BCS Flashback: Was It Pass Interference?

12/26/13 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

November 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former coach Jim Tressel is held by players from his 2002 National Championship team in a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium.   Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY SportsThe fifth national championship game in the BCS era may have been the most controversial.

The 2003 Fiesta Bowl featured the undefeated Miami Hurricanes taking on the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Both teams came in with an assortment of talent, which you would obviously expect to be the case of two teams playing for the national title.

Miami had players like Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, Antrel Rolle, and Sean Taylor. Ohio State featured freshman sensation Maurice Clarett, Craig Krenzel, Chris Gamble, and Michael Jenkins.

All of the talk entering the game was whether or not Ohio State could do what no other team had done in 34 games -- put a blemish on Miami's record.

Larry Coker's team was a heavy favorite coming in, 11 1/2 point favorites according to Vegas, and all signs seemed to point to a second consecutive national championship.

And, when a pass from Krenzel went through the hands of Gamble on a 4th-and-3 in overtime, it looked like that was the case.

Miami rushed the field and began celebrating another national title.

But then it happened. Field judge Terry Porter released a yellow flag from his hand that would change history. Pass interference was called on Miami cornerback Glenn Sharpe, giving the Buckeyes an automatic first down and a chance to extend the game. Ohio State scored and sent it to double overtime.

After scoring on its first possession, the Buckeye defense came up with a huge stop on Miami's final attempt from the one-yard line. The game was over. The double-digit underdogs had halted Miami's winning streak and won the 2003 national championship.

Of course, controversy quickly followed. Was Porter's call the right one?

It's a topic that is still debated to this day. Ohio State fans will tell you that it was, Miami fans will tell you that it wasn't. Neutral fans seem to be somewhere in the middle.

What is normally lost in all of this though was just how great of a college football game this was. From start to finish, the game lived up to the hype and delivered on so many levels. There's no doubt that it's one of the best national title games we've ever seen.

So, about that pass interference call. Did Porter get it right?

What are your memories of the 2003 national title game? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!

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