A tie and a ticket would have admitted any Kansas football player to the postseason, but that's not the way the Jayhawks wanted to go to a bowl game.
One and all endorsed coach Glen Mason's decision to try for a two-point conversion with 52 seconds left, even though the failed attempt left them with a 21-20 loss to Nebraska on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"A tie's just no good. We needed a win for a chance to go to a bowl game," KU free safety Clint Bowen said.
Of course, the loss made it mathematically impossible for the Jayhawks to earn a second straight bowl bid, too -- they're 4-6 with three Division I-A wins and only two games to go -- but no matter.
"We would have never gone for one (point)," quarterback Asheiki Preston said. "If we would have tied I wouldn't feel any better than I do right now."
And how did he feel immediately afterward?
"I'm devastated," said Preston, who completed 13 of 19 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and ran for another TD. "To have a chance to beat Nebraska at home in front of our crowd is once-in-a-lifetime."
Never in these Jayhawks' lifetimes has Kansas beaten the Huskers. Only once since these players were born has KU even come within a point of Nebraska.
"It's always a gamble, but there's no way we would ever settle for a tie after 25 years (of NU domination)," senior center Dan Schmidt said. "Plus, it wouldn't have gotten us anywhere in the bowl picture."
The Jayhawks concurred that the call was the right one, and although tailback June Henley had run 56 yards on their final touchdown drive, they also seconded Mason's call for a pass play on the two-point conversion.
"If it works, everybody's a hero," Schmidt said. "I don't think 28 or 29, the toss sweep, would have worked. They were split out wide. I do know they wanted to stop the toss sweep. They had to cheat, because they couldn't stop it."
Once the Huskers saw KU's formation, they scrambled to adjust their defense, Preston said.
"I think it was a good call," he said. "At the last minute they shifted a whole bunch of people. They were confused, and I guess their confusion helped them, because they threw guys over there at the last second."
Kansas will meet Colorado next Saturday in Boulder and conclude its season with a home game against Missouri on Nov. 20.