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Daily Brews: Michigan coaches address frustrations with Big Ten officiating

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Coaches aren’t being as rough on the officials as some of the fans may think they should be.

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan football fans are not the only ones who feel beaten down by bad calls by officiating on Saturdays. Every fanbase thinks the officials are out to get them, but some of the poor calls on the Wolverines have been notably poor, like the pass interference that was called in the game against Notre Dame that nullified an interception and led to the Irish’s only touchdown of the game.

Michigan cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich told the media on Wednesday that it can be “frustrating” that referees are not held accountable for their mistakes.

“It really is frustrating,” Zordich said. “I come to work, I’m held accountable every day. I know the Big Ten is taking care of the official stuff, but there should be some more clarity on it. That call was not interference. I gotta stay in my little foxhole, do my job, coach my guys and let the officials take care of the officials. But yeah – would be nicer if they were a little clearer.”

Here’s what offensive line coach Ed Warriner had to say on the subject, where he was a bit more forgiving of mistakes from officiating that are made during the game. Transcription comes from Joshua Henschke of The Michigan Insider:

I would just say this: despite what a lot of people outside think, coaches are really competitive and really smart, the ones I’m around. How are the rules stated and how can I push the rules based off how the rules say they’re going to officiate? So, I think everyone pushes the rules. Let’s face it: you can hold in the secondary. If they don’t throw the ball to the guy you’re holding, it’s not holding. The only way it’s holding is if you throw the ball to the guy that’s not open, because they’re holding him. Quarterbacks are trained (to) throw to the covered guy they’re holding, don’t throw it to the open guy. I’m just saying, there are people that push the (limits). That’s how they officiate the rules. So everybody is pushing the limit on what’s legal, what’s not legal, what the rules say, what the rules don’t say. And the officiating has the hardest job in America keeping up with that and making those split-second decisions. I think those guys have a tough job. I have no comment about whether they’re doing – I think overall, they do a great job. I have no comment about any specific play, because I think they’re all unique. I think there’s mistakes made out there, but I think there’s great calls made out there. I think overall, though, they’re doing the best they can for our game. They’re highly trained, they spend a lot of time doing it. There’s nobody else better, if there were, they’d be out there. They’re the best. It is what it is. It’s like holding calls. If you really just watched, you could get holding on the lines – O-line, D-line – a lot. It’s just hard to catch it and see it and call it. The game is so fast. And, you don’t want a penalty on every play. We all know, when you watch an NFL game and there’s 20 penalties in the first half, we’re all like (leans backward). Know what I mean? To me, everybody’s pushing the limit of what they can get away with, not because they’re trying to break rules but what are the rules? How are they enforced? How are they trying to do it? It makes the job hard. The replay has made it different. Some of these calls that we talk about for weeks would never been in discussion five years ago. But now they’re in discussion because we can slow it down, click-by-click. ‘Oh yeah, he was this far from touching him, his knee was down!’ Those would have just been fumbles or non-fumbles and just move on. Now there’s so much technology that dives into the debate, what’s allowed to be reviewed, what’s not allowed to be reviewed. It’s a tough thing. But overall, I think they’re doing the best they can for the game. I don’t feel like leaving games too often that (officiating) was the cause, there was something to cause the outcome to change because of that. That’s where you have to be able to move on. You have that in basketball, in the NBA, every night, because it comes down to the last minute every night. The calls that get made in the last minute, they have to deal with that 82 times a year. You learn to move on.

And move on we shall.

It’s time for Basketball FanPulse

Some of you may know of our SB Nation FanPulse poll, which gets sent out to our readers each week to gauge your ranking of the top 25 teams in college football and also get a gauge for how confident you are in the direction of the Wolverines. Starting this week, we will also be adding a college basketball fan confidence question in the survey

It’s as easy as signing up here, and bang, the survey will come to you each week and you get to represent Maize n Brew and the Michigan community in the only weekly college football and basketball poll that now matters (editorializing here, admittedly).

For those of you not familiar with this initiative and want to get involved, and please do, you can signup for the SB Nation FanPulse poll here. The surveys will go out once all of the big games have concluded and the ballot is ready to roll.

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