College football fans were in an uproar after a controversial end to the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway during halftime of the SEC Championship Game.
There was no controversy in the first half of the SEC Championship Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and LSU Tigers. It was a full-on blowout by Georgia, who took a 35-10 lead into halftime. But there was controversy during the break.
Dr. Pepper held its Tuition Giveaway, where two students, Reagan from Baylor University and Kayla from the University of St. Augustine, attempted to throw footballs into a giant can, with the winner receiving a $100,000 check towards their tuition.
Well, the two competitors were able to tie, meaning that they would compete in overtime. They each had 15 seconds to throw as many footballs into the oversized Dr. Pepper can as they could to win the check. Once again, they both tied.
Fans were expecting double overtime, but that wasn’t the case. Regan was declared the winner because she won a tiebreaker event the day prior to the competition.
Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway has college football fans crying conspiracy
That’s right, a tiebreaker that didn’t air and some fans were unaware of, decided the win. While Reagan was celebrating, the crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium booed.
Those who were watching the game took to Twitter to share their thoughts on what happened. Some cried conspiracy, while others said that Dr. Pepper should reward Kayla with a $100,000 check as well.
For those curious about the tiebreaker rules, here’s what the official rulebook for the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway from 2019 says:
"“If there is a tie between the Pass Finalists at the Half-Time Event, then each Pass Finalist will have the opportunity to pass as many footballs as possible (out of up to fifteen (15) footballs provided by Sponsor) within fifteen (15) seconds from the five (5) yard line into the Target in the Can Replica, which will be located on the near goal line. The Pass Finalist who throws the most Successful Passes in the Half-Time Tie-Breaker Competition will be the winner. In the event a tie still remains after the Half-Time Tie-Breaker Competition, the final tie-breaker will be determined based upon the results of the Preliminary Tie-Breaker conducted during the Preliminary Competition.”"
Well, there you have it. A preliminary tie-breaker conducted during the preliminary competition is what is used to determine a winner instead of having double overtime. Hence why Reagan won.
While fans brought up the one throw that went in the Dr. Pepper can and bounced out, that still counts. Per the rules, “if the ball successfully passes through the 2-foot opening but bounces back out, it still counts as a successful pass.”
One has to wonder if there will be some sort of meeting this offseason to potentially implement a double overtime rule in the future.
UPDATE: In the fourth quarter, CBS sideline reporter Jenny Dell revealed that Dr. Pepper is rewarding both Reagan and Kayla with $100,000!