Questions over 12th-ranked Colorado's winning touchdown against Missouri persisted long after Saturday's game.
As Big Eight Commissioner Carl James was leaving the pressbox at Faurot Field, he refused comment on the final play that gave Colorado its 33-31 victory over Missouri.The game's official play-by-play indicated Colorado quarterback Charles Johnson scored on fifth down.
But the Buffaloes disputed the account. And referee J.C. Louderback said any decision on an appeal would be up to James.
There is a 50-year-old precedent for reversing a game's outcome.
In 1940, with its 18-game win streak on the line, Cornell scored a disputed touchdown on fifth down against Dartmouth. A week later, the winning team surrendered its 7-3 victory.
Cornell president Edmund Ezra Day summed up his school's reason for turning down a win.
"If we hadn't made the decision, we would have been explaining that game as long as football has a place in intercollegiate athletics," Day said.
Footage of the Colorado-Missouri game shown by Columbia television station KOMU also showed Johnson scored on fifth down.
Jack Watkins, assistant sports information director for Missouri, said game footage showed field officials did not move the down marker as Colorado was trying for its winning touchdown.
"They never changed it from second down to third down," Watkins said.
The game's play-by-play showed a Johnson pass incompletion on first down from Missouri's 3 followed by Eric Bieniemy runs of 2 yards and no gain.
There were 8 seconds remaining as Colorado lined up following Bieniemy's no gain, and Johnson stopped the clock by taking the center snap and throwing the ball to the ground. On the next down, he slipped off right tackle to score.
Missouri athletic officials could not be reached Saturday night for comment.