Blog Entry

Saban and Miles turtle

Posted on: November 10, 2009 11:23 am
Edited on: November 10, 2009 2:57 pm

Given the chance to lash out at the SEC, both Nick Saban and Les Miles went all soft and cuddly Monday and complimented SEC officials.

Miles was less complimenatry which I appreciate. Noble men with the threat of a five-figure fine hanging over their heads tend to hold their tongues. Miles didn't say the officials were wrong which I thought was telling after that heinous missed call on Saturday. 

Saban, though, tried to set us all straight.

"I just really do believe this: If I was an official, and I was making what I make officiating, because I love the game and I love doing it, and I was getting crit­icized by the media, includ­ing our announcers on TV, like these guys get crit­icized, I'd step back and say, 'I think I'll go to the lake this weekend. You can have this.' That's what I'd do," Saban said.

"Those guys, they do a great job. They work their tail off and try to do a good job. We have a guy jump offside and he doesn't get criticized like that. Both of them are mistakes, one way or the other. Right?"

Does this mean that the SEC owes Saban $30,000?

Let me expand, also, on Senor Doyel's column. I think there is another thing in the back of the officials' minds. Loyalty, sure, but loyalty to their part-time profession. These replay officials are almost always retired officials who have a direct hand in protecting their brethren on the field. It's like allowing coaches to vote in a college football poll that awards them millions of dollars in bowl revenue.

Oh wait, that already goes on.

The worst invention of the 21st century is "irrefutable evidence". It's a default setting for replay officials who can't make a decision. There was a simple call to be made Saturday when Patrick Peterson stepped in front of Greg McElroy's pass on Saturday.

In or out?

Ah, but the default setting "irrefutable evidence" (inconclusive evidence, call it whatever you want) reared its ugly zebra-striped head. The problem this time is that there was plenty of contrary evidence starting with Peterson possibly having two feet in in bounds. 

It's human nature: Retired SEC officials aren't going to throw current SEC officials under the bus. (It's not just the SEC, choose any conference.)

There's a fairly simple solution to this: Neutral replay officials. I mean really neutral. Any banker, insurance agent or financial planner can be trained to watch a video replay. They do it every weekend watching football games. Here's another idea: Don't pay them. That removes the conference loyalty that Doyel speaks of. Once again, you will be able to fine plenty of quality professionals who will volunteer to do the job. 

As it stands Big Brother in the booth is tempted to care of his brothers on the field.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: November 13, 2009 9:04 pm

Saban and Miles turtle

I've never liked the phrase 'irrefutable evidence' either, but I do have to say that sometimes it is impossible to tell which way the call should go, even with instant replay

The problem in this instance is that no official on the field could see what the call was on the field, so they "defaulted" to an incomplete call. The official down the sideline behind Peterson couldn't make the call because he couldn't see through Peterson, and the official up the sideline (in front of Peterson) couldn't make the call because LSU's Chad Jones was on the line in the way. So neither official knew what call to make.

It's not like you have an official who sees what he sees and makes a call, neither of these guys saw ANYTHING. In the former case, it makes sense for instant replay, like Miles said this week, to "defend" the call on the field. The official actually saw something. In the latter case, there is no call on the field that anybody saw, so instant replay shouldn't be "defending" anything, it should be MAKING the call.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: November 11, 2009 12:20 pm

Saban and Miles turtle

Here is an idea for Dennis Dodd.  Since we can not prove, indisputably, that this column has any validity whatsoever, maybe you should be expected to continue to write it on a weekly basis.  And not get paid.


Since: Nov 4, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2009 11:01 am

Saban and Miles turtle

Pretty interesting dynamic stated in the argument. I've never liked the phrase 'irrefutable evidence' either, but I do have to say that sometimes it is impossible to tell which way the call should go, even with instant replay (did you happen to see the Den-Chi NBA game last night?). Although I don't believe that this Peterson was out of bounds, in situations where it is too hard to tell, you've got no other option but to stick with the original call.

As afar as having someone hwo is independent and non-biased up in the booth, this isn't as easy as you claim it would be. The second that guy made a controversial decision the fans would want to know if he was screened on whether he was a fan or had a vested interest in either team winning. I believe the replay officials are probabaly as good as you are going to get. Yes they want to protect their buddies but at the same time, they are trying to make the right call as well.

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