Double OT halftime challenge at Big 12 title game stirs controversy over $100k prize

halftime ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: Empty stadium prior to the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma State Cowboys at ATT Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Outrage over officiating is a mainstay in sports. But seeing fans debate over halftime contest outcomes? That's less common.

Somehow, the 20-minute break during the Big 12 championship game between Oklahoma State and Texas managed to rile fans up Saturday.

For context, Dr Pepper has sponsored a halftime contest as a tuition giveaway for 30 years. With a 60-second video, college students aged 18-24 can apply to participate in a contest for $100,000 toward their tuition.

On Saturday, students Ryan and Gavin took part in a legendary clash that will go down in the event's history. As they worked to chest pass the most footballs through an inflatable Dr Pepper can in 30 seconds, fans admired each valiant performance.

After the first round, which is typically the only round, the scholars were tied. The issues came during the first overtime, which was also ruled as a tie. But while Ryan seemingly notched the victory with his last made attempt before the whistle in the second overtime, fans noticed that he didn't get the ball out of his hands before time was up in the previous round.

Viewers and ESPN's announcers were deeply invested in the outcome. Social media posts about the event included calls for legal action and riots. The game that continued on the field afterward was much more decisive, as Texas won 49-21.

After an apparent review, Dr Pepper announced that Ryan and Gavin will both receive $100,000, an outcome that probably should've been decided after the first round.

Some presumably joked that the money should be taken away from the rightful runner-up in protest of participation prizes. Contrary to that idea, second place has always been rewarded. Usually, the amount is $25,000.

A total of 10 contestants will have competed for the grand prize at halftimes across the Pac-12, ACC, Big Ten, SEC and Big 12 championship games by the end of this weekend. So far, it seems like Ryan and Gavin will be this year's most memorable challengers.