Kansas State missed a chance in the first overtime when Bishop collided with a teammate in the backfield. The second overtime provided the real horror when Texas A&M, needing a field goal to extend the game, faced third and 17 from the 32.
The Aggies' quarterback slipped a slant pass to someone named Sirr Parker, who raced for the knockout touchdown.
"This is a sick feeling," Bishop said afterward.
Tennessee defeated Florida State for the first BCS title.
Flash-forward to now: Snyder should not be in position to get a second crack at 1998. He retired in 2005 at the end of two straight losing seasons, only to be called back after three cringing years of Ron Prince.
Yet here we are with Kansas State at No. 3 in the BCS standings.
He was criticized in 1998 for trying to schedule his way to the top. Kansas State's nonconference ledger looked more like a series of train stops: Indiana State, Northern Illinois and Louisiana Monroe.
The title-run premise was built on defeating post-Tom Osborne Nebraska, in Manhattan, on Nov. 14. And Kansas State did.
This year's schedule strength has already blown 1998's away, yet a line-item veto move by Snyder months ago may prove brilliant.
Prince, the coach Snyder replaced, had included Miami and Oregon on the nonconference schedule. Snyder almost fainted.
He couldn't shake Miami but was able to dump Oregon from the 2011 and 2012 calendars.
And it would be just like the BCS if one of the title-game spots came down to undefeated Oregon or Kansas State — at this point a conceivable possibility.
Oregon fans are already complaining that Kansas State's dodge forced the Ducks to play BCS computer-drain Tennessee Tech.
The official story is more nuanced. Oregon got the chance last year to open the season against Louisiana State and asked Kansas State to reschedule.
Kansas State — Snyder — seized the opening.
"The response was let's just cancel it," Oregon spokesman Dave Williford said in an email this week. "In fairness, maybe it's not totally accurate to place all the blame on Kansas State."
Oregon's decision to play LSU (a loss), ironically, may end up costing the Ducks a BCS title shot both seasons.
Kansas State's karma, finally, appears on the rise.
The Wildcats got Oregon off the books and also no longer need to fret about two perilous impediments to winning it all in 1998:
The Big 12 no longer hosts a championship game. And Texas A&M is no longer in the league.