Thursday, September 15, 2016

No return policy

Two things we know by now about the play that enabled Central Michigan to upset Oklahoma State in Stillwater last weekend:

1. It's likely to be the play of the year in college football.

2. And it shouldn't have counted.

Yes, the officials shouldn't have allowed the Chippewas that extra, final, winning snap, a transgression for which that officiating crew has been suspended. But, yes, it was an utterly awesome play -- Come on, a Hail Mary followed by a lateral for the touch? Who's ever pulled that off before?  -- and that's probably part of why no one in a capacity to do so is going to reverse the outcome and give Oklahoma State the "W."

(The other part is, you really can't go back and change history. Or, in this case, make history. I can't think of any time, anywhere, that a game result has been reversed because of a bad call. So it would set an historical precedent to do so.)
Of course, that hasn't stopped some people from wishing it would happen.

And so we come to this editorial in the Oklahoma State student newspaper, which basically says Central Michigan is an institution of low standards and morals because it won't, you know, give back the win. A school with any integrity, the editorial editorializes, would do so.

This of course conveniently ignores the fact that, if the roles were reversed, Oklahoma State would be even more disinclined to voluntarily surrender the "W." Right, a Big 12 school with postseason bowl aspirations (or, more to the point, postseason bowl money aspirations) is going to give up a win -- especially a win over a MAC school, which is supposed to be one of those automatic Ws with which Power 5 schools like to gaudy up their won-lost records. The day that happens is the day Nick Saban coaches a game in a tutu.

So it's absurd to think Central would just surrender a win over a Big 12 school out of the goodness of its heart. It is, after all, hoping for a bowl payday, too. That's the guiding principle of college football on the corporate level. You want sentimental notions about fair play, stick to the movies.

Sorry, kids. Admire your idealism, but once again it loses.

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