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With all of the talk about how the College Football Playoff (CFP) selection committee is going to evaluate different teams when selecting the four that will get into the CFP, everyone seems to be overlooking one team. That team is the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Am I saying they are wrong to overlook the Cowboys? Absolutely not. The chance that the Cowboys actually do get into the CFP is somewhere around 2% according to 538’s Nate Silver (who also said Hillary Clinton would run away with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but hey, that’s none of my business). In fact, they likely won’t get in, even if they do manage to go on the road and beat the Oklahoma Sooners and win the Big XII Conference championship.
However, their chances should be a lot higher than they are, and for one reason. If the Cowboys do end up winning on the road against the Sooners and winning this season’s Big XII Conference championship, they will be 10-2 with one of their two losses coming against the Central Michigan Chippewas on a play that should have never happened. In other words, they should technically be an 11-1 team with a Big XII Conference championship to their credit if they do beat Oklahoma this weekend.
Up 27-24 in week 2 against Central Michigan, the Cowboys faced a 4th down, during which quarterback Mason Rudolph threw the ball with 0:00 left on the clock and was flagged for intentional grounding. The referees awarded the Chippewas the ball and an untimed down, which per Rule 3-2-3 should have never happened, as “The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in possession and the penalty includes loss of down.” Central Michigan ended up winning the game by a score of 30-27 on a 51-yard Hail Mary lateral play touchdown. The referees later admitted their mistake, but the result of the game was not overturned.
Will the committee evaluate the Cowboys as a 10-2 Big XII Conference champion or an 11-1 Big XII Conference champion if they manage to win this weekend? Well, seeing as how their record would officially be 10-2, that is more than likely how the committee would evaluate them, despite the fact that they would theoretically be an 11-1 champion of a Power Five conference, which would more than likely get them at least in the top 5 if not the CFP field itself. It is a shame that one blown call is the main reason that Oklahoma State is hardly in any conversations in regards to potentially getting into this season’s CFP field.