Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Stewart Mandel's Sept. 23 Mailbag. For his full Mailbag, click here, and to submit a question for next week, email Stewart.Mandel@fox.com or visit his Facebook page.
Typically complaining about officiating is poor form, that's why I've never done it. But I'm curious to hear your take on Texas-Oklahoma State. There were a lot of phantom calls and the final straw, the unsportsmanlike conduct on Charlie Strong, looked as if the line judge intentionally instigated contact with the coach before throwing the flag. I find it hard to believe that refs have an ax to grind or secret agendas, but after what happened in the NBA, is anything really off the table?
--Kyle McDaniel, Dallas
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So this is really a thing, huh? But only among Texas fans, I assume ... What's that? Former Tulane and NFL quarterback Shaun King is among those alleging something dirty went down? Has everyone lost their minds?
Clearly, that was a horrendously officiated game, and the bad calls went disproportionately against Texas. But there's a big difference between incompetence and corruption.
Frankly, I don't even know how you could get away with fixing a football game. Basketball seems a lot easier to manipulate than football. For one thing, there are only three officials, not eight. And whereas in basketball, every foul is basically a judgment call, nearly every controversial call in that Texas game was either right or wrong. And the people who evaluate the officials -- who in doing so have the ability to suspend or reprimand them and who dictate the quality of their assignments and potential postseason opportunities -- know full well the answers. Presuming these guys want to keep working, it would not be in their best interests to intentionally screw up an inordinate number of calls.
It's unfortunate that the refs became such a storyline, because as ESPN.com's Jake Trotter aptly tweeted: "[Texas] didn't lose because of officials. They lost because they gained 48 yards after half and their punter dropped the ball."
Stewart Mandel is a senior college sports columnist for FOXSports.com. He covered college football and basketball for 15 years at Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter @slmandel and Facebook. Send emails and Mailbag questions to Stewart.Mandel@fox.com.