NCAA: Mizzou Football's 10 Greatest Victories of All Time

Dan Irwin@irwinsportsCorrespondent IIApril 18, 2012

NCAA: Mizzou Football's 10 Greatest Victories of All Time

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    NCAA football may be months away, but before Missouri joins a new conference in 2012, we should take a trip down memory lane and examine the Tigers' 10 greatest victories of all-time.

    Yes, old and new, a perfect clash of today's successes with yesteryear's accomplishments blended together and put on the ultimate countdown of Mizzou football greatness.

    For some of the older fans among us, this will be an interesting trip down memory lane. For some of the younger fans, some games you might recognize, but you're in for a history lesson for the most part.

    Tiger fans, get ready for one of the best countdowns ever—the 10 greatest victories of all time.

Honorable Mention

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    Honorable mention is nothing to be ashamed of on this countdown; there's so many great answers, and we couldn't leave these games unacknowledged.

    At Southern California, Sept. 11, 1976

    This game was an extraordinary upset that began the rollercoaster ride that was the 1976 season. It wasn't just a win as Missouri won 46-25—it was a certified beating in Los Angeles.

    At Notre Dame, Sept. 9, 1978

    This was the ultimate defensive battle of all time, and the Tigers came out with their second victory at Notre Dame in the 70s. The big irony was that the win came against Tiger coaching legend Dan Devine.

    Gator Bowl vs. Alabama, Dec. 28, 1968

    This was a legendary coaching matchup, as Mizzou's Dan Devine beat Bear Bryant's Alabama squad 35-10 in front of more than 68,000 fans in Jacksonville.

    And now the top 10...

No. 10: South Carolina, Dec. 30, 2005

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    This was the greatest comeback in Missouri history and one of Brad Smith's best games as a Tiger.

    Down 21-0 with South Carolina driving for another touchdown, Marcus King returned an interception 99 yards for a Missouri touchdown, completely swinging the momentum of the game in the Tiger's favor.

    Brad Smith's running threat had to make the South Carolina linebackers ready for anything, and Brad began to take the game over.

    A field goal from Adam Crossett to take the lead is one Missouri wouldn't give up, winning one of the greatest comeback games ever.

No. 9: Oklahoma, Oct. 23, 2010

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    With over 18,000 fans at ESPN College Gameday setting a new attendance record, you knew Mizzou had a special buzz about this game. This is also the most recent game to found its way into the countdown.

    Out of nowhere, return man Gahn McGaffie sent the home crowd into a frenzy as he returned the opening kickoff on national television.

    Oklahoma made noble attempts to get back into the game, but as Missouri took the lead early in the fourth quarter, you sensed momentum was on their side.

    This is Oklahoma's first of three appearances on the countdown.

No. 8: Notre Dame, Oct. 21, 1972

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    If you just want to see highlights of this game, take the video to 4:05. Otherwise, watch the fabulous set up to the game that took place during the 1972 season, an amazing Tiger win.

    As far as this game, the Tigers had all the odds in the world against them, as they traveled to South Bend.

    Early scoring along with late Notre Dame turnovers helped seal this classic for the Tigers.

    Though not a standout season overall, as the video points out, this game was good enough to be No. 8 on the countdown.

No. 7: Oklahoma, Nov. 18, 1939

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    This was, in many ways, a game of firsts.

    It was Missouri's first conference championship and first-ever national ranking. If you want to skip the setup, you can forward to 2:42.

    The game was won on a blocked punt play that sent the ball straight up into the air.

    Players involved in the play were interviewed in this amazing video of Missouri football history.

No. 6: Arkansas, Jan. 1, 2008

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    There is no sound for this video, and for that, I do apologize. Some people might take that as a downfall, but I invite you to make this the opportunity to play a song of your choosing.

    Off of arguably the best regular season in Missouri football history, the Tigers were back on the New Year's Day scene against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

    Led by Tony Temple, Missouri's offense put on an absolute clinic. Their four rushing touchdowns set a new Cotton Bowl record.

    Heisman winner Darren McFadden was a non-factor for the most part, as Missouri won the game convincingly 38-7.

No. 5: Ohio State, Sept. 25, 1976

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    After starting the season by defeating USC in Los Angeles, Missouri came home and looked terrible against Illinois in 1976.

    But then Mizzou traveled to Columbus, Ohio, for a date with the Buckeyes, one that Woody Hayes and company wish they could have back.

    With just seconds to go and down seven points, Leo Lewis caught a touchdown pass in the back corner of the end-zone.

    After the touchdown, Missouri head coach Al Onofrio made one of the gutsiest calls of all time and elected to go for two to win the game.

    After a failed pass seemed to doom the Missouri chance, a flag saved them for one final chance. Missouri quarterback Pete Woods seized, diving for one of the most memorable Missouri victories ever.

No. 4: Nebraska, Oct. 11, 2003

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    This victory wasn't just one game.

    It represented a quarter century of anguish against Nebraska, as 50-point blowouts were common in the early 90s.

    After the kicked ball, the Tigers had Nebraska in their crosshairs. No Nebraska fan can say they weren't a good team, when they lost to Missouri. They were in the Top 10 in the nation and were No. 1 in defense.

    Somewhere in the fourth quarter, when fans sensed that victory was at hand, it almost became surreal to be a part of. Twenty-five games in a row Missouri had eaten rocks against the Huskers, and their classy fans weren't shy to remind others about that.

    This, of course, was also the infamous game when the Nebraska player punched the Mizzou fan on the field after the game.

No. 3: Oklahoma, Nov. 8, 1969

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    This is the third of three games against Oklahoma on this list and the greatest win ever in Columbia.

    As the video states, Oklahoma took a 10-point lead before Missouri scored the next 44 points.

    Heisman winner Steve Owens was held to a minimal day of productivity by the Missouri defense.

    After this win, Missouri would win two more, before falling 3-10 to Penn State. And some say for the Tigers would have played for a national championship if they'd beaten Penn State.

No. 2: Kansas, Nov. 24, 2007

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    The ultimate modern game that encompasses everything amazing about Mizzou football.

    The morning saw ESPN's Lee Corso don the Truman the Tiger head for his classic "head gear pick," before the highest ranked game of the second oldest rivalry in the nation was played in front of more than 80,000 at Arrowhead Stadium.

    Missouri's Jeremy Maclin was electric in this game, and Chase Daniel won the duel of mini-quarterbacks against KU's Todd Reesing.

    The win gave Missouri a No. 1 BCS ranking, and if not for losing the Big 12 Championship, Missouri would have played for the national title.

No. 1: Navy, Jan. 2, 1961

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    This, is "that season."

    In 1960, Missouri was riding high, recording victory after victory. This continued all the way to the last game of the regular season against Kansas. Then, the lowly Jayhawks beat Missouri, ruining their national title hopes.

    Missouri's consolation was playing Navy in the Orange Bowl, along with Heisman winner Joe Bellino.

    In attendance for the game, was United States President-Elect John F. Kennedy.

    The video tells the story from the perspective of Norm Beal, who made one of the key interceptions in the game.