College football is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and in commemoration, ESPN has unveiled a list of the 150 greatest games in college football history. Throughout the list are games that have shaped the fabric of college football and made it what it is today: more popular than almost every professional sport in the nation.
Coming as a shock to no one, the top of the list is all about the U, with four of the six greatest games involving a little school in Coral Gables called the University of Miami. Win or lose, UM was involved in more games on the list than any other school.
Translation: Whether you love or hate the Miami Hurricanes, there's no debating the fact they are a pivotal weight-bearing beam in the house that college football built. Without the U, college football just wouldn't be the same.
According to ESPN, the Hurricanes have played in ten of the 150 greatest college football games, including the number two spot: Miami's 31-30 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 1984 Orange Bowl. The Canes entered that game as 11-point underdogs but left with an exciting win and a jumping-off point for years of future success.
Sadly, not all of the Hurricanes' memories included in the list are pleasant, such as the one in the fourth slot, a game that can be summed up by one man's name: Doug Flutie. Highlights of the Hail Mary pass by the then-Boston College quarterback in 1984 make Canes fans cringe to this day. Spots five and six on the list are also losses: Penn State in 1987 and the notorious 31-30 heartbreaker to Notre Dame in 1988.
Miami and Florida State, of course, also appear together numerous times on the list. "Wide Right" and "Wide Left" are in there, as one would expect. Farther down the list, the Canes' 42-40 loss to Maryland appears, which on its cover seems insignificant until you're reminded that Miami, the number one team in the nation at the time, was up 31-0 at halftime.
The list is worth a gander if only to remind yourself of some of the insane moments college football has brought into our lives. It's also a good reminder that Miami, although a blip on the college football radar until the '80s, is as important to the sport as any other school.