10. LSU 9, Alabama 6 OT - Billed as the "Game of the Century", this National Championship Preview comes in as the #10 Game of the Year. For some reason the "experts" decided they want to see this again. Four missed field goals, four interceptions, 13 penalties, 534 total yards. I know these defenses are amazing, but there was a sloppiness aspect to this game. I really hope the sequel is better.
9. Northern Illinois 63, Toledo 60 - On the opposite end of the spectrum was the MAC tussle between the Huskies and Rockets. In a game that ultimately decided the MAC West crown, the teams went back and forth combining for 1,121 yards and 17 touchdowns, including 6 in the fourth quarter when 43 points were scored. There were a combined 11 touchdown passes and 2 kickoff returns for touchdowns. Believe it or not, the teams did punt 6 times. So a little defense was played. Highlight from ESPN
8. Michigan 40, Ohio State 34 - The "Big Game" is back. After a period of Buckeye dominance, the Wolverines announced their return in the season finale, holding off Ohio State and capping a resurgent season. The game itself went back and forth with the two athletic quarterbacks, Denard Robinson and Braxton Miller, making great play after great play. Ironically, it was the Michigan defense that held the Buckeyes out of the end zone early in the fourth quarter after a crucial dropped punt, allowing the Wolverine offense to respond with a touchdown and gain the 10 point separation they needed to hold off their rivals. Highlight from ESPN
7. Oklahoma State 52, Kansas State 45 - The two best teams in the Big 12 this year provided us a thrilling game in Stillwater in early November. The Cowboys and Wildcats combined for 1,082 yards on the evening, including a school-record 502 yards passing from Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was not shabby either with 231 yards passing and another 144 yards rushing. An interesting note, the Cowboys scored 52 points even though they possessed the ball for only 19:11 in the game. Sure wish they would have had their chance against LSU. The Final Play courtesy of youtube
6. Baylor 50, TCU 48 - When Robert Griffin III picks up his Heisman Trophy on Saturday, it will be because of his late-season hot stretch while others were just simmering. There is no Heisman though, without the spectacular show RG3 put on in the season-opener against TCU. The future poser threw for 359 yards and 5 TD's against the vaunted Horned Frogs defense, staking the Bears to a 47-23 lead entering the 4th quarter. TCU stormed back with 25 unanswered points in the 4th to take a 48-47 lead, before RG3 led Baylor down for a game-winning FG with a minute left and the Bear defense held on. It was a thrilling way to start a great College Football season. Game-ending highlight from ESPN
5. Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31 - For three quarters back in September, Notre Dame handled Michigan and appeared to be cruising toward another victory in this great rivalry with a 24-7 lead entering the 4th quarter. Michigan quickly clawed back and ultimately grabbed a 28-24 lead with 1:12 left on Denard Robinson's 3rd TD pass of the night. The Fighting Irish quickly responded with a 42 second TD drive to reclaim the lead. With 30 seconds left, the Wolverines had one more chance...from ESPN
4. Stanford 56, USC 48 3OT - A ho-hum 10-6 game at halftime, this game heated up in the second half and gave us one of the great nail-biters of the season. The Trojans controlled the game several times against the undefeated Cardinal, but Stanford roared back each time, evening the game at 34 with 38 seconds left in regulation. After trading touchdowns in the first two OT's, Stanford converted once again in the 3rd OT, including the mandatory 2-point play and left it up to the Trojans to respond...from youtube
3. TCU 36, Boise State 35 - How would the National Championship Game look if an undefeated Boise State was in the mix? We will never know because of what took place on the "Blue Turf"in November. It was those Horned Frogs again, this time going back and forth with the Broncos in a game nobody led by more than 8 points. Boise State led by 7 late in the 4th quarter when TCU scored on Casey Pachall's 5th TD pass of the day and successfully converted a 2-pt conversion to take the lead. But Kellen Moore got Boise down the field and put the game on the foot of their kicker...Final play from youtube
2. Michigan State 37, Wisconsin 31 - Wisconsin waltzed into East Lansing undefeated in late October and proceeded to stroll to an early 14-0 lead. Then a strange series of events unraveled that changed the course of a dream season. Russell Wilson through one of only two relevant interceptions he had the whole season as the Badgers were marching in to go up 21-0. Soon after Wilson grounded the ball in the end zone for a safety. The Badgers also botched a FG and had a punt blocked and returned for a TD in State's 23 point second quarter ambush. The Spartans would control the 3rd and first part of the 4th quarter, before Russell Wilson brought Wisconsin back to tie with 2 touchdown drives, the last a 2 yard pass to Monte Ball with 1:26 remaining. With the help of some questionable timeouts by the Badgers, Sparty was able to drive to the UW 44 with time for one last play...from ESPN
1. Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 39 - LSU and Alabama take note...the sequel can be as good as if not better than the original. While Bucky vs Sparty II did not have the dramatic final play, the stakes were higher and the tension was high in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Once again, the Cardinal and White jumped out to a 2-TD lead at 21-7 to end the first quarter. Almost inexplicably, Michigan State put another 22 point ambush on Wisconsin in the second quarter, including one of the headiest plays I've seen from Badger nemesis Keith Nichol. Once again Russell Wilson was unfazed and led the Badgers on two scoring drives, but a failed 2-point conversion left UW down by two. After a Spartan FG pushed the lead to five, Wisconsin faced a 4th and 6...from youtube. Monte Ball would score on the next play to put the Badgers in front 42-39. After MSU punted back to Wisconsin, the Badgers could not run out the clock and were forced to punt when once again, the break went the way of the team in Red...from youtube.