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College football concludes a busy offseason for officiating

Several changes highlight an upcoming shift in college football



A lot of change has happened with college football officiating during this offseason with adjustments, promotions, and realignments.

The biggest change in the offseason was the Big Ten’s effort to increase its officiating staff in advance of seismic conference realignment. In that move, 4 officials at the referee position jumped from the Pac-12 Conference to the Big Ten. Additionally, NFL vice president of replay Russell Yurk has joined the Big Ten in the same capacity.

There are a few moves that involve the conference officiating coordinators and the alignment of existing officiating alliances, which the Power Five conferences except the Pac-12 have formed for coordination and development.

Mike Defee is now the Mountain West Conference coordinator of officials. The former longtime referee will continue to be the coordinator for Conference USA. It’s important to note that C-USA is not joining in MWC in the Big 12 officiating consortium this year, but Football Zebras has been told this in consideration for future years.

Along with Defee’s move, MWC officials will get to their own conference championship game. This was previously assigned to the Big 12 officials.

Alberto Riveron was named the new head of ACC officiating at the end of the 2022 season. The former NFL senior VP of officiating finds a new home in the ACC after a partial season working as a liaison for NFL broadcasting. Also, the American Athletic Conference has moved from its officiating alliance with the ACC to the Big 12.

In addition, the Western Athletic and Asun conferences have merged to create the United Athletic Conference, although this is more of a construct on paper, as it is not formally recognized as a conference. This merger is only for FCS, and the officiating will be overseen by Matt Young. The Asun Conference was previously in the SEC pipeline, but that alliance has ended.

Randy Campbell also left his position as an NFL replay official to head the Big Sky Conference.

Josh Cohn is a college student at Rochester Institute of Technology studying software engineering and creative writing. As a child, Josh would often officiate games between his friends and classmates during recess.