The Big Ten, following a spring trial run at Michigan and Michigan State, is looking to approve the use of goal-line cameras for the conference in 2012, Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News reports. With the use of instant replay, having a camera at the goal-line seems the next logical step, especially after watching critical plays decided by review of poor camera angles.
As the Big Ten coordinator of officials Bill, Carollo, puts it:
"We'd have to look and justify if we can do something like that," Carollo said. "I'm interested in it because it's the most important line on the field. It's expensive. But a call at the goal line when we make a mistake is very expensive, too. You could have the wrong team winning."
Carollo gets it right; the calls are too important to be missed. Winning and losing championships are at stake. Winning and losing spots in the BCS Rankings are at stake. Winning and losing the opportunity to go to a bowl game are at stake. When the stakes are that high, it is too important for a judgement call or a guess from a bad angle.
For fans, coaches, players and the like, this is something to watch intently. Getting the call right is huge, and this will only help the referees get those decisions correct. It isn't an issue of time; as it stands now, the calls are all subject to review. They're going to stop the clock, watch the replay and attempt to determine if the ball crossed the plane or not. At least with goal-line cameras, the officials will have a better chance of getting the call right.
Think of this as the start of the "Tech Revolution" that we talked about back in July. While the dream of microchips and the use of HawkEye might be a ways away, the fact is, this is a start down that path. First the Big Ten, but other leagues are already showing interest, as SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw points out:
"It's something that, if it's successful, we need to take a look at in college football," Shaw said. "We had some early conversations (within the SEC). You can't put a pole up in our stadiums. Our stadiums are almost sacred ground so you'd have to find a spot, whether it's an overhang or a deck, where you could mount a camera that would be unobtrusive and have a good view."
Let's hope it works. The game deserves the best from its officials, and in order to get the best, you have to give them the proper tools. Goal-line cameras are a major step in the right direction.