The football postseason, both in college bowl games and the NFL playoffs, has been full of officiating controversies. With any luck, Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship game will buck the trend with Ohio State and Oregon vying for the national championship. We can only hope to avoid a controversial call that sways the momentum of the game from one side to the other.
Tonight’s officials will come from the Big 12. It will be the first time the eight-man officiating crew selected for the game will be working together, according to The Dallas Morning News. College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock called it an all-star crew hand-picked by Big 12 officiating supervisor Walt Anderson, so we should be able to rest easily, right?
All-star crews may sound like a good idea in concept, with the intention of attempting to put the best possible officials on the field to ensure the highest integrity of the game. However, just like an actual team playing the game, an all-star crew of officials can at times lack the consistency and cohesiveness of a crew that has been working together all season long. When a crew works together, they know how each member of the team operates, and what areas of the field the rest of the crew will be responsible for covering during a play. While we think an all-star crew of officials will above such simple mistakes, it is not something that should be taken for granted.
So cross your fingers, college football fans, and let’s hope we do not see college football’s equivalent of a Dez Bryant catch Monday night in Bryant’s home stadium.