Michigan State head coach, Mark Dantonio
The fantastic finish to the Notre Dame-Michigan State game on Saturday was one that will be remembered for a long time. Forget that neither team has a realistic shot at playing for national title at season's end.
Forget that neither team was ranked in the top 25. It was still one of those plays that diehard fans of college football will never forget.
It was one of the gutsiest calls you will ever see in college football. Head coaches in major college football no longer have the luxury of being outlandish or gutsy in their playcalling.
In this day of increasing popularity and money being filtered into the biggest programs there is a much shorter leash on most head coaches.
A crazy play call that ends up losing a key game could cost a man his livelihood. It hasn't always been that way, and even still, the gutsiest of the gutsy are few and far between.
Over the years there have been a few memorable gutsy play calls. For your viewing pleasure we have compiled a video slideshow of seven of the gutsiest play calls in recent college football history.
The reason this article was written is the most recent gutsy play.
Notre Dame hit a field goal in its portion of overtime, which would force Michigan State get the three, at the very least, if it hoped to continue the game.
So when the Michigan State holder stood up after receiving the snap, many fans had to look twice to make sure what they were seeing was true.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio just smirked as he walked off the field because he knew he had just made the play call of his life and it worked out for him.
A few hours later, the coach would have a mild heart attack. Dantonio is expected to make a full recovery.
Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne was seeking his elusive first national championship. Miami was in the beginning stages of becoming "The U."
What better decision to shape the history of two 80s/90s powerhouses than for Osborne to go for two and the win in the Orange Bowl, which also happened to be the National Championship Game.
So rather than take the tie and potentially be voted as national champions by the coaches and writers anyway, Osborne decided to go for the outright win.
It didn't work and Miami was officially off to its best decade ever.
And a crazy one it was.
Oklahoma is the very embodiment of national football power. It hails from one of the best conferences in the land and has a tradition of winning that dates back decades.
Boise State was an upstart college football "mid-major," for lack of a better term. It hails from the lowly WAC and has had to fight and claw for everything it has received throughout one decade.
On this night in early January, however, Boise State would resort to any means necessary to pull out a win. What resulted was one of the craziest, yet gutsiest plays in bowl history.
Seven seconds left. Down by three. Zero timeouts remaining. Even though the ball is on the one, you have to spike the ball, right? You have to stop the clock, run your special teams out there, and hope to win the game in overtime.
Not so for Pete Carroll. The Trojans coach clearly signaled for QB Matt Leinart to spike the ball. Obviously, it was just a ruse as Leinart would sneak into the end zone, aided by Reggie Bush's infamous push, for the win.
A legendary coach called a fake punt inside his own 10 in the waning moments of a tie game against a rival with a top-10 ranking and potential national title shot on the line.
Just think about that sentence for a minute.
Now, watch what happened on the play and ponder the likelihood of ever seeing a play like that happen in this era of college football. Savor it, because it's doubtful that we'll ever see anything like it again.
Les Miles. That pretty much sums it up, right? LSU was only down by a point. There were less than 10 seconds left on the clock and LSU possessed one of the best kickers in the SEC.
But instead of running a play to the middle of the field to set up a high-probability game-winning field goal, Miles called for a very high-risk, low-probability pass into the endzone for a game-winning touchdown.
Had Demetrius Boyd dropped the ball, there likely would have been no time remaining on the clock resulting in a one-point home loss. Les Miles would have been mercilessly second-guessed by media and fans alike.
By the way, LSU went on to win the national championship that season.
When the other team has a kid nicknamed, "Rocket" returning punts, it's usually not a great idea to punt the ball to him with the game on the line in the final minute of the game.
But Colorado head coach Bill McCartney didn't want to kick the ball out of bounds, and instructed his punter to keep it inbounds. Rocket Ismail didn't disappoint either. He took the ball back for what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Luckily for McCartney, his gutsy, albeit stupid, call didn't cost him the national title because a clipping penalty negated the touchdown.
The Buffaloes came up with the stop in the final minute to win the game and the national championship.