Mention "Fifth Down" to any Missouri fan and a series of expletives will surely follow. It was 20 years ago this year that Missouri got robbed when Colorado ran out of Columbia with a win it didn't deserve and eventually won a share of the national title. It remains one of the worst pieces of officiating ever. And I say this as a lifelong Missouri-hater, and Kansas alum.
Here is a fantastic story about the game from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Vahe Gregorian:
This week in Columbia, Missouri will host Colorado in likely the last game of the series as the Buffs will be going to the Pac-10 next season.
"I know (then MU coach) Bob Stull; I had coached with him," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Monday. "Those are career-changing games. You win a game like that and the whole program changes. Things happen."
It's plays like that that helped give birth to instant replay. Or it should have. Even on the disputed fifth down Colorado was given at the end of the game, video replays show CU QB Charles Johnson didn't even actually cross the goal line. But since there was no replay, fifth down was played. Since there was no replay, Johnson's score counted.
"I would like to think that (with replay) this couldn't happen," Pinkel said. "I'd like to think if there was any confusion at all from anybody they would stop. That you could go back and make sure you get it right. You hear people around here talk about it. Everyone has their opinions. People say with replay they would never have scored the touchdown anyway. It's a strange, strange game in history. Unfortunately, Bob Stull is a friend of mine and was a part of it, and it probably changed the program. Everyone needs, as you build a program, needs a big win. That would have been a huge win."
- Mac Engel
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