Bama – LSU II: Argument for SEC Officials Makes No Sense

In yesterday’s column, Kevin Scarbinsky makes the argument that next month’s Alabama – LSU rematch will somehow be lacking because SEC officials won’t be used:

The goal should be to stage the best game possible, and no officials know SEC players, coaches and teams like SEC officials. No officials understand the speed of the game in the SEC and the tendencies of SEC teams like SEC officials.

They’re not perfect, and they do make mistakes, but no officials do a better job on a weekly basis of letting the players decide the games than SEC officials.

He actually gives the reason for this a couple of paragraphs up in his column:

Rogers Redding, the former SEC coordinator of football officials, now holds that position nationally. He missed an opportunity to make history by letting an SEC crew work the Alabama-LSU championship game.

Instead, as he told Ivan Maisel of, guidelines for bowl games call for neutral officials. Since those guidelines don’t cover the possibility of two teams from the same league meeting in a bowl game, Redding used a literal inter­pretation and decided that SEC offi­cials would not work the all-SEC ti­tle bout.

“I think Rogers stayed true to the bylaws,” said Steve Shaw, a former SEC referee who followed Redding as the SEC’s coordinator of football officials.

Gee whiz.  How hard is that to understand?  Redding interpreted the rules to say an SEC crew couldn’t be used and Shaw backs him up.  Believe me, I don’t think any SEC fan will be disappointed another league’s officials are used.

In 2010, Big East officials were used for Alabama vs. Texas and Big 10 officials were used for Auburn – Oregon in 2011.  Did anyone even notice or care?  Of course they didn’t.