The Big 12 experimented with an idea of a collaborative replay center last season to help avoid officiating mistakes.
The SEC and ACC had existing structures in place last season with a central replay center. The Big 12 wasn’t as far along, leading to a difficult lesson that spurred the conference planning for a replay center this season.
A key mistake turned an early-season game that eventually had significance on Oklahoma State’s playoff hopes. It happened when a MAC on-field crew gave Central Michigan a final untimed down against the Cowboys. A Big 12 replay crew inside the press box did not reverse the mistake.
The Chippewas took advantage of the mistake, escaping Boone Pickens Stadium with a wild 30-27 victory.
It led to the suspension of both crews and gigantic embarrassment for both conferences.
If a central replay center had been employed, Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson told ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson that the final outcome of the game would have been different.
Similar embarrassment came in a 2015 game as Miami capitalized on several blown calls to claim a disputed victory over Duke. That game led the ACC to enacting a centralized replay location.
Replay center aims to “get the play right.”
“Both of those games are classic examples of why you’d want the ability to have another mind involved and thinking, ‘Hey, are we making the right decision here?'” Anderson said. “Because here’s the ultimate bottom line: Get the play right.”
The ACC and SEC reportedly were extremely enthused with their results last season. The Sun Belt Conference, which already shares an officiating partnership with the SEC, will join in a collaborative plan with the SEC this season.
Some might wonder if such plans are overkill.
But considering the potential ramifications from just one game, it appears to be well worth the investment.
Just ask Mike Gundy, who refused to acknowledge the Central Michigan game as a loss on the Cowboys’ Alamo Bowl championship rings after last season.
He counted it as a win on Oklahoma State’s final season record listed on the ring.
— Boone Pickens State (@BP_State) April 19, 2017