The 2016 college football season had its fair share of wild games and memorable finishes, but none were as wild, inexplicable, or jaw-dropping as how Oklahoma State lost to Central Michigan. A game that coach Gundy still refuses to acknowledge as a loss.
The Cowboys were heavy favorites entering the game, but with four seconds left in regulation a facing fourth down, OSU clung to just a 3-point lead. All the pokes had to do was run the final ticks off the clock and they would escape with a win.
The plan was for QB Mason Rudolph to take the snap, kill as much time a possible, and let the ball fly as far as he could to effectively run the clock out. It was a great plan, but it just didn’t account for one thing: Human Error. The play was flagged as intentional grounding, but the penalty was applied was completely wrong.
Long story short, due to an error by the officials, CMU gained one un-timed down. They then pulled off an absolutely miraculous hail mary turned hook and ladder desperation play for the win.
So many things should have gone differently, but what does coach Gundy wish he had done differently? Strip right there on the sideline, and lay down on the field until the ruling was confirmed by the officials, as he recently told The Oklahoman.
“I should have taken my shirt off and laid on the field and said we’re not playing anymore until we know for sure, but I thought I already had enough issues with things I have done in the past so I was going to be a nice guy,” Gundy said. “It cost me a game.
I want to live in the world where Mike Gundy actually pulled this move in an actual game. It would’ve been fantastic and launched Gundy into another stratosphere in coaching lore. It would have been a landmark in not only college football, but the sporting world in general. Not to worry though, he’s definitely on this way. Between “I’m a man! I’m 40!”, his rattlesnake round-up, and his mullet, Mike Gundy is well on his way to cementing himself in college football lore.
It’s likely a game that coach Gundy won’t ever forget, and he’s already coming up with ways to keep from being screwed by an officiating error again.
“With (Central Michigan), the rule book is thick and small print,” Gundy said. “You’re probably smarter than I am because when I went to college and the textbook was really thick, I dropped it the next day. I liked the thin book classes, so the rules kind of kick my butt.
“I’ll tell you what we have thought about. We’ve thought about trying to find somebody that is an expert on the rules and have them with us during games for that reason. What’s funny is that, as proven during the Central Michigan game, a lot of times the officials don’t even know the rules because there are so many of them.”
With no limit to the number of consultants a team can have, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few teams don’t start bringing in rules experts of their own.