The 25 Biggest Moments of the College Football Year
The regular season is in the books and the beginning of bowl season is only a handful of days away.
As we look back on the year that was 2009, it seems only fitting that we recap some of the more memorable moments of this college football season.
Some of the moments left indelible images (Huskies upset of USC) while others made us want to cringe in utter disgust (Blount's punch).
All became a part of this year's college memory bank and will likely remain so for many years to come.
It's important to note that the images/videos contained herein only cover the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and not the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
No doubt, I will miss a few but, if I do, place them in the comment section.
Otherwise, enjoy. Oh, and, these are in no particular order.
No. 1: Sam Bradford Goes Down, September 6, 2009
Game one and Bradford goes down—taking with him any hopes of Oklahoma making another championship run.
Is it wrong that my first thought following Bradford's injury was,"You should have left for the NFL?"
No. 2: LeGarrette Blount Punch-Out, September 3, 2009
After what many considered a shocking upset in Boise, LeGarrette Blount takes his frustrations out on Bronco player Byron Hout. Blount would later earn a suspension, as well as the ire of many a college football fan.
To this day, I am not all that sure how much remorse Blount truly felt. He looked to me like a man who was ready to take on all comers if any player on Boise's team had obliged.
No. 3: Down Goes Tim Tebow, September 26, 2009
Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow, gets smashed by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham. After the hit and the inadvertent impact to his head by another player's knee, Tebow lay motionless for several minutes.
Tebow suffered a serious concussion as a result of the blow, but would make it back for LSU.
His return, in what was thought to be too soon a time frame, raised questions about where Urban Meyer's true interests lay—the game or the player.
No. 4: Colt McCoy Loses Track of Time, December 6, 2009
You are forever left to wonder what in the world Colt McCoy was thinking. I spent the better part of the play saying "throw it away, stupid! what are you doing?!?"
Luckily for the Longhorns, the play didn't come back to haunt them, but Nebraska fans have to be feeling aches after such a great performance by their squad to stay in the game—particularly the unearthly dominance of Ndomukong Suh.
No. 5: Les Miles Forgets his Watch, November 21, 2009
Okay, ummmmm, I'm actually still scratching my head on this one. The guy at the end of the video pretty well sums up my thoughts on the matter too: "What are you doing, Les?"
It was one of the most ridiculous plays of the season—by far—but, hopefully, Les will be able to live it down with his team's play next season—wow.
No. 6: Stanford Beats USC, November 14, 2009
Stanford absolutely manhandled USC and left no doubt that the Trojans were indeed a team in complete and utter disarray this season.
No. 7: Michigan Beats Notre Dame, September 12, 2009
Michigan was not supposed to be able to do anything against Notre Dame. They were not supposed to beat them with their freshman quarterback, Tate Forcier.
After Claussen put his team ahead with less than two-and-a-half minutes to go in the game, Forcier wasn't supposed to be able to come back to beat the Irish.
None of this was supposed to happen, but it did. At the time, it brought some much-needed legitimacy to Rich Rodriguez's short-tenure in Ann Arbor.
Later, Notre Dame losses to Navy, UConn, Pitt, and Stanford made you wonder how "good" Notre Dame was in the first place—especially given Lou Holtz claims.
No. 8: Miami Outlasts FSU, September 8, 2009
Despite the way the Seminoles ended the season, this game against Miami, on what should have been a boring Thursday night between two "building" teams, was a nail-biter until the very end.
In my opinion, it was one of the best games this season.
No. 9: Purdue Upsets Ohio State, October 17, 2009
Ohio State was ranked No. 7 in the nation at the time, but someone didn't give the Boilermakers their "I'm intimidated and impressed" caps, and Purdue forced Pryor into four turnovers and stole this win away from the Buckeyes.
No. 10: Nebraska Loses a Heartbreaker, September 19, 2009
Nebraska was one big stop away from beating the Hokies in Blacksburg. Too bad that Tyrod Taylor chose that moment to step up and deliver a crushing blow to a tough Cornhusker team.
Great game by Helu Jr., who rushed for 169 yards.
No. 11: South Carolina Dominates Ole Miss, September 24, 2009
The score was low, yes, but even that doesn't adequately describe the sheer domination from the Gamecocks' defense on this night.
Eric Norwood and company held Jevan Snead to just seven completions in obtaining their first win over an AP top five team in 22 tries.
No. 12: Pittsburgh Can't Hang On, December 5, 2009
Pittsburgh will be kicking itself all offseason for letting this one get away. Kudos to Tony Pike for rebounding to make the plays to come through with the victory.
No. 13: C.J. Spiller Gets Overlooked for the Heisman
I can think of at least one player who could have stayed at home on December 12, 2009. CJ Spiller was a gross oversight by the Heisman committee.
The video is a tribute to his 2009 season. It left me scratching my head as to how this young man wasn't sitting in his Sunday best on that particular Saturday night.
No. 14: Temple Owls Go 9-3, Yes, Temple
The Owls are not known for their prowess on the football field. They have been perennially bad and were kicked out of the Big East for that very reason.
However, as new residents of the MAC, they have suddenly found their stride, as they went a surprising 9-3, and pushed their much-deserving head coach into the conversation for National Coach of the Year.
No. 15: Bobby Bowden Steps Aside
No. 16: Charlie Weis turns Charlie Weasel
Here are the statements that Charlie Weis made about USC coach, Pete Carroll:
"Let me ask you this question: You guys know about things that go on in different places. Was I living with a grad student in Malibu, or was I living with my wife in my house? You could bet that if I were living with a grad student here in South Bend, it would be national news. He’s doing it in Malibu and it’s not national news. What’s the difference? I don’t understand. Why is it okay for one guy to do things like that, but for me, I’m scrutinized when I swear. I’m sorry for swearing; absolve my sins.”
Weis later said the statements were made during a "totally subjective" side conversation with reporters prior to the start of a formal interview. However, why even make the statements in the first place? Subjective or not, he had to know better.
Whether he said it or not, he definitely set off a media frenzy.
No. 17: UConn Fights on Through Tragedy
Jasper Howard, cornerback for the Huskies, was stabbed and died during the course of the season. It was one of the saddest moments in college football this year.
The video was made just one day prior to his death.
No. 18: The Student Bests His Teacher, September 19, 2009
Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies deal a crushing blow to USC's title hopes early in the season, beating them 16-13 in Seattle.
USC was without Matt Barkley, and the play of Aaron Corp proved to everyone precisely why Matt was the better man for the job.
USC was exposed in this game, and later losses proved just how human they truly were this season.
No. 19: Cody Saves Bama's Season, October 24, 2009
Alabama would have at least one more scare against Auburn, but this game-saving play by Mount Cody essentially saved the Tides undefeated season.
No. 20: Houston Knocks off Oklahoma State
It was an awful year to be a top five team. Houston came into Boone-Pickens Stadium and shipwrecked an Oklahoma State team that was riding high after an opening defeat of Georgia.
The Best of the Rest
No. 21: Brian Kelly leads Cincy to an undefeated season and then bolts for Notre Dame.
No. 22: Charlie Weis is fired after yet another disappointing Notre Dame season.
No. 23: Georgia Tech shocks No. 4 Virginia Tech.
No. 24: TCU and BSU go undefeated, along with Cincy, prompting another playoff conversation in the BCS.
No. 25: Georgia Tech gets run out of its own stadium by in-state, and unranked, foe Georgia (you know I had to sneak this one in).