In a college football season just two weeks old and already with crazy games completed, the Central Michigan-Oklahoma State game might take the cake.
In case you missed it, in a tight game, Central Michigan pulled off a stunning upset of No. 22 Oklahoma State, 30-27, in Stillwater, Ok., on a no-time-on-the-clock Hail Mary pass with a hook-and-ladder toss thrown in for good measure. But the play should not have happened at all.
With four seconds left in the game, OSU QB Mason Rudolph threw an incomplete pass to the sideline to run out the clock and preserve a 27-24 victory. But no receivers were in the area and an intentional grounding penalty was called. Since the penalty for intentional grounding is loss of down, the Cowboys should have turned the ball over on downs and the game would have ended as time expired.
“There’s a rule that says that the game cannot end on an accepted live ball foul. That’s the rule. There’s an exception to the rule that says if enforcement of the foul involves a loss of down, then that brings the game to an end,” referee Tim O’Dey told a pool reporter after the game.
“So in that situation, we’ve had the opportunity to run it back through our hierarchy, which includes the national rules editor, and he confirmed that should have been a loss of down and the end of the game at that point, so that extension should not have happened.”
With the extra play, CMU QB Cooper Rush heaved a Hail Mary pass to WR Jesse Kroll, who lateralled to Corey Willis who ran in for the score.
“The Mid-American Conference officiating crew … made an error on the final play of regulation,” Bill Carollo, the coordinator of football officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, said in a statement. “The crew made a misapplication of the rule and should not have extended the contest with one final play. Despite the error, this will not change the outcome of the contest.”
On Sunday, the eight MAC officials were suspended two games and as were the two Big 12 officials. The Big 12 officials were in charge of video replay.
“The crew missed an opportunity to advise the MAC officiating crew of the misapplication of the penalty giving CMU an untimed down that resulted in its game-winning touchdown,” Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson said in a statement. “NCAA rules permit instant replay to correct egregious errors and it is unacceptable that it did not occur in this situation. Additionally, this replay crew will not be eligible for assignment to an end-of-season bowl game.”