In the newest installment of ESPN's yearlong initiative marking 150 years of college football, we set out to rank the 150 greatest games in history.
A panel of 150 media members, athletic administrators and former players and coaches selected these games from 202 finalists initially identified by ESPN's Stats & Information group.
The voters opted for what they saw with their own eyes -- as the vast majority of selections came from the televised era. But there might not be a recency bias.
For one thing, only seven of the top 30 games took place in the past 30 years. For another, Nick Saban has coached only six of the 22 Alabama games listed below. The Crimson Tide has one fewer appearance here than Notre Dame, the leader.
The voters might not be Army fans: the Black Knights won only one of their eight games selected. Southern California, on the other hand, is 12-4 in the games listed. But the Trojans lost their only game ranked in the top 10. -- Ivan Maisel
1. No. 1 Nebraska 35, at No. 2 Oklahoma 31
Nov. 25, 1971
The Sooners and Huskers presented Americans with a Thanksgiving feast: 829 yards of total offense, four lead changes, only one penalty and a game billed as the Game of the Century that lived up to the billing. Johnny Rodgers' 72-yard punt return wasn't the game winner that people think: It came after Oklahoma's first possession. Oklahoma scored on five drives of at least 69 yards against a defense that didn't allow more than 17 points to anyone else. The last of Huskers fullback Jeff Kinney's four short touchdown runs -- this one with 1:38 to play -- flipped the scoreboard to the visitors.
2. No. 5 Miami 31, No. 1 Nebraska 30
Orange Bowl, Jan. 2, 1984
The Huskers arrived for a coronation as 11-point favorites, but the hometown Hurricanes, backed by a raucous crowd, left with the Huskers' crown. Nebraska never led, but the Huskers rebounded from deficits of 17 and 14 points. The latter, capped by tailback Jeff Smith's 34-yard run with 48 seconds to play, precipitated one of the gutsiest coaching decisions ever. An extra point would have left Nebraska as the nation's only undefeated team. But Tom Osborne didn't want to finish No. 1 that way. Miami defensive back Ken Calhoun tipped Turner Gill's 2-point pass to Smith, and the Hurricanes dynasty was born.
3. Appalachian State 34, at No. 5 Michigan 32
Sept. 1, 2007
The No. 5 Wolverines would have been prohibitive favorites had Las Vegas bothered to set a line. But the Mountaineers, two-time defending FCS champions, had a magician, Armanti Edwards, at quarterback. Two of the game's four lead changes came in the frantic final five minutes. The Mountaineers drove 69 yards for Julian Rauch's 24-yard field goal to retake the lead with 1:11 to play. The Wolverines responded with a long pass to set up a 37-yard field goal attempt with 6 seconds to play. But Appalachian State's Corey Lynch blocked the kick to send this game directly into the history book.
4. No. 10 Boston College 47 at No. 12 Miami 45
Nov. 23, 1984
When Doug Flutie scrambled to his right, again confounding the exhausted Hurricane defensive front; when he heaved that 48-yard pass into the end zone scrum with zeroes on the clock; when Gerard Phelan, camped just behind the scrum, caught the ball like it were a punt; when Brent Musburger screamed, "I don't believe it!" into CBS's microphone; when the Eagles accepted the Cotton Bowl's invitation; when Flutie won the 1984 Heisman; when in 2008 Boston College erected a statue of Flutie, shoulders angled as if throwing this very pass: Maybe then we grasped the full meaning of this Hail Mary.
5. No. 2 Penn State 14, No. 1 Miami 10
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2, 1987
The Nittany Lions wore navy jerseys and white hats, the heroes in the Morality Play in the Desert. The big, bad Hurricanes swaggered into the Valley of the Sun. They stalked out of a steak fry honoring both teams in part because a Penn State player told a racially tinged joke. The Canes' bravado didn't hold up against the Nittany Lion defense, which harassed Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde into throwing five picks, the last on fourth down at the Penn State end zone in the final seconds. Miami outgained Penn State 445-162 but had little to show for it.
6. At No. 4 Notre Dame 31, No. 1 Miami 30
Oct. 15, 1988
Three decades on, Miami coach Jimmy Johnson still believes that if the replay rule existed on that crisp fall day, the controversy around whether Canes running back Cleveland Gary fumbled, was down or scored would have gone Miami's way. The Canes would have won their 37th consecutive regular-season game, not to mention its second consecutive national championship. But the Catholics v. Convicts game lives on in Notre Dame lore for Pat Terrell batting away Steve Walsh's 2-point conversion attempt with 45 seconds left to thwart the Miami comeback. Instead, Miami finished one play away, but which one? The Canes had seven turnovers.
7. No. 2 Texas 41, No. 1 USC 38
Rose Bowl, Jan. 4, 2006
The Trojans' 35th consecutive victory would have delivered a third straight national championship. The stories about USC being the greatest team ever? The Longhorns didn't appreciate that brand of journalism. Quarterback Vince Young carried a grudge because USC back Reggie Bush had won the Heisman. Young threw for 267 yards and rushed for 200, the last eight coming on fourth-and-5 with 19 seconds to play for the winning score. That capped a two-touchdown comeback in the final 6:42. Between those scores, USC head coach Pete Carroll went for fourth-and-2 near midfield. Decades from now, Trojans still will wonder why Bush was on the bench.
8. No. 2 Penn State 27, No. 1 Georgia 23
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 1983
For nearly two decades, Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno knocked on the door on the college football elite. For nearly two decades, the elite refused to answer. Penn State went undefeated three times without finishing No. 1. This time, even with an early 21-point loss to Alabama, Penn State kicked down the door. The Nittany Lions never trailed, Curt Warner (117 yards) outgained Heisman winner Herschel Walker (103) and quarterback Todd Blackledge clinched the victory early in the fourth quarter with a 47-yard pass to Gregg Garrity. Georgia lost for only the third time in Walker's three seasons at tailback.
9. At No. 1 LSU 7, No. 3 Ole Miss 3
Oct. 31, 1959
Thanks to the memorable radio call of LSU announcer J.C. Politz, all anyone remembers of this game is Billy Cannon's 89-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Cannon fielded the punt against the wishes of Tigers head coach Paul Dietzel, then broke seven tackles as he raced down the sideline in front of the Rebels' bench. But the Tigers won the game with a goal-line stand. On the last play of the game, fourth-and-goal from the LSU 1, Rebel quarterback Doug Elmore tried to run to his left, where he was stopped by Warren Raab and Cannon.
10. No. 3 Notre Dame 24, No. 1 Alabama 23
Sugar Bowl, Dec. 31, 1973
The first-ever matchup of two historical powers matched its considerable hype: six lead changes, big plays in all phases. The game turned on special teams: the Irish's Al Hunter returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, and Notre Dame made a 2-point conversion; Tide kicker Bill Davis missed an extra point in the fourth quarter. Bear Bryant tried to pin Notre Dame deep and force a late punt. But on third-and-8 from the Irish 3, quarterback Tom Clements threw a 35-yard pass out of his end zone to backup tight end Robin Weber. It was Weber's second catch of the season.
11. At Harvard 29, Yale 29
Nov. 23, 1968
Would this game have made the list without the Harvard Crimson headline, "Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29?" Maybe not, but what a finish. The Crimson and the Bulldogs met with undefeated records for the first time since 1912. In the final minute, Yale led, 29-13, and the visitors' fans erupted. But Harvard quarterback Frank Champi, the backup who came in with the Crimson trailing, 22-0, completed an 86-yard touchdown drive and a 2-point conversion. Harvard recovered the onside kick, scored again on the last play of the game, and Champi threw a quick pass to Peter Varney for the two points that shook the Ivy world.
12. No. 2 Alabama 14, No. 1 Penn State 7
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 1979
Joe Paterno believed for the rest of his life that he had blown this game, one that Alabama halfback Major Ogilvie would recall for the sheer physical punishment. The Crimson Tide led 14-7 midway through the fourth quarter when an Alabama turnover gave the Nittany Lions great field position. An incredible tackle by defensive back Don McNeal stopped Penn State on second down at the 1. The Tide stuffed Matt Suhey on third down, and after the offensive coaches convinced Paterno to ignore his gut instinct to pass, Tide linebacker Barry Krauss knocked Mike Guman back on fourth down.
13. No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23 (OT)
College Football Playoff National Championship, Atlanta, Jan. 8, 2018
Georgia dominated the game, led 13-0 at the half, forced Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts to the bench for ineffectiveness, never trailed, and, after kicking a field goal, sacked freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for a 16-yard loss in OT. How could the Dawgs lose? Maybe because Tagovailoa didn't know enough to be scared. One play after taking that sack, Tagovailoa heaved a pass to his wide-open classmate, Devonta Smith, and two years later, Georgia fans still don't know what hit them. The intensity and tension of the game made fans across the country forgive the CFP for giving SEC teams two of the four slots.
14. At No. 4 USC 21, No. 1 UCLA 20
Nov. 18, 1967
Forget everything that happened before one play early in the fourth quarter. Forget that UCLA's Heisman-winning quarterback, Gary Beban, threw his second touchdown pass of the game to put the Bruins up, 20-14. Forget that 6-foot-8 Trojan Bill Hayhoe blocked that extra point, as he had done with two field goals earlier in the game. All you need to remember is that on third-and-7, O.J. Simpson burst through the left side of the Trojan line, cut to the middle of the field so sharply that it left the Bruins' national title hopes in tatters -- and 64 yards later put the Trojans ahead to stay.
15. Notre Dame 7, at No. 2 Oklahoma 0
Nov. 16, 1957
The Sooners hadn't lost since the Irish beat them, 28-21, in the 1953 opener. Oklahoma intimidated just by stepping onto the field, but not that Notre Dame team that had lost its past two games, not the Irish whom the Sooners had beaten, 40-0, the year before. In the fourth quarter, the Irish drove relentlessly (20 plays, 80 yards) for the game's only touchdown. Notre Dame scored on fourth down from the Oklahoma 3-yard-line. The Irish and the Sooners packed in tight. Quarterback Bob Williams faked a handoff inside to bruising fullback Nick Pietrosante before pitching to Dick Lynch. Oklahoma's 47-game unbeaten streak would end.
16. Notre Dame 12, Army 6
Yankee Stadium, New York, Nov. 10, 1928
The Fighting Irish came to New York in the unfamiliar role of underdog. They had lost twice, something they had done only once in Knute Rockne's previous 10 seasons as head coach. The Black Knights had a 6-0 record. But Rockne had an advantage: his ability to inspire. He told his team about his first All-American, George Gipp, who died at the end of the 1920 season. Only Rockne knew whether Gipp actually asked him to one day, when things were wrong and the breaks were beating the boys, ask his team to win just one for the Gipper. But he did, and they did.
17. Notre Dame 13, Army 7
Polo Grounds, New York, Oct. 18, 1924
To the great benefit of Grantland Rice, the New York Herald Tribune sportswriter, the film that the Notre Dame team watched the week of the Army game wasn't "The Thief of Bagdad" or "The Iron Horse," two big hits of the day. The Irish watched a three-year-old film -- "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Rice learned this nugget in the press box before the game, and as the Fighting Irish backs Jim Crowley, Elmer Layden, Don Miller and Harry Stuhldreher ran through Army, Rice immortalized their legend with the most famous lead in American sportswriting: "Outlined against a blue-gray October sky....."
18. At No. 4 Auburn 34, No. 1 Alabama 28
Nov. 30, 2013
So much had to happen to set the table for the Kick Six. The Tigers had to come back to tie the Crimson Tide with 32 seconds remaining. Alabama coach Nick Saban had to decide to try for a winning field goal. Tide back T.J. Yeldon had to step out of bounds at the Auburn 38 a split second before time expired. Alabama kicker Cade Foster had to miss three field goals, and Saban had to pivot to freshman Adam Griffith. His 57-yard field goal attempt had to fall into the waiting arms of Chris Davis. The rest is 109 yards of glorious Iron Bowl history.
19. No. 9 Boise State 43, No. 7 Oklahoma 42 (OT)
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1, 2007
If the Sooners had won 35-28 on Marcus Walker's 34-yard pick-six with 1:02 to play, great game. If the Broncos had responded with a fourth-down 50-yard hook-and-ladder and missed the extra point; if the Sooners had won 42-35 on Adrian Peterson's 25-yard touchdown run on the first play of overtime; if Boise State had kicked the extra point to go to a second overtime after the 6-yard pass from wideout Vinny Perretta to tight end Derek Schouman; great game. But then Broncos head coach Chris Petersen called the Statue of Liberty. Ian Johnson trotted in for the 2-point winner. Yep. Great game.
20. No. 1 Notre Dame 10, at No. 2 Michigan State 10
Nov. 19, 1966
Maybe we judge Irish coach Ara Parseghian by modern standards, when teams regularly practice going 50 yards in 1:15. Notre Dame took the ball at its 30 and Parseghian ran out the clock. Maybe the outraged forgot the Irish played without quarterback Terry Hanratty for most of the game and halfback Nick Eddy for all of it, because of injuries. After the game, the Spartans led the coaches poll, the Irish the media poll. But Notre Dame had one more game, and after taking guff for a week, the Irish walloped USC, 51-0. The Irish won both polls. The controversy never dimmed.
21. No. 7 Colorado 27, at No. 4 Michigan 26
Sept. 24, 1994
The Wolverines led 26-14 late in the game. And then all hell broke loose. Colorado scored with 2:16 to play, and Michigan committed a false start penalty that turned a third-and-2 to clinch the game into third-and-7. The Buffs got the ball back on their 15 with 15 seconds to play. Kordell Stewart threw to Michael Westbrook for 21 yards, and Stewart spiked the ball with 6 seconds left. Stewart threw the ball more than 70 yards in the air. Blake Anderson rose and tipped it to Westbrook, who jumped over safety Chuck Winters in the end zone. Westbrook is from Detroit. He and Winters were youth football teammates.
22. California 25, Stanford 20
Nov. 20, 1982
Actually, it was a great game: three lead changes in the fourth quarter, two, of course, in the last :04. Cardinal senior John Elway led one of the greatest drives of his career, college or pro, to put Mark Harmon in position to kick a 35-yard field goal with :04 to play. Cal took the squib kick and off the laterals went: Kevin Moen to Richard Rodgers to Dwight Garner back to Rodgers to Mariet Ford and back to Moen, who weaved through a crowd ("The band is on the field!") to trample a Stanford trumpet player. Rodgers lateraled with a knee down, and Ford's lateral went forward, but why spoil the fun?
23. At No. 8 Penn State 27, No. 2 Nebraska 24
Sept. 25, 1982
Todd Blackledge tossed a 2-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Kirk Bowman with :04 left, but that's not the play Huskers remember. On the previous snap, Blackledge threw a 15-yard pass to Mike McCloskey, and everyone but the official saw that McCloskey came down out of bounds. September intersectional games usually don't tip the national title scales. But the debate about whether Penn State, with a 21-point loss to Alabama, or Nebraska, with a three-point loss to Penn State, would play No. 1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship (No. 8 on our list) ended quickly. In the Kickoff Classic the following year, Nebraska beat defending national champ Penn State, 44-6. Not much consolation.
24. No. 9 USC 52, No. 5 Penn State 49
Rose Bowl, Jan. 2, 2017
Amid the handwringing over the future of the bowls in the era of the College Football Playoff, the Trojans and Nittany Lions reminded everyone that there's always magic in The Granddaddy of Them All. What a display of offense: a combined 1,040 yards, 56 first downs and 101 points. Penn State scored touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions, which is hard to do on Tuesdays against the scout team. But the Nittany Lions, leading 49-35 with 1:55 left in the third quarter, lost their mojo. The Trojans tied the game with 1:20 to play, and after Leon McQuay III picked off Trace McSorley and returned it to the Nittany Lions 33 with :27 left, USC's Matt Boermeester nailed a 46-yard field goal as time expired. Whew.
25. No. 2 Ohio State 31, No. 1 Miami 24 (2OT)
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 3, 2003
The fireworks celebrating Miami's 35th consecutive win and second straight national championship lit up the desert sky, except that delayed, deliberate, oh-so-slow pass interference call by field judge Terry Porter on Miami defensive back Glenn Sharpe in the first overtime meant that Ohio State got another chance to score. The Buckeyes did, and the game continued. Miami had lost star tailback Willis McGahee to a knee injury in the fourth quarter, and it couldn't protect quarterback Ken Dorsey from a fierce pass rush. Ohio State won, as it had all season, thanks to freshman tailback Maurice Clarett, who rushed for two touchdowns, including the game winner.
26. No. 1 Army 0, No. 2 Notre Dame 0
Yankee Stadium, New York, Nov. 9, 1946
The matchup of heavyweights at Yankee Stadium ended in a scoreless tie, which one newspaper headline dubbed, "Much Ado About Nothing-Nothing." The No. 2 Fighting Irish reached the Army 4; the No. 1 Black Knights crossed the 50 nine times. Both teams finished undefeated with one tie; the AP voted the Irish national champions.
27. No. 3 Miami 26, at No. 4 Florida State 25
Oct. 3, 1987
The tilt between the No. 3 Hurricanes and No. 4 Seminoles featured 60 future NFL players, including 10 first-rounders. After Miami rallied from a 16-point deficit to take the lead late, FSU pulled within one with 42 seconds to go. FSU tried for a 2-point conversion -- and the win -- but Miami's Bubba McDowell knocked down the pass.
28. At No. 6 USC 55, No. 5 Notre Dame 24
Nov. 30, 1974
The Irish led 24-6 at halftime at the Coliseum, and Trojans coach John McKay told his team that Anthony Davis was going to return the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. That's exactly what Davis did, and his 102-yard return for a score was the first of 49 straight points for the Trojans in the game that's still known as "The Comeback."
29. No. 1 Texas 15, at No. 2 Arkansas 14
Dec. 6, 1969
More than 50 million Americans watched the Longhorns climb back from a 14-0 deficit in The Big Shootout to win their 19th consecutive game. A 44-yard toss from James Street to Randy Peschel on fourth-and-3 sparked the game-winning drive. President Richard Nixon attended the game and presented the Longhorns with a plaque declaring them national champions -- before postseason bowl games were played.
30. No. 10 Notre Dame 35, No. 9 Houston 34
Cotton Bowl, Jan. 1, 1979
Irish quarterback Joe Montana battled hypothermia and the flu while playing in icy conditions with wind chills of minus-6 degrees at the Cotton Bowl. Trainers covered Montana in blankets and fed him chicken soup at halftime. When Montana returned in the fourth quarter, he rallied the Irish back from a 22-point deficit and threw an 8-yard TD to Kris Haines to tie the game as time expired. Joe Unis' extra point won it.
31. No. 1 Texas 21, No. 9 Notre Dame 17
Cotton Bowl, Jan. 1, 1970
After beating Arkansas in the Game of the Century the previous month, the No. 1 Longhorns affirmed President Nixon's proclamation by finishing 11-0 with a victory over the No. 9 Irish. Texas needed a 17-play drive in the final minutes, which included two fourth-down conversions, to win on Billy Dale's 1-yard TD run with 1:08 left. It was Notre Dame's second-ever bowl game.
32. At USC 20, No. 1 Notre Dame 17
Nov. 28, 1964
The No. 1 Irish were undefeated under first-year coach Ara Parseghian going into their regular-season finale at unranked USC. The Irish jumped out to a 17-0 lead behind Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback John Huarte, but the Trojans rallied in the second half. Craig Fertig threw the winning 15-yard touchdown pass to Rod Sherman on fourth down with 1:35 remaining.
33. No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40
College Football Playoff National Championship, Glendale, Arizona, Jan. 11, 2016
The No. 2 Crimson Tide needed a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD and a risky onside kick to hold off quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Tigers in the CFP National Championship. It was Alabama's fourth national title in seven years under Nick Saban. The teams combined for 40 points in the fourth quarter of an instant classic.
Notre Dame alum Dan Murphy recalls the time he rushed the field with his younger brother before the Notre Dame vs. USC "Bush Push" game was over.
34. No. 1 USC 34, at No. 9 Notre Dame 31
Oct. 15, 2005
Trojans quarterback Matt Leinart pushed and spun his way into the end zone -- with help from tailback Reggie Bush and a few more teammates -- to score a 1-yard touchdown with three seconds left. Fans from both sides will never forget the "Bush Push." USC's 28th consecutive win featured three ties and four lead changes, including three in the final 5:09.
35. No. 14 BYU 46, No. 19 SMU 45
Holiday Bowl, Dec. 19, 1980
The Cougars trailed 45-25 with 3:57 left, but they recovered an onside kick and blocked a punt to fuel an improbable comeback. Trailing 45-39 with the ball at the SMU 41 on the final play, BYU quarterback Jim McMahon threw a Hail Mary pass, which somehow ended up in the arms of tight end Clay Brown. Kurt Gunther's extra point won the game.
36. No. 5 Texas 21, No. 1 Alabama 17
Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1965
The first Orange Bowl in prime time wasn't decided until Texas linebacker Tommy Nobis stuffed quarterback Joe Namath short of the goal line late in the fourth quarter. The loss spoiled No. 1 Alabama's perfect season. Namath didn't start because of a knee injury, but he came off the bench to throw for 255 yards with two TDs to earn MVP honors.
37. No. 2 Navy 21, Army 15
Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Dec. 7, 1963
Officials delayed the game a week following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The No. 2 Midshipmen, who were undefeated and led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Roger Staubach, took an early 21-7 lead. But Army scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick and drove to Navy's 2-yard line. The Midshipmen lined up for a final play when time ran out. It was the debut of TV instant replay.
38. No. 9 Auburn 17, No. 2 Alabama 16
Birmingham, Alabama, Dec. 2, 1972
Fans of both schools remember one of the most famous games in Iron Bowl history by three words: "Punt, Bama, Punt." The Tigers stunned the undefeated, No. 2 Crimson Tide by blocking two punts in the final six minutes to come from behind. Walk-on linebacker Bill Newton blocked both punts, and defensive back David Langner returned both for touchdowns.
39. No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31
College Football Playoff National Championship, Tampa, Florida, Jan. 9, 2017
There were three lead changes in the final five minutes of the first CFP championship game rematch. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson got the ball last, and his 2-yard TD pass to Hunter Renfrow with one second remaining gave the No. 2 Tigers their first national title in 35 years. No. 1 Alabama was denied its fifth national title in eight seasons.
40. Notre Dame 18, at Ohio State 13
Nov. 2, 1935
It was the first meeting between the Midwestern powerhouses, and both teams were undefeated. The Buckeyes took a 13-0 lead into the fourth quarter at home. The Irish rallied and scored three touchdowns, the final one on backup quarterback Bill Shakespeare's pass to Wayne Millner with 32 seconds to go.
41. Maryland 42, at No. 6 Miami 40
Nov. 10, 1984
The No. 6 Hurricanes had a 31-0 lead at halftime at the Orange Bowl. Maryland coach Bobby Ross started backup quarterback Frank Reich in the second half, and the Terrapins responded with six straight touchdowns to take a 42-34 lead. After the Hurricanes scored with a minute left, the Terrapins stopped a 2-point try to complete the largest comeback in NCAA history at the time.
42. At No. 12 Michigan 24, No. 1 Ohio State 12
Nov. 22, 1969
First-year Wolverines coach Bo Schembechler stunned his mentor, Woody Hayes, to earn a share of a Big Ten title and end OSU's 22-game winning streak. The Wolverines scored all of their points in the first half and intercepted six passes to preserve the win. The stunning upset by the 15-point underdogs was the start of the famous "10-Year War" between the rivals.
43. At Chicago 2, Michigan 0
Nov. 30, 1905
The original "Game of the Century" between the Western Conference rivals was played on Thanksgiving Day. The Maroons scored a safety in the final 10 minutes to end Michigan's 56-game unbeaten streak. The Maroons finished 11-0 under Amos Alonzo Stagg, outscoring their opponents 271-5, and were retroactively named national champions.
44. No. 1 Florida State 18, No. 2 Nebraska 16
Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1994
After so many near misses, FSU coach Bobby Bowden finally won his first national championship in his 18th season with the Seminoles. FSU kicker Scott Bentley kicked four field goals, including a 22-yarder with 21 seconds remaining. The Cornhuskers missed a 45-yard field goal -- wide left -- as time expired.
45. Alabama 20, Washington 19
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1926
The Crimson Tide were the first Southern team invited to play in the Rose Bowl, and they rallied from a 12-0 deficit by scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter to stun the heavily favored Huskies. Alabama, led by coach Wallace Wade, finished 10-0, and its Rose Bowl victory put Southern college football on the map.
46. At No. 2 Notre Dame 31, No. 1 Florida State 24
Nov. 13, 1993
The battle of unbeaten teams and No. 1 vs. No. 2 was the first time College GameDay took its show to campus. The No. 2 Irish led 24-7 in the third quarter, but the Seminoles rallied behind quarterback Charlie Ward. Notre Dame's Shawn Wooden knocked down Ward's pass in the end zone on the final play.
47. No. 1 Alabama 35, No. 4 Georgia 28
SEC Championship Game, Atlanta, Dec. 1, 2018
With Alabama trailing in the second half of the SEC championship game, backup quarterback Jalen Hurts came off the bench to throw for one touchdown and run for another. The Crimson Tide didn't take their first lead -- after the Bulldogs' failed fake punt --until Hurts scored on a 15-yard run with 1:04 left.
48. No. 2 Miami 17, at No. 1 Florida State 16
Nov. 16, 1991
It was the first in what would be a handful of haunting FSU losses to the Hurricanes. Seminoles kicker Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard field goal wide right with 29 seconds remaining to give the Hurricanes a road victory. The game is still known as "Wide Right I." The Hurricanes went on to win a share of their fourth national championship.
49. No. 6 Texas 38, No. 13 Michigan 37
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 2005
Texas coach Mack Brown publicly lobbied for his team to play in the Rose Bowl, and the Longhorns proved they belonged by winning on Dusty Mangum's 37-yard field goal as time expired in the first meeting between the schools. Texas quarterback Vince Young ran for 192 yards with four touchdowns and passed for 180 with one score.
50. No. 1 Florida State 34, No. 2 Auburn 31
BCS National Championship, Pasadena, California, Jan. 6, 2014
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston rallied the Seminoles back from an 18-point deficit and threw the winning 2-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left in the last BCS National Championship. The Seminoles scored 24 points in the second half, and the teams combined for that many in the last 4:42.
51. No. 4 Florida 31, at No. 7 Florida State 31
Nov. 26, 1994
Choke at Doak. The Gators led the Seminoles 31-3 entering the fourth quarter. But FSU QB Danny Kanell, nearly benched, threw for 232 yards and a TD in the fourth to rally the Noles. Bobby Bowden decided to kick the extra point rather than go for 2 after Rock Preston's 4-yard TD run with 1:45 left. "It is a pretty dang good win ... I mean tie," was Bowden's postgame Freudian slip.
52. No. 3 Oklahoma 29, at No. 4 Ohio State 28
Sept. 24, 1977
The Sooners rolled to a 20-0 second-quarter lead, but the Buckeyes rallied to go in front 28-20 in the fourth. The first meeting of the traditional powers was nothing short of thrilling. Elvis Peacock's 2-yard TD run made it 28-26 with 1:29 left. OU's 2-point try failed. Enter Uwe von Schamann. His successful onside kick followed by a 41-yard field goal gave OU the win.
53. No. 13 Tennessee 35, at No. 5 Notre Dame 34
Nov. 9, 1991
The Volunteers rallied from 31-7 down in the first half to go up 35-34 with 4:03 left on an Andy Kelly-to-Aaron Hayden TD pass. The Irish marched down the field to get in field goal range. With its starting kicker injured on an earlier FG block for a TD, backup Rob Leonard lined up for a 27-yarder. The Vols' Jeremy Lincoln blocked it with his butt. "I went up to my mom after the game," he said, "and thanked her for giving me such a big behind."
54. No. 2 Alabama 32, No. 3 Georgia 28
SEC championship game, Atlanta, Dec. 1, 2012
AJ McCarron connected with Amari Cooper on a 45-yard TD with 3:15 left to give the Crimson Tide the late edge in a back-and-forth contest that featured five lead changes. The Bulldogs almost made it six. On the Bama 8 with 9 seconds left, WR Chris Conley slipped at the 5 after catching Georgia QB Aaron Murray's deflected pass. Time expired, sending the Tide back to the BCS title game.
55. USC 16, at Notre Dame 14
Nov. 21, 1931
After the Trojans rallied from a 14-0 deficit, Johnny Baker kicked a 33-yard field goal with one minute left to win it. USC snapped the Fighting Irish's 26-game unbeaten streak, and the Trojans claimed their first national championship. Coach Howard Jones took the USC team to visit Knute Rockne's grave after the game.
56. No. 9 Notre Dame 13, No. 2 Alabama 11
Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1975
In Ara Parseghian's last game as Notre Dame's coach, the Fighting Irish sprung the upset and cost Bear Bryant and Alabama the national championship. Wayne Bullock and Mark McLane ran for touchdowns to give the Irish a 13-0 lead. Parseghian rode off on his players' shoulders after Reggie Barnett's interception of Tide QB Richard Todd with under two minutes left sealed it.
57. At No. 15 Alabama 33, No. 20 Ole Miss 32
Oct. 4, 1969
The Crimson Tide and the Rebels delivered one of the greatest SEC games in history in a rare-for-the-times prime-time TV game featuring four lead changes in the fourth quarter. George Ranager caught a late 14-yard, fourth-and-goal TD pass from Scott Hunter to lift Alabama to the win. Ole Miss QB Archie Manning had 540 total yards (436 passing, 104 rushing) and five touchdowns (three rushing, two passing) in the loss. The offenses combined to set one NCAA and nine SEC records.
58. At No. 7 Miami 27, No. 1 Florida State 24
Oct. 7, 2000
After trailing 17-0 at the half, the Seminoles rallied, finally taking a 24-20 lead on a 29-yard Chris Weinke TD pass with 1:37 left. The Canes answered with a Ken Dorsey-to-Jeremy Shockey 13-yard touchdown with 46 seconds remaining. FSU moved into field goal range, but Matt Munyon missed a 49-yarder to tie. It was wide right. Of course. "Wide Right III" flashed across the Orange Bowl scoreboard.
59. Michigan State 41, at Northwestern 38
Oct. 21, 2006
Trailing 38-3 in the middle of the third quarter, the Spartans staged the biggest comeback in FBS history. Two interceptions and a blocked punt for a touchdown fueled the 38-point rally. Michigan State tied it on a 9-yard Drew Stanton TD pass with 3:48 left and won it on Brett Swenson's 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds on the clock.
60. No. 3 Georgia 54, No. 2 Oklahoma 48 (2 OT)
College Football Playoff semifinal at Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 2018
Down 31-14 late in the first half, Georgia rushed its way back into the semifinal thriller. RBs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb combined for 326 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Michel's fourth-quarter fumble was returned for a TD to give OU a 45-38 lead, but a Chubb TD with 55 seconds left sent it to overtime. Michel atoned for the miscue as his 27-yard sprint in the second overtime sent the Bulldogs to the national title game.
61. No. 3 Penn State 15, No. 6 Kansas 14
Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1969
Awarded a second chance on a 2-point conversion with 15 seconds left, Penn State's Bob Campbell swept over the left side for the win. Kansas stopped the initial try but was flagged for having 12 men on the field. The Nittany Lions finished second in the final AP poll.
62. No. 2 Alabama 34, No. 1 Miami 13
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 1993
The 8-point-underdog Crimson Tide rolled to the national championship by surprisingly dominating a Hurricanes team that had won 29 straight games. Alabama picked off Miami QB Gino Torretta three times and held the Canes to 48 yards rushing. George Teague's 31-yard interception return for a TD in the third quarter effectively ended it.
63. No. 8 Arkansas 14, at No. 1 Texas 13
Oct. 17, 1964
The Razorbacks snapped the top-ranked and defending national champion Longhorns' 15-game win streak when Texas' 2-point try failed after a Ted Koy touchdown run with 1:27 left. Ken Hatfield's 81-yard punt return gave Arkansas an early lead and Freddie Marshall's 34-yard TD pass to Bobby Crockett in the fourth put the Hogs ahead to stay. Arkansas finished the season with a share of the national title.
64. No. 1 Colorado 10, No. 5 Notre Dame 9
Orange Bowl, Jan. 1, 1991
Colorado claimed a share of the national championship with the win over Notre Dame, but the game is remembered for a touchdown that didn't count. Rocket Ismail took a punt back 91 yards for a score with 43 seconds left to jolt the Fighting Irish into the apparent lead, but a clipping call wiped the play out.
65. Pittsburgh 13, at No. 2 West Virginia 9
Dec. 2, 2007
A win away from playing for the BCS National Championship, No. 2 West Virginia lost the 100th Backyard Brawl to rival Pitt. The four-touchdown-favorite Mountaineers, who committed five turnovers and had only 183 total yards, couldn't recover after QB Pat White was knocked out of the game in the second quarter. "It was just a nightmare," coach Rich Rodriguez said. "The whole thing was a nightmare."
66. No. 3 Texas 13, No. 22 Nebraska 12
Big 12 championship, Dec. 6, 2009
Hunter Lawrence booted a 46-yard field goal on the final play of the game after a review put one second back on the clock. The Huskers celebrated on the field when Colt McCoy's pass sailed out of bounds and the clock ran to to all zeros on the previous play. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh dominated the Longhorns, registering 4.5 sacks. Texas advanced to the BCS title game with the win, where the Horns lost to Alabama.
67. Navy 14, No. 2 Army 2
Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Dec. 2, 1950
Navy (2-6) stunned Army (8-0), ending the Black Knights' 28-game unbeaten streak. The Midshipmen limited No. 2 Army to five first downs and only 137 total yards in front of President Harry S. Truman and 101,000 others in attendance. The Mids also picked off five passes from Army QB Bob Blaik.
68. No. 7 Georgia Tech 7, No. 11 Pittsburgh 0
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2, 1956
The first integrated Sugar Bowl was controversial before and during the game. Georgia Gov. Marvin Griffin threatened not to allow the Yellow Jackets to play in the game because Pitt's roster included Bobby Grier, who was black. The Yellow Jackets and Grier did make it to New Orleans for the game, but a very questionable pass interference call against Grier led to the only points of the game.
69. No. 1 Nebraska 45, at Missouri 38
Nov. 8, 1997
Nebraska WR Matt Davison miraculously caught the "Flea Kicker" TD pass from QB Scott Frost that was deflected off teammate Shevin Wiggins' foot with no time left on the clock to send the top-ranked Cornhuskers to overtime. Frost's option keeper gave Nebraska the lead in OT, and the Cornhuskers' defense sacked Missouri QB Corby Jones to end it.
70. No. 16 Alabama 17, No. 5 USC 10
Sept. 10, 1971
The Crimson Tide surprised USC by breaking out the wishbone offense. Alabama scored 17 points on its first three possessions. The Tide defense thwarted three Trojans drives inside the Bama 25-yard line in the second half to preserve the win.
71. No. 7 Kentucky 13, No. 1 Oklahoma 7
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 1951
Kentucky coach Bear Bryant used three defensive tackles and nine men in the box to slow down the Sooners and end their 31-game winning streak. Wilbur Jamerson caught and rushed for a touchdown in the first half, and five Oklahoma turnovers helped the Wildcats hang on for the upset win.
72. At No. 7 Texas Tech 39, No. 1 Texas 33
Nov. 2, 2008
No. 1 Texas rallied from 16 down in the third quarter to take a 33-32 lead on Vondrell McGee's TD run with 1:29 left. But that just set the stage for a thrilling finish. Michael Crabtree caught a 28-yard toss from Graham Harrell, shook off a defender and raced into the end zone for the winning touchdown with only one second on the clock.
73. No. 5 USC 18, No. 3 Ohio State 17
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1975
In their third straight Rose Bowl meeting, USC came from behind to beat USC. Pat Haden tossed a 38-yard TD pass to J.K. McKay with 2:03 left. Haden connected with Shelton Diggs, who made a diving catch on the 2-point conversion, to win it. The Trojans would claim a share of the national championship.
74. At Columbia 21, No. 6 Army 20
Oct. 25, 1947
Gene Rossides passed for 239 yards and rallied the Lions from 20-7 down in the fourth quarter to end Army's 32-game unbeaten streak. As the game ended, reports say the Columbia fans waved white handkerchiefs at the Army side of the field, where many Cadets had tears streaming down their faces.
75. No. 16 Texas 15, No. 2 Oklahoma 14
Oct. 11, 1958
Behind a 13-play, 74-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, Texas ended a six-game losing streak to the Sooners and handed OU its only loss of the season. QB Bobby Lackey threw the winning score for the Horns. The win over the Sooners was the first of eight straight that Texas would win in the series under coach Darrell Royal.
76. No. 17 Boston College 41, at No. 1 Notre Dame 39
Nov. 20, 1993
The Fighting Irish came back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to go ahead by one but left time for the Eagles to come back. Quarterback Glenn Foley moved the ball to the Notre Dame 24, and kicker David Gordon nailed a 41-yard field goal at the gun. The team that the Irish beat the week before, Florida State, went on to win the national championship.
77. No. 1 USC 42, No. 2 Wisconsin 37
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1963
The Trojans rolled to a 42-14 lead in the fourth quarter, then nightfall and the Badgers started coming on. Wisconsin quarterback Ron Vander Kelen, who averaged 131 passing yards per game, threw for 401 yards. The teams broke 11 Rose Bowl records.
78. No. 3 Army 21, Navy 21
Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Nov. 27, 1948
The Midshipmen came in 0-8, the Black Knights 8-0 and 21-point favorites. But the playing field leveled when Army's Thanksgiving meal included a course of food poisoning. Forty-two players became ill. They recovered to play, but a crowd of 102,500, including President Truman, Chief Justice Vinson and most of the Cabinet, saw a taut game that Navy tied with a touchdown with 4:42 left.
79. No. 6 Florida 24, No. 3 Alabama 23
SEC championship game, Atlanta, Dec. 3, 1994
Alabama senior quarterback Jay Barker, 35-2-1 as a starter, fell short in trying to lead the Crimson Tide to its eighth comeback victory of the season. When the Tide scored on a pick-six to go ahead 22-17 with 5:29 to play, head coach Gene Stallings chose to kick the extra point instead of go for two. Danny Wuerffel drove the Gators down for the win, scoring on a 2-yard pass to Chris Doering.
80. SMU 20, at TCU 14
Nov. 30, 1935
They came in undefeated and played for the Southwest Conference championship and a Rose Bowl bid. In the fourth quarter with the score 14-14, on fourth down from the TCU 39, the Mustangs' Bob Finley went back to punt but instead threw a touchdown pass to Bobby Wilson. The $85,000 SMU received from the Rose Bowl paid the mortgage on the Mustangs' campus stadium.
Kurt Kragthorpe remembers the afternoon at Kyle Field when Texas and Texas A&M came together to honor the Aggie students who lost their lives during a bonfire tragedy.
81. At No. 24 Texas A&M 20, No. 7 Texas 16
Nov. 26, 1999
Eight days after the Aggie Bonfire collapse that killed 12 and injured 27, the Big 12 archrivals met in a somber Kyle Field. The usual hate had been replaced by love -- Texas held a campus blood drive and played the "Aggie War Hymn" on the carillon in the campus tower. Ja'Mar Toombs led the Aggies back from a 10-point deficit by rushing for 126 yards and two scores on 37 carries.
82. No. 7 Michigan State 27, at No. 12 Michigan 23
Oct. 17, 2015
Wolverines punter Blake O'Neill fumbled a punt snap with :10 left and frantically tried to get rid of the ball. The Spartans' Jalen Watts-Jackson caught the fumble and returned it 38 yards for the winning points. He suffered a dislocated hip when tackled in the end zone, and then his teammates piled on him. Watts-Jackson recovered; Michigan still suffers.
83. No. 14 TCU 28, No. 8 Syracuse 27
Cotton Bowl, Jan. 1, 1957
Senior halfback Jim Brown rushed for 132 yards and scored three touchdowns, but he kicked only three extra points. TCU backup Chico Mendoza blocked the extra point after Brown's third touchdown. Syracuse scored again, with 1:16 left, but in those days, there was no 2-point conversion. TCU scored all four touchdowns off turnovers.
84. At Miami 49, No. 3 UCLA 45
Dec. 5, 1998
The Bruins would advance to the first BCS Championship Game by defeating the Hurricanes in a game postponed 10 weeks because of Hurricane Georges. The Miami at season's end played much tougher than the Miami of September. Edgerrin James rushed for 299 yards and scored the winning touchdown with 50 seconds left to overcome 513 passing yards by UCLA's Cade McNown. Both set school records.
85. At LSU 7, No. 4 Auburn 6
Oct. 8, 1988
On only its second trip into Auburn territory, LSU scored on a fourth-down, 11-yard pass from Tommy Hodson to Eddie Fuller with less than two minutes left. The fan celebration literally shook the ground, as registered by a campus seismograph. LSU's victory broke Auburn's nine-game unbeaten streak in the SEC. Both teams finished at 6-1 in the league.
86. No. 2 Georgia 26, No. 20 Florida 21
Gator Bowl, Jacksonville, Florida, Nov. 8, 1980
The Gators came back to lead 21-20 and pinned the Bulldogs on their own 7 in the last two minutes. All Georgia coach Vince Dooley wanted was a first down on a third-and-11 play. Quarterback Buck Belue found wide receiver Lindsay Scott in the middle of the field. Scott spun to the left sideline and won a footrace to glory. "Run, Lindsay!" Georgia broadcaster Larry Munson screamed. Did he ever.
87. No. 12 Colorado 33, at Missouri 31
Oct. 6, 1990
After six lead changes, the Buffaloes drove to the Tigers' 1-yard-line. On fifth down, Colorado quarterback Charles Johnson ran in for the touchdown. You heard me. Fifty years earlier, Cornell beat Dartmouth, 7-3, by scoring on fifth down. Upon reviewing the films, Cornell forfeited the game. Colorado coach Bill McCartney would hear of no such thing. The Buffs went on to share the national championship with Georgia Tech.
88. Columbia 7, Stanford 0
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1934
Stanford outgained Columbia 264-101 on a rainy, sodden day in Pasadena, but the Lions made "KF-79" famous. Columbia used the play, a hidden-ball reverse, in which Cliff Montgomery handed off to Al Barabas in the first quarter and gained 25 yards. They tried it in the second quarter, and Barabas went 17 yards for a touchdown. Twice in the second half, Stanford drove inside the Columbia 10 and came up empty.
89. Georgia Tech 8, California 7
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1929
In the second quarter, the Golden Bears' Roy Riegels picked up a fumble by the Yellow Jackets' Stumpy Thomason and inexplicably headed toward his own goal line, 65 yards away. Riegels stunning move created a big head start, but his teammate Benny Lom chased him down and tackled him. Cal had the ball on its 1. When Lom tried to punt the ball out, Georgia Tech blocked it for a safety. Riegels graciously acceded to being called "Wrong Way" for the next 64 years.
90. Stanford 24, at No. 2 USC 23
Oct. 6, 2007
The Cardinal, 41-point underdogs, hung around because USC quarterback John David Booty broke his finger on a helmet in the first half but stayed in the game. He threw four second-half interceptions, one a pick-six. In the final minute, on fourth-and-goal from the USC 10, Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard, making his first start, threw a perfect fade to a leaping Mark Bradford for the winning score.
91. Alabama 25, No. 7 Auburn 23
Legion Field, Birmingham, Nov. 30, 1985
The greatest Iron Bowl not decided by a fluke: four lead changes in the fourth quarter, the third coming with 57 seconds left when Auburn's Reggie Ware scored from a yard out. The Tigers went for two and failed, which left the door open a crack. QB Mike Shula drove the Crimson Tide 45 yards to the Auburn 35 in six plays, converting a fourth-and-6 along the way, and Van Tiffin split the uprights from 52 yards out.
92. No. 1 Ohio State 10, at No. 4 Michigan 10
Nov. 24, 1973
Both teams came in undefeated and unchallenged. The Buckeyes grabbed a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. Head coach Woody Hayes stuck to his grind-it-out playbook even as the Wolverines put nine men in the box. Michigan tied it in the fourth quarter; the Wolverines' Mike Lantry missed field goal attempts of 58 and 44 yards in the final 1:01. The Big Ten athletic directors voted to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl, and Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler never forgave them.
93. Notre Dame 7, USC 6
Soldier Field, Chicago, Nov. 26, 1927
USC had never come so far east for a game. They played before 117,000, who saw a tense, taut game. Both teams scored their touchdowns in the first quarter, then settled into a war of attrition. USC thought it went ahead, 8-7, late in the third quarter when Notre Dame back Charles Riley fumbled an interception near the Irish goal line and the ball rolled out of the end zone. The officials ruled he didn't have possession of the ball. The films disagreed.
94. No. 2 Alabama 28, No. 12 Florida 21
SEC championship game, Birmingham, Dec. 5, 1992
The Crimson Tide had gone 11-0 but -- who thought of this? -- had to play in the inaugural SEC championship game before playing for a national title. With the score tied at 21, the momentum tilted toward the Gators. Quarterback Shane Matthews, baited by Tide corner Antonio Langham, threw an out pass. Langham snatched it and returned it 27 yards for the winning score. Conference championship games would live to see a healthy life.
95. No. 7 Clemson 17, No. 20 Ohio State 15
Gator Bowl, Dec. 29, 1978
The Buckeyes' chance to win ended when quarterback Art Schlichter threw a late interception to Tigers linebacker Charlie Bauman. His momentum carried Bauman into the Ohio State sideline, whereupon legendary head coach Woody Hayes set upon him. And threw a right cross at Bauman's neck. Hayes, 65, was fired the next morning.
96. No. 1 Army 21, Navy 18
Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, Nov. 30, 1946
This might have been Red Blaik's best Army team, but the Black Knights finished second behind Notre Dame, a team they had tied 0-0, because of this final game. The Midshipmen, 1-7, started their final drive at their 33 at the midway point of the fourth quarter. It ended at the Army 4 when Navy, out of timeouts, frantically tried to get off a final snap to win but failed. Army won the game but lost any chance at the national title.
97. At Iowa State 37, No. 2 Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT)
Nov. 18, 2011
The Cowboys' best-ever chance at finishing No. 1 went awry on a Friday night in Ames. The Cowboys went ahead by 17 points in the third quarter. But Iowa State scored a touchdown with 5:30 left to tie it. After trading TDs in the first overtime, Ter'Ran Benton picked off Brandon Weeden to set the stage for Cyclones RB Jeff Woody's winning 4-yard TD run.
98. No. 3 USC 17, No. 5 Michigan 10
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1979
Wolverines coach Bo Schembechler went 2-8 in Rose Bowls, but it's hard to pin this loss on him. In the second quarter, Trojans tailback Charles White took off on a leap toward the goal line from the Michigan 3. About halfway there, he fumbled the ball. The officials signaled touchdown, anyway. "I don't know about you," the Los Angeles Times' Jim Murray wrote, "but where I grew up, you were supposed to have the football with you when you went into the end zone."
99. No. 10 Florida State 24, at No. 3 Clemson 21
Sept. 17, 1988
With just over a minute to play in a rain-soaked game and the score tied 21-21, the Seminoles lined up to punt from their own 20. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden called the "Puntrooskie": The snap went to one blocker, who handed it forward between the legs of LeRoy Butler, who took off running 78 yards around left end. Four plays later, Florida State's Richie Andrews kicked the winning 19-yard field goal. "We were determined," Bowden said, "somebody was going to win that game."
100. At No. 7 Auburn 43, No. 25 Georgia 38
Nov. 16, 2013
Georgia scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to go ahead of Auburn 38-37. Down to its last prayer, on fourth-and-18 on its 27-yard line with 36 seconds to play, Auburn sent Ricardo Louis deep. Rather than bat down Nick Marshall's pass, Georgia defensive back Tray Matthews tried to intercept it. Teammate Josh Harvey-Clemons got a hand on the ball, which bounced out of Matthews' grasp into the waiting arms of Louis, who ran in for the score. The last prayer -- the Prayer at Jordan-Hare -- was answered.
101. At No. 1 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Michigan 39
Nov. 18, 2006
The first No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the history of "The Game" was so good that the Wolverines argued they should have played it again in the BCS National Championship. The No. 1 Buckeyes had 503 yards of offense, and quarterback Troy Smith threw four touchdowns. The Wolverines nearly rallied to win a day after legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died.
102. At No. 2 Florida State 24, No. 1 Florida 21
Nov. 30, 1996
The No. 2 Seminoles hit Gators quarterback Danny Wuerffel early and often, sacking him six times and forcing him to throw three interceptions. (Gators coach Steve Spurrier complained that FSU hit him late, too.) The Gators had the last laugh, however, when they routed the No. 1 Seminoles 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl to win the school's first national championship.
103. Great Lakes Navy Training 19, No. 1 Notre Dame 14
Ross Field, Chicago, Nov. 27, 1943
The Bluejackets handed the No. 1 Fighting Irish their only loss of the season and cost them an undisputed national title with a stunning loss in the finale. The Irish scored on Creighton Miller's 1-yard run with 1:06 left, but then Great Lakes threw a 46-yard touchdown only 38 seconds later. The Irish were led by quarterback Johnny Lujack, who would win the 1947 Heisman Trophy.
104. No. 8 Oklahoma 31, at No. 12 Oklahoma State 28
Nov. 5, 1988
The Sooners survived one of OSU's best teams -- led by quarterback Mike Gundy, tailback Barry Sanders and receiver Hart Lee Dykes -- to win their 12th straight game in the Bedlam rivalry. The Pokes trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter but took the lead before the Sooners went ahead for good with 2:33 to go. OU survived one last drive when Brent Parker dropped a fourth-down pass in the end zone. Sanders ran for 215 yards with two touchdowns.
105. At No. 2 Kansas State 40, No. 11 Nebraska 30
Nov. 14, 1998
The Wildcats ended three decades of futility against Nebraska, ending a 29-game losing streak that stretched back to 1968. Wildcats quarterback Michael Bishop had 446 yards of offense with four touchdowns, and Jeff Kelly's 24-yard TD return of an Eric Crouch fumble with three seconds left sealed it for Kansas State, which improved to 10-0 under Bill Snyder.
106. No. 10 Texas A&M 36, No. 2 Kansas State 33 (2 OT)
Big 12 championship game, St. Louis, Dec. 5, 1998
Kansas State started the day in third place in the Bowl Championship Series standings but had a clear path to the national title game after UCLA lost to Miami. The Wildcats led by 15 going into the fourth quarter of the Big 12 title game, but the Aggies rallied late to tie the score. The Wildcats almost won on the final play of regulation when Michael Bishop completed a 55-yard Hail Mary pass to Everett Burnett at the A&M 2. Sirr Parker's 32-yard TD catch gave the Aggies the win in the second OT.
107. Carlisle 23, at Harvard 15
Nov. 9, 1907
Carlisle, the nation's flagship university for Native Americans, used myriad trick plays -- forward passes (legalized two years earlier), an 85-yard, stop-and-go punt return and a quarterback run off a fake handoff -- to end a 10-game losing streak to the Crimson. The Indians, led by coach Pop Warner and star Jim Thorpe, finished 10-1.
108. At No. 11 Auburn 30, No. 2 Alabama 20
Dec. 2, 1989
The No. 11 Tigers stunned the previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide in the first Iron Bowl played at Auburn. Tigers coach Pat Dye said playing Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium was comparable to the "crumbling of the Berlin Wall." It was Auburn's fourth straight win in the series and clinched a share of its third consecutive SEC title.
109. No. 5 UCLA 14, No. 1 Michigan State 12
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1966
The "gutty little Bruins" stunned No. 1-ranked and heavily favored Michigan State in the 1966 Rose Bowl, costing the Spartans a national title. UCLA led 14-0 in the fourth quarter before MSU scored two touchdowns. The Spartans failed to convert a pair of 2-point conversions; UCLA defensive back Bob Stiles was knocked unconscious while stopping an option play on the second one with 31 seconds left.
110. Notre Dame 27, Stanford 10
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1925
The Fighting Irish took advantage of Stanford's turnovers to win their first bowl game and first national championship in the 11th Rose Bowl. In a matchup of legendary coaches Knute Rockne and Pop Warner, Notre Dame's Elmer Layden -- one of the fabled Four Horsemen -- scored three touchdowns, including two on interception returns.
111. Michigan 9, at No. 8 Ohio State 3
Nov. 25, 1950
The Buckeyes and Wolverines played during the worst blizzard to hit Columbus, Ohio, in 37 years. With more than 20 inches of snow and wind gusts of more than 20 mph, the teams combined to punt 45 times. Michigan won despite not picking up a first down; the Wolverines scored on a safety and blocked punt to win.
112. No. 15 Clemson 31, at South Carolina 27
Nov. 19, 1977
The No. 15 Tigers had to beat their rivals to earn a trip to the Gator Bowl, and they had a 24-0 lead midway through the third quarter. The Gamecocks came storming back and scored 27 straight points to take the lead with 1:48 remaining. Clemson reached the USC 20 in the final minute, and Steve Fuller tried to throw a pass away in the end zone while under pressure. Instead, Tigers wideout Jerry Butler made a leaping, twisting reception, which is still known as "The Catch," to score the winning touchdown with 49 seconds to go.
113. No. 16 LSU 33, at Kentucky 30
Nov. 9, 2002
With the Wildcats leading in the final seconds, more than 2,000 UK fans were on the sideline ready to tear down the goalposts, and the Wildcats had already doused coach Guy Morriss with Gatorade. LSU had one last prayer when Marcus Randall dropped back from his team's 15-yard line. A UK defender deflected the ball into LSU receiver Devery Henderson's hand, and he ran into the end zone for a 74-yard touchdown with no time left to complete the "Bluegrass Miracle."
114. TCU 6, at No. 1 Texas 0
Nov. 18, 1961
The Horned Frogs, 24-point underdogs, stunned the No. 1 Longhorns in one of the biggest upsets in series history. TCU's defense stopped UT on three drives inside the Horned Frogs' 5 and knocked out Texas star James Saxton, and QB Sonny Gibbs connected with Buddy Iles on a 50-yard TD pass. The devastating loss caused UT coach Darrell Royal to later compare the Horned Frogs to cockroaches. "It's not what they eat and tote off," he said. "It's what they fall into and mess up that hurts."
115. At Michigan State 16, No. 1 Ohio State 13
Nov. 9, 1974
The Spartans rallied from a 13-3 deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead over the No. 1 Buckeyes. With 13 seconds left, the Spartans stopped Champ Henson short of the end zone. On the final hurried play, wingback Brian Baschnagel scooped up a botched snap and dove into the end zone. One official raised his arm to signal a touchdown; another waived his arms to signal that time expired. Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke drew the short straw and had to inform Woody Hayes that MSU was the winner.
116. No. 1 Florida State 46, No. 2 Virginia Tech 29
Sugar Bowl, BCS Championship, Jan. 4, 2000
The Seminoles overcame the Hokies -- and star quarterback Michael Vick -- to hand coach Bobby Bowden his second national title in a season in which they went wire-to-wire as No. 1. The Hokies rallied from a 28-7 deficit to take a 29-28 lead in the fourth quarter behind Vick, who ran for 97 yards with one touchdown and passed for 225 yards with one score. The Noles scored the last 18 points, capped by a 43-yard TD from Chris Weinke to Peter Warrick.
117. At No. 7 Florida 30, Auburn 27
Oct. 19, 1966
Gators quarterback Steve Spurrier passed for 259 yards with one touchdown and ran for a 1-yard score. The score was tied at 27 when the Gators' drive stalled at Auburn's 25-yard line. Spurrier kicked a 40-yard field goal -- he was his team's long-distance kicker but hadn't made one since the opener -- to win the game. It helped him win the Heisman Trophy during his senior season.
118. At No. 2 Ohio State 30, No. 3 Michigan 27 (2 OT)
Nov. 26, 2016
The No. 3 Wolverines led 17-7 in the third quarter, but the No. 2 Buckeyes came back and forced overtime with a 23-yard field goal with one second left in regulation. In the second OT, the Buckeyes barely converted a fourth-and-1 before Curtis Samuel scored on a 15-yard run to beat Michigan a fifth straight time.
119. Stanford 49, at No. 5 Oregon 42
Oct. 20, 2001
The Cardinal spoiled Oregon's national championship dreams by rallying from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Stanford blocked two punts, intercepted a pass and recovered an onside kick en route to scoring the game's final 21 points. The Cardinal won despite losing quarterback Randy Fasani to injury in the second quarter.
120. At No. 24 Virginia 33, No. 2 Florida State 28
Nov. 2, 1995
The Cavaliers handed FSU its first loss as a member of the ACC by stopping Warrick Dunn just short of the end zone as time expired. The Seminoles had won their first 29 ACC games after joining the league in 1992. Virginia's Tiki Barber had 193 rushing and 45 receiving yards and returned six punts for 73 yards.
121. At No. 21 Northwestern 54, No. 12 Michigan 51
Nov. 4, 2000
The teams combined for nearly 1,200 yards of offense in a wild shootout that came down to the wire. The Wildcats seemed doomed when Damien Anderson dropped a pass at the goal line on fourth down with 1:38 to go. Then Northwestern recovered a fumble at the UM 30 with 46 seconds remaining, and Sam Simmons caught an 11-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left for an improbable victory.
122. At Marshall 15, Xavier 13
Sept. 25, 1971
Freshman Terry Gardner caught a 13-yard touchdown from QB Reggie Oliver on the game's final play to give the Thundering Herd their first victory just 10 months and 11 days after a 1970 plane crash that killed 75 players, coaches and supporters. The plane crashed near the airport in Huntington, West Virginia, after the team returned from a game at East Carolina. The Young Thundering Herd lifted the school and community with the thrilling win.
123. No. 9 Colorado 39, No. 3 Texas 37
Big 12 championship game, Irving, Texas, Dec. 1, 2001
The Buffaloes scored 26 points off four Chris Simms turnovers in the first half, then held off a late rally behind UT backup quarterback Major Applewhite to win the Big 12 championship game. The loss knocked the Longhorns out of the BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. Colorado's Chris Brown ran for three touchdowns.
124. At No. 10 Florida 32, No. 2 Florida State 29
Nov. 22, 1997
Gators coach Steve Spurrier alternated quarterbacks Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise on every play to stun the No. 2 Seminoles and knock them out of the national title race. Johnson's 63-yard pass to Jacquez Green set the Gators up for the winning score, and Dwayne Thomas intercepted a third-down pass to clinch the game.
125. Arkansas 58, at Ole Miss 56 (7 OT)
Nov. 3, 2001
The Razorbacks and Rebels battled for more than four hours in a seven-overtime thriller that wasn't decided until Arkansas' Jermaine Petty stopped Ole Miss tight end Doug Zeigler 2 yards short of the goal line in the final OT. The score was tied at 10 after three quarters and 17 at the end of regulation. The teams combined for 988 yards of offense and scored 80 points in overtime.
126. Centre 6, at Harvard 0
Oct. 29, 1921
David snapped Goliath's 25-game unbeaten streak in one of the biggest upsets in the early years of college football. The Praying Colonels got all the points they needed on QB Bo McMillin's 32-yard TD run early in the third quarter.
127. No. 5 Cincinnati 45, at No. 15 Pittsburgh 44
Dec. 5, 2009
Cincinnati WR/KR Mardy Gilyard exploded for 374 all-purpose yards and 2 TDs as the Bearcats rallied from down 21. Cincinnati grabbed its first lead with 33 seconds left on Tony Pike's 29-yard TD pass to Armon Binns. A mishandled snap by Pitt after the Panthers scored with 1:36 left proved to be the difference.
128. Princeton 21, at Chicago 18
Oct. 28, 1922
In the first college football game nationally broadcast on radio, the Tigers came back with 14 fourth-quarter points against Amos Alonzo Stagg's powerful Maroons. Grantland Rice called Princeton a "team of destiny" after a goal-line stand preserved the win. The Tigers would finish the season a perfect 8-0.
129. Minnesota 13, at Pittsburgh 7
Oct. 20, 1934
The Golden Gophers knocked off the 3-0 Panthers with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Down 7-0, Butch Larson recovered a fumble leading to a TD and threw the winning TD. Minnesota finished 8-0 and earned the first of three straight national championships under coach Bernie Bierman.
130. At No. 2 Colorado 27, No. 3 Nebraska 21
Nov. 4, 1989
In matchup of 8-0 teams, Colorado used two long Jeff Campbell punt returns to set up touchdowns to end Nebraska's 17-game regular-season winning streak. The Buffs survived one last Cornhuskers drive to win and catapult them to a Big 8 title.
131. At No. 1 Tennessee 28, No. 10 Arkansas 24
Nov. 14, 1998
The Razorbacks sprinted to a 21-3 lead, but the Vols rallied to close the score to 24-22. With 1:43 left, Arkansas QB Clint Stoerner's "Hand of God" fumble gave the ball back to Tennessee. Running back Travis Henry took it from there and scored the winning touchdown. The Vols would go on to win the first BCS national championship.
132. No. 3 USC 14, No. 2 Tennessee 0
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, 1940
Tennessee arrived in Pasadena without giving up a single point all season, but it was the Vols who came up empty against USC. Game MVP Ambrose Schindler ran for one touchdown and passed for another to lead the Trojans to the Rose Bowl win.
133. At No. 3 Michigan 10, Ohio State 7
Nov. 20, 1971
Underdog Ohio State took a 7-3 third-quarter lead on an 85-yard Tom Campana punt return, but Bill Taylor's 21-yard TD scamper with 2:07 left preserved the Wolverines' first unblemished regular season since 1948. Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes added to the bedlam in Michigan Stadium, earning two 15-yard penalties and ripping a down marker to shreds after Michigan's Tom Darden's game-clinching interception.
134. At No. 1 Notre Dame 14, No. 2 Iowa Pre-Flight 13
Nov. 20, 1943
In 1943's de facto national title game, the Fighting Irish and Seahawks were tied 7-7 through three quarters. Notre Dame fell behind 13-7, but the Seahawks missed the extra point. A late 6-yard touchdown by running back Creighton Miller gave Notre Dame the win.
135. At No. 1 Minnesota 7, No. 15 Nebraska 0
Oct. 10, 1936
Minnesota's Andy Uram ran 79 yards for the winning touchdown on punt-return lateral from Bud Wilkinson with 1:08 left. According to the Omaha World-Herald, one Cornhuskers player said: "By God, they've got a horseshoe; they've got a damned swell horseshoe." The Golden Gophers would win their third straight national championship.
136. Arkansas 50, at No. 1 LSU 48 (3 OT)
Nov. 23, 2007
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns and even tossed a TD pass in the Razorbacks' upset win. Matterral Richardson intercepted LSU's 2-point try in the third overtime to end it. LSU recovered to win the SEC title and then beat Ohio State to claim the BCS national title.
137. No. 1 LSU 9, at No. 2 Alabama 6 (OT)
Nov. 5, 2011
Defenses were dominant in Tuscaloosa in a game billed as the latest Game of the Century. LSU's Drew Alleman booted a 25-yard winning field goal in overtime. Bama had its chances but missed four field goals and threw a goal-line pick. The Crimson Tide won the rematch 21-0 in the BCS title game.
138. At No. 1 LSU 28, No. 9 Florida 24
Oct. 6, 2007
Down 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Tigers rallied to beat Tim Tebow and the Gators. LSU converted two fourth-down plays on the winning drive. Jacob Hester's 2-yard run with 1:09 left gave Les Miles and the Tigers the win.
139. No. 5 Tennessee 34, at No. 2 Florida 32
Dec. 2, 2001
The 18-point-underdog Vols had lost seven straight in the Swamp, but Tennessee, led by Travis Stephens' 226 yards and two touchdowns, surprised No. 2 Florida. The game was postponed to December because of 9/11.
140. No. 5 Boston College 19, No. 4 Tennessee 13
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 1941
In the first Sugar Bowl featuring two unbeaten and untied teams, Frank Leahy led Boston College to win. While practicing for the Vols, Leahy decided to incorporate a play out of the Tennessee playbook. It worked. Charlie O'Rourke ran 24 yards for the winning TD on the fake pass/inside run. Leahy left BC for Notre Dame in the month after the Sugar Bowl victory.
141. No. 2 Penn State 35, at Illinois 31
Nov. 12, 1994
The Nittany Lions dug themselves a 21-0 first-quarter deficit on the road but rallied late. Quarterback Kerry Collins was 7-for-7 on a 96-yard winning drive punctuated by Brian Milne's 2-yard TD run with 57 seconds left.
142. No. 7 USC 7, No. 3 Duke 3
Rose Bowl, Jan. 2, 1939
Duke, in its first bowl appearance, held a 3-0 fourth-quarter lead. But USC's Doyle Nave completed four straight passes, including the winning touchdown to Al Krueger with under two minutes left. Those were the first points the Blue Devils had allowed all season.
143. Arkansas 53, at No. 18 Ole Miss 52 (OT)
Nov. 7, 2015
The Razorbacks converted a fourth-and-25 when Brandon Allen completed a pass to Hunter Henry, who flung the ball backward, and Alex Collins picked it up on the bounce and then ran it for a 31-yard gain. The Hogs scored and sealed the upset when Allen ran in the 2-point try after the touchdown.
144. No. 1 Auburn 22, No. 2 Oregon 19
BCS National Championship, Glendale, Arizona, Jan. 11, 2011
Down eight points late in the fourth quarter, Oregon scored with 2:33 left and converted the 2-point try to tie the game. Auburn tailback Michael Dyer sprinted to a 37-yard gain after the Ducks thought they had him down to set up Wes Byrum's 19-yard winning field goal at the final gun. The offenses combined for 968 total yards.
145. At No. 5 Baylor 61, No. 9 TCU 58
Oct. 11, 2014
Down 21 points with 10:40 left in the fourth quarter, Baylor scored the last 24 points. Chris Callahan booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give the Bears the win. BU QB Bryce Petty threw for 510 yards and six touchdowns as the Bears and Frogs combined for almost 1,300 yards of total offense.
146. At Toledo 66, Western Michigan 63
Nov. 8, 2011
The Rockets and Broncos combined for 1,439 total yards, 69 first downs, 18 touchdowns and 10 turnovers. Western Michigan QB Alex Carder threw seven touchdown passes.
147. At Dartmouth 3, No. 2 Cornell 0
Nov. 16, 1940
No. 2 Cornell left Memorial Field with a 7-3 win ... or so everyone thought. The Big Red scored what was the winning TD with under a minute left on a fifth down. The next day the referee sent a telegram to Dartmouth apologizing for the error. After confirming it on film, Cornell sent a telegram to Dartmouth forfeiting the game.
148. Auburn 14, Alabama 13
Legion Field, Birmingham, Dec. 3, 1949
The Tigers lost to Bama 55-0 in 1948, which was the first Iron Bowl in 41 years, and entered the season finale with only one win. Clinging to a 14-7 lead, Auburn survived when the Crimson Tide missed the PAT after scoring with 1:20 left.
149. No. 2 USC 31, at No. 6 UCLA 22
Nov. 19, 1988
Measles-stricken QB Rodney Peete led USC to the win over the Bruins and QB Troy Aikman to earn the Rose Bowl bid. Aikman threw for 317 yards and two TDs, but Peete's 189 passing yards and RB Aaron Emanuel's 133 yards and two scores were enough for the Trojans.
150. No. 3 Alabama 11, at Tennessee 10
Oct. 15, 1966
The Crimson Tide trailed 10-0 in the fourth quarter, but QB Kenny Stabler brought Bama back, running for a touchdown and throwing for a 2-point conversion. Steve Davis put Alabama ahead on a field goal with 3:23 left. The Vols missed a 19-yd FG from the right hash with 18 seconds left.