We will never know how much an officiating error that aided Oklahoma State during its 36-34 victory against Kansas State on Saturday impacted the game's outcome.
Perhaps that is why K-State coach Bill Snyder would like to simply move past the snafu and focus on the Wildcats' next game against TCU.
"That is something you can't control," Snyder said Monday. "That is beyond us now."
The error at issue occurred late in the second quarter when the chains were incorrectly set following a holding penalty against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were penalized on a first-and-10 play from the K-State 45. The next play should have been first-and-20 from the OSU 45. Instead, it was first-and-15, because the first-down marker was mistakenly moved back five yards with the 10-yard penalty instead of staying in its original place.
The Cowboys lost yardage on their next play and then gained four yards on a reception, setting up a third-and-18 that should have been a third-and-23. Quarterback Mason Rudolph then completed a pass to Marcell Ateman for 19 yards, giving the Cowboys a first down just past the K-State 40 instead of the K-State 35.
Officials didn't catch the mistake, and Oklahoma State's drive continued. The Cowboys scored a touchdown four plays later, pulling to within 28-20 with 46 seconds remaining in the half. They won on a last-minute field goal.
Neither team's coaching staff immediately noticed the error, either. On Saturday, Snyder told reporters he discussed the error with officials, but couldn't recall their explanation. On Monday, he said he was confused by a question in his postgame news conference and referenced another issue.
"I wasn't really aware of it," Snyder said of the chain-placement mistake. "When the situation took place it didn't seem like they made enough yardage, but we were way down on the other end ... I certainly didn't question it. I had no idea that anything had happened in regards to the chains."
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he noticed the mistake afterward, but not as it happened because of the game's fast pace.
The Big 12 acknowledged the officiating error Sunday.
"Accuracy and adherence to conference policies and officiating mechanics are vital to the proper administration of the rules in all games," said Walt Anderson, supervisor of the league's officials in a statement released by the Big 12. "Disciplinary actions will be addressed with both the field officials and chain crew."
Snyder hopes similar mistakes can be avoided in future games.
"Maybe we need a better system than what we have," Snyder said. "You like to labor under the assumption those things will be taken care of by the people on the field."
Good weekend for Big 12 playoff hopes
The Big 12's highest ranked teams -- Baylor, Oklahoma and TCU -- all won impressively over the weekend while high-profile teams from across the country tumbled. Mississippi, Notre Dame, Georgia and UCLA all lost, while Ohio State and Michigan State won ugly. The Big 12 now has three teams ranked in the top 10 -- No. 2 TCU, No. 3 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma.
Twitter trouble at Texas
As if losing 50-7 at TCU and dropping to 1-4 wasn't bad enough, the Texas football team appears to have a fractured locker room.
Players took turns swiping at each other over the weekend on Twitter.
Two days after freshman Kris Boyd retweeted a comment about transferring to Texas A&M at halftime of the TCU loss, two more freshmen criticized junior Dylan Haines for taking issue with their work ethic.
"They just want to go out and play the game on Saturday," Haines said. "They don't want to put in the work on Sunday and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You can just kind of go through the motions in practice, or you can go out there and practice."
Finally, DeAndre McNeal tweeted the following: "We're supposed to be a team, but instead we're bashing each other. If you don't want to be here at Texas then kick rocks. We haven't won ANYTHING to have people calling out others."
The Longhorn Network has its first soap opera.
1. TCU (5-0, 2-0): TCU currently light years ahead of Texas.
2. Baylor (4-0, 1-0): Bears demolished Texas Tech. They may have to take it easy on Kansas.
3. Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0): Sooners beat up on Mountaineers. They are exceeding expectations so far.
4. Oklahoma State (5-0, 2-0): Cowboys have not looked great in any of their games, but they are undefeated.
5. West Virginia (3-1, 0-1): No one has a tougher opening conference schedule than the Mountaineers.
6. Kansas State (3-1, 0-1): Wildcats are resilient. They almost beat Oklahoma State with a wide receiver playing quarterback.
7. Texas Tech (3-2, 0-2): Good news for Red Raiders -- Big 12 schedule about to soften up.
8. Iowa State (2-2, 1-0): Will the Cyclones beat a Big 12 team not named Kansas?
9. Texas (1-4, 0-2): Longhorns may be most dysfunctional team in the nation right now.
10. Kansas (0-4, 0-1): A winless season appears unavoidable at this point.
Game times for Oct. 17 (announced Monday)
• West Virginia at Baylor, 11 a.m. (FOX)
• Texas Tech at Kansas, 11 a.m. (Fox Sports 1)
• Oklahoma at Kansas State, 2:30 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2)
• TCU at Iowa State, 6 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)