I've resisted dropping a line about Oklahoma's response to the controversial calls in their recent game against Oregon, but if Bobby Knight is going to weigh in, well, so am I.
The moment I saw Oregon recover the now-famous onside kick on Saturday, I had a very sure feeling the play wouldn't stand. That it couldn't stand. The way those hideous green uniforms with the scaly shoulders were crashing into Sooner players, you just knew they'd violated more than a few rules. Confusion reigned supreme on the field (and in the replay booth, apparently) as ABC ran the footage time and time again. For the viewers, it was obvious. Great news for Sooners fans and heartbreak for the Ducks - this call was going to be overturned. Clearly, an Oregon player touched the ball before it went 10 yards (in violation of the rules). Another Oregon player smashed into a Sooner before 10 yards (another violation). And it even appeared that an Oklahoma player actually wound up recovering the loose pigskin.
All of this was clear ... yet somehow, someway, the call on the field stood. Oregon ball. Even though I'm a Pac-10 guy and was rooting for Oregon in this game, I couldn't help but feel sick. This isn't the way you are supposed to win a game (although, in fairness to Oregon, they didn't actually win it on that play - they proceeded to make other plays, score the winning points, and then block the final field goal attempt).
This situation was awful. It called to mind Colorado's famous "Fifth Down" and the 1985 World Series and about 90 percent of last year's NFL playoffs. Other than ABC's Dan Fouts (who played at Oregon, it should probably be noted), you couldn't find anyone with a microphone who thought things turned fair or just or correct. And even Fouts just sort of ignored the whole thing.
The consensus: 1) it was awful that officiating impacted the game, and 2) we might need to take a look at the replay system.
Not once did I hear an analyst wonder out loud (or in print) whether the game should be erased from the record books. Or whether Oklahoma should void a contractual obligation to another Pac-10 school (Washington) because they no longer liked the rules that the conference uses (and they are admittedly kind of strange rules). Had someone proffered those solutions, I would have groaned in agony and chalked it up to another talking head trying to get a rise by saying the most controversial thing possible.
So you can imagine my absolute and utter shock when Oklahoma's president, David Boren, made the suggestion that the game shouldn't count. Scratch that, when he made that written request. This guy is the president of a major state university and he's spending his time pleading with Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg to protest the outcome of the game. Incredibly, he came right out and asked for a football game to be erased from the record books.