Even when there weren’t that many marquee match-ups, college football did not disappoint this weekend. There was an overtime battle between Arkansas and TCU, a shootout in the desert with 8 touchdowns by a single player in the Texas Tech, Arizona State matchup, and a Hail Mary pass/hook-and-ladder could theoretically cost the Big 12 conference $6 million.
That was an amazing play to win the game, but the big problem is the play should have never taken place. In fact, it was such an egregious mistake the officiating crews involved have been suspended. Now we will be left to see if this play crushes the Big 12’s chance at a playoff.
Any conference that sends a representative to the College Football Playoff is guaranteed a $6 million dollar payout. That money is dispersed among the teams. The Big 12 is now in a very tough spot to gain one of those spots.
Here’s the hypothetical. Oklahoma — the consensus best team in the conference — could lose to Ohio State and Notre Dame over the next few weeks. Even if the Sooners dominate the Big 12, three losses doesn’t make the playoff cut. TCU has been suspect, losing at home to Arkansas and almost losing to FCS South Dakota State. The Big 12 may not even want Baylor in the title game due to its recent issues with sexual assault. So that leaves Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys should still be undefeated going into conference play. That isn’t the case. If Oklahoma State defeated Central Michigan and beat two-out-of-three of Oklahoma, TCU, and Baylor, Mike Gundy’s team could be in line for a Big 12 title and a shot at the College Football Playoff. One-loss teams have made it to playoff every year since its inception, but they always were conference champions. Oklahoma State can still accomplish one-loss but the margin for error is insanely slim.
Oklahoma or Oklahoma State probably have to run the table to get a Big 12 representative into the playoff. A two-loss team isn’t making it and TCU and Baylor’s soft out of conference schedule probably puts both teams on the outside looking in. If Oklahoma State loses to only Oklahoma but wins the Big 12, it could’ve had a shot. Now with this ‘loss’ to Central Michigan, there is no shot. The NCAA also said it would not reverse the outcome of the game.
This is all hypothetical. Oklahoma could run the table and get into the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma State could lose its next game. As of right now though, the Big 12 woke up this morning with one less shot at the College Football Playoff. That means their shot at $6 million is gone as well.