A look at the Big Ten's replay numbers

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
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The Big Ten pioneered the use of replay review in college football, so it's only fitting that we look at the system trends within the league.

Following the lead of my colleagues in the Big 12, ACC and Big East, I reached out to the Big Ten to obtain the most recent replay statistics. Replay played a major role in the Big Ten title race in 2011. Who can forget the replay reversal at the end of Michigan State-Wisconsin I that awarded the Spartans the game-winning touchdown on a Hail Mary at the end of regulation? Replay also played a big role at the end of the Michigan-Iowa game, as Junior Hemingway's near touchdown catch late in regulation was ruled incomplete and Michigan went on to lose 24-16.

Replay officials also reviewed whether Ohio State's Braxton Miller had crossed the line of scrimmage before firing the game-winning touchdown pass to Devin Smith against Wisconsin (he did not).

Let's take a look at the numbers:


The average number of reviews per game has remained about the same, in the 1.7-1.75 range. The reversal percentage has increased slightly since 2009, but it's interesting to see the number of coaches' challenges went down from 2010 to 2011. Perhaps it's because so few challenges are successful (just two in 42 challenges since 2009).

Fans might be pleasantly surprised to see the average review time also has decreased since 2009, which surely pleases Big Ten coordinator of football officials Bill Carollo. The Big Ten has gone from behind the national average by 15 seconds in 2009 to ahead of it by nine seconds this past season.

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