The Future Of College Football May Have Turned On One Penalty Flag

After nearly 15 years, the face-off between Ohio State and Miami in the 2003 BCS Championship Game remains one of the more intriguing battles in the history of college football. Most remember the contest for Miami running back Willis McGahee’s catastrophic knee injury or the Buckeyes emerging victorious in surprising fashion with the vast aid of five turnovers from the heavily favored Hurricanes.

There was one single penalty flag, though, that may have adjusted the course of college football history and that is the backdrop for an extensive list of questions.

Prior to Ohio State’s final triumph in double overtime, there was a pass interference call that kept the Buckeyes alive and that officiating decision had long-lasting ramifications. Not only did that singular yellow flag open the door for Jim Tressel and company to claim the ultimate in team glory, the call may have had real influence on the future of both programs and, by proxy, much of the college football landscape as we know it today.

Nothing is definitive in the world of “What if?” but that certainly won’t stop anyone in the college football world from reminiscing on the past or creating facsimiles of what might have been in the future. What transpired in Tempe that fateful evening in 2003 looms large and, in this video, we break down the ramifications from angles you might not consider without a discerning eye.