With live sports canceled for the foreseeable future because of the novel coronavirus, there is a dearth of programming on TV. For those of us needing a football fix, here are 10 college football games ESPN or whichever channel owns the rights could rebroadcast.
1. Nebraska 35, Oklahoma 31
Nov. 25, 1971 (Norman, Okla.)
This Thanksgiving Day showdown between the undefeated Huskers and Sooners was one “Game of the Century” that truly lived up to the hype. Powered by their option rushing attacks, both teams traded leads before Nebraska pulled ahead for good with only 98 seconds remaining.
2. Notre Dame 35, Houston 34
Jan. 1, 1979 (Dallas)
In the "Chicken Soup Game," Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana left the Cotton Bowl early because of hypothermia. After being fed chicken bouillon and warmed with blankets, he returned with his team down 34-12 with 7:37 left in the game. "Joe Cool" led the team on a comeback as the Irish won the game on its last play.
3. Miami 31, Nebraska 30
Jan. 2, 1984 (Miami)
"The U" dynasty was born in the Orange Bowl as redshirt freshman Bernie Kosar and the Canes upset an undefeated Nebraska team that was averaging more than 50 points a game.
4. Notre Dame 31, Miami 30
Oct. 15, 1988 (South Bend, Ind.)
The game, infamously known as "Catholics vs. Convicts," was phenomenal, and both teams matched each other score-for-score. In the end, it came down to one failed two-point conversion by the Hurricanes.
5. Oklahoma State 45, Texas Tech 42
Dec. 3, 1988 (Tokyo)
In the now-defunct Coca-Cola Classic, which was played in Japan from 1977-93, Oklahoma State running back Barry Sanders rushed for 332 yards and four touchdowns. It was his highest total of the best rushing season in college football history.
6. Colorado 31, Tennessee 31
Aug. 26, 1990 (Anaheim, Calif.)
There were countless ties before overtime was implemented, but this matchup in the first Pigskin Classic between two top ten teams was as good as they come.
7. Michigan 35, Alabama 34
Jan. 1, 2000 (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
Wolverine quarterback Tom Brady led two comebacks from 14-point deficits in this overtime win in the Orange Bowl. This was only a preview of what was to come in his historic NFL career.
8. Texas 41, USC 38
Jan. 4, 2006 (Pasadena, Calif.)
The 2006 Rose Bowl meeting between No. 1 and two-time defending champion USC and No. 2 Texas is the greatest national championship game of all time. It may even be the greatest college football contest of all time as well.
9. Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42
Jan. 1, 2007 (Glendale, Ariz.)
The notion of Boise State taking down a big-time program is not laughable these days. The 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which saw the Broncos win on two trick plays after a furious Sooners comeback is the reason why.
10. Clemson 35, Alabama 31
Jan. 9, 2017 (Tampa, Fla.)
In the first national championship game rematch ever, Clemson won the title thanks to a touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow with one second left in the game.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.