This Conspiracy Theory About the Referees in Ohio State-Michigan Has Some Merit


Ohio State beat Michigan in a controversial game, 30-27 on Saturday, and nothing can be done. Ohio State is very likely going to the playoff. Michigan will need a lot of help to get in.

Got that? Good.

Now let’s take a quick look at the terrible officiating crew who got Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh so worked up, he flipped out on the sideline, was penalized, and then proceeded to rip the officials after the game. Then, he was fined. Because there’s no way the Big Ten should have assigned this crew to such an important game.

Keeping in mind that on the most pivotal play of the game – 4th down in overtime – Ohio State got the call, here’s some information on the officials:

  • The lead official was Daniel Capron. Back in 2002, he was fired by the Big 10 for poor officiating of a Purdue/Wake Forest game. This is what Big Ten commish Jim Delany said at the time: “During the course of the game, these officials did not officiate well enough to meet Big Ten standards. Therefore, they will forfeit future officiating assignments.” It’s unclear when or how Capron was reinstated.
  • Kevin Schwarzel, the back judge, is an Ohio guy. Born in the state. Has businesses in Athens, Ohio. In this story from 2006, he admits being an Ohio State fan. And even more jaw-dropping: He was not permitted to officiate the 2006 Michigan/Ohio State game. It’s unclear why he was permitted to be part of this game.
  • Bobby Sagers, the side judge, is also an Ohio native, and recently was named to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame … which is located in Columbus.

When you’ve got a crew like this, is it any wonder that they missed a blatant 15-yard penalty like this? Look at the proximity of the ref to the cheap shot. How was there no flag?