The 50 Greatest "Games of the Century" in College Football

Dan Vasta@CI_StatsGuruSenior Writer IIIOctober 25, 2011

The 50 Greatest "Games of the Century" in College Football

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    The hype is starting to go bonkers with Alabama and LSU less than two weeks away from kick-off.

    So, it is time to talk about the greatest "Game of the Century" matchups in the history of college football.

    There are only a select few "Game of the Century" options mainly because they only happen every couple of seasons. 

    Before the BCS began, you could go nearly a decade without seeing a game between the top two ranked teams in the country.

    Nowadays, we certainly have that in the BCS National Championship, but only the elite games are high on my list. These games are the ones that left a once in a lifetime mark (Note: Game of the Century are only #1 vs. #2).

    I only left out a few games in the history of college football that featured games between the top two ranked teams in the country. College football is the best sport in the world in my opinion for several reasons, my friends, one being known as "The Game of the Century!"

No. 1 LSU Against No. 2 Alabama: 11/5/11

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    Let's face it, nobody on this earth that follows college football is unaware of this Game of the Century, as it is expected to reach new heights with the top two teams on the planet facing off on Nov. 5.

    They might be two of the more talented teams in BCS history, but only the winner will likely control their own destiny.

    LSU has Alabama's number in recent years, but Saban and Miles are even at two apiece. This fifth and decisive contest may be the most watched televised game in the history of college football for the regular season.

    The hype machine is standing past the block on this one, with the winner being crowed as owners of the landscape of college football. There probably won't be one person on this earth that will come out and say another team is better than the winner if this game goes down as one of the best games in the BCS era.

    A blowout is possible, but not very likely.

    This might just become the greatest regular season game not only in the BCS era, but arguably the greatest of any era. 

    So, who will win and why?

No. 1 Nebraska 62, No. 2 Florida 24: 1/2/1996 (Fiesta Bowl)

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    The 1996 Fiesta Bowl (Game of the Century had national championship implications) was between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Florida Gators. 

    Tommy Frazier struck his pose all night long even though Eddie George won the Heisman that season. The Huskers rushing attack was overwhelming, and the defense just suffocated the Gators. Danny Wuerffel was harassed all night, throwing a pick-six and taking a safety in their 62-24 beatdown.

    The Gators dropped to third in the Coaches Poll (Tennessee), though they stayed second in the AP Poll. Tom Osborne won his second consecutive national championship, but got his third just two seasons later by knocking off Tennessee (co-Michigan).

No. 1 Miami Fla 37, No. 2 Nebraska 14: 1/3/02 (Rose Bowl NC)

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    This Miami Hurricanes team has proven to be one of the greatest of all-time with the likes of Clinton Portis, Willis McGahee, Frank Gore, Jeremy Shockey, Ken Dorsey and Andre Johnson. 

    That was actually just the offensive stars, as Antrel Rolle, DJ Williams, Kelly Jennings, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Jonathan Vilma and Vince Wilfork made up the most explosive NFL loaded defensive team of all-time.

    Their talent dominated the Huskers to a 37-14 Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship victory, as Miami was back on top of the college football world. 

No. 2 Florida 41, No. 1 Ohio State 14: 1/8/07 (Fiesta Bowl NC)

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    The Florida Gators won Urban Meyer his first of two titles in just his second season. This was Tim Tebow's freshman campaign, but the team would have been nowhere without the play of their starting quarterback, Chris Leak.

    Leak went 25-for-36 with a touchdown and 213 yards, but the potent Buckeyes offense ran into a buzzsaw.

    The Gators defense sacked Heisman winner Troy Smith six times (Derrick Harvey three sacks) and held the entire Ohio State offense to 82 total yards.

    It is amazing since Smith and the Buckeyes torched the solid Wolverines defense for 503 yards the previous game, and yet, they could not do anything in a game where it mattered most. 

No. 2 LSU 38, No. 1 Ohio State 24: 1/7/08 (Sugar Bowl NC)

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    Were these the two best teams in America? Maybe not, but LSU proved to be the best when it mattered most against Ohio State. (Note: Most wanted USC-UGA, but both were not even in top five of BCS.)

    A ferocious defense that feature Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson was simply sensational up front. They forced two picks and sacked Todd Boeckman five times. LSU's gameplan was nearly a defensive carbon copy from the previous year, where the Gators stifled the Buckeyes.

    Certainly, Ohio State had more success and the game was a little different, but LSU got after Ohio State following Beanie Wells' 65-yard touchdown run out of the gates.

    Despite outgaining LSU 353-326, the Buckeyes coughed it up three times in a game where they needed all the points they could get. 

No.1 Nebraska 38, No. 2 Alabama 6: 1/1/1972 (Orange Bowl)

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    Johnny Rodgers' 77-yard punt return was the only points Nebraska needed in their 38-6 Orange Bowl victory.

    The Huskers dominated in all facets of the game, leading 28-0 at halftime, but the Tide finally got on the board in the third quarter via Terry Davis' three-yard run.

    With the win, Nebraska was consensus national champions, and it helped that they knocked off the next three teams ranked behind them that year: No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Colorado and No. 4 Alabama.

No. 1 Army 45, No. 2 Notre Dame 0: 11/10/1945

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    These teams would go on to play a season later as the two top ranked teams, but this was a blowout (Yankee Stadium) right out of the gates, with Heisman Trophy winner Doc Blanchard leading the way.

    Army head coach Earl Blaik went on to win two straight national championships dominating the opponents, going 18-0. 1946 was the end of their so called dominance despite having four more seasons without a loss.

No. 1 Alabama 37, No. 2 Texas 21: 1/7/10 (BCS National Championship)

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    Colt McCoy was knocked out on the first drive of the game after taking a shot on the arm. Alabama manhandled from that moment on in all facets of the game, including rushing for 205 yards and four touchdowns.

    Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson each ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the dominating performance.

    Aftermath: Alabama remains to this day as arguably the top national powerhouse in all college football under Nick Saban. Texas went 5-7 the next season after losing (at the time) the winningest quarterback of all-time (Colt McCoy 45 wins). 

No. 1 USC 55, No. 2 Oklahoma 19: 1/4/05 (Sugar Bowl/NC)

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    Though this title has been vacated, the night still serves memory to everybody who watched. The USC Trojans opened a huge can on the mighty Sooners of Oklahoma, 55-19.

    Matt Leinart only went 18-for-35, but threw for five touchdowns and 332 yards. Reggie Bush and LenDale White combined to rush for nearly 200 yards, and the Trojan defense forced five OU turnovers in their dominant victory.

    Note: This game was full of NFL stars, as USC began one of the more dominating dynasties we have seen (though skewed), and let us not forget this was Adrian Peterson's remarkable freshman season.

No. 2 Alabama 34, No. 1 Miami Fla 13: 1/1/93 (Sugar Bowl/NC)

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    Miami was undefeated going into the Sugar Bowl (National Championship game in coalition bowls), but lost for the first time since a 29-20 defeat in South Bend against Notre Dame in Oct. of 1990.

    Alabama's 23rd straight victory snapped Miami's consecutive streak of 29 to become the longest among the national powerhouses.

    The game was won thanks in large part to Alabama defensive back George Teague's pick-six (one of four interceptions) and eventual strip of Lamar Thomas that prevented a would be Hurricane touchdown.

    Though it was a bit of blowout in the final score, Alabama was technically outgained, but forced four huge turnovers.

No. 1 Notre Dame 27, No. 2 USC 10: 11/26/88

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    This Game of the Century may have not been as good as the battle of the Catholics vs. the Convicts, but the game between the Trojans and the Irish featured the top two ranked teams at the time.

    Rodney Peete was the runner-up for Heisman that season, but it was the time for the Irish to shine bright in the lights. Twenty-one of the 22 starters for Notre Dame made the NFL, as the only one who did not was the starting quarterback, Tony Rice.

    Ricky Watters was a wide receiver for the Irish with Anthony Johnson as the main ball carrier. The defense was loaded with stars such as Frank Stams, Michael Stonebreaker and Chris Zorich.

    Note: The Irish went on to win the national championship by defeating at the time third ranked West Virginia, 34-21.

No. 1 Texas 28, No. 2 Navy 7: 1/01/1964 (Cotton Bowl)

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    After knocking off rival Oklahoma, the Lonhorns were declared National Champions after beating up on Navy in the Cotton Bowl, 28-7.

    Remember, Roger Staubach won the Heisman that season for Navy, and yet Texas' Tommy Ford and company were too much for the Midshipmen.

No. 2 Alabama 32, No. 1 Florida 13: 12/5/09 (SEC Championship)

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    The Crimson Tide dominated the top ranked team in the country, 32-13. Mark Ingram set an all-time program record for rushing yards in a season (1,658), but he would also go on to win the Heisman (20 total touchdowns).

    In the game, he ran for 113 yards and had three rushing touchdowns. Trent Richardson ran for 80 yards as a freshman, but it was the play of the Crimson Tide defense that made the difference. The Gators' rushing attack was held to just 88 yards in the defeat.

    Aftermath: Alabama finished undefeated by defeating Texas in the BCS National Championship, 37-21. Florida rolled Cincinnati in the BCS Sugar Bowl, 51-24, which was Tim Tebow's final game as a Gator.

No. 1 Purdue 37, No. 2 Notre Dame 22: 9/28/1968

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    Purdue took care of the Irish in what remains to this day as the only meeting between these programs when they were ranked as the top two teams in the nation.

    Quarterback Mike Phipps helped dominate the Irish, but it was running back Leroy Keyes that made the difference. (He finished second in the Heisman voting that year behind the great O.J. Simpson.)

    Finishing right behind Keyes for third in the Heisman was actually Notre Dame quarterback Terry Hanratty.

    The Boilmakers ended up finishing third in the Big Ten and 10th in the final AP Poll, whereas the Irish finished fifth.

No. 2 LSU 21, No. 1 Oklahoma 14: 1/4/04 (Sugar Bowl NC)

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    These two teams ranked atop the BCS Standings, though USC won a share of a national championship due to ranking first in the AP and Coaches Poll.

    Jason White came in this BCS National Championship as the Heisman, but struggled miserably, throwing for only 102 yards with two picks.

    Freshman sensation running back Justin Vincent was the MVP of the game, rushing for 117 yards and a touchdown. The Bayou Bengals had their own issues offensively, but they still outgained the Sooners 312-154.

    The play of the game was arguably the second play of the second half, where Marcus Spears picked off White for a 20-yard pick-six, which nearly solidified their eventual 21-14 victory.

No. 2 Miami Fla. 20, No. 1 Oklahoma 14: 1/1/88 (Orange Bowl/NC)

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    The Sooners went into the Orange Bowl with a 20-game winning streak. Oklahoma was looking at its seventh national championship since 1950, and Barry Switzer looked like he was going to win his fourth title.

    However, Jimmy Johnson and the Hurricanes knocked off Barry Swizter for a third consecutive season, albeit this time more was at stake. The Sooners were averaging 43.5 points a game and 499 yards a game. 

    Yet, the 'Canes ferocious defense limited them to 255 yards as they went on to win the national championship, 20-14.

No. 2 Florida 31, No. 1 Alabama 20: 12/6/08 (SEC Championship)

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    This Game of the Century had more than just the SEC Championship on the line. Tim Tebow was coming off the Heisman, but it was the Gators defense that overwhelmed the Crimson Tide's physical style of offense.

    Aftermath: Mark Ingram reached paydirt as a freshman in the SEC Championship, but Alabama went on to lose against Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Meanwhile, the Gators went on to win the BCS National Championship over Oklahoma, 24-14.

No. 1 Notre Dame 35, No. 2 Michigan 21: 10/9/1943

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    This was a season in which Notre Dame had arguably the toughest gauntlet of a schedule of all-time.

    They went on to play and defeated two second-ranked teams (Michigan and Iowa Pre-Flight). They also went on to knock off a third-ranked team twice (Navy and Army).

    The Heisman winner was Notre Dame quarterback Angelo Betelli, and his Irish won on average 43 to 5.

No. 2 Notre Dame 18, No. 1 Ohio State 13: 11/2/1928

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    This was the first ever Game of the Century, and the Buckeyes came in as huge favorites. One sports writer supposedly had the Buckeyes winning by 40 points!

    After getting manhandled for three quarters, Notre Dame quarterback William Shakespeare found Wayne Millner in the closing seconds to pull of the come from behind upset victory, 18-13.

No. 1 Notre Dame 14 No. 2 Iowa Pre-Flight 13: 11/20/1943

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    This proved to be a huge victory for the Irish, since they went on to become the national champions. Notre Dame suffered only one loss that season (Great Lakes NTC). The Irish came away with a slim margin of victory over Iowa Pre-Flight 14-13, as it was the Seahawks' only loss all season.

    The following week, Notre Dame lost to Great Lakes NTC, but despite losing their final game, the Irish were declared national champions. They had five All-Americans, and that certainly helped put an average beatdown of 43-5  (Anthony Bertelli (Won Heisman), John Yonakor, Jim White, Pat Filey, Creighton Miller).

No. 1 Tennessee 23, No. 2 Florida State 16: 1/4/1999 (Fiesta Bowl/NC)

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    In the first annual BCS National Championship, the Tennessee Volunteers knocked off Florida State, 23-16. The Seminoles were without starting quarterback Chris Weinke, who hurt his neck the previous month, and their backup was suspended. 

    They had to turn to third string signal caller Marcus Outzen, who filled in admirably, albeit it was not enough to stop the high powered Volunteers offense. 

    Seminoles superstar receiver Peter Warrick was stymied, and the Vols had two huge touchdowns in the game that ended up proving to be the difference. Dwayne Goodrich had a pick-six, and Tee Martin found wide receiver Perrless Price down the sidelines for the game-winning 79-yard touchdown catch.

    The Seminoles finished third in the polls, though they would be back the next two seasons. Tennessee remained a national powerhouse for a few more seasons.

No. 1 Army 23, No. 2 Navy 7: 12/2/1944

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    "Mr. Outside" and "Mr. Inside" were arguably the deadliest duo in sports history, as the Army Cadets were unstoppable with the two future Heisman winners.

    "Mr. Outside" was known as Glenn Davis (No. 43), and "Mr. Inside" was Doc Blanchard. In their 23-7 near victory it was one of only two games all season in which they were held under 59 points.

    They were easily the most dominant team in the country of all-time, as Army went 27-0-1 between 1944 and 1946.

No. 2 Florida State 24, No.1 Florida 20: 11/30/1996

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    Danny Wuerffel won the Heisman and eventually the national championship, but not before taking a beatdown in Tallahassee against the 'Noles.

    He passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns, but he had three interceptions and took six sacks. Warrick Dunn was a senior and ended his career at Doak Campbell Stadium with 184 yards on 30 carries.

    However, in a rematch in the Sugar Bowl (national championship), the Gators thumped Florida State, 52-20.

No. 1 Oklahoma 13, No. 2 Florida State 2: 1/3/01 (Orange Bowl/NC)

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    Chris Weinke had a pick and a critical fumble towards the end of the game. Sooners running back Quentin Griffin put it away with a 10-yard touchdown run as the Sooners dominated the 'Noles 13-2 to give Bob Stoops his first and, at the moment, lone national championship. 

    This also ended the run of Florida State's 14 straight top four finishes in the final AP Poll.

No. 1 Army 32, No. 2 Navy 13: 12/1/1945

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    This game in Philadelphia was the closest game Army had all season, though they still knocked off Navy, 32-13. It closed a season of perfection for Army (9-0), as it was the only loss Navy suffered all season (7-1-1).

No. 1 Army 0, No. 2 Notre Dame 0: 11/9/1946

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    Glenn Davis won the Heisman, but his Cadets had to share a split national championship with Notre Dame that season. In this Game of the Century, turnovers were huge concerns for both teams, as they both had a ton of opportunities to score a touchdown or two.

    The fallout of this game was a split national championship despite Army struggling to beat a 1-7-1 Navy team, 21-18. That was in the final weekend of the season, and the Irish looked strong beating No. 16 USC, 26-6. 

No. 2 Texas 28, No. 1 Oklahoma 7: 10/12/1963

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    This game was played at the Cotton Bowl, and the Longhorns' 28-7 victory was the decisive game that gave them the opportunity to eventually win a national championship over Navy in the actual Cotton Bowl.

No. 1 Florida State 46, No. 2 Virginia Tech 29 1/4/2000 (Sugar Bowl/NC)

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    The second annual BCS National Championship turned into a beatdown despite the valiant efforts from Hokie signal caller Michael Vick.

    The Hokies put up a fight, but the Seminoles high-octane offense was way too much for Virginia Tech's defense. Chris Weinke won the Heisman the following season, but looked like the best in America that night (Vick did just fine), throwing for 363 yards and four touchdowns.

    Peter Warrick had a receiving and a punt return for a touchdown on top of his 163 yards on six receptions. The Hokies still finished second in the final polls, though Florida State would win up playing in the BCS National Championship the following year as well against Oklahoma. 

No. 1 Auburn 22, No. 2 Oregon 19: 1/10/11 (BCS National Championship)

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    Cam Newton had just won the Heisman, but he did not struggle when it mattered most, combining for 329 yards and two touchdowns.

    Defensive MVP Nick Fairley throttled the Ducks rushing attack that averaged 300 yards a game and limited them to only 75 yards on 32 attempts.

    Darron Thomas ended up with 363 yards, but he threw two picks on top of his two touchdowns. 

    The Offensive MVP of the game was true freshman running back Michael Dyer, who ran for 143 yards, including a 37-yarder when Duck defenders thought he was down.

    Will Byrum then drilled a chip shot 19-yard field goal that won as time expired for the Tigers 22-19 BCS National Championship thrilling victory.

No. 1 Ohio State 27, No. 2 USC 16: 1/1/1969 (Rose Bowl)

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    O.J. Simpson won the Heisman and busted loose for an 80-yard touchdown in this game, but it was not enough against a potent Buckeyes offense.

    They were led by two All-Americans on the offensive line. Rufus Mayes and Dave Foley paved their way to a Rose Bowl victory and a national championship, as they took care of the Trojans, 27-16.

No. 1 Texas 15, No. 2 Arkansas 14: 12/6/1969

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    President Nixon was in attendance for this battle in yet another Game of the Century. Both Arkansas and Texas did not play each other in their bowl game, so this was the game that decided the national champions.

    The Razorbacks had a quick 14-0 lead, but fell 15-14 with two Texas scores in the fourth quarter (including James Street's 42 yard touchdown). When the final polls were released, Arkansas fell to third, with Penn State moving up to second. The Longhorns, of course, were named national champions.

No. 2 Miami 28, No. 1 Oklahoma 16: 9/27/1986

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    This ended up being a wild season with a few Game of the Century moments. The mighty Sooners under Barry Switzer were nearly unbeatable coming off a national championship and 10 straight victories. They had all-everything linebacker Brian Bosworth, who notched 14 tackles, but it was not enough.

    The Hurricanes were led by Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde. He ended up throwing for 261 yards, and a stifling 'Canes defense proved to be the difference in their 28-16 victory.

No. 1 Iowa 12, No. 2 Michigan 10: 10/19/1985

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    Legendary coaches Hayden Fry and Bo Schembechler gave the nation one of the best Big Ten finishes and games of all-time (Save 2011 Badgers-Spartans).

    It was Rob Houghtlin's game winning 25-yard field goal as time expired that put the fans of Kinnick Stadium into a frenzy. 

    Iowa finished the season ranked ninth after losing to UCLA in the Rose Bowl (45-28), and Michigan actually finished higher at No. 2. The Wolverines were victorious over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, 27-23. This was the highest Michigan was ever ranked under Bo in the final rankings of a season.

No. 1 USC 28, No. 2 Oklahoma 24: 9/26/1981

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    Marcus Allen winded up winning the Heisman this season, and he ran wild against the Sooners in their 28-24 victory.

    However, both USC and Oklahoma would fall flat on their faces, losing three and four games respectively. USC finished at No. 14, while Oklahoma finished up at No. 20.

No. 2 Nebraska 20, No. 1 Oklahoma 10: 10/22/01

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    This Game of the Century was what put the Huskers and Eric Crouch back on the map. Crouch was the starting quarterback, but it was his 63-yard touchdown reception that struck him the Heisman Trophy and got the Huskers back into the BCS National Championship. 

No. 2 Oklahoma 17, No. 1 Nebraska 7: 11/21/1987

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    Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne are still two legends to this day, both being in the College Football Hall-of-Fame. Swizter always seemed to get the best of Osborne, winning 12-of-17 contests.

    This was one of those 12 victories with the Sooners taking care of business, 17-7. They trailed 7-0 before scoring 17 unanswered in the second half. 

    Aftermath: Oklahoma played in the national championship before losing to Miami 20-14, and Nebraska lost in the Fiesta Bowl to Florida State 31-28. The Sooners finished third in the AP Poll, with Nebraska ending up at sixth. 

No. 1 USC 42, No. 2 Wisconsin 37: 1/1/1963 (Rose Bowl/NC)

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    Recalled by many as one of the "greatest bowl games of all time" happened to be in Pasadena, where the Trojans jumped out to 42-14 fourth quarter lead.

    Badgers signal caller Ron Vander Kelen put together 23 unanswered points, though his rally fell just short, 42-37.

    Along with USC quarterback Pete Beathard, the two were named co-MVPs in the Rose Bowl. With the victory for USC, they were declared national champions in this Game of the Century.

No. 2 Penn State 27, No. 1 Georgia 23: 1/1/1983 (Sugar Bowl/NC)

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    Despite Hershel Walker winning the Heisman, it was not nearly enough to dethrone the Penn State Nittany Lions.

    After suffering a devastating loss to Alabama (1979) in which they were stuck at the goal-line, Joe Paterno won his very first national championship behind the golden arm of Davey O'Brien winner Todd Blackledge.

No. 1 Notre Dame 24, No. 2 Michigan 19: 9/16/89

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    This Game of the Century did not go as planned for Michigan, who lost its starting quarterback Michael Taylor due to a vicious hit. In stepped in highly touted freshman Elvin Grabac, who rallied a comeback, albeit it was not enough in the 24-19 defeat.

    Irish quarterback Tony Rice completed just one pass the entire game, but found running back Anthony Johnson to give them an early 7-0. Notre Dame outgained the Wolverines 213-94 on the ground, and it proved to be the difference in Ann Arbor between these two top ranked teams.

    The player of the game was easily Rocket Ishmail, who brought back two kicks, which made up the difference in what was wet and slippery affair.

    Aftermath: Michigan would go on to win 10 straight games, claiming the Big Ten title before they eventually lost in the Rose Bowl to USC, 17-10. Notre Dame would wind up losing to Miami in the regular season finale ('Canes won title) before they beat at the time top ranked Colorado, 21-6 in the Fiesta Bowl. The Irish finished second and third in the AP and Coaches Poll, while Michigan finished seventh and eight respectively.

No. 1 Notre Dame 10, No. 2 Michigan State 10: 11/19/1966

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    This was technically the first ever Game of the Century where both teams went back and forth all game long. Many recall Ara Parseghian running the clock out to preserve the tie known as the "Tie one for the Gipper."

    Despite not playing each other again in a bowl game, Notre Dame (9-0-1) was the obvious pick from the writers for the AP/National Championship Trophy.

    The Irish received 41 of the 56 first place votes, whereas Sparty was a fairly distant second. It should be noted both teams shared the MacArthur Trophy that season, though two-time defending champions Alabama were left out (11-0). 

No. 2 Penn State 14, No. 1 Miami Fla. 10: 1/2/1987 (Fiesta Bowl/NC)

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    Despite winning the Heisman, Vinny Testaverde had a tough time against the Penn State defense, throwing four interceptions. Nittany Lions running back D.J. Dozier scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

    However, Miami had a chance under a minute to go, as they were all the way down to the Nittany Lion 13-yard line. It came down to a fourth down with 18 seconds to go. On the final Miami offensive play of the game, Testaverde threw a pick at the goal-line, and Joe Paterno had won his second national championship. 

No. 2 Florida 24, No. 1 Oklahoma 14: 1/8/09 (BCS National Championship)

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    Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators went on to win their second title in three seasons. Sam Bradford and the mighty Boomer Sooners record-setting offense was held to 363 yards.

    Bradford and the Sooners had the ball inside the Gators 10-yard-line three times in the first half and were held to seven points (turning it over on downs on top of a tipped interception).

    The Gators put up 480 yards of their own, as Percy Harvin (ankle), Tim Tebow and the rest of the Gators combined to rush 249 yards in their 24-14 national championship victory. 

    Note: This was the season where the legacy of Tim Tebow grew, whether it was his pledge or his second half speech that lifted the Gators to their second BCS National Championship. 

No. 2 Alabama 14, No. 1 Penn State 7: 1/1/1979: (Sugar Bowl)

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    Joe Paterno and Paul "Bear" Bryant in Louisiana for the Sugar Bowl, as well as for the national championship, was quite the game.

    Penn State had won 19 games in a row and had a chance to either tie or perhaps win the ball game. However, one of the greatest goal-line stands in the closing moments decided the outcome.

    Alabama had won a share of the national championship with their tremendous 14-7 win, whereas Penn State dropped to fourth in both the AP and UPI Polls. USC was voted No. 1 in the UPI Poll ahead of Penn State, who was ranked ahead of the Trojans in the final AP Poll.

No. 2 Miami Fla. 17, No. 1 Florida State 16: 11/16/91

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    Florida State running back Amp Lee totaled for 145 yards in the game, and the Seminoles actually outgained Miami 365-310, but it was not enough in what will forever be remembered as "Wide Right I."

    Gerry Thomas missed a chip shot 34-yarder wide right on the far left hash with time expiring as the Hurricanes prevailed 17-16. This game was a defensive battle that came down to the final seconds. What else could one ask for?

    Note: Florida State went on to a 11-2 record, which included a 10-2 victory over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. FSU finished fourth in both polls. Meanwhile, Miami defeated Nebraska 22-0 in the Orange Bowl as they split the national championship with Washington. The 'Canes were voted No. 1 in the Final AP Poll, but second to the Huskies in the Coaches Poll.

No. 1 Nebraska 35, No. 2 Oklahoma 31: 11/25/1971

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    This Game of The Century occurred due to both teams whipping up on their opponents. Johnny Rodgers would go on and win the Heisman the following season as he led the Huskers wishbone attack for a few seasons. Huskers quarterback Jeff Tagge finished seventh in the Heisman voting.

    The Sooners were led by star All-American running back Greg Pruitt. Despite the Sooners losing 35-31 in a thriller, they still finished second in the final AP Poll.

    They then crushed Auburn, 40-22, in the Sugar Bowl, with Nebraska winning the national championship by defeating Alabama 38-6 in the Orange Bowl.

No. 1 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Michigan 39: 11/18/06

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    The Game Of the Century of all centuries did not let us down between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. 

    This was the first time in the history of the BCS where there were discussions of a possible rematch for the BCS National Championship that involved two teams from the same conference.

    Though those discussions did not look smart when both teams were thumped in their respect BCS Bowls, this rivalry is among the greatest in all of sports, and the game for itself ranks among the top.

    Troy Smith won the Heisman with his sensational performance of four passing touchdowns on top of 316 yards. The key play in the game may have been on a 3rd-and-15 at the Michigan 38. 

    Smith was flushed outside the pocket and threw an incomplete pass on the run towards the sideline, but Michigan defender Shawn Crable led with the head and hit him well out of bounds after the play. 

    Ohio State scored three plays later and essentially won the ball game with an 11-point lead under six minutes to go.

    Chad Henne and Mike Hart played fabulously, but came up short, 42-39, in an all-time epic national title play-in game.

No. 1 Florida State 18, No. 2 Nebraska 16: 1/1/94 (Orange Bowl/NC)

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    This game was beyond epic, as Florida State was ranked atop the polls in the Associated Press and Nebraska was ranked first in the Coaches Poll.

    This Orange Bowl and national championship classic will forever go down as one of the greatest games in the history of the sport. Charlie Ward, Tommy Frazier, Bobby Bowden and Tom Osborne made the game a true battle of legends.

    It was a bit of good karma for Florida State after having two missed field goals decide their national title aspirations the previous few seasons. This time around, it was Scott Bentley's 21-yarder that was the game-winner, with Nebraska's Bryron Bennett missing one from 45 yards out as time expired.

    Note: Florida State proclaimed its first ever national championship finishing first in both polls, though No. 2 ranked Notre Dame had beat them earlier in the season. The Irish, of course, played in the Cotton Bowl and defeated Texas A&M 24-21.

No. 2 Ohio State 31, No. 1 Miami 24: 1/3/03 (Fiesta Bowl/NC 2OT)

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    This Game of the Century is referred by many as the greatest national championship of all-time in a double overtime thriller.

    Miami was favored by 11.5 points  and appeared as if they were by far the better team on paper. The Buckeyes defense stifled Ken Dorsey, and had Willis McGahee never gotten injured, we could have had a different outcome. 

    Give kudos to the Buckeyes, whose defense limited the extremely potent Hurricanes offense.

    The talent the Hurricanes had on the field may go down as the greatest and most talented team to never win a BCS National Championship. 

No. 2 Notre Dame 31, No. 1 Florida State 24: 11/13/93

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    Talk about an all-time great game with two talented teams. It was a photo finish as the Seminoles quarterback Charlie Ward marched his team all the way down to the Irish 14-yard line with just three seconds left despite trailing by a touchdown.

    Ward threw a pass at the goal-line that was batted down by Shawn Wooden as time expired, and the Irish escaped with the 31-24 victory.

    Lee Becton and the rest of Notre Dame backfield gashed the Seminoles for 239 yards rushing in the victory.

    Aftermath: Charlie Ward would end up winning the Heisman, but Notre Dame lost their top ranking the week after while losing on a last second field goal to Boston College, 41-39. Notre Dame dropped to third and had to play in the Cotton Bowl (Beat A&M 24-21). FSU only dropped to second after their loss in South Bend, but they moved back up to first as they knocked off Nebraska to claim their first ever national championship.

No. 2 Texas 41, No. 1 USC 38: 1/4/06 (Rose Bowl NC)

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    For the rest of eternity, this game may stand as not only the greatest BCS Championship of all-time (Canes-Buckeyes is close), but perhaps the best to ever be played regardless of the era.

    On a crucial 4th-and-5, the Trojans defense needed to make just one more play to secure their three-peat into college football's immortality (They led 38-33).

    Instead, Vince Young escaped from very little pressure, and he cruised to paydirt from eight yards out to secure the 41-38 thriller.

    The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards, with Young rushing for 200 (three TDs) and passing for 267. 

    Matt Leinart was not too shabby, throwing for 365 yards and a touchdown on top of one key interception.

    The Heisman winner was Reggie Bush (Gave trophy back but had 177 total yards and one TD), and he will forever be remembered by being left on the sidelines for a crucial 4th-and-2 on the Longhorns 45. USC figured if they picked up the first down that the game would be over.

    LenDale White was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and Young took things over from there. Texas went on to win one of the most exciting games in all of sports history.

    Note: This was also broadcast legend Keith Jackson's final game. Whoa, Nellie.