supersecret doubleunderground touchback rule?
September 26, 2009 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Vaguely remembered football filter: I remember a game maybe 5 years ago, definitely Michigan, I think playing Michigan State (but could have been someone else). Something crazy happened in an end zone, and one of the teams (I think it was Michigan) was awarded 5 points, or some other strange number of points. What was this and why did it happen?

I remember that it was an obscure rule, because the commentators didn't know what was going on for a while, and the referees took a long time to declare the score. It wasn't a safety or a two point conversion.

I hope I'm not misremembering this, and I may have some of the details wrong. Is this ringing a bell? Googling and wikipedia are not helping, probably because my memory is so vague.

posted by ohio to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Was it the Michigan State-Illinois game in 2004, where the PAT was blocked by Illinois and taken to the other end zone for two points?
posted by holgate at 12:15 PM on September 26, 2009

I'm almost sure it wasn't that, since I usually only watch Michigan games and it would have been out of character for me to watch a MSU-Illinois game. I also remember it being a strange number of points, whereas there are a couple ways to score 2 points.

Thanks for the quick response though!
posted by ohio at 12:26 PM on September 26, 2009

I don't remember anything of that nature, but if we're talking about late game controversy that Michigan fans remember differently than their opponents (Wolverines say "Clockgate," Spartans say "The Catch."), check the links below. Michigan fans know the time on clock at the end of what they believe should have been the last play of the game (12 seconds), and where the clock was stopped by MSU's clock operator "Spartan Bob" (1 second). Add to that the TD without extra point to win for six points rather than seven. It's all I've got that I can think of, so hope this helps.

Wiki Entry
YouTube of the last few plays of the game.

Now that I've finished being even-handed about answering your question, it's worth mentioning that this Sparty totally believes Smoker got that spike down in time. Mwahahahahahaha!
posted by GamblingBlues at 1:00 PM on September 26, 2009

I did a quick check of all the Michigan vs Michigan State games using the Statistics Archive(messy website but it works.) but couldn't find anything other then touchdowns, field goals and safeties. You might have some better luck doing some more in depth research.
posted by lilkeith07 at 1:16 PM on September 26, 2009

There is no play in football where 5 points can be awarded.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:31 PM on September 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

There's no way to score exactly 5 points on a single scoring play. More likely, you saw a strange combination of scoring chances happening in rapid succession, such as a safety, followed by a long return on the ensuing free kick, followed by a field goal.

Just about the weirdest score you can earn in American football is the 1-point conversion safety. Let's say, on a two-point conversion try, the live ball gets loose and wackiness ensues. In theory, either team could then be tackled in their own end zone, which earns you 1 point.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:40 PM on September 26, 2009

Yeah, I would say the only way to score five points (net) would be for one team to score a TD, screw up the conversion, and have the other team return it. I think this is currently worth two points, but at some point was only worth 1 in college? I think.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:52 PM on September 26, 2009

Well, this game was hella crazy (3 OT!!!) and 5 years ago, but there's nothing special about the scoring. Man, that was a great game.
posted by alygator at 6:27 PM on September 26, 2009

I've intently watched every Michigan football game since 2001. After doing some research and thinking long and hard about the situation you describe, I got nothing. I guess that means I'm voting for misremembering.
posted by PhatLobley at 10:19 PM on September 26, 2009

Wow, I just saw that UofM/MSU 2001 game clock thing, and that is a total load of BS. There is NO WAY the official could have blown the ball dead fast enough to stop the clock at 1 second! (I have no allegiances, except for advocating A PLAYOFF SYSTEM AND NO MORE BCS)

That being said, I have no idea how you can score 5 points that would make the refs scratch their heads - unless the ball went through for the FG, the wind blew REALLY hard and made it come back through the uprights, some hapless dude caught it in his own endzone and was tackled for a safety - but I don't know anything about when FG's are blown dead...
posted by wuzandfuzz at 11:22 AM on September 27, 2009

unless the ball went through for the FG, the wind blew REALLY hard and made it come back through the uprights

Wouldn't happen. All you have to do is break the imaginary plane drawn between the back edge of the uprights and cross-bar, as determined by the goal judges.

And it's the back edge, because you can bounce the ball off the poles, usually resulting in a rebound away from the goal (although I've seen them smack an upright and stay in, too).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:31 PM on September 27, 2009

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