Doug Shows’ reputation has certainly preceded him, and with good reason. To put it quite frankly, Kentucky tends to lose when Doug Shows referees. Specifically, this season when Doug Shows is given a whistle, Kentucky is 1-5. Before we look at the individual games, let’s look at all the referees who have officiated UK games this season (minimum 3 games UK games officiated).
First, some definitions. G is games, HG is home games, AG is away games, and FPG is Fouls Per Game. All of those are self-explanatory. StdDev is the Standard Deviation of fouls per game. This is used to measure the consistency of the referee. The greater the value, the less consistent. HM is the Home Foul Margin. This is the margin of fouls a home team gets versus the away team. In this measure, the more negative the number, the higher margin for the home team. For more on these stats, StatSheet has you covered.
A couple things jump out while looking at the UK data. One, Mark Whitehead and Doug Shows tend to highly favor the home team versus the others refs. Joe Lindsay and others have been a fair margin behind them. The other is that Doug Shows and John Cahill tend to have an easy whistle, both averaging over 19 fouls per UK game. Also of overall interest, every referee on this list favors the home team slightly overall.
Now for the Doug Shows effect. Games he has officiated: Morehead St. (W), @Louisville (L), Texas A&M (L), @Alabama (L), @Tennessee (L), and @Arkansas (L). Lot’s of losses on that list. Interestingly, the home team, whether Kentucky or not, has been favored in total fouls in each game. Kentucky also was fortunate against Morehead St., with Kentucky having a margin of +20 fouls in that game, an absolutely insane total. Also of note, the 7 technicals assessed in the 6 games involving Kentucky this year.
Interestingly, last year Doug Shows officiated 8 UK games, 5 home and 3 away. In those games, Shows favored the away team by 3.4 fouls. On the season, Shows favored the home team by 3.4 fouls, the exact inverse of his behavior in UK games. Perhaps fittingly, Kentucky was 8-0 last year in those games.
Trying to deduce behavior by referees during a certain team’s games is often a fruitless and maddening endeavor. There is often no true pattern in anything that goes on, but when your team struggles in games officiated by certain refs, it sure does feel like it. While there is probably no modus operandi for Doug Shows in UK games, given our struggles in games he officiates, I certainly won’t be asking him to officiate any more of them this year.