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Top Ten College Games of the Decade
I was thinking of giving my list of the top 10 college football games of the decade. There are tons of games that could make the list, but if I had to narrow it down, this is my top 10.
10. LSU 28, Fla. 24 (October 6, 2007) – Tensions ran high between the two SEC teams, especially after LSU students got hold of Tebow’s cell phone number and called him by prank call. Florida took a 10-0 lead and held a 10-point lead (24-14) in the fourth quarter. LSU then scored a touchdown with 10 minutes remaining. After forcing Florida to punt, LSU then drove down and scored the touchdown with 1 minute left. The ride took over 8 minutes and was filled with 4th try situations.
9. Cincinnati 45, Pittsburgh 44 (December 5, 2009) – Playing for the Big East title game at Heinz Field, Cincinnati made an incredible comeback to go undefeated the entire regular season. Led 31-10 in the first half, recovered little by little. Then again 38-24, they came back and equalized. With 1:36 left in the fourth quarter, Pitt scored to take a 6-point lead. The extra point was missed. Cincinnati then went down and scored the game-winning touchdown on a great pass from QB Tony Pike. The extra point was good and Cincinnati won the Big East and went undefeated.
8. Arkansas 58, Ole Miss 56 (November 3, 2001) – How could this game not be in my top 10. This game was not a high score game…in regulation time. The match ended 17-17. 7 overtimes later, the score was 58-56 with Ole Miss for two. Ole Miss finished two yards from the goal line on their two-point conversion, giving Arkansas the win.
7. Texas Tech 39, Texas 33 (November 1, 2008) – For Texas, it was the game that destroyed their hopes of winning the BCS Title Game. It all started with Texas Tech as they led 22-6 at halftime. But Texas’ touchdown with 1:26 left gives them a 33-32 lead. Texas Tech walked the field until 27 (which wasn’t a certain field goal with their kicker – it was someone who had won an in-game contest earlier in the year). With 8 seconds remaining, Michael Crabtree caught a pass from Graham Harrell, circled a defender and scored the touchdown.
6. Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 (Sept. 1, 2007) – The Wolverines with offensive stars like Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Jake Long and Mario Manningham were expected to win the Big 10 and compete for the national championship. Appalachian State, a school that can’t even play in a Bowl game, destroyed all of BCS’s hopes for Michigan in Game 1. The game came and went. After the first quarter, Michigan won 14-7. At halftime, it was 28-17 Appalachian State. Then after 3 quarters, it was 31-26 Appalaches. Michigan, however, scored to take a 32-31 lead with 4:36. Appalachian State ran down the field in 1:11 and scored a field goal to make it 34-32 with 26 seconds left. However, Henne threw a 46-yard pass to Manningham to put Michigan at Appalachia State’s 20 and from close range. However, the basket was blocked and Appalachia State held on for one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
5. Ohio State 42, Michigan 39 (Nov. 18, 2006) – This is one of the classics of this decade – No. 1-ranked Ohio State vs. No. 2-ranked Michigan. These two rivals went head-to-head. Michigan was playing for legendary coach Bo Schembechler, who died a day before the game. Michigan opened the game with a touchdown, but Ohio St came on strong and scored 3 unanswered touchdowns. The Buckeyes led up to 14, but Michigan responded with their own scores. After Ohio State took a 42-31 lead with 5 minutes left. Michigan cut the gap to 3 after a successful 2-point touchdown and conversion. However, Ohio State recovered the kick in play and ran out of time to win the game.
4. USC 34, Notre Dame 31 (October 11, 2005) – This was one of those games where “IT’S OVER, WAIT? fought their way into the end zone, taking a 31-27 lead. 61 yard pass to Dwayne Jarrett to the Notre Dame 13. Then with 7 seconds left Leinart fumbled at ND 1 the ball went out of bounds Officials first signaled the game was over but as Charlie Weis had his hands up, Pete Carroll ran onto the court to plead his case. The game wasn’t over and USC had another chance. This time Leinart ran it himself, and when it looked like he was going to be stuffed before the goal line, Reggie Bush shoved him into the end zone. USC’s 23-game unbeaten streak remained intact as they won Game 34 -31.
3. Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (January 3, 2003) – In this 2003 Fiesta Bowl, #1 Miami faced #2 Ohio State. Both teams had players who are now NFL stars today: OSU – Chris Gamble, Michael Jenkins, Will Allen and others. Miami- Andre Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, Willis McGahee, Kellen Winslow II, Jonathan Vilma and many others. It was a close game throughout, and going into the fourth quarter, Ohio State was only leading 17-14. Throughout the quarter, the game remained 17-14, until Miami scored a basket as the clock expired at 0 to send the game straight into overtime. In OT, Miami got the ball first and walked for a touchdown. Then it was the turn of Ohio State. On fourth down, OSU threw an incomplete pass that landed on the end zone floor. Game over. Well for 3 seconds, then in the corner of the end zone a flag was thrown – defensive pass interference was the call. It’s one of the most controversial penalties in sports history, below is the video of the play. Ohio State then scored to tie the game at 24-24 with an all-new set of downs. In Double OT, OSU got the ball first and scored a touchdown in 5 plays. Miami, needing a touchdown to send it triple OT, walked to the yard line. 4th and Goal, Ohio State started a blitz, forcing Miami QB Dorsey to throw a prayer that was rebuffed by Ohio State linebackers, ending the game and giving Ohio State its first national championship since 1968.
2. Texas 46, USC 38 (January 4, 2006) – The game that made Vince Young famous. Powerhouse USC led by a star-studded offensive cast – Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, Patrick Turner, Fred Davis, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Lendale White against the equally undefeated Longhorns (that BCS title game was at the Rose Bowl). The game started with just one touchdown in the first quarter, and that came on USC’s first practice. At halftime, Texas won 16-10. The second half is what made this game so amazing. By the time the clock hit the 6:42 mark in the fourth quarter, USC had beaten Texas 28-10, with a 38-26 overall lead. With 6:42 to go, Texas got the ball on their own 31. The drive lasted 2:30 and ended with a 17-yard touch down executed by Vince Young. Texas then kicked USC who got a first down but were then stopped on the next set of downs and had to punt. The score was now 38-33 USC, but Texas had the ball. The Longhorns marched down the field and pushed inside USC 10. But USC showed some resilience in the red zone by forcing Texas to a 4-and-5 from the 8-yard line. With less than 25 seconds left, Vince Young, noticed an opening down the right, took the ball himself, rounded his line, rushed to the corner and won the run to the goal line. Landing in TEXAS!! To make things a little safer, Vince Young then managed to rush in again for the two-point conversion. Vince Young, had now rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Longhorns to be national champions.
1. Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (Jan. 1, 2007) – The number one college game of the decade has to go to the Broncos’ victory over the Sooners. This game was just a game people will talk about forever. Boise State started the game on fire. They took a 14-0 lead, then led 21-10 at halftime. The game looked like a blast when Boise State took a 28-10 lead in the third quarter. But then “All Day” Adrian Peterson, ran for a touchdown to cut the lead to 11. Then the lead was 8 with an Oklahoma field goal. With 1:26 to go, Oklahoma completed the incredible comeback by tying it up with another touchdown and then three attempts for the two-point conversion. The first failed but BSU was called for Pass Interference. Then Oklahoma scored but was called up for Illegal Motion. Finally, on the third game, Oklahoma converted the game to two points.
Then, to make matters worse for the Broncos, Oklahoma returned an interception for a touchdown 20 seconds later. Things looked pretty bad for the Broncos, but magic happened. From the 50-yard line, Boise State’s Qb Zabranski threw a 15-yard pass under the Oklahoma defense. As the receiver ran inside, he flipped it to his teammate who was running outside. The player had daylight and ran it to the end zone with 7 seconds left. The game was going OT. Oklahoma, whose offense really got strong in the second half, took just one play for AP to rush 25 yards for a touchdown. It was Boise State’s turn. Until 4th and 2nd, on the Oklahoma 5, the Broncos performed another sleight of hand. This time in wild formation, and Zabranski lined up as a receiver, with Back Up wide receiver Vinny Perretta taking the snap. He rolled a right and threw a touchdown pass to tight end Derek Schouman, Touchdown Boise!
The Broncos, instead of taking the extra point, decided to go for two. Performing the third sleight of the night, Boise lined up with three receivers on the right. Zabranski took the snap, pretended to throw the pass but actually held the ball with his left hand behind him. Boise running back Ian Johnson instead took over and ran left. The play completely cheated Oklahoma as Johnson ran untouched into the end zone on the left side of the field. The best game of the decade was over.
Not that this game wasn’t special enough, but right after the game, while being interviewed by Fox, running back Ian Johnson proposed to his girlfriend and head cheerleader, Chrissy Popadics. Of course, she said yes.
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