Colorado had five downs to score the winning touchdown on the final play of a game Missouri never will forget. But the Buffaloes, still hopeful of another shot at a national championship, will take their controversial 33-31 victory without regret.
"We don't apologize for this victory in no way, shape or form," coach Bill McCartney said Monday after getting the news he expected from the Big Eight Conference.The Big Eight, in what surely will further infuriate already aroused Missouri fans, on Monday ruled that Colorado's two-point victory will stand even though game officials became confused in the final frantic seconds and inadvertently allowed the Buffaloes a fifth down.
On that fifth down, as fans and other screamed in protest, Charles Johnson wiggled across the goalline.
"It has been determined that, in accordance with the football playing rules, the allowance of the fifth down to Colorado is not a postgame correctable error," Big Eight commissioner Carl James said in a statement. "The final score in the Colorado-Missouri football game will remain as posted."
What will not remain are the seven officials who worked the game. That crew, which has 177 years in collective experience, including 19 bowl games, was put on indefinite suspension beginning this week.
Missouri Chancellor Haskell Monroe Jr. had appealed to James to declare Missouri the winner, urging, "I ask for you to take appropriate actions to correct this unfortunate mistake.".