First things first, Michigan could have done a little more to win their Fiesta Bowl tilt against TCU, a game in which they lost 51-45.
Now to the second part, the officiating was downright awful.
There were more than a couple of questionable calls throughout the afternoon, but two will forever be remembered.
The officiating crew, made up of SEC referees, overturned a Roman Wilson touchdown catch and opted not to call targeting on Colston Loveland on the last play of the game.
The Wilson touchdown didn’t have irrefutable video evidence to overturn the call — at the moment in which Wilson gained possession the ball was over the white goal line. With this in mind there’s no reason why the play should have been overturned. The score would have narrowed Michigan’s deficit to make the game 14-10. Instead, the call was overturned and Kalel Mullings fumbled the ball on the next play, TCU gained possession.
Sunday Night Football rules analyst and former NFL official Terry McAulay validated what the masses witnessed — there was no evidence to overturn the call.
I never saw indisputable video evidence that the ball was short of the goal line when the receiver gained control. https://t.co/RG4L5Wx8Sb— Terry McAulay (@SNFRules) December 31, 2022
The play would have given Michigan a lot of juice and momentum, there shouldn’t have even been a situation where a Michigan player had an opportunity to fumble a football.
If that call wasn’t bad enough, the last play of the game looked to be obvious targeting to Colston Loveland’s head and neck area.
This did look like targeting. What does everyone think?#CFBPlayoff #michigan #tcu #TCUvsMICH pic.twitter.com/FC6caMZaAO— DAN (@danWorthington) January 1, 2023
This would have been a 15-yard penalty and Michigan would have had 25 seconds to score a touchdown to beat TCU. They were deprived of that opportunity due to negligence and blatant disregard for the letter of the law.
Joel Klatt sounded off on the officiating.
Replay in CFB is broken & Targeting foul is equally broken!— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) January 1, 2023
- Clearly a TD in first half
- 100% targeting (and I hate targeting) at end
Officiating in CFB needs an overhaul...No reason for every conference to have their own officials...Should have a national officiating base
Mike Greenberg ripped the officials as well.
A fitting end to a night where the officials didn’t have a clue. If that isn’t targeting, what is? #Michigan— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) January 1, 2023
Michigan’s own mistakes greatly influenced the outcome of the game, but they aren’t the only ones who have a job to do — these officials were on a grand stage and failed miserably at their profession and put Michigan at a disadvantage. They have some explaining to do. When egregious calls are made a lack of comment on the matter is unacceptable and transparency is paramount. Quite frankly, shame on these SEC officials. A putrid showing.