We’re only a few weeks away from college football season being back! To honor its return, let’s take a look into the past by ranking the top 17 games of the 2017 season.
17. Citrus Bowl: #14 Notre Dame: 21 – #17 LSU: 17
This game was overlooked by many as it took place on the same day as the playoff, but for those who watched it, ended up being in for a treat. Miles Boykin had a memorable 55-yard touchdown grab with just 1:28 left to give Notre Dame the win.
16. Foster Farms Bowl: Purdue: 38 – Arizona: 35
Khalil Tate once again starred, throwing for 302 yards and 5 touchdowns and leading Arizona back from down 31-14 at halftime to take a 35-31 lead with just 3:21 to go in the game. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they left just enough time for Purdue to drive 75 yards in 8 plays to score the game-winning touchdown.
15. American Conference Championship: #14 Central Florida: 62 – #20 Memphis: 55 – 2OT
In a conference as crazy as the American, the title was expected to be nothing less than what it was, a back and forth shootout. Both quarterbacks put on a show, throwing for over 470 yards each while combining for 9 touchdowns. Central Florida finally capped their undefeated season when they intercepted a pass in the second overtime to seal the win.
14. Week 11: #2 Alabama: 31 – #16 Mississippi State: 24
Coming into week 11, Alabama was 9-0 and looked untouchable. Mississippi State finally exposed the Tide’s weakness at linebacker and was able to take a 24-17 lead early in the 4th quarter. It was all for nothing though, as Alabama made the big play they needed when Jalen Hurts found DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown with 25 seconds left to keep the Tide unbeaten.
13. Armed Forces Bowl: Army: 42 – San Diego State: 35
The two teams combined for 726 rushing yards and just 7 pass completions. Army finally pulled out the win with a touchdown and a 2 point conversion with just 18 seconds remaining.
12. Week 2: #20 Washington State: 47 – Boise State: 44 – 2OT
Washington State didn’t show up on a national scale until they beat USC a few weeks later, but their victory over Boise State in Week 2 was a thriller. The Cougars scored with less than 2 minutes to go to force overtime. After trading field goals in the first OT, and both scoring touchdowns in the second, Washington state finally scored the game winner on a 22-yard pass after forcing Boise State to kick a field goal.
11. Week 5: Troy: 24 – #25 LSU: 21
One of the biggest upsets of last season, the Trojans defense shut down LSU. The Tigers didn’t score until the 4-minute mark in the 3rd quarter when they were already down 17-0. The Tigers tried for a late rally but Josh Anderson’s touchdown run with 8:14 to go sealed Troy’s win. “WE JUST BEAT LSU!”
10. Alamo Bowl: #15 TCU: 39 – #13 Stanford: 37
Whenever TCU plays in the Alamo Bowl it turns into a game we’ll never forget. While they didn’t come back from down 31 like they did a few years ago, the Horned Frogs did overcome an 18-point first-half deficit to take a 36-31 lead late in the game. Stanford was able to get the lead back with 6:42 to go, but TCU drove down the field and kicked a game winning 33-yard field goal to win another epic Alamo Bowl.
9. Week 2: #15 Georgia: 20 – #24 Notre Dame: 19
Nobody knew just how much of a contender both teams were at the time, but this turned out to be one of the most important games of the entire season. It was a defensive battle all night, but Georgia receiver Terry Godwin made the play of the game when he made a one-handed sideline touchdown grab to tie the game at 10 late in the first half. Georgia kicked a go-ahead field goal with 3:34 to go and sealed the game with a strip sack on the next possession.
8. Week 6: Western Michigan: 71 – Buffalo: 68 – 7OT
How can a game not make the top 10 when it goes to SEVEN overtimes? Buffalo broke the FBS record for the most points scored in a losing effort, while their quarterback Drew Anderson threw for 597 yards and 7 touchdowns. Western Michigan finally pulled through in the 7th overtime, having forced a field goal before scoring a 12-yard game-winning touchdown.
7. Week 13: #15 Central Florida: 49 – South Florida: 42
The last few games of Central Florida’s season were about as dramatic as you can get, and none were more so than this. With a spot in the conference title on the line, the Knights took a 42-34 lead with 2:21 left on a 23-yard McKenzie Milton touchdown pass. USF answered immediately when Quinton Flowers hit Darnell Solomon for an 83-yard score, followed by a 2 point conversion to tie the game with 1:41 on the clock. Central Florida regained the lead quickly and for good when Mike Hughes returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to the house, giving Central Florida the 49-42 win.
6. Week 1: UCLA: 45 – Texas A&M: 44
The Legend of Josh Rosen! The great Gus Johnson started our season off perfectly, calling UCLA’s unforgettable comeback against Texas A&M. Trailing 44-10 late in the 3rd quarter, Rosen led the Bruins back, throwing four 4th quarter touchdowns, including a ridiculous 10-yard strike to the corner of the end zone on a fake spike to give UCLA the lead with just 43 seconds left.
5. Week 9: #6 Ohio State: 39 – #2 Penn State: 38
These two teams provided us one of the best games of the year for the second year in a row. Heisman favorite Saquon Barkley took the opening kickoff 97 yards to the house and Penn State jumped on Ohio State 28-10 in the first half. J.T. Barrett’s experience took over in the second half as he lead the Buckeyes all the way back, finally winning the game with a 16-yard strike to tight end Marcus Baugh with 1:48 left in the game.
4. Week 10: #5 Oklahoma: 62 – #11 Oklahoma State: 52
I might just be partially biased towards this game because I was there, but Baker Mayfield solidified his Heisman campaign with his 598 yards, 5 touchdown performance in the biggest game of Oklahoma’s season. The Sooners solidified the win in one of the greatest offensive battles of the year when Mayfield found HOLLYWOOD Brown for a 77-yard score to put Oklahoma up by 10 in the fourth quarter.
3. Week 4: #4 Penn State: 21 – Iowa: 19
Saquon Barkley went OFF in this game, rushing for 211 yards and a score, as Penn State pulled out an amazing road win. Iowa running back Akrum Wadley’s big night concluded with a 35 yard touchdown run to put the Hawkeyes ahead 19-15 with just 1:42 remaining, but Penn State drove down the field and scored a walk-off touchdown when Trace McSorley hit Juwan Johnson for a 7 yard score with no time on the clock to win the game.
2. Rose Bowl CFP Semifinal: #3 Georgia: 54 – #2 Oklahoma: 48 – 2OT
Even though it’s not the number 1 game of this season, this Rose Bowl could go down as one of the top 5 games in college football history. The first-ever meeting between Georgia and Oklahoma lived up to the hype, as the two teams dueled all night, culminating when Georgia blocked Oklahoma’s field goal in the second overtime. Georgia got the ball and Sony Michel ran in a touchdown on the second play of the drive to send the Bulldogs to the national title.
1. CFP National Championship: #4 Alabama: 26 – #3 Georgia: 23 – OT
I can’t think of a national title with a better ending than this game. Georgia shut down the Tide in the first half, forcing Alabama to switch to their true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the break. Boy, was that the right move by Nick Saban, as Tagovailoa sparked the Bama offense, leading them back into the game with 2 key second-half touchdowns. The Tide missed a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation, and Georgia made a 51-yard kick to start overtime. After a sack on Alabama’s first offensive play in the overtime, Tagovailoa found a wide open DeVonta Smith for the historic 41-yard game-winning touchdown. Thus winning Alabama yet another national title.
– Guest Writer, Dylan Hall
Photo Credit HERE