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Our prediction: Hochuli, Anderson to officiate Conference Championships



After analyzing the wild card and divisional playoff assignments, we have mapped out our predictions for who is officiating this year’s conference championship games: Ed Hochuli and Walt Anderson.

Keep in mind, this isn’t based upon official information; it is purely speculative. And, please, no wagering.

Usually this is readily apparent after the first two playoff weekends, as the head referees would be absent while their regular crew officiates. This year, we think that those teams broke apart too much. In Anderson’s case, his entire crew was dispersed in the first two rounds and the Pro Bowl.

Hochuli officated the AFC Championship game last season with two additional members of his crew. This year there are three other members of his crew eligible to serve in the conference championship.

Anderson officiated last year’s Super Bowl and, therefore, cannot officiate the big game in consecutive years.

The following officials were substituted off of their regular crews (and are not known to be injured) during the wild card and divisional games. This is usually a sign for promotion to the conference championships, although we note that there are three side judge assignments. This possibly means that one is going to be on the sidelines as an alternate in case another official is injured during the game.

  • U — Darrell Jenkins (Bill Leavy’s crew)
  • U — Tony Michalek (Ron Winter)
  • HL — Kent Payne (Carl Cheffers)
  • LJ — John Hussey (Pete Morelli)
  • SJ — Mike Weatherford (Gene Steratore)
  • SJ — Don Carlsen (Morelli)
  • SJ — Tom Hill (Winter)
  • BJ — Perry Paganelli (Parry)
  • BJ — Keith Ferguson (Leavy)

The positions from Hochuli’s crew that qualify for a championship game assignment:

  • HL — Mark Hittner
  • FJ — Craig Wrolstad
  • BJ — Don Carey

Once again: this is pure speculation. No news here.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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