Top 10 National College Football Championship Games

Thank you for stopping in for the first Top 10 Tuesday in ’09. Today’s list was influenced by the national championship game which will be played this Thursday between the #1 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1) and the #2 Florida Gators (12-1). I am 31, so forgive me if I don’t list many games prior to the 90s. Here are my (most memorable) Top 10 National College Football Championship Games. 

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10. 2007 TOSTITOS BOWL – (Florida vs. Ohio State)

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I like Tressel, like the players, but I have some OSU friends who…well let’s just say when my #2 game happened they called my house all hours of the night. This rout was something to behold. It always makes it worse when you have a hometown boy (DeShawn Wynn – Cincinnati, OH) play on the opposing team and score on you. I actually felt bad for those Bucks. 

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9. 1973 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Notre Dame)

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Bama was #1, ND was #3 (#2 Oklahoma on probation). There were six lead changes and ND went ahead 24-23 with 4:12 left to play. Bear Bryant punted and pinned ND on their 1yd line. Tom Clements dropped into the end zone and threw a 36-yd completion to their backup TE with 2:12 left in teh game. ND went on to win, and Bear ended up 0-4 versus Notre Dame.  

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8. 1979 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Penn State)

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Game was a bit before me, but have seen the replay. Barry Krauss (LB) from Bama stopped Penn State tailback Mike Guman on a 4th down call. Bama hung on to win it 14-7.

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7. 1987 FIESTA BOWL – (Miami vs. Penn State )

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Penn State and the mighty Canes both came into this contest 11-0. PSU were underdogs, but won due to good defense. Didn’t hurt to have Vinny Testaverde throw 5 interceptions). Penn State W 14-10

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6. 2000 SUGAR BOWL – (Florida State vs. Virginia Tech)

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Many people in my era remember this game as we were fans of then freshman Michael Vick. FSU were heavy favorites, and jumped ahead 28-7. V-Tech went on a run and were up 29-28. They couldn’t hold on to the lead however, and Peter Warrick finished the game with 163 receiving yards and 3 TDs (one on a punt return). Final count…Florida State W 46-29

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5. 1992 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Miami)

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I remember nobody thought Bama could beat those mighty Hurricanes. My buddy was a devoted UM fan, so I had a ball watching them lose. Couldn’t find an SI cover, but found some video.

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4. 1995 FIESTA BOWL – (Nebraska vs. Florida)

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I was a huge fan of Tommie James Frazier, Jr. Some consider him one of the greatest option QBs in NCAA history. I loved watching this kid play. I don’t recall what happened to him (injury wise), but last I heard he was coaching for Doane? They crushed Florida that year. Nebraska W 62-24 

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3. 1996 SUGAR BOWL – (Florida vs. FSU)

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In college I am a fan of coaches, and I love Spurrier. This was the year he had Bob Stoops at def coordinator. I like Bowden too, so this was a tough one…but I have to lean towards Spurrier when they go heads up. FSU beat them earlier that year (11/30/96) 24-21, then they ended up playing again for the championship where the Gators opened up a can on ‘em. Final count Florida W 52-20.

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2. 2003 FIESTA BOWL – (Ohio State vs. Miami)

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I will never forget this game. Arguably one of the best championship games played (depending on who you ask). Miami were these juggernauts on a 33 game winning streak. On the other hand, the Buckeyes had 6 games won by seven points or fewer. Their defense was awesome, and they had a phenom freshman rb named Maurice Clarrett. I truly believe the game was done when Willis McGahee left the game due to a knee injury in the 4th. Miami was posed to win, but there was a controversial pass interference call that kept OSU in the game. It went into a second OT where Ohio State pulled it off 31-24.

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1. 2006 ROSE BOWL – (Texas vs. USC)

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This was the best championship game I have seen to date. One, I absolutely can’t stand USC. Two, we were in the process of moving to Texas so it was just symbolic. And three, did I mention I hate USC? 

Let’s paint the picture for a USC team which some have named one of the greatest ever. They had to Heisman winners in the backfield – Matt Leinhart (3450 yds, 27 TDs) & Reggie Bush (1658 yds, 15 rush tds, 2 rec tds & one kr td). Then they had 6’2 253 lbs RB Lendale White (rush 1178 yds, 21 rush tds, 2 rec tds), 6’5 WR Dwayne Jarett (81 catches for 1157 yds and 15 tds) and WR Smith (57 catches for 928 and 5 TDs). Yes, USC was for real!! USC stomped Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl the year before, so most people thought this would be a BIG12 repeat. Prior to this game USC thumped UCLA 66-19, and Texas manhandled Colorado 70-3 in the BIG12 championship game. The stage was definitely set.

Other stats include a NCAA record of 652 points scored by Texas, and USC being a pre-ranked #1, and beating all of their opponents by 17+. I won’t go too much into the game, but there was as climatic finish? Here is a brief video, but Vince was clutch. Longhorns W 41-38.

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