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.
10. 2007 TOSTITOS BOWL – (Florida vs. Ohio State)
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.
9. 1973 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Notre Dame)
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.
8. 1979 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Penn State)
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.
7. 1987 FIESTA BOWL – (Miami vs. Penn State )
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
6. 2000 SUGAR BOWL – (Florida State vs. Virginia Tech)
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
5. 1992 SUGAR BOWL – (Alabama vs. Miami)
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.
4. 1995 FIESTA BOWL – (Nebraska vs. Florida)
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
3. 1996 SUGAR BOWL – (Florida vs. FSU)
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.
2. 2003 FIESTA BOWL – (Ohio State vs. Miami)
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.
1. 2006 ROSE BOWL – (Texas vs. USC)
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.