On r/cfb, you’ll find a vibrant, active base of devoted college football fans, even of schools like Ferris State University. The subreddit, a community devoted to the subject of college football in all forms, boasts 1.6 million followers, and within that 1.6 million, there are a lot of wild theories and memes being shared.
One such theory involves Reddit user u/KleShreen, a follower of r/cfb who touts flairs (r/cfb markers for which fandom you represent) for Grand Valley State University & the University of Michigan. KleShreen shares a conspiratorial tale regarding Ferris State University inflating their stats. The post starts off like this,
I am going to preface this by saying, yes, I have a GVSU flair. And I’m also going to preface this by saying I did not watch this game, as it costs $20 to watch on Flo lol. But I don’t believe either of these things impact the information I am about to share.
Something curious I noticed while I was going through box scores. I normally check box scores not long after their games are done as part of my D2 fantasy league I run. I noticed after the game that Caleb Murphy, for Ferris, was credited with 4 total tackles and 1 quarterback hurry. Pretty quiet day. But then on Monday, I saw the GLIAC Player of the Week release, and he was credited with 10 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and 3 quarterback hurries. I went through the play-by-play, and apparently these all changed after the game, even though Ferris was the home team and the official scorers in the first place:
The user then goes on to describe each of the stats in question, ranging from tackles, hurries, and sacks. Here is the original post, with each exhaustive detail laid out in full.
Focusing on Ferris State’s Caleb Murphy, u/KleShreen shares the belief Ferris State was deducting other players from defensive stats while giving them to Murphy. The angle is that, due to Caleb Murphy’s prominence on the national stage as an All-American finalist, the university has an incentive to inflate his numbers, helping his case not only nationally in college football but also for his draft prospects.
Visibility is in question in the lengthy post, exhibited by shared links and more details about the process which Ferris State used to share Murphy’s contributions during their game against Central Washington. The Bulldogs beat Central Washington handily in the game 36-20 with Murphy having 10 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and three QB hurries according to the official Ferris State box score.
The poster shared more credentials on himself to further make the case for the questionable stat line:
Usually if anything gets changed after the fact, it’s something like a forced fumble being changed from one player to another after replay since it’s not something easy to catch in real time, or maybe changing a hurry. Changing tackles for loss and sacks and tackles in general, at this rate, seems pretty out of the ordinary. As someone who has been an official scorer for a number of football programs at all levels of college football, this seems extremely out of the ordinary, especially from the home team that scored the game. In my almost 15 years of doing this, there’s never been more than two changes made to statistics after the game, usually a field goal block or a forced fumble.
Whether or not the post is accurate and there was meddling by Ferris State is assuredly not able to be known. At that level of college football, stat calculations and official counters become much harder to track with the game film being hard to find and resources limited in a way that an FBS or FCS school are not. What is assured, however, is the hilarious lengths that this fan went to make the case for a conspiracy transpiring in our very own state!
To end the post, u/KleShreen makes an edit to the post, making their intentions clear about this exhaustive investigative pursuit they’ve undertaken.
EDIT: Just wanted to add that this post isn’t intended to be coming from a place of malice. More humorous and entertaining than anything. Nobody needs to be punished lol. I mean I refuse to even pay the money to go back and watch the game to get the truth. Maybe all these changes are 100% correct. I have no idea. Could be the case. But on the surface, this is what I’ve presented lol.