Officials have a tough job. And whether fans want to acknowledge it or not, it appears college football coaches are willing to do so for them.
CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee recently conducted a poll of college football coaches on a host of topics, and the results will surprise most you. Heck, they even surprised Sallee himself.
According to his research, 69 percent of the coaches polled anonymously rated officials as above average or better. The coaches were given 1-to-5 scale on which to evaluate the question: “How good are college referees at their job?” A rating of 1 represented “poor,” 2 was below average, 3 was average, 4 above-average and 5 was “good.”
Here are the results:
Now, we could interpret the data a number of ways. We caught your attention with 69 percent of those polled believe that officials do an above-average job.
Here are a few other ways to spin that same data:
- 91 percent of coaches polled believe coaches are doing an average job or better.
- Zero coaches admitted to believing officials do a “poor” job.
- Only nine percent of those polled believe officials do a “good” job.
As you can see, in some way the numbers tell whatever story you want them to tell. What we can take away from it is this: An overwhelming number of coaches, who had an opportunity to be critical under the shield of anonymity, believe that college football officials mostly do a good job.
“Everybody in America has a better view of the game than the officials,” one anonymous coach reminded Sallee after rating the officials a 4 out of 5.
Indeed, fans do have the benefit of instant replay and an increasing number of high-definition camera angles. If one conducted a fan poll on their satisfaction with officials, almost assuredly the results would be quite different. But, sometimes, it’s worth deferring to the experts on these matters.
Some other interesting takeaways from Sallee’s poll of anonymous coaches:
- Pass interference and holding are the penalties that most coaches would like to see adjusted.
- Only nine percent of coaches have an issue with the targeting rule as it is applied now.
- Nine percent is also the number of coaches who were perturbed by the perception of makeup calls.