1. Archive


For a game to be great, it has to mean something. Generally, that means a national championship is at stake. It also can be merely memorable. You will find a few of those here, too:

1. Nebraska 35, Oklahoma 31

Nov. 25, 1971: Jeff Kinney's fourth TD, with 98 seconds remaining, handed Oklahoma its first loss and stretched the 'Huskers' unbeaten streak to 30 games en route to the national championship. Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Dave Kindred wrote: "They've played college football 102 years. They've banged heads in dogged pursuit of perfection. They can quit now."

2. Harvard 29, Yale 29

Nov. 23, 1968: Harvard scored twice in the final 42 seconds of The Game. Second-string QB Frank Chiampi threw two TD passes around a Yale fumble and Harvard scored both two-point conversions. How big was this comeback? The Harvard Crimson headline read: "Harvard Wins 29-29."

3. Texas 15, Arkansas 14

Dec. 6, 1969: The Longhorns trailed 14-0 in the fourth quarter before getting James Street's 42-yard TD run, his two-point conversion, his 44-yard fourth-down pass and, with 3:58 to play, Jim Bertelsen's 2-yard TD dive. President Richard Nixon, at the game, proclaimed the Longhorns national champions, to the chagrin of equally unbeaten Penn State.

4. Miami 31, Nebraska 30

Jan. 1, 1984: Nebraska rallied from a 31-17 deficit, pulling within a point on Jeff Smith's TD run with 48 seconds left. But QB Turner Gill's two-point conversion pass was batted away and Miami, rather than the Cornhuskers, won the national championship.

5. Notre Dame 18, Ohio State 13

Nov. 2, 1935: The Irish trailed 13-0 going into the fourth quarter. Two TDs and two missed extra points later, OSU led by a point, just 90 seconds from victory. But a Buckeye fumble and Bill Shakespeare's TD pass with 32 seconds remaining won it for Notre Dame.

6. Notre Dame 10, Mich. St. 10

Nov. 19, 1966: The Irish, getting the ball on their 30-yard line with 1:24 to play, settled for the tie (and preserved their No. 1 ranking), coach Ara Parseghian keeping the ball on the ground. More than one critic said Notre Dame had "tied one for the Gipper."

7. Boston College 47, Miami 45

Nov. 23, 1984: The most memorable pass in college football history. Boston College QB Doug Flutie's 48-yard TD heave as time ran out ended his 472-yard passing day on national television (Bernie Kosar had 447 for Miami) and guaranteed Flutie the Heisman Trophy.

8. USC 55, Notre Dame 24

Nov. 30, 1974: The Trojans didn't score until Anthony Davis' run 10 seconds before halftime; his 100-yard return of the second-half kickoff triggered Southern Cal's 49-0 run the rest of the way.

9. Huxley 13, Darwin 12

Nov. 24, 1932: Pinky (Harpo Marx), after racing toward the Darwin end zone (only to be distracted by a German shepherd, which he chased toward the Huxley end zone), hopped into a horse-drawn garbage-pail chariot. He, Professor Quincy Wagstaff (Groucho) and Baravelli (Chico) then rode the length of the field for the TD, and Huxley's first win since 1888, in Horse Feathers.

10. Notre Dame 13, Army 7

Oct. 18, 1924: Technically, it was a most forgettable game. But Grantland Rice, a sports writer for the New York Herald-Tribune, described it thusly: "Outlined against a blue, gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They form the crest of the South Bend cyclone . . ."