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7 college football officials poached by NFL for 2018

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 7/7/2018 Bryan Fischer
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Few draw ire in college football quite like the officials do on a game-by-game basis but good news for fans just about everywhere: you no longer have to deal with seven of the zebras who were clearly biased against your team.

On Friday, the NFL announced their full roster of 121 officials for the upcoming 2018 season. While the loss of notable names like Ed Hochuli, Terry McAulay and Gene Steratore drew a lot of the attention from the announcement, there were several more notable names included in the league’s list that college fans might recognize as getting a promotion from Saturday’s to Sunday’s.

Among the seven college zebras who will now be throwing flags in the NFL: Land Clark (from the Pac-12), Matt Edwards (Big Ten), Chad Hill (SEC), Anthony Jeffries (SEC), Tony Josselyn (SEC), Mark Stewart (Big 12) and Don Willard (Big Ten).

As you can see, the SEC gets hit the hardest with three departures while the Big Ten sees two officials moving on. The ACC is the only Power Five league not to get an official poached (which might be an interesting data point in itself) while Clark was one of the Pac-12’s more well known flag-throwers in recent years. No word on who the conferences will replace the vacancies with as several were head referees.

While almost all the officials out there are unfairly maligned for many of their calls, something says that a few coaches around college football will be smiling a little bit wider on Saturday upon hearing that they won’t have to deal with any of these seven any longer.

Related slideshow: Top 10 2018 Heisman Trophy favorites (provided by Yardbarker)

Though we’re still months away from the start of the 2018 college football season, spring games and practices are a nice reminder that it’s not too early to begin considering who could contend for the Heisman Trophy. There will be no repeat winner with Baker Mayfield headed to the NFL, and the field looks to be wide open with no clear favorite — and a lot of young upstarts who could potentially vie for the famous trophy.  Here are ten leading candidates. It could be a very good year for running backs. Top 10 2018 Heisman Trophy favorites
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