It looks like it'll be a final: Colorado 33, Missouri 31.
The Big Eight Conference on Sunday said a "complete review" of the officiating, which allowed Colorado an extra down that resulted in the winning touchdown on the game's last play, would be made. But a Big Eight spokesman doubted if the outcome could be changed by league commissioner Carl James."I don't think the commissioner has the power to change the outcome," Jeff Bollig, a Big Eight spokesman said Sunday, adding another annoucncement will be made Monday.
Missouri athletic director Dick Tamburo is calling for the Big Eight to reverse the outcome and award the Tigers the victory, but coach Bob Stull doubts his team will be handed the win.
Colorado coach Bill McCartney said there's no way his school is about to give up the victory. "There's no way, in light of the fact we were forced to play on a surface that was unplayable," he said.
Referee J.C. Louderback, meanwhile, said a touchdown, regardless of error, would be called back "only if there would be a penalty.
"Our record on the field as officials is that they scored on fourth down," Louderback said.
Dave Nelson, secretary and editor of the NCAA rules book, backed Louderback.
"It (rule) says the team having the biggest score at the end of the game is the winning team," Nelson said. "Once the referee says the game is over, that's it."
The is precedent for a team forfeiting a victory it achieved on fifth down.
Cornell did so in 1940. One week after Cornell beat Dartmouth 7-3 in the final minute, Cornell president Edmund Ezra Day took action that snapped Cornell's 18-game winning streak.
In a Sunday statement, the league outlined the officials' duties.
".... The seven officials assigned the game were responsible for ensuring that no team received a competitive advantage in the playing of the game," the statement said. "And that while the linesmen are responsible for the opeartion of the down indicator and keeping track of the number of downs, it was the duty of all seven to know the number of plays that had been executed by Colorado."
On the final play, Colorado's Charles Johnson scored from the 1 to give the Buffaloes the victory. It was the fifth play in what was supposed to be a four-down sequence.
"They know where the University of Missouri stands," Tamburo said. "Our people have looked at the film five times already, and it still hasn't changed anything."
McCartney said Colorado (4-1-1) capitalized on the officials' failure to move the down marker after Eric Bieniemy's second-down run from Missouri's 3 to the Tigers' 1. Eighteen seconds remained as the Buffaloes called their final timeout.
Bieniemy was stopped short on third down and Johnson threw the ball into the ground on the next play (fourth down), leaving time for another play. On the next play, Johnson scored.
McCartney said he was confused over the down after Bieniemny's 2-yard run. "Had I known it was third down, then our strategy with the timeout would have been to pass on third down ... and then run on fourth down," McCartney said. "I'm not saying we would have made it. I'm just saying that that would have been our strategy."
Stull said, "We went from the highest high to the lowest low in a matter of seconds."
Stull did argue McCartney's description of playing conditions.
"Sure the field is slicker than normal, but to make that a major issue when you've just won on five downs is absolutely ridiculous," Stull said.