Home / Featured / That time Pat Dye let officials run ten secret minutes off the clock to put Kansas out of its misery

That time Pat Dye let officials run ten secret minutes off the clock to put Kansas out of its misery

Coach Dye, Coach Dye—how long is it going to take you to beat Kansas? “50 minutes.”

Auburn honored its 1988 SEC Championship-winning football team Saturday night. Then the 2013 team went on to beat Arkansas State 38-9. It was a borderline blowout on the scoreboard, but by no means so lopsided that you’d, say, consider colluding with officials for a mercy killing. You know, like Pat Dye did that time in 1988, giving a whole new meaning to the hurry-up offense.

Yep, so bad was Kansas in 1988, and so good was Auburn—Auburn was winning 42-0 at halftime—Pat Dye agreed to let the zebras sneak as many seconds off the second half as they felt they could get away with. It was all perfectly legal.

“(Game referee Jimmy Harper) said he as asked by Kansas Coach Glenn Mason in the second half to ‘expedite’ the game, and then asked Auburn Coach Pat Dye if he would mind ‘if we moved the second half along,'” an AP report printed in the Sept. 24, 1988 issue of the Gadsden Times reads. Dye said sure.  It was all perfectly legal.

SEC Supervisor of Officials Bobby Gaston said that referees could “exercise common sense” by shortening the play of the game when “the losing coach surrenders and the winning coach is agreeable.”

How? By getting a little sloppy. The clock wouldn’t be stopped when the ball went out of bounds, it’d be stopped a couple of seconds after it went out of bounds. And it would start back not when the ball was snapped, but when the team broke the huddle. That sort of thing.

Harper told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Kansas “was spared about 10 minutes of humiliation and”—paging Bret Bielema—”possible injury.”

Ring a bell, Coach Dye? Or has, ahem, too much time passed?

“I don’t know. It may have been something like that, I don’t really remember,” Dye told us last week when we asked him about, among other things, Auburn’s hurry-up, hell-it-works offense. “But I remember the Kansas game. We didn’t want to beat them that bad.”

Solution: Cram four quarters into just a little over three.

According to a Kansas player, “It still seemed like it took forever.”

h/t @AU_History.

Related: A complete set of 1988 Phil Neel’s Auburn pinback buttons (and a few from ’87).

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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