The most exciting play of the college football season to date should never have happened.
Central Michigan pulled off the biggest upset of early Saturday college football action, knocking off Oklahoma State 30-27 with a shocking combination of a Hail Mary and a lateral on the game's final play. After the game, a game official acknowledged that the officiating crew should have called the game over prior to the Chippewas' spectacular finish.
First, the play that turned a narrow Cowboys escape into a major upset: CMU's Cooper Rush completed a deep pass to Jesse Kroll, who pitched the ball to Malik Fountain to finish the score and stun OSU's home crowd in Stillwater, Okla.
Now, for the fallout.
Oklahoma State's offense was flagged for intentional grounding on what could have been the game's final play. With no time left on the clock, officials awarded CMU an untimed down from its own 49-yard line. The Chippewas' miracle followed. According to Mid-American Conference official Tim O'Dey, his crew erred in allowing the final snap.
O'Dey said the game should have ended on an accepted live-ball penalty resulting in a loss of down with no time remaining, according to The Oklahoman. Despite the error, the outcome of the game won't be subject to change, according to a MAC release citing Collegiate Officiating Consortium Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo.
Oklahoma State Athletic Director Mike Holder questioned why a correction can't be made.
"We contacted everyone that could help us understand the situation and do something to change the outcome. We were told there was nothing that could be done about the officials' error at the end of the game and the result is final," Holder said in a school release. "In my mind, it is incomprehensible that a mistake made after time had expired cannot be corrected. The final score shows that Oklahoma State lost the game but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with it."