (pun intended) they were paid off to hurt the spread on the game. No way could any official blatantly be that bad at their job as a group and still work in football...the outcome was not significant and we could score at will if needed...to have that many shit penalties was eggregious. 



September 17th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

(1) I'm not going to buy into any conspiracy theories.  Incompetence is much more common than evil.  Look at your own job--are your incompetent co-workers that way because they're being paid to hurt the company, or is it just that they are no good at their job?


(2) If a ref is trying to make money by betting on the game, we know it's more likely that they are trying to make money on the total ("over/under") than on the line.  Just bet the over and call lots of pass interference on the defense, ignore holding by the offense, give the offense an extra foot or two every time you spot the ball, and maybe kick out a top defender if you can.



September 18th, 2018 at 9:48 AM ^

A blowout can get out of the ref's control, though.  Think of the 78-0 Rutgers game.  Is there anything the refs could have done to get Rutgers to cover?  Absolutely not, at least not without becoming so conspicuously a part of the game--all on one side--that they would actually face consequences.

If you bet the "over," though, you can screw up calls on both sides, as long as you make your big calls against the defense.  "Wow, what a weirdly officiated game," people will say, and then never really think about it again, because somebody else will say "it's not like they changed the outcome of the game."  If you get assigned to a game that should end up 38-3, but make a bad call or two and the game ends up 45-20 or something like that, you win your "over" bet and nobody calls the league office to demand that you get fired.

That's how Tim Donaghy got away with it in the NBA:  he bet the over, he called a few tight fouls in the first quarter, and he watched his bet win as both defenses backed off in response to the foul calls.

Not that I think these refs were cheating; it's just that this is exactly what would have happened if the refs had actually been cheating.


September 17th, 2018 at 11:13 AM ^

Considering that there are a ton of NCAA refs (harder to police,) NCAA is the #2 revenue sport in the country, sports betting and game fixing has been going on for decades (but really only ever proven among players throwing basketball games,) and the refs only officiate games as a part time side hustle, I have to think it's highly likely many games are fixed or influenced by boosters in their teams favor, or by bookies to meet or break betting lines.


September 17th, 2018 at 12:42 PM ^

 I have to think it's highly likely many games are fixed or influenced by boosters in their teams favor, or by bookies to meet or break betting lines.

As someone who knows people in the officiating ranks and getting close to being on a D1 field, this assertion is ludicrous. 

Every call and non-call is reviewed by officials, their supervisors, coaches, People Of The Internet, etc.  You're insinuating a massive conspiracy involving any number of people where the evidence is readily accessible by anyone that wants to review it. 

It's just not the case.  It's a really, really, really hard job.  (Though, there are some unconscious biases that may come through with weaker/less experienced officials - like home teams getting close calls on the hardwood).


September 17th, 2018 at 12:10 PM ^

I posted this yesterday but this is as good a place as any to repost it:


Guess who was refereeing yesterday... >:(


Big Ten Conference: James E. Delany:
1500 West Higgins Road 
Park Ridge, IL 60068-6300 
(847) 696-1010 
Fax numbers: 
Admin. (847) 696-1150 
Comm. (847) 696-1110 
1500 Higgins Rd Park Ridge, Illinois 60068 


September 17th, 2018 at 11:58 AM ^

Do you know what all is in your place? What about riding around with friends and you get stopped and the officers want to search? Other than having a firearm in your glove compartment, you think it's cool to cooperate and consent until you realize one of your friends tossed a Xanax under your seat because he didn't want to get caught. He's also the same type of guy that won't admit it was his and then all of you go to jail on felony charges involving drugs and guns.


September 17th, 2018 at 12:06 PM ^

Or maybe some girl you slept with is going thorough something you don't know about and tells the police you forced yourself on her. It's all he said she said. But you decide to give a statement telling the truth and inadvertently confirm every detail of her story like venue and time which need to be proven in court. Then you're going to trial over whether your contact was consensual or not when. IF you had just kept your mouth closed, the state would have to prove a lot more. But instead, you've already corroborated 99% of the alleged victim's story. Making her sound truthful in her description up until the rape. 


My previous advice still applies and will always apply. Don't ever talk. Never consent to a search. 

carolina blue

September 17th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

That’s ridiculous. I hope Bush knows he has the right to that spot and needs to tell the ref to move. Argue, get a flag thrown, who cares. And if he doesn’t move, RUN HIM THE FUCK OVER because he’s part of the field. I’m not saying do it on purpose and aim for him...but if he’s in your line to the ball, too bad. 

814 East U

September 17th, 2018 at 8:34 AM ^

I think the NCAA should follow the NFL regarding refs. Conference refs call games so differently. Hire/train referees and have them work games across the country. Offer a better salary. No reason sun belt/mountain west referees should be costing Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 teams players or games. 

The Mad Hatter

September 17th, 2018 at 9:34 AM ^

For as much $ as CFB brings in there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't have professional, well paid, full-time officials.  At least for the P5 teams.

That said, what in the fuck are Sun Belt referees doing calling a game at Michigan Stadium?  Is it common for the visiting team to bring their own refs?


September 17th, 2018 at 8:36 AM ^

The banner pick of Coach H sums up my reaction of the refs in any Michigan game. We should really look into getting robots to ref our games from now on. Honestly starting to think there is a secret deep rooted hate from the refs towards Michigan. 

Arb lover

September 17th, 2018 at 8:36 AM ^

That pretty much sums up the entire game. He's actually arguing with Bush and in his face and gesturing him to move over, his intentions are quite clear, forcing him to move as the ball is snapped. Meanwhile Bush loses his target on a complex play. 

Thanks for sharing. I hope Michigan formally complains to the NCAA and that the formal complaint leaks. That seems to be the only way to get traction. 


September 17th, 2018 at 8:40 AM ^

I was really confused by that sequence of events. I wonder what would have happened if Bush just told him to make him move. Refs have a lot of power in a game, but I was pretty furious about that.

Tools Of Ignorance

September 17th, 2018 at 8:47 AM ^

Seriously?!? I've played quite a few sports in my time (in my 40s and still play competitively) and I've NEVER seen an official adjust a player's position.  It looked like the official was coaching a Pop Warner team and was telling his LB where he should line up.


September 17th, 2018 at 1:20 PM ^

In hockey face offs, the official is not actually telling the player where to line up - he's telling the player that he's lined up illegally.  The ref can throw out the face off guy and bring another guy in, but that, again, has to do with rules 'violations' during the face off setup.  But they don't actually tell the players where to line up...


September 17th, 2018 at 5:47 PM ^

On a related note, though, in football, receivers often look to the head linesman or line judge for confirmation as to whether or not they are lined up appropriately.  But since Bush was obviously onside, there are no rules as to where he can stand, so... color me perplexed.