[NOTE: If you read my blog, you will see that the quality of some posts are far better than others. In other words, there are several posts that probably need a lot of editing. I apologize for this, but it is due to the fact that, among other things: (1) I don’t always have time to do more than just drop my thoughts on the page and move on (without editing); and/or (2) some posts are subject to being updated, or they are a work in progress, and thus they are not currently edited (see, for example, my posts regarding the college football playoff). I hope you can overlook this sloppy work, as I will get these cleaned up at some point in the future. Thanks.]

Contact me on Twitter @travisnormand

Why did I start OnePointSafety.com? Simple, because the world needed another college football blog.

In case you haven’t noticed, there are already a lot of college football blogs, a lot of which do a fantastic job. However, I always feel compelled to write about college football (not sure if that is good or bad) so . . . I created this blog.

There are a lot of people sharing their opinions on the game of college football. I, of course, have my own opinions and figured I should start writing and posting them for those who might be interested enough to read them (although I don’t expect that to be very many people). I will try not to take myself too seriously, as I am sure that most of the people who find this site won’t take me too seriously either.

Anyway, if someone is actually reading this….thanks! Please check back from time to time, as posting here will be irregular (I mean, this blog does not “pay the bills,” so it will be taking a back-seat to just about everything else). Also, feel free to leave me a comment.

About me: I am a “college football fan.”

I am not a “sports fan” as that would imply that I feel the same way about all sports. However, I don’t really care about other sports and I definitely don’t have the passion for other sports that I have for college football. I do have a specific team that I pull for (and that is Texas A&M; as that is where I went to college) but my love for the game transcends this boundary. In fact, as mentioned above, one of the reasons I started this blog was to give myself an outlet for this college football passion of mine.

My passion for the college game is unmatched by anyone I have ever met, but I know there are others out there that are equally obsessed (yes, I am not afraid to use the word “obsession” when talking about my interest in college football).

I hope you enjoy my site. If not, I will be putting up links to some other really good blogs and you can check those out instead. I won’t be offended if you think my blog is terrible (as it probably is). However, I do hope you will take this blog for what it is . . . my thoughts and feelings on the game. (Unless the post/column is written by someone else, and then it is their thoughts on the game.)

Oh, and due to the fact that I don’t have as much time to write and post as I would like, I hope to host a crowd of guest writers on the site (but this has not happened yet). Hopefully having guest writers will allow for more content.


PS – As you can tell from the content of some of my posts, I also have an interest in the history of the college game. For this reason, not all of my posts are opinions on the current game or season; and you will find plenty of posts related to historical aspects of the game. In fact, I have found that reading, researching, and posting about the game’s history is a great way to pass the off-season.  

Timeline for this blog’s creation:

  • (Late) Fall 2011 – I decided to start my own college football blog as I was already posting at / writing for BleacherReport.com (and a few others); it was at this time that I began working on the blog’s concept, name, creation, etc.
  • March 2012 – I made my first blog post on OnePointSafety.com: You can see it here.

I have been asked, “Why did you name the blog ‘One Point Safety?'”

Well, have you ever seen a one-point safety? I am guessing that most will answer: “no.”

If you have time, go read the NCAA Rule Book on how to score a one-point safety (See Rule 8-5-1 in the 2012 rule book found on page FR-80). It is not that complex, but it is also not something a passive college football fan will catch on the first reading. I mean, the fact that you have to go read the rule book should tell you something. I don’t mean to imply that passive fans are not capable of understanding the rule; but it is an obscure rule which most people don’t know exists. 

If you don’t have the time to read the NCAA Rule Book, you could read the Wikipedia article on “Safety.” Scroll down to the section titled “Conversion Safety,” which is another name for a one-point safety (maybe I should have named this blog the “Conversion Safety?”).

Long before I had this blog, I had a conversation where I was trying to explain how a one-point safety is scored. I found this to be challenging and somewhat frustrating, as at that time, I was struggling with the rule and how to explain it. The frustration that came from this conversation was oddly reminiscent of the frustrations that I have experienced many other times as a college football fan.

It was at that moment the name for this blog was born; created from pure college football frustration … the way it should be!


Despite the rule allowing for a one-point safety to be scored, it is not something that happens very often. In fact, here is a list of the “known” (college) one-point safeties (note that a one-point safety has only happened twice in Division 1 or FBS play):

  1. Westminster vs. West Liberty State (NCAA Division II), September 7, 1996.
  2. Moorpark College vs. Bakersfield (Junior College), September 21, 1996.
  3. Hamline (MN) vs. St. Thomas (MN) (NCAA Division III), November 11, 2000.
  4. Texas vs. Texas A&M, November 26, 2004. (Game Recap from ESPN.com) (Game Recap from 12thMan.com and Box Score)
  5. Fiesta Bowl – Oregon vs. Kansas State, January 3, 2013 (Game Recap from SBNation.com)


The one-point safety that I witnessed live was the 2004 safety — fourth on the above list — during the Texas vs. Texas A&M game. However, I later saw the 2013 Fiesta Bowl safety as well. 

I have provided a link to the 2004 one-point safety (assuming the video is still working at the time you are reading this). If the link no longer works, you can search for the game on YouTube.com and you should be able to find it. Make sure you also pay attention to the broadcaster’s comments (note the confusion by Brad Nessler) as it adds to the bizarre nature of the moment. 

Here is the one-point safety from the January 3, 2013 Fiesta Bowl between Oregon and Kansas State (Brad Nessler, again).

80 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate you letting me know that the video was disabled. I wasn’t aware of that. I will post a link to it on YouTube.com, b/c you can apparently still see it there.

    Thanks again for the visit and comment!

  2. Well hi..!
    I’m not a college football fan; in fact I’m not a fan of football. I’m not even an American. I’m an Aussie, and I was inspired to check you out after your visit to my blog. Count me in; don’t know why exactly. I like your blog, and your style… So here’s to the next 50 followers..! 🙂

    • Thank you for the very kind words. I appreciate it greatly.

      Just as an FYI, I played Rugby in college. Maybe I should sneak a few rugby posts in every now and again for my one Aussie reader! haha

      Have a great day!

  3. Great writing here, Travis! What a wonderful site! I too love college football! Nothing in sports compares to its pomp and circumstance and no other sport seems to capture my interest quite like it.
    Thanks so much for the “follow!” I will definitely be back!

    • Very cool. Yes, I saw it live too.

      When it happened, I sat up straight in my chair and shouted in disbelief….”that is a one-point safety!!”

      Thanks for the post. Glad you got to see one of these very rare birds. You are now a member of the OPS club. haha

  4. Pingback: WATCH: Oregon Scores Unlikely ‘One-Point Safety’ - GPC News | GPC News

  5. Pingback: ballsam – WATCH: Oregon Scores Unlikely ‘One-Point Safety’

  6. Great blog title, and of course, great subject matter. I found you as a result of last night’s Fiesta Bowl “One point safety” play. After watching the video of the 2004 XP play, I believe that the play you saw should not have been ruled a one point safety. The officials missed this crucial detail on the play — when the ball is snapped, the holder muffs the snap and the ball rolls loose. The kicker then kicks the loose ball toward the line of scrimmage. Under NCAA rule 9-4-4, this is an illegal kick by Texas, and should have resulted in a 10 yard plus loss of down penalty. The “loss of down” factor should have prevented Texas from trying the XP again. I believe they should not have had the one point awarded.

    All that being said, I love your blog subject and title — please keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for the post and kind words.

      Yes, I remember when the 2004 one-point safety happened, everyone was discussing the “illegal kick.” However, I had forgotten about that aspect of the play until now. Thanks for reminding me.

    • Well, I hope so.

      Its funny but when I saw the one-point safety during the Fiesta Bowl I didn’t think it would affect my blog at all. However, my hits have gone through the roof and I even got a mention on HuffingtonPost.com. Crazy stuff!!

  7. Since the defensive team had possession and the ball was fumbled in a lateral, what would have happened if the kicking team had recovered? 2 points or none?

    • Let me make sure I understand you correctly: Are you asking what would have happened if Oregon had recovered the lateral/fumble from K-State in the endzone? I am assuming that would count as a 2-point conversion for Oregon.

  8. I was at the West Liberty State game. It was my freshman year at West Liberty. No one knew the rule. It was actually discussed on ESPN. Although West Liberty is NCAA Div II, not NAIA.

    • Wow, so you saw the one in 1996? Did you see the one in 2004 and in 2013? If so, you might be the only person alive to have seen all 3.

      I will make the change to the West Liberty (Div II, not NAIA). Typo…sorry about that.

  9. Pingback: OPS mentioned in Huffington Post article | OnePointSafety

  10. Yes, that is exactly what I am wondering. Would it be 2 points for Oregon or once it was blocked are all bets off for the offensive team?

  11. But it would require that KState get possession before the fumble. A blocked kick cannot be recovered by the kicking team in the endzone for a two point conversion. Correct?

  12. Thanks for the links. But the only thing that I found was the following. Does not address if team A recovers said fumble.
    Approved ruling 8-3-2-IX
    On a one-point try attempt, Team A’s kick is blocked and B75 recovers at
    the two-yard line. As B75 attempts to advance, he fumbles and the ball
    rolls into the end zone, where B61 recovers and is downed. RULING:
    Safety. Award Team A one point (Rule 8-1-1).

    • Well great! haha….Now I have been reading the rule book and I have more questions than answers. Where is a ref when you need one!?

      However, I did find this:

      Rule 4, Section 1, Article 3 (j): Ball Declared Dead:

      When, before a change of team possession on fourth down or a try, a Team A fumble is caught or recovered by a Team A player other than the fumbler (Rules 7-2-2-a and -b and 8-3-2-d-5).

      I am not sure if that rule actually helps. However, it appears that if (during a try) Team A fumbles the ball and then recovers it, it is a dead ball. This would lead me to answer your question with a “yes” (in that K-State would have to first gain possession of the ball before Oregon recovered it in the endzone). However, this rule applies to fumbles…and not blocked kicks (as was the case in the Fiesta Bowl). So I am still not 100% sure about the answer.

      My guess is that the particular scenario we are discussing is either not in the rule book (b/c it has never come up), or it is something that you could only know by having read the whole rule book and understand how all rules work together. In other words, if you knew all the rules, you could probably make sense of that situation without having to look it up (as its not there anyway).

      However, I do know someone I can ask about this…so when I hear back from him, I will let you know.

      • By any chance, did this 1-point safety rule come into existence at the same time that the NCAA instituted the 2-point score for the return-of-a-blocked-conversion-kick-by-the-defense-to-the-opposite-end-zone? That went into effect in the mid-’90s, I believe, and it appears that the first occurrence of a 1-point safety was about the same time. I am wondering if the two came hand-in-hand? In other words, when the 2-point return was being proposed, perhaps there was a counter-argument that, if a blocked conversion kick gives the defense a chance to score, then there should be a similar “reward” for the kicking team if they stop the defense in that situation.

        In any case, it appears to me that whenever a kicked conversion attempt is blocked by any player on the field, the ball remains live for either team to take possession and engage in a scoring chance (the defense on a 2-point return, the offense on a 2-point conversion or a 1-point-safety by way of the defense’s miscue). Would you agree? Are there any “intervening player-touch” rules that would further obfuscate?

        By the way, I witnessed what I believe was the among the first Div. I two-point blocked kick returns (if not the first), which was scored by Penn State against BYU in a Holiday Bowl in the late 90s (… If memory serves; don’t quote me). Then this past October, I was at a game at Humboldt State when the Lumberjacks scored a two-pointer against Dixie State (Utah). I was the only one yelling during the return that the runner was going to score 2 points! Everyone around me either had never heard of that rule, or else had the reaction, “oh, yeah, there’s that rule.”

        • All great questions. I am not sure when the 1-point safety rule began, however, I did have someone tell me that the rule is fairly old. I have planned on looking it up but haven’t done it yet (maybe now is the time?). The person that told me about the original rule cited a Spalding Football Guide / Rules Book from 1883.

          In a discussion with another poster, I mentioned that I have emailed an NCAA official and am hoping he will tell me more about the rule and what the outcome of this particular situation would be. If I get an answer, I will be sure to post it here as soon as I can.

          That is very cool about seeing the first two-point score on a blocked-kick return. I am guessing you are a Penn State fan? Living in Utah perhaps? Good times, and always good to hear from fans of all different schools.

  13. I’m a CU Buffs fan. I know. They were in the bottom this year. I actually wrote a letter to editor that got published – “Buffs You Got This! You Can Do This!” I saw a little improvement of attitude, but coaching goes a long way in the attitude of the players.
    Thanks for stopping by!

    • Hey there! Thanks for the comment.

      This is why I love college football. We don’t root for the best team, we root for “our” team. Being from Boulder Colorado, it makes perfect sense that you would be a Buffs fan.

      Yes, they have fallen on some tough times, but these things go in cycles. Hopefully the Buffs will be able to rise again….soon. Until then, its good to see the loyal Buff Backers sticking with them through the bad times.

      Congrats on your letter to the editor. That is great! You never know who that will inspire…the team? another fan? Who knows!?

      I enjoyed your blog and am a little jealous that you get to live in Boulder (while I am in Houston). haha Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.


  14. Hi Travis,
    My name is Derick Madden I’m contacting you because I’m in the process of doing some grassroots research for an upcoming publication. My goal is to build a highly credible and useful visual aid for tailgaters this 2013-fall season and I’d love to get your feedback on a few things since you’re an influencer in the sports space.
    If you have a quick second, I was hoping you could shoot me back some answers to the questions below:
    1) What is your favorite beer to tailgate with?
    2) What is your favorite dish to either bring to, or eat at, a tailgate?
    3) What is your favorite tailgating ritual (if you have one)?
    Our target date for completion is mid-September, so if you could get back to me in the next day or two that would be fantastic! If you have any questions or thoughts on this, please let me know—I’d love as much feedback as possible before I begin development. Thank you in advance!
    Derick Madden

  15. Travis –
    Not much of a college football fan (MIT alum – I think we play Division 5,) but enjoyed reading your blog about the one point safety.
    Am I correct in that it is still theoretically possible to have a one point safety in the NFL?

    • Hey, thanks for the comment. I have a few friends who went to MIT.

      As for a one point safety in the NFL; yes, I believe this is still possible/allowed. I don’t follow the NFL the same way I do college football….but the last time I checked, it was still possible.

      Any particular reason you ask, or just curious?

  16. The concept of the 1-point safety goes back to the original football rules on how to score points. Basically, there are only three ways to score points in football: a touchdown, a field goal and a safety. The question of how many points each of those is worth depends if it is a play from scrimmage or kickoff, or if it is a “try” or “conversion” attempt. Thus, the scoring is quite simple:

    A touchdown is worth 6 points, but it is worth only 2 points during a try or conversion.
    A field goal is worth 3 points, but it is worth only 1 point during a try or conversion.
    A safety is worth 2 points, but it is worth only 1 point during a try or conversion.

    So, when you run or pass the ball into the end zone during a try, you score a “touchdown” worth 2 points. When you kick the ball through the uprights during a try, you score a “field goal” worth 1 point. When you tackle the ball carrier in the end zone (with a change of possession from the offensive kicking team to the defense) during a try, you score a “safety” worth 1 point.

    • Thanks so much for the comment, as I enjoy discussing this topic. I agree with a lot of what you wrote, however, I am not sure I completely agree with all of it. However, this is really a matter of semantics, as I would argue that there are more than 3 ways to score points in NCAA football (touchdown, field goal, safety [1 or 2 points], and a conversion [1 or 2 points]). In other words, I take the position that while something like a touchdown or two-point conversion are both scored in very similar ways, they are technically totally different things.

      For example, you said that “A touchdown is worth 6 points, but it is worth only 2 points during a try or conversion.” I would argue that it is impossible to score a touchdown that is only worth 2 points, as you are not scoring a touchdown during a 2-point conversion attempt. The same goes with a field goal, as a field goal is only scored from the field during a play (or down) and is worth 3 points, while an extra point attempt only happens after a touchdown and is always kicked from the same spot (penalties notwithstanding).

      Again, this is a difference in terms and semantics (mostly) as I understand what you are saying. A touchdown and 2-point conversion are scored in much the same way, while one is worth 6 and the other is worth 2 points. Also, a field goal and extra point kick are scored in much the same way, with one being worth 3 and the other being worth 1 point. However, because there are rule differences between the different ways of scoring, I hesitate to call them the same thing.


  17. I looked into the original rules of football and that’s how they described the three ways of scoring. A “touchdown” is any time the ball is carried into the end zone or caught in the end zone. The original rules simply defined it as being a “touchdown.” The difference is that a “try” or “conversion” is a special kind of play that’s not considered a play from scrimmage: it is its own unique kind of play, which is why the clock doesn’t run during a try. During a try, if you carry the ball into the end zone or catch the ball in the end zone, technically it’s a “touchdown,” worth two points. Today, we don’t call it a touchdown on a conversion or try, we call it a two-point conversion. We only refer to a touchdown when it’s a play from scrimmage today.

    Notice that when there is a penalty on an conversion, the referee will announce what the penalty is, but then he’ll also say something like “and the try is good,” regardless if it’s a kick or a run/pass.

    Ditto on the extra point kick; it’s a “field goal” worth one point since it came during a “try.” Old yearbooks that I’ve been studying from high school football in Texas in the early 1900s, refer to the kicker as “making the goal” or “kicking the goal” in reference to the extra point kick.

    Your reference at the end of your comment to the rules differences is precisely the difference between a play from scrimmage vs. a try or conversion play: that is the only distinction between the two, and thus the scoring is accordingly different.

    Also, notice that a two-point safety and one-point safety are both called “safety.” It’s worth two points on a play from scrimmage, and it’s worth one point on a try or conversion. By the way, the few one-point safeties that we’ve ever seen required the change of possession to the defensive team, then the tackle in the end zone, resulting in the one-point safety for the offensive team. However, theoretically, if the offensive team attempts the conversion, and for some reason, they take the ball backwards 100 yards into their own end zone, and then were tackled there, it would be a one-safety for the defensive team. Doubt it will ever happen, but never say never!

    • That is all very interesting and I really appreciate the comment. I hope you enjoy my blog/website (even though I don’t get to post updates as often as I would like). If you ever think of where you read about these original rules, or if you have web links for them, feel free to share them here. I would love to look at them myself….as I always find that stuff fascinating.

  18. I am curious about a hypothetical college overtime game in which the first team in OT (Team A) scores a touch down in the third overtime. Since it is the third overtime, Team A has to go for two-point conversion. However, Team A’s pass is intercepted by the defense (Team B). The Team B player intercepts the ball in the end zone and he runs the ball out of the end zone and then is hit on an open tackle and the ball goes back into the end zone and is recovered in the end zone by a Team B team mate of the guy who originally intercepted it and who got hit and had the ball knocked out of his hands. It is ruled a one-point safety and Team A has a 7-point lead. Does Team B still get a try in overtime to score a TD and then afterwards, if it is successful, it has to go for a two-point conversion because it is in the third overtime and there is no PAT kick conversion.

    I mention this, because if this happened on the TD try in overtime and Team B intercepted the pass on Team A’s TD try and then had it run out of the end zone and then the ball knocked back into the end zone and recovered by a player from Team B, Team A would be awarded a two-point safety and the game would be over immediately. Am I right? Or wrong?

    Note: I actually saw that Texas A&M-Texas Longhorn game and knew about the rule, but I did not think that it was a one-point safety because of the, what I thought was, lack of possession by the Aggie player. However, it all happened so fast!

    • Hey, that is a great question … in order to fully answer it, I would have to go back and review the rule on what exactly constitutes a one-point-safety (as it has been a while since I read the rule). However, from what I remember, your description of it is pretty accurate, and in any event, for the purpose of the hypothetical question, the “How” it is scored is not as important as the “What happens if one is scored.”

      Therefore, let me clarify your question and then try to answer it.

      In a game that has gone into overtime, it is now the third OT (or 3OT) possession and any team scoring a TD must attempt a 2-point conversion. At the start of the 3OT, Team “A” goes first (and the score is tied) … regardless of whether Team A scores or not, Team “B” will get an opportunity to score as well (as Team B is going second, and the score is currently tied).

      Team “A” scores a TD, and must go for 2-points. Team “A” fails to convert their 2-point try; however, during Team A’s 2-point try, something happens (as you said, Team “B” intercepts, etc.) and Team “A” is awarded a 1-Point Safety, and they actually now lead by 7 (instead of 6 or 8).

      So, it is now Team “B”‘s turn to try and score during the 3OT period. However, the question is, IF Team B scores a TD, do they have to go for 2-points or can they simply tie the game by kicking a 1-point PAT??

      My guess would be that Team B would still have to go for a 2-point conversion, as the rule states you must go for two during the 3OT; and there is no exception for a 1-point safety. (Or, more accurately stated, the only option after a TD in the 3OT is a 2-Point CONVERSION Attempt; and a 1-Point Conversion PAT is not permitted …. regardless of whether Team A scored a SAFETY of any point amount, 1 or 2).

      In other words, Team B is either going to win the game, or lose the game, on their 2-point conversion during the 3OT … and barring another 1-point safety, there will not be a tie / 4th OT.

      I guess, if you are coaching a team, this is something you might try to teach your players about … but in reality, the chances of it happening are so minute, that it’s probably not worth it. Having said that, it will eventually happen, and I am sure it will be “crazy” when it does!

      You also had a second question in which you asked about (basically) what if it resulted in a 2-point safety instead … however, I wasn’t as clear on that part of the question, and I think you meant to switch your Team A and B, right? If you can clarify the second part, I would love to read it and try to answer it, as it appears to be another good one. (However, I could be wrong, but my immediate thought is that any safety scored during a CONVERSION attempt is only worth 1 point … but I would have to double check that).

      Anyway, that was a great question and I had not thought of this yet. Maybe I will pose the hypothetical as a post on my site … if that is okay with you!?

      Note 1: I too saw the one that the Longhorns scored against A&M … I remember it being one of the most confusing and crazy moments in my cfb history. I knew of the rule, but as you said, it happened so fast I didn’t even think it was a possibility until the ref called it. I remember thinking (before they announced it being a 1-point safety) that something about the play was wrong or “off” … and that while the Aggies had thought they prevented the conversion, it might not actually go their way (and of course, it didn’t). I guess I felt this way because I am an Aggie; and I was thrilled they stopped the 2-point conversion … but I was also thinking “something is wrong” (but couldn’t put my finger on it until the ref called it out).

      Note 2: I have only seen one other 1-point safety, and I saw it live as well. If I remember correctly without looking it up, it happened during the Oregon vs. Kansas State bowl game (Alamo Bowl) in 2013 (?). I remember watching the game very casually, and I was laid back on the couch. When it happened live, I sat straight up in my seat and was like “OMG, thats a 1-point safety!!” (As I really never expected to see another one … its kind of like seeing a Unicorn! haha). In any event, following that game, the 1-point safety made a lot of news sites, and this website of mine was found by many writers who were researching the 1-point safety. I was quoted in a couple of articles … it was pretty crazy.

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