The 2016 college football season promises to be one of excitement, hope, and promise. Fans and spectators will watch for five months as teams clash against each other to reserve their spot in football immortality. While looking forward to the upcoming match-ups and games, lets take a look back at the top ten games in college football history. When comprising this list, I focused on the entertainment factor and overall significance to the sport.
#10 – 1984 Orange Bowl – Miami 31, Nebraska 30
This legendary game spring-boarded the “U” sensation that swept college football. In 1983, Howard Schnellenberger helped revive a struggling Miami Hurricane football program and led them into football folklore. The Cornhuskers scored with just 48 seconds left in the game to pull within one point of holding off the Hurricanes. However, Miami stuffed the two-point conversion and waltzed away with the victory.
#9 – 1946 Army vs. Notre Dame – Army 0, Notre Dame 0
Before the invention of college football overtime, there was this thing called “ties”. The most famous tie of all time belongs to Army against Notre Dame. A game that featured four Heisman Trophy winners resulted in the breaking of Army’s 25 game winning streak and eventually led to Notre Dame being named the National Champion.
#8 – 1991 Miami vs. Florida State – Miami 17, Florida State 16
Bobby Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles suffered heartbreaking defeat from their cross-state rivals. The “Wide Right” curse came to fruition during this game when Seminole kicker Gerry Thomas sent a 34-yard game winning field goal just right of the uprights.
#7 – 1968 Harvard vs. Yale – Harvard 29, Yale 29
One of the greatest comebacks of all time resulted in Harvard overcoming a 22 point deficit to lead campus newspapers to proclaim that Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
#6 – 2007 Appalachian State vs. Michigan – App State 34, Michigan 32
For the first time ever, a FCS team upset a ranked FBS team. The #5 Wolverines were shocked at their own stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
#5 – 1971 Texas Christian vs. Baylor – TCU 34, Baylor 27
In the first half of this game, TCU coach Jim Pittman collapsed and died on the sideline. At halftime, the losing Horned Frogs were informed and came back to win for the memory of their fallen coach.
#4 – 2013 Iron Bowl – Auburn 34, Alabama 28
With one second remaining in a tied game, Auburn returned a missed field goal over 100 yards to beat their rivals.
#3 – 2003 BCS National Championship – Ohio State 31, Miami 24
This game had it all. Two superstar running backs facing off in an epic double-overtime victory for the Buckeyes. The game defining play of the night, however, proved to be a pass interference call on Miami’s Glenn Sharpe that swung momentum into the Buckeye’s favor. This was one of the all-time great teams getting upset.
#2 – 2006 BCS National Championship – Texas 41, USC 38
Despite losing the Heisman Trophy to USC’s Reggie Bush, Vince Young and the Longhorns won an iconic #1 vs #2 showdown that resulted in perhaps the most entertaining football game ever. Some of the best players to ever set field in college football played here. SB Nation has this as the 3rd best of all-time in terms of strengths of teams in the matchup.
#1 – 1969 Texas vs. Arkansas – Texas 15, Arkansas 14
This game was dubbed the “Game of the Century” by ABC and was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of college football. It would also happen to decide both the Southwest Conference Championship and the National Championship. So what could make this game bigger? President Nixon’s presence gave this game a feel like no other game ever. Texas pulled off a fourth quarter comeback victory and President Nixon proclaimed the Longhorns as National Champions.