How does science fit into a football game? On Saturday one ref defined the space-time continuum during the Oregon vs Florida State semi-final.

"The previous play did not happen," he said.

The previous play was the one that nearly scored.

The one we're supposed to forget was the ensuing touchdown. Take that score down because the ref was late in signaling a review of the airborne dive that nearly scored.

While we all agree getting the play right is most important, remember the team on the field. Oregon ran a play every sixteen seconds. Mr. Ref needs to speed up to avoid looking too old and too slow for the job.

The Ducks scored on the same possession, but you can't count on that every time.

The win over Florida State in the Rose Bowl semi-final of the first NCAA D1 playoffs sent Oregon to the finals against Ohio State.

THE Ohio State.

No complaints here, but the game is scheduled for Cowboy Stadium, or ATT Stadium, or Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. Let's breath a sigh of relief that NFL refs won't be officiating. If you saw the Lions vs Cowboys on Sunday, take two breaths.

Referees changed that game with a call that went the Cowboys way. Even the league office says they blew it. Pass interference isn’t a reviewable call. Yet.

They won't blow any calls this Monday. If there's any referee mojo left, Oregon ought to benefit. If there's any mojo for playing problem teams in big games, Oregon ought to benefit.

The Ducks lost the 2010 Rose Bowl to an Ohio State team led by sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. After an NCAA investigation linked Pryor and teammates to a money laundering drug dealer they were suspended, then reinstated, for the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4, 2011.


July 8, 2011

Ohio State responds to the NCAA’s allegations of violations by offering to vacate the 12-1 season in 2010 and go on two years of NCAA probation.

The suspension would take effect for the 2011 season, except Pryor dropped out to join the NFL and his coach resigned. Ohio State learned a lesson during their 6-6 season in 2011. They played Florida in the 2012 Gator Bowl, then hired former Gator coach Urban Meyer.

Oregon showered off from their Ohio State Rose Bowl loss and a year later played for the BCS title game in 2011. Auburn and a truck load of dirt waited.

There was Cam Newton, former Florida Gator under Urban Meyer, former junior college super star, one time Mississippi State recruit, and current Heisman Trophy winner.

Read this next: The Heisman Race, 2014

Newton was under NCAA investigation for half the season, suspended toward the end, then reinstated three days before the SEC title game. That's how he warmed up for the title shot with Oregon. We all know how that game turned out. 

Oregon lost on a last second field goal; Auburn called it a beat down, but who really lost?


Three (Auburn) players say that before the BCS Championship game the team was told that as many as nine of their teammates would not be able to play in the title game because they were academically ineligible. “We thought we would be without Mike Dyer because he said he was one of them, but Auburn found a way to make those dudes eligible,” says Mike Blanc, a teammate and roommate of Mike McNeil’s. Dyer’s name was cited by McNeil, too. Dyer did not respond to calls to his cell phone. Before the season, McNeil says he was given an F for attendance in a computer science class. “I had B work but I missed too many classes; and I went to the instructor and said, ‘I really need this grade,’” says McNeil. “He said that he was sorry but he wouldn’t change it. I went to the person over him. She was in a position of power and backed up the instructor. I then told my counselor with the athletic department.” Within days, McNeil says, the grade was changed from an F to a C and he did not miss a game.

Accusations and innuendo play no part in the first football playoff finals in NCAA history. Also playing no part is the vaunted SEC. That's a big win before things even get started.

With Marcus Mariota the Ducks have a clean shot at capturing their first national championship to go along with their first Heisman.

The state of Texas won't contain the joy of an Oregon win. A wave of relief from all of college football will roll out of Dallas and break in Eugene.

Who will be surfing the face of that wave? Hint: he's a Heisman winner from Hawaii.

David Gillaspie is an active researcher, skills he honed during twenty years with the Oregon Historical Society. His education wavered between English major/Fiction writer at the University of Oregon where he met Ken Kesey, to a BS in History from Portland State with news writing. Married, with two millennial sons, he connects sports and fitness to the realities of baby boomer life, with no mention ever of skydiving or base-jumping. David covers a wide variety of fascinating topics on his boomer-centric blog, Boomer PDX. Check it out -- you'll be glad you did.