Not content to allow existential malaise stand in the way of retribution for a world class screwjob, Oklahoma University President David Boren released a letter to the Big XII commissioner asking for the following:
* Second, since institutions, players, and coaches are held responsible by conferences and the NCAA for their actions, those who officiate games should also be held responsible. At the very least, those found responsible for reviewing the onside kick call and the interference call in the closing minutes of the game should be suspended from officiating for the rest of the season.
* Third, it is my understanding that the Pac-10 Conference has a rule that they will only use Pac-10 officials at games with other conference institutions hosted by Pac-10 members. In light of what happened Saturday, the Big 12 should request that the Pac-10 change its rule to assure impartial officiating.
* Fourth, the Big 12 should request that the game should not go into the record books as a win or loss by either team in light of the level of officiating mistakes.
* Fifth, the Big 12 should place on the appropriate agendas of NCAA meetings and meetings of the conference commissioners a discussion of how the film review process should be implemented.
Wow! This is a man standing up for his university and student-athletes.
PAC Ten Commissioner Tom Hansen says ask, and you shall receive, at least on tenets one and two, to a degree:
The Pac 10 also apologized to the University of Oklahoma for the officiating on a key play in the game.
"Errors clearly were made and not corrected, and for that we apologize to the University of Oklahoma, Coach Bob Stoops and his players. "They played an outstanding college football game, as did Oregon, and it is regrettable that the outcome of the contest was affected by the officiating.
"Because of the ramifications, we are taking action against both the members of the officiating crew and the instant replay official and his assistant. Each individual will be suspended for one game, and their work in future games closely monitored."
Bolen's third and fifth requests are possible. But given the history of monumental officiating blunders that have cost close contests in every sport - though SMQ agrees Saturday's doubly-wrong onside kick call was about as egregious an error as there could ever be - there is about zero chance the game will ever be wiped from the official record. Oregon wil not allow this, the PAC Ten will not allow this, the NCAA will not allow this and the 2001 Oakland Raiders, 1996 Baltimore Orioles and 1990 Missouri Tigers will be first in a line of hundreds to get their referee-induced losses off the books, too. SMQ's high school team got ripped off in the third game of his senior year - wipe it clean!
The request does induce an interesting philosophical debate, though: were the Sun to revolve around the Earth and the Oklahoma loss scrubbed from the record, would you accept the whitewash before the Horseman of Pestilence ferried your unmarked forehead to the guillotine? Could you pretend the game never happened? Would Oklahoma, its official record cleansed of the unsightly blemish, have an opportunity to play for a mythical championship, or at least return to a big money January bowl game?
Or would you cling to the physics, man: Oregon scored the points, anyway, and Oregon won, no matter what the books say (or, for you real badasses out there: Oklahoma deserved to win, and really won no matter what the books or the officials say). What happened is what happened.