Here’s How I Would Shave Points If I Was a Big 12 Official
This is definitely not related to either the 4th down call where the Big 12 officials missed a pass interference late in the game against Kansas State or the inadvertent whistle later in that same game.
I specifically did not wait 72 hours to put space between myself and that game to write this post.
This is a completely hypothetical situation that I've made up and in no way saying that the Big 12 officials were involved in a point-shaving scandal this weekend in Manhattan, Kansas.
OK, the disclaimer is over.
If I was a Big 12 official here's how I would shave points in a college football game.
Let's say the line closed at about -8 for the home team that has a running quarterback and purple uniforms. Hypothetically. That means the road team, let's say they wear all white since they are the road team, is +8. To set the scenario, let's say the home team is ranked and the road team looked bad the only other time they went on the road.
The bet is placed for the home team, -8. That means they'll win by eight or more points.
Assuming the game is played fairly close through the first half. Even if it's crazy like the home team scored 13 before the road team even got the ball. Then the road team stormed back in the second quarter to make it 13-10 at the half.
We've got some work to do.
Fast forward to the end of the 3rd let's say the teams have met at a 20-20 tie, and the Red... I mean, road team is driving. At this point, there's nothing we can do as officials. We have to call the game as it goes, and can only insert ourselves if the moment can truly affect the outcome we need to happen. We refuse to affect wins and losses, just point spreads.
A missed field goal from the road team and a three-play touchdown drive from the Wildcats put that point spread back into play. Wildcats is a hypothetical team name, of course.
A 7-point lead. It's our time, but make it look natural.
The easiest way to affect this is to either wait for a 3rd or 4th down conversion. Let's call this one a 4th and 5. I'd ignore a blatant pass interference. If the defense can hold, they hold. No pressure.
A field goal for the home team makes it 10 points. A fumble on the next drive leads to a wild 17-point swing. We're home free. It's 37-20.
Let's just say a nightmare scenario happens though. This game is out of hand, and we can't affect the outcome, but we can save this point spread. Let's, for the sake of arguments say that the road team gets a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
The score is now 37-28. We have to do something, no way the road team can win, but this point spread is in absolute danger right now.
Sure we could ignore the defensive pass interference again, but that might be too obvious since we already pulled that trick. Let's hit them with the razzle-dazzle. We can break out the "inadvertent what?" play out of the playbook. Just blow the whistle in the middle of the play after a deep pass. Everyone will assume you've called for a review.
If play stops, you review and kill the teams' momentum. If play continues, and the road team scores? It's an inadvertent whistle. If the home team has a positive play like a turnover? Tell the road coach you didn't hear a whistle and play dumb.
Anyways, that's how I, a totally real Big 12 official, would point shave in a completely made-up hypothetical situation that didn't happen between Texas Tech and Kansas State.