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Mike Gundy regrets that time he didn't strip his clothes off in protest of a bad call

If Gundy would’ve disrupted the game, Central Michigan might not have gotten the (unfair) chance to break Oklahoma State’s heart.

Central Michigan v Oklahoma State Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images

Oklahoma State suffered the most outrageous defeat of the 2016 college football season in its second game of the season. The Cowboys were leading mid-major Central Michigan by a field goal with four seconds left on the clock, and they had the ball in their possession. The game was effectively over. Oklahoma State would be 2-0.

To kill the last little bit of clock on fourth down, OSU had quarterback Mason Rudolph throw a long pass to absolutely nobody. Rudolph did that, and the referees flagged him for intentional grounding. They ruled there would be one untimed down, and because the grounding call came on fourth down, Central Michigan got possession.

The Chippewas proceeded to connect for a game-winning, lateraled Hail Mary. It was an astonishing play, but by the NCAA’s rulebook, it never should’ve happened.

There isn’t supposed to be an untimed down after a loss-of-down penalty by the team with possession. Intentional grounding on Oklahoma State falls into that category. The game was supposed to be over before CMU ever had its shot at the end zone.

OSU coach Mike Gundy says he knew it, and he regrets not doing more to stop the game before the Hail Mary shot. How much more?

“I should have taken my shirt off and laid on the field and said we’re not playing anymore until we know for sure,” Gundy told The Oklahoman this spring. “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. It cost me a game.”

Gundy is trying to make sure rules uncertainty never harms Oklahoma State again. Via The Oklahoman, 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.”

The NCAA’s football rulebook for 2016 is more than 200 pages of mostly small, closely packed-together print. It’s almost impossible to know every rule, but godspeed to Gundy in his quest to get there. It could avert a future disaster.