ARLINGTON, Texas — Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this article.
TCU and Kansas State fans were treated to an overtime thriller riddled with controversy at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The "comeback Horned Frogs" found themselves with another second half deficit to overcome against a familiar foe. Kansas State led at halftime by four and extended that lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter. Earlier this season, TCU erased a 18-point second half deficit against Kansas State to win 38-28, which was only the second of the season at that point but became a common theme en route to their undefeated record.
This time, TCU overcame an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but didn't have another comeback in them. They had completed five second half comebacks this season: seven points down to Kansas, 14 points down against Oklahoma State, 11 points down to Kansas State, four points down against Texas Tech and eight points down against Baylor.
In overtime, the Kansas State defense stuffed two straight inside runs from the 1-yard line to turn the ball over on downs. On the third down try, TCU running back Kendre Miller seemingly broke the plane of the end zone after reaching the ball forward, but it was ruled short.
TCU went for it on fourth down and goal from the 1 and were stopped again.
“We had two cracks from inside the 1-yard line and didn’t get it done,” TCU head coach Sonny Dykes said.
Dykes added he thought Miller crossed the goal line and never got a clear explanation why the play wasn't reviewed.
Kansas State kicker Ty Zentner's 31-yard field goal in overtime won the Wildcats the Big 12 Championship.
PHOTOS: TCU takes on Kansas State in Big 12 Championship
Experts have debated whether or not TCU would make the college football playoff regardless if the Horned Frogs won or not. The Horned Frogs were one of three undefeated remaining, including No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Michigan. Many experts said all three were secure in their CFP spots.
The third and fourth CFP spot will be up for grabs after USC also lost in the Pac-12 Championship Friday night against Utah.
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark said before the game that TCU, with first-year coach Sonny Dykes, already deserved to be in the playoff.
“You look at their strength of schedule. You think about how they’ve performed all year long,” Yormark said. “I think regardless, they should be in, for sure.”
We'll find out if TCU makes the top 4 in the CFP on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 11:15 a.m. CST.
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