A wrongfully-awarded untimed down. A hail-mary pass for the ages. A 21-point underdog altering the college football landscape for the rest of the season.
Those things took place in Stillwater way back in the early afternoon on September 10th. Central Michigan played Oklahoma State to the wire, and beat the Cowboys on a play that never should have happened.
We all know these things.
What we didn’t know was how the College Football Playoff committee would view Oklahoma State’s “loss.”
That was until Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff told ESPN that they "will be well aware of what happened on the field ... That ability to comprehensively consider each game is one of the most significant benefits of the CFP protocol.”
So, according to Hancock, the human ability to assess the outcome of a game is a perk of what the new CFP format brings to college football. Officiating gaffes, such as this one, can be taken into account, while the BCS computers would have just shown a loss and OSU would’ve been penalized accordingly.
Hancock’s notion that this could be corrected was exactly what OSU fans wanted to hear after having a win taken away.
Last week, the CFP’s tune changed towards the outcome of that game.
When asked about the outcome of the game, Kirby Hocutt, Big 12 Representative for the College Football Playoff, said in the weekly teleconference, “We're viewing it as a loss. It's not within our purview to decide wins and losses. The committee is aware of what transpired in that game and by the same token believe that we have Oklahoma State ranked in the appropriate spot that they deserve this week.”
So, what changed? Is the committee viewing Oklahoma State as a one-loss team or a two-loss team? Hancock said the human element can take the error into account when assessing Oklahoma State, while Hocutt essentially said they cannot.
For Oklahoma State, all of this is moot without two wins down the stretch against TCU and OU. But if it comes down to it, and OSU wins out, that egregious officiating error coupled with the College Football Playoff’s flip-flopping attitude towards recognizing it as such, could end up costing the Cowboys a shot at a national title.
That blown situation at Oklahoma State earlier this year against CMU is going to come back to haunt the Big 12— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) November 13, 2016