Michigan came into this weekend’s Fiesta Bowl showdown against TCU as the favorite and expected winner.
It didn’t take long for college football fans to realize that all the confidence that everyone had in the Wolverines was misplaced.
Starting with Jim Harbaugh’s brutal ‘Philly Special’ call and ending with quarterback J.J. McCarthy’s dad’s weird encounter with his girlfriend, Michigan did everything it could to embarrass itself on Saturday.
That said – the referees still clearly cheated them out of a National Championship Game slot.
Early in the second quarter Michigan found itself down 14-3 and with possession of the ball. McCarthy took the snap and hit wide receiver Roman Wilson with a picture-perfect pass that looked on its face like a 50-yard touchdown.
Only it wasn’t.
The refs overturned the play and made Michigan punch the ball in line at the goal line.
Replays: Michigan WR Roman Wilson’s touchdown catch that officials overturned after review pic.twitter.com/VWH0ydgn37
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) December 31, 2022
What did they do instead? Fumble.
After a touchdown was ruled down at the one Michigan fumbles the ball back to TCU.
How we feeling Michigan -7.5 bettors? pic.twitter.com/d3bkfbeCwn
— MyBookie – Bet With The Best (@MyBookie) December 31, 2022
TCU went on to win the game 51-45.
Putting aside that Harbaugh lost out on a seven-figure bonus as a result of that terrible call, the Wolverines’ players missed out on an opportunity to play for a title that they clearly deserved.
An Ohio State staffer made an interesting Ryan Day confession before the Georgia game. https://t.co/fljCuKONVf
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 31, 2022
This has been a year full of bad officiating in college football. It happened week after week after week. But for it to occur here, on the biggest stage and with such massive consequences, is pretty unforgiveable.
The situation was what it was in 2022. Hopefully in 2023 the powers that be realize that if referees keep significantly altering the outcomes of games like this it will do immeasurable damage to the credibility of the sport as a whole.