clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan-Alabama Rose Bowl features Big 12 officiating crew and XFL standout

A breakdown of who will be officiating the Rose Bowl.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 Michigan Wolverines (13-0) are set to take on the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl, and now we know the officiating crew.

Per Football Zebras, Big 12 Conference officials will be refereeing the Rose Bowl.

Six members of the crew officiated a 2022-23 New Year’s Six bowl or National Championship Game while four also have experience as an XFL or USFL official (2020-22).

The crew chief, Micahel Vandervelde has received praise from Dean Blandino, who’s a rules analyst for Fox Sports and the head of XFL officiating. Vandervelde was the head ref for the XFL Championship Game in May.

“The best referees that I’ve been around are the ones that are in control of the game, that have that command, that have that presence,” Blandino said. “He has that. Sometimes, football can get a little out of whack, and crazy things can happen. He just seems to handle it really well.”

Hopefully, it’s a clean game, and things don’t get out of whack; the last thing anyone wants is for the officials to decide the outcome of the game. However, perhaps some solace should be taken in the fact Vandervelde, who’s 38, has excelled at his craft of late and is surely looking to rise up the ranks in his profession. In short, the Rose Bowl will be a big deal for him, too.

“With Mike and his crew, they just stood out,” Blandino said about Vandervelde’s officiating in the XFL. “A couple of things you look for, especially from a referee is, how do they manage the game? How do they communicate? Do they look like they’re in control? Mike just has that command.”