In one of the more improbable finishes to a football game, Central Michigan wide receiver Corey Willis grabbed a lateral from fellow receiver Jesse Kroll at the 12-yard line after a Hail Mary and raced into the end zone with no time remaining to stun No. 22 Oklahoma State 30-27 on Saturday.
It never should have happened.
Mid-American Conference referee Tim O'Dey -- as well as the MAC and the Big-12 conferences -- acknowledged after the game that Central Michigan was wrongly awarded an untimed down, which resulted in the miraculous Hail-and-lateral finish.
"I'm going to leave that alone. We had a play, we executed, end of story," Central Michigan coach John Bonamego told ESPN. "I'll leave it for everybody else to discuss."
With four seconds remaining, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph threw an incomplete pass to the left sideline to run the final seconds off the clock for what seemed to be a 27-24 victory for the Cowboys (1-1). However, no receivers ran a route, thus resulting in an intentional grounding penalty on fourth down.
"That's a tough one. Just so everyone knows, I was the one who called the passing play," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. "To be honest with you, I never even thought of intentional grounding being called at that point in the game. As much time as we put into end-of-game situations, that never really crossed my mind. Unfortunately, that's a difficult way to learn a hard lesson."
Added Gundy later: "Even if the officials handled it incorrectly, it was still a dumb call on my part, regardless."
Since intentional grounding is a foul that includes loss of down, that meant Oklahoma State turned the ball over on downs.
"There's a rule that says that the game cannot end on an accepted live ball foul. That's the rule. There's an exception to the rule that says if enforcement of the foul involves a loss of down, then that brings the game to an end," O'Dey told a pool reporter.
"So in that situation, we've had the opportunity to run it back through our hierarchy, which includes the national rules editor, and he confirmed that should have been a loss of down and the end of the game at that point, so that extension should not have happened."
The rule in question is Rule 3, Section 2, Article 3.1 in the NCAA football rule book: "A period shall be extended for an untimed down if . a penalty is accepted for a live-ball foul(s). (Exception: Rule 10-2-5-a). The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in possession and the statement of the penalty includes loss of down."
The Mid-American Conference issued a statement that the officiating crew was in the wrong, but the result of the game would stand.
"The Mid-American Conference officiating crew . made an error on the final play of regulation," Bill Carollo, the coordinator of football officials for the Collegiate Officiating Consortium, said in a statement. "The crew made a misapplication of the rule and should not have extended the contest with one final play. Despite the error, this will not change the outcome of the contest."
MAC officials weren't the only ones in the wrong. According to the Big 12, Coordinator of Football Officials Walt Anderson said "the Big 12 replay crew missed an opportunity to stop the game to inform the MAC officiating crew of the misapplication of the intentional grounding penalty as time expired."
According to the Big 12, NCAA rules permit instant replay to "correct egregious errors, including those involving the game clock."
None of those explanations mattered to Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder, who issued a statement saying it's "incomprehensible" that the outcome can't be reversed.
"We were told there is nothing that could be done," Hoder said. ". The final score shows that Oklahoma State lost the game but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with it."
Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff, told ESPN on Saturday night that committee members "will be well aware of what happened on the field" when asked how they will assess the Cowboys.
"That ability to comprehensively consider each game is one of the most significant benefits of the CFP protocol," Hancock said.
The Chippewas (2-0), who got the ball at its own 49-yard line, made the most of the refs' mistake.
CMU quarterback Cooper Rush lofted a Hail Mary pass that hit Kroll just inside the 10. As Kroll was being taken down, he pitched it back to Willis, who cut across the field and barely managed to score while being dragged down.
"To be honest, I actually had a missed assignment on that, I wasn't supposed to be right there, but it all worked for the better," Willis said. "We know Jesse Kroll is going to go up and get the ball every time; it's just something we practice all the time and we executed it."
Central Michigan fans might have had flashbacks to the Bahamas Bowl from two seasons ago, when the Chippewas covered almost the length of the field on a long pass-and-lateral play to score a touchdown and cut their deficit to one point with no time left against Western Kentucky. In that fabulous finish, Central Michigan went for the two-point conversion and the win but did not convert. This time, the Chippewas (2-0) were able to run off with one of their biggest victories ever.
"It's an improbable finish, but it's a situation that we practiced and rehearsed," Bonamego said. "We were able to execute and pull out the win."
The pool reporter asked O'Dey for clarity regarding the fact that the game should have ended and Central Michigan should not have been awarded possession:
"That is the interpretation from the rules editor -- the national rules editor, yes," O'Dey said, referring to Rogers Redding, the NCAA's national football rules editor.
When asked what might happen next, O'Dey would not say.
"I'm not at liberty to make any further statement as far as that," he said. "That falls outside of my jurisdiction."
Carollo, however, made it clear that the play could impact the officiating crew.
"As in all games involving the Mid-American Conference, every play within every game is thoroughly reviewed and graded on its accuracy and has impact on the evaluation for every official," he said.
The game also resulted in some good fortune for a few bettors in Las Vegas, where Oklahoma State was -1200 on the money-line to beat CMU straight-up. William Hill took six money-line bets on the Chippewas -- the largest being $100 at +750. Meanwhile, CG Technology reported taking two $500 money-line bets on the Chippewas at +850 odds, which resulted in a $4,250 payday.
ESPN's Heather Dinich, David Purdum and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Central Michigan Chippewas (6-6 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9-3 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Miami Beach Bowl
Date/Time: Monday, December 19, 2016, 2:30 PM EST
Where: Marlins Park, Miami, Fla.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV 206
by Badger, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CMU +11.5/TUL -11.5
Over/Under Total: 68
Two schools that seem to be going in different directions at the close of the regular season will meet in the third year of the Miami Beach Bowl in Marlins Park when the Mid-American Conference’s Central Michigan Chippewas take on the American Athletic Conference’s Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Monday, December 19th on ESPN.
It’s been a long time since the Chippewas scored their signature win of the season in a controversial upset of Oklahoma State on opening day. Since then Central Michigan has struggled including losses in four of their final five games of the season as the Chippewas limp into the bowl season at 6-6 after barely becoming bowl eligible on November 15th.
Meanwhile, Tulsa finished the season on fire winning five of their last six games of the season losing only to AAC rival Navy in early November, 42-20. The Golden Hurricane feature one of the most prolific offenses in the country, one that has averaged over 44 points per game down the stretch of the 2016. Tulsa may be one of the quietest 9-win teams in the country, as their loses have come against Ohio State, Houston and Navy … three teams that are no slouches in their own right as the Golden Hurricane have put together a solid season without a whole lot of publicity.
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But there are few secrets or unknown teams in Las Vegas or anywhere else college football fans wager on the game, hence the reason why Tulsa opened the Miami Beach bowl as rather large 11.5-point favorites. With a little over a week of action at the betting window the Golden Hurricane is taking a large majority of the money on this game too (almost 70 percent on Tulsa), which has caused a few sportsbooks to move the number up to minus -12 a little more than a week away from kickoff.
The over/under total opened at 68 and has held firm without any line movement at all since the number went up on the board following the bowl schedule announcement a few Sunday’s ago.
Just how good is the Tulsa offense under head coach Philip Montgomery, the former offensive coordinator at Baylor and Houston? If senior receiver Josh Atkinson gets 73 yards receiving in the Miami Beach Bowl the Golden Hurricane will become the first team in FBS history to feature a 3,000 yard passer (Dane Evans), two 1,000 yard rushers (James Flanders and D’Angelo Brewer) and two 1,000 yard receivers (joining Keevan Lucas).
Central Michigan is also a very senior-laden team including quarterback Cooper Rush who has a 3,000 yard season of his own in his final year at the helm of the Chippewas. Rush has a favorite target in Corey Willis (1,028 yds., 9 TD), but the Chippewas lack a consistent running game (only 119 ypg – 116th in FBS) which has put pressure on Rush to make plays and Rush has struggled at times throwing 13 interceptions this season.
These two schools actually played a home-and-home series back in 1986-87, splitting both games with the home team blowing out the visitor. In ’86, Tulsa destroyed the Chippewas, 42-6, in Oklahoma, while Central Michigan returned the favor the following year beating the Golden Hurricane, 41-18, just one season later.
A look at the betting trends shows a strong lean toward Tulsa as well, as the Golden Hurricane are 5-1 ATS in their last six bowl games, 4-1 ATS in neutral-site games and 5-2-1 ATS in the last eight non-conference games. Central Michigan is also strong in non-conference games (8-2 ATS), but similar to the way they have played down the stretch the Chippewas are just 1-4 ATS in the last five games this year.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I just don’t think Central Michigan will be able to score enough to stay in the game with Tulsa in this one. Neither team will play much defense, so the over is a possible play as well, but at 68 it’s a pretty big number to reach even with both teams going up and down the field at will. I’m taking Tulsa to cover the 11.5 point spread with a 20-point win in a pretty impressive display of offense.
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Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.Free Picks
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.
2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.
2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!
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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.
Odds to Win the 2017 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to win the National Championship this year at 5/2 followed by Ohio St. at 13/5, USC at 7/1 and FSU at 17/2. Things drop off a bit with the Oklahoma Sooners coming in at 12/1, Auburn Tigers at 14/1 and Michigan Wolverines at 16/1. Check out your favorite school's odds here!
Heisman Trophy Winners - A full list of college football quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers who have made history on the field and won the prestigious award.
The Spread - Who will cover the spread? They will! Offers scores, odds, free game predictions, current news and more!
There is a little too much criticism of top 25 college teams scheduling small-conference opponents during non-conference play. For one thing, really good programs tend to make everyone look bad. Suppose Alabama has blown out Rice to begin the season. The reaction is “man, the Tide scheduled a cupcake.” But another, less-dominant team might have struggled and barely beaten the Owls in the 4th quarter. “Great come-from-behind win,” the pundits would say.
But Nick Saban will happily deal with that. Way down the Power 5 totem pole, schools such as Kansas have a very different problem – they’re scheduling foes from weak conferences in OOC play just to try to help eek out enough wins to avoid a losing season. And if they do win, nobody takes them seriously…until it’s against the P5.
The (1-0) Jayhawks will host (1-0) Central Michigan this Saturday, and the line opened fairly tight but is trending toward KU as the action flows in.
Who: Central Michigan Chippewas at Kansas Jayhawks
When: Saturday, September 9th, 4 PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Lines: CMU (+5.5) at Kansas (-5.5) / O/U Total: 58Odds and Trends for Central Michigan at Kansas NCAA Football
Why is the line headed KU’s way? The fact that the Jayhawks play in the Big 12 – for all its faults – holds them in esteem over a MAC team like Central Michigan. But Kansas did not look anything close to fantastic in a 38-16 win over FCS opponent Southeast Missouri in the opener.
Jesse Hosket of SEMO was allowed 25 completions, 2 touchdown passes and no interceptions by the ‘Hawk defense. Marquis Terry, just another in a long line of talented but unsuited-for-P5 tailbacks at the FCS school, sprang a 41-yard carry. In fact, most Big 12 defenses have looked better against mid-majors than Kansas did against a very modest program in the lower division.
But there’s a bright spot for KU at quarterback, where junior Peyton Bender stepped into the starting role and threw 4 TD passes. Kansas HC David Beaty says he likes Bender’s velocity…something not often seen at a high level with the most important position in Lawrence.
Meanwhile, CMU struggled mightily to beat an FCS opponent of their own (Rhode Island) in a 3-OT game in Week 1. To be fair, the Chippewas out-gained the Rams by around 100 yards, and RB Jonathan Ward had 177 yards on just 19 carries. But the defense recorded only one sack against an OL that would get mugged by a Big 12 team.Value ATS Betting Pick for Kansas vs CMU
Kansas is an excellent bet to cover the less-than-a-touchdown point spread. Central Michigan gave up 300 yards of offense to Rhode Island – they’re not used to seeing a QB like Bender zipping balls through their secondary.
We’re calling it for the P5 talent at quarterback…and the more physical of 2 teams. Take KU against the spread.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Central Michigan 27, Ohio 20
When: 7:00 PM ET , Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Where: Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Corey Willis was good for 109 receiving yards on Tuesday as the Chippewas grabbed a 27-20 win over the Bobcats at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
Bettors who backed the Chippewas were also rewarded, as they covered the closing number as a favorite of -1.5 at sportsbooks. Over-Under bettors saw the total score go UNDER the closing total of 51.0.Ohio Bobcats vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Quarterback Ohio Bobcats vs. Central Michigan Chippewas Final Score & Betting Odds
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) Cooper Rush threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Conklin and Sean Bunting intercepted a pass in the end zone with 34 seconds left as Central Michigan beat Ohio 27-20 on Tuesday night to become bowl eligible.
Conklin made a one-handed grab from 8 yards out for the go-ahead touchdown with 5:51 remaining and Ohio had a fumble and an interception on its final two possessions. Ohio trailed 17-0 after Conklin's first touchdown, but the Bobcats scored on three straight possessions to open the second half to tie it at 20-all.
Papi White caught a 16-yard touchdown pass, Louie Zervos kicked a 34-yard field goal and Dorian Brown scored on a 1-yard run - one play after Quinton Maxwell had a 53-yard connection with Sebastian Smith. Corey Willis had eight catches for 109 yards for Central Michigan (6-5, 3-4 Mid-American).
Conklin finished with two grabs for 21 yards. Maxwell was just 16 of 36 for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Ohio (7-4, 5-2). Dorian Brown carried it 12 times for 91 yards and one touchdown.
Central Michigan heads into a Week 13 battle against Eastern Michigan. Ohio, meanwhile, will have their next action against Akron.
Tulsa finished the regular season on a 6-1 run against the spread; at the other end of the stick, Central Michigan finished on a 1-4 ATS slide. A hot Golden Hurricane outfit will play as a double-digit favorite against a chilly Chippewas team in the Miami Beach Bowl on December 19.
Miami Beach Bowl point spread: The Golden Hurricane opened as 11-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via OddsShark computer: 46.0-23.4 Golden Hurricane (college football picks on every game)
Why the Central Michigan Chippewas can cover the spread
CMU lost four of its last five games but made a bowl for the third straight season. And the Chips had chances in some of those losses. As 10-point underdogs, they trailed Toledo by only a touchdown into the fourth quarter before fading. They then blew a two-touchdown lead in a loss to Kent State. And later, following a victory over MAC East champion Ohio, Central Michigan lost at Eastern Michigan 26-21 on an Eagles score with just 20 seconds left on the clock.
The Chippewas can also claim one of the more improbable victories of this college football season: a 30-27 upset of Oklahoma State in Stillwater back in Week 2.
Why the Tulsa Golden Hurricane can cover the spread
Tulsa finished with five wins in its last six games, including a 40-37 come-from-behind overtime victory over Cincinnati in the season finale. The Hurricane fell down to the Bearcats 14-0 in the first quarter and later trailed 24-7 and 34-24 with six minutes to go. But they rallied to force overtime on a field goal at the buzzer and then won on James Flanders' second touchdown run of the day in the bottom of the extra period.
On the day, Tulsa racked up 611 yards on offense, including 306 on the ground, 197 by Flanders, who has now hit the 100-yard mark seven times in the last nine games.
The Hurricane have now outgained each of their last six opponents and outrushed four of their last five foes. Tulsa is also 3-0 ATS this year when favored by two touchdowns or less.
Tulsa ranks sixth in the country in total offense (523 yards per game) and eighth in rushing (262 YPG). Central Michigan, meanwhile, might be without its leading rusher, Devon Spalding, who is iffy with a bad shoulder. So the Chips might be even more one-dimensional on offense than usual. And let's face it: CMU shouldn't even be in a bowl. Take Tulsa, minus the points, at online betting sites.
Tulsa is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games.
The total has gone over in eight of Tulsa's last 10 games.
Central Michigan is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after a loss.
All college football lines and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.
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