Do we really trust SEC officials to make even more subjective calls?

The last thing college football needs is another opportunity for officials to affect the outcome of the game.

The last thing college football needs is another opportunity for officials to affect the outcome of the game.

I understand the rationale behind the NCAA’s controversial rules change to take points off the board starting in 2011 if a player is called for taunting on his way to the end zone.

The folks who run college football have been uncomfortable for some years now with all the high-stepping and pointing and diving toward the goal line like Superman that they see as a lack of sportsmanship, and they feel that calling a dead-ball foul that’s assessed on the PAT or ensuing kickoff just hasn’t gotten through to the players. As Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association put it, “this rule is one way to make sure the kids pay attention.”

And this won’t change what happens if a player or team is called for excessive celebration. That’s after the score and will still be a dead-ball foul tacked on to the kickoff.

I understand all that, but I still think this is one of those cases where all the potential pitfalls make the cure worse than the ailment.

We all know that taunting calls vary wildly from conference to conference and even game to game within a conference. Why saddle the officials with yet another subjective call that forces them to inject themselves further into the flow of a game, possibly altering the outcome?

As A.J. Green found out last season against LSU, some officials already have a hair trigger when it comes to those calls. And, as the video showed afterward, they can be flat-out wrong.

That’s my main worry: the execution of this kind of call. Dave Parry, the NCAA’s coordinator of college football officiating, says that “if it’s close to diving into the end zone, most likely it would be ruled that the act ended while in the end zone. We’ll be lenient.” But Dave Parry won’t be the one out there throwing the flags, and in the SEC in particular we know how inconsistently rules are interpreted when they’re subjective.

Plus, as it is, those flags generally only come out for offensive players. If taunting is so bad for the game, why not call it on defenders pounding their chest as they stand over a player they’ve tackled? Or on the defender who holds a running back down on the ground after the play is over? Those calls do happen, but oh so rarely.

And then there’s the question of why the NCAA is trying to keep players from letting their emotions get the better of them when part of the appeal of college football is all the emotion it stirs, among the players as well as the fans. Why try to dampen that?

I know, I know. The players should act like they’ve been there before. And celebrating too early can sometimes result in something really embarrassing like dropping the ball before you’ve crossed the goal line. But those are discussions that should be between players and their coaches. Why get the officials involved?

Rules that are intended to protect players from injury make sense, like the new ban on wedge blocking on kickoffs. But trying to give college football the demeanor of a round of golf at Augusta National is just wrongheaded.

130 comments Add your comment

Cmill

April 16th, 2010
10:30 am

First? Go Dawgs!

BobDog

April 16th, 2010
10:34 am

Heck no! Georgia may as well drop football.

The whole thing is getting silly.

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:36 am

Mark Richt is one of only six coaches to win two SEC football championships in their first five years coaching. He is also one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons.

Coach Richt’s Red and Black outfits have never posted a losing record in conference play and six of his last eight squads have finished 6-2 or better in regular-season SEC contests.
.
yeah he is pretty damn good.

under Richt

He is 24-7 against the SEC West.

He is 28-16 against the SEC East.

He is 38-4 against nonconference opponents.

He is 8-1 against Georgia Tech.

He won four of his first five games against Tennessee, but has lost three of the last four against the Vols since then.

He was born the same year as Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Ranks third in winning percentage among active college coaches that have coached for at least five years, now that Pete Carroll left USC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

He is 90-27, trailing only Urban Meyer (96-18) and Bob Stoops (117-29).\\yeah he is pretty damn good

Mark Richt’s overall success in Southeastern Conference action—including two SEC titles, three conference championship game appearances, and four finishes of no worse than tied for first place in the East, with no losing records in the process—is without parallel in Georgia football history.
.
Yeah he is prety damn good

Ere anyone attempts to argue that Coach Richt’s superb out-of-conference ledger is the product of schedules stacked with the likes of

Northwestern State,

Western Kentucky,

Tennessee Tech, and

Hawaii in the 2008 Sugar Bowl,

I should hasten to point out that he is 21-4 against

Arizona State,

Boise State,

Boston College,

Clemson,

Colorado,

Florida State,

Georgia Tech,

Michigan State,

Oklahoma State,

Purdue,

Texas A&M,

Virginia Tech,

West Virginia, and

Wisconsin.

Even if we factor out Division I-AA teams, Sun Belt squads, and similar schedule fodder, Coach Richt is .840 against teams from automatic BCS-qualifying conferences other than the SEC. (Yes, I’m going ahead and counting the Broncos in that category because the Mountain West will get a guaranteed bid as soon as Boise State is invited to join.)

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:37 am

There are those in Bulldog Nation who would like to see Mark Richt run out of town on a rail. Such people should be turned over to the custody of Mike Leach, in the hope that he will treat their obvious head trauma the way he treated Adam James’s

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:38 am

Did I mention UGA is the only SEC school with 6 top ten finishes in last 9 years (under Richt)?

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:39 am

Nick Saban went 6-5, 6-6, 6-6, 7-5 at Mich St.

He went 8-5 at LSU 2x

He went 7-6 at Alabama.

Saban has gone 5-3 or worse in conference 8 times.

Richt has only gone 5-3 or worse in conference 3 times in his first 9 years.

Compare that to Saban’s record and consistency in his 1st 9 years.

Richt has NEVER had a 7-6 or 6-6 season, Saban’s done it 5 times, including once at Alabama.

patrick

April 16th, 2010
10:44 am

True dat yeah whatever

Dawg Tired

April 16th, 2010
10:47 am

The new rule will be a disaster. There is no way the officials currently officiating in the SEC can apply this rule fairly across the board. Their competency level falls far too short of being able to handle this. Plus, I don’t trust their integrity enough to turn this kind of game changing responsibility over to them. Based upon past screw-ups, Alabama and Florida may never lose another game if the referees can totally eliminate the score by calling taunting. I’m sure if a UGA p;ayer turns back to see if someone is gaining on him it will be demed taunting. Result: no score!

Say it ain’t so!

dan

April 16th, 2010
10:47 am

yeah whatever,

I’d still take Saban over Richt though. Richt came into a program at finished 8-4 and he had NFL caliber talent to work with. Richt went 13-1 off of Jim Donnan’s recruits. Richt might have been a better head coach than Donnan, but Donnan was a MUCH better recruiter than Richt.

Saban inherited programs that were in bad shape at Michigan State, LSU, and Alabama. When Saban comes into a program, the first year he rebuilds, by year 2 he has his guys in place, and by year 3-4 they’re competing for national championships. Hey listen, I will take a 7-6 season if I know we will be 13-1 or 14-0 2 years down the road.

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:55 am

Dan, 2007 Richt finished 2nd in the nation WITHOUT Donnans recruits. UGA has had 5 or 6 top ten recruiting classes and a couple of top 5 under Richt.

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
10:57 am

He is 24-7 against the SEC West.

He is 28-16 against the SEC East.

He is 38-4 against nonconference opponents.

He is 8-1 against Georgia Tech.

You cant do much better than that.

Fla is his Achilles heal but you have to BE an Achilles to have an Achilles heal.

Pago Flyer

April 16th, 2010
11:01 am

UGA always has a Top Ten recruiting class…but…nothing happens.!

yeah whatever!

April 16th, 2010
11:04 am

Nothing happens? 90 wins….2 SEC titles…..6 top ten finishes in 9 years……11 bowl wins in last 13 years (only ALA and LSU has EVER matched that).

chazzo

April 16th, 2010
11:05 am

The more discretion granted an official, the more potential for graft and corruption. It is simple. We keep giving these guys more and more ways to throw games. The mechanism to take advantage of that has long been in place. If we can’t see that; we are simply deluded. The rules of the game should be applied to achieve the most objective and fair outcomes… nothing more, nothing less. No need to monkey with the clocks and no need to give refs more sujectivity.

2000dawg

April 16th, 2010
11:13 am

Why is Grant Teaff so worried about making kids “pay attention” to this, whereas he hasn’t stiffened penalties for roughing the passer, or facemask, or even pass interference and holding? Those penalties still occur all the time, so do we need to get the kids to pay attention there too? Why single out this penalty but not the others?

WonderDawg

April 16th, 2010
11:27 am

Did you omit Richt’s record vs UF by accident?

Fatricks Mentor

April 16th, 2010
11:28 am

Patrick yeah whatever, did you forget to mention his record the last 5 years in the SEC East and his record against lowly Kentucky and Vandy?

Fatricks Mentor

April 16th, 2010
11:29 am

Wonderdawg, nothing Fatrick does is by accident including his facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1158327737&ref=name

MATHDAWG

April 16th, 2010
11:31 am

True taunting should be reason to throw the player out of the game. No points should be taken away. Taunting should be called on excessive defensive demonstrations after a sack or tackle. Removing the player from the remainder of the game would get their attention and not punish the other 10 players on the team as much.

Fatricks Mentor

April 16th, 2010
11:33 am

Oh, I forgot to mention these nuggets:

Under CMR:
UGA has lost to Vandy and Kentucky at home in last 5 years.
UGA is 14-11 against SEC east opponents the last 5 years.
UGA is 2-7 against Florida
UGA is 3-8 against Florida and Tenn. the last five years.
UGA is 2-3 against Tenn. the last five years.
UGA has never beaten won all its SEC east games in a season
UGA has never beaten Tenn and Fla in the same season since the conference was split

SEC East Spokesman

April 16th, 2010
11:35 am

Fatricks Mentor, quit talking bad about CMR; we don’t want him to ever leave.

WonderDawg

April 16th, 2010
11:37 am

I agree, Bill. Why only players on offense? A linebacker can sack a QB for a 12 yard loss on 1st down, dance and beat his chest, and only lose 3 yards and one down if he gets flagged at all.

With the SEC refs, who gets flagged depends more on who your head coach is, not how bad your taunting is anyway . . .

SEC East Spokesman

April 16th, 2010
11:41 am

WonderDawg, are you saying that Richt may still be paying for his Dancing with the Stars in the endzone in 07?

Mauidawg

April 16th, 2010
11:52 am

They enact this new rule to eliminate individual attention in a team sport…..and the penalty affects the entire team. That’s the stupidest thing ever.

WonderDawg

April 16th, 2010
11:58 am

yeah whatever!,

‘07 was a great year for UGA, but we still lost 2 games because of poor coaching, including a butt-kicking by a vastly inferior UT team.

I like Richt, but you don’t ever wonder what those other coaches you mentioned could have done with the talent UGA had in ‘02-’05 and ‘07-’08? All of those years, UGA was absolutely loaded with talent, and yet lost one or two games to teams we had no business losing to.

Richt is great as a figurehead type head coach for our program. He’s second to none for morals, compassion and just being a good man. Now he’s taken one step that was needed with Grantham, but needs to go back to the NFL for an OC. Then we can compete for titles again.

barrow dog

April 16th, 2010
12:04 pm

will such a call be subject to review?

George G.

April 16th, 2010
12:06 pm

Agree Bill. Here’s another take that’s comparable to yours…

http://cfn.scout.com/2/962687.html

WonderDawg

April 16th, 2010
12:06 pm

All I know, SEC East Spokesman, is that the Dawgs get 12-14 flags per game and Bama gets 0-1 per game? It just doesn’t make sense.

If the “dance” is the cause for the flags, I hope we’ve about served our time for the “crime.”

SaintsLSU

April 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

It sure did seem like SEC officials favored Bama/Florida lsat year. They just got all the breaks. I do not doubt for a minute that Bama and Florida were the best two teams in the conference (country) last year, but they were beatable on a few Saturdays last fall. I noticed that Kentucky got some great called games toward the end of Basketball season, trying to preserve their possible #1 seed. The game at Miss State was one of the worst officiated basketball games since the ‘02 Lakers/Kings Wester Confernce finals, game 6 maybe? Anyway, here’s to another great upcomming football season in only 4 1/2 months. Geaux Tigers!

LHardingDawg

April 16th, 2010
12:20 pm

Maybe the NCAA should use the soccer yellow card “red card” rule. If a player breaks a minor rule, he would get a yellow card, if he breaks another rule, he would get another yellow card that would convert to a red card and he would be kicked out of the game. Plus, he would not be eligible for the next game. If he breaks a major rule, he could get a straight red card, which would put him out of the game.

Dawg 39

April 16th, 2010
12:24 pm

CMR is not going to be fired or asked to resign. The next 4 years will tell the tale as to whether he will choose to resign & pursue other options. The dawgs are solid for the next 4 years.
I agree the Refs are looking harder at the Dawgs than at other teams. Hopefully this will change this year.

Patrick Yackis

April 16th, 2010
12:55 pm

I like this rule. Can we also penalize defenders who stomp, strut, beat their chests and shake their heads after every tackle? That’s worse than what the guys on offense do.

Change is good...

April 16th, 2010
1:03 pm

Most of the 12 to 14 flags per game came about because the team was not disciplined…change is not on the way, it is here, at least for the defense, as I suspect penalties will not be tolerated by CTG…now that being said, let’s hope the offensive side of the ball follows suit now that CMR is more involved with the offense…but doesn’t it make one wonder why Coach Bobo can’t gain control of this group, with their jumping offsides and such…I’ve been told that he’s an excellent QB coach, however is he getting paid for on the job training to grow and learn the OC position…the offensive side of the ball needs discipline…perhaps this is above Coach Bobo’s abilities, not everyone can lead a group of diverse personalities whether in sports, or in the private sector…this year should tell the tale…
as far as the officials, where are the AD’s voice in all of this…what goes around, comes around…these AD’s should be setting the rules along with the officials…tell you what if they start taking points off the board and messing w/ some friendly wagering, there may be a horse head found in some-one’s bed…if an official screws up then he is set down for a game, or least have a rating system where they are held accountable…you’re talking big money at the end of the year concerning which bowl game that you get to attend…these SEC officials remind me of the baseball umps who want to get some face time on TV and be bigger than the game, they all need to be taken down a peg or two and realize that the best ref’s, ump’s, officials are the ones that you never here of…

#1 BAMA FAN

April 16th, 2010
1:25 pm

Just maybe BAMA and the GATORS are better coached and disciplined…just a thought. Hey YEAH Whatever…what’s the DAWGS record when they dress like ninja’s and act like fools???RTR

Change is good...

April 16th, 2010
1:27 pm

-5 off for mistake spelling… officials are the ones that you never HEAR of…

Change is good...

April 16th, 2010
1:30 pm

dang nb it…-10 for poor sentence structure…

-5 off for SPELLING MISTAKE… officials are the ones that you never HEAR of…

dan

April 16th, 2010
1:35 pm

yeah whatever,

The endzone dance against Florida was the catalyst that set the tone for the second half surge in 2007. And then the Black Out jersey’s sent that season into the stratosphere! That team was talented( even though I would argue that it wasn’t as talented as some previous teams at UGA)but they won because of the swagger! The swagger is what Richt’s teams lack on a consistent basis. Miami had that in the 80’s( even though they took it too far), Florida and FSU had it in the 90’s. Those teams walked into every game believing they would win regardless of the opponent. UGA had that same swagger at the end of 2007 and would have won the National Title if given the opportunity.

But see the problem is Richt doesn’t like that swagger. He tried it once and now he doesn’t want to win that way again. He wants to win the good guy way. And he tries to manufacture that enthusiasm with blackout games and helments, but it doesn’t work because the team doesn’t have that “hit you in the mouth” swagger. And the head coach either needs to instill that in their players, or have the sense to step out of the way and let it develop among the players. All the old fogie traditionalist will get on here and talk about what a class act Mark Richt is, but that’s the wrong measuring stick to use when gauging Mark Richt as a coach. You have to gauge what he has done ON THE FIELD. Right now, Mark Richt is a good head coach that will never be in the same discussion as a Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, or even Steve Spurrier until he wins a National Title. Right or Wrong, that is how he will be measured.

Vandy Dawg

April 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

Sometimes I wonder at what point these conferences will make retribution for those calls that were blatantly wrong? Although, given that we like emotion in the game, what better way to stir emotion than the refs making terrible calls every so often? I’m torn….

By the way, guys like “yeah whatever”, why, on every Bulldog blog, do you feel a need to ramble off one-sided stats about UGA/CMR that have NOTHING to do with the subjects of many of the blogs on which you post? Same with all you trolls….. Can’t a guy just read comments that are actually ABOUT the subject at hand?

Bill King is a ...........

April 16th, 2010
1:59 pm

All this crap started a few years ago when Knowshon started all the dancing on the sidelines crap. I hated it then and i hate it now. Its that kinda of stuff that gets the refs really looking at us. Richt should have stopped it then and we wouldnt be in this shape. As we all have said…..we didnt/dont have any discipline. This is what happpens when you let the kids/players run the show. The coaches need to run the team and not let the team run the coaches. As far as Booboo goes…..he’s got to go. i know he has a yard full of children but hey….maybe he can get a real job with normal wages. Or maybe he can go be a co-host with Bullshart Belue on 680. Why in the hell did the powers that be let ‘Soul ja Boy’ be played over the loud speaker? Also…..does anyone remember the Bama game cpl years ago? They were drilling us badly and in the 3rd quarter guess what comes over the loud speaker??? ‘Here comes the boom’ yeah, Bama boomed it up our asses and all of our boys were dancing on the sidelines. Complete and total embarrassemt!!! But thats what you get when your team has all the kind of characters that we have. You all have a nice weekend.

Katie

April 16th, 2010
2:00 pm

Go Dawgs! God bless all the officials!

Bill King is a ...........

April 16th, 2010
2:03 pm

Also, you get those pitiful uniforms that we sported in the Ga/Fl game last year. Whoever made that poor decision should;ve been let go on the spot as soon as we hit the field in those things. Lets lineup in our traditional red jerseys/silver britches and bust some ass. Once again, thats what happens when you let the kids pick the uniforms. Its kinda like small children…..the parents have final say on what he/she wears to school. Same thing with the uni’s.

SOGADOG

April 16th, 2010
2:05 pm

This is a terrible rule. Remember when Knowshon dove in the endzone against Az State in Az a couple of years ago? He dove to get over a defender and reach the endzone. If he had stayed on his feet, he probably would have been tackled short of the endzone. That wasnt excessive celebration, it was an athletic move to reach the endzone. Now a player has to worry about diving over defenders to reach the endzone being considered “excessive celebration”. There is too much danger this rule will be applied inconsistenty and subjectively, and sooner or later, a team with BCS potential will lose a game and miss out on a championship based on a bad excessive celebration call.

dawgfan

April 16th, 2010
2:07 pm

It is beyond dispute that SEC officials are more flag happy with some teams than others. We can argue all day long about why it happens, but the fact is it happens. You don’t call that penalty on AJ Green unless you WANT to call that penalty on AJ Green. That’s the bottom line. That ref was just looking for something. How else can you explain it? How else can you explain Green getting flagged for for absolutely nothing while Dustin Doe showboats an interception in to the endzone without getting flagged? How can you explain that other than some kind of human bias or prejudice? The only other explanation is that the refs aren’t watching the action closely enough, which is just as bad.

I bet the SEC refs let out a collective groan when they saw this new rule coming down the pipeline. They know the the headaches and scrutiny that are in store for them. Cry me a river. You’ve earned every bit of it boys. I’d just leave the flags stuffed in those pockets if I were you…

Bill King is a ...........

April 16th, 2010
2:07 pm

I”m glad knowshon is gone. He’s kinda like Obama. Its going to take us a couple of years to recover from the lack of discipline he brought to us. Its going to take us years to recover from the Trillions in debt he is tacking on to our economy. Just sayin

UGAAlumnus

April 16th, 2010
2:13 pm

@Bill King is a………

please keep your american political crap off this blog. It’s one thing to talk about the politics of football, but I DO NOT want to read your drivel about american politics. I’d be on a different blog right now if that were the case.

FLMoonpie

April 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

Richt is a lot like B Cox…has a big following, always says the right things…but like Cox, Richt has had a load of talent and couldn’t take it to the top. Unlike Saban and Meyer, Richt, when given the oportunity to win the big game, usually finds a way to loose.

dawgfan

April 16th, 2010
2:20 pm

They play “Here comes the boom” at every game you dumbazz, regardless of the score. What are you like 90 years old? I bet you’re just the life of the party aren’t you? Good grief. Lighten up.

Knowshon was one of the most disciplined players to EVER where a Georgia uniform. He danced because he was having a good time and wasn’t miserable like you clearly are. It seemed to work well for him given his 3,000 flippin yards rushing in only two flippin seasons. If you’re that good at something you get a little leeway. That’s the way the world works. Why don’t you just cry about it? Oh wait, you already are.

Dismissed.

richham

April 16th, 2010
2:21 pm

This rule has total disaster written all over it. The thing I don’t understand is why anyone cares if a guy dives across the goal line. Football is exciting and fun to watch, why do we have to dumb it down for the fear of hurting someones feelings?

If the other team scores a touchdown against your team, your usually upset anyways. I rarely even notice if there is show boating after that and then I could care less. What’s the point of the games if we all don’t get excited and have fun watching the game.

So what

April 16th, 2010
2:25 pm

yeah whatever,

What about the stat where Richt is 10-10 against the sec the last 5 years? Lets face it. We had our heyday in the early 2000s when Bama was down and UF had the Zooker. Now that those programs are back up we’re middle of the pack the last 4 years. Sorry but its just a fact and while the overall stats look good based upon CMR’s first 5 years the last 4 have been lackluster. The trend is a downward descent and that stats bear it out. And I’ll say something that’s the ugly truth that most of us won’t admit but I will. I would take Saban in a heartbeat over Richt. The man runs a disciplined program and he wins. He flat out wins and he’s done something Richt can’t do. He beat Florida and beat them decisively and it looks like he will continue to do so. His teams are physical, dominating, and they are disciplined. Ours are undisciplined on and off the field and can’t play physical smash mouth football. Saban took over a bunch of downtrodden program. When he got to Bama the bammers were in a complete mess and downtrodden. He took them from a program decimated by probation to an unbeaten regular season in year 2 with average talent at best and a national title in year 3. And the guy is a recruiting juggernaut. He now has that team loaded with bada$$es and with talent that can line up and whup the gators man to man. While we are intimidated by the gators Saban has them intimidated with his physical teams. He didn’t just beat them in the seccg. He opened a can of whupa$$ and laid an old fashioned beatdown to them gators. Say what you will but Richt will never dominate the gators. You know it. I know it. We all know it. And that is what ticks me off more than anything.

RxDawg

April 16th, 2010
2:29 pm

Terrible idea. I know they are doing this under the premise of trying to get less tuanting and unsportsmanlike type of behavior. But this is aweful and put’s too much integrity of the game at risk for something that’s really not that much of a problem as it is now. Nobody plays like Miami of the 80s. The penalties are stiff enough as it is.

Yesterday on ESPN they were showing a play by Golden Tate from Notre Name. He ran into the inzone while holding the ball extended out and looked back. The commentators said that would be considered taunting, and the TD would of been taken off the board. If you would of seen the “penalty” commited you’d know this rule is not worth implimenting.