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Old 11-28-2003, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Favorite College Play

So, I'm stealing from's Pontiac contest, but, while watching the last half hour of the '82 Cal-Stanford game the other night, I started to actually give some serious thought to what my favorite play is/was.

I'm not sure I like three plays that Pontiac/ESPN has chosen, but, whatever.

They have the kick return from '82 Stanford @Cal
The Flutie hail mary pass from '84 Miami @ Boston College
The Favre hail mary pass from '89 [email protected] Southern Miss
The Kordell hail mary to Westbrook from '94 [email protected]
A mildly random looking Michigan catch and tackle escape from '79 Indiana @ Michigan.

I figure folks have their own sets of greatest plays.

For me, it's a Major Harris broken play scramble around, through, and by seven Penn State defenders for a 26-yard touchdown. But, that's just WVU.

For sheer wackiness, unbelievability, and --this can't be overlooked-- incredible broadcast call, the Cal kick return is one of my favorite plays of all time. In fact, a few years ago, when I first got ESPN Classic and saw the game in its entirety for the first time ever, I immediately launched the game from "That kick return game" status to true legendary college football game status.

The game itself was incredible, I thought. Elway powers the Cardinal from 5 down with five minutes to play to take a one-point lead. During the Cardinal's final drive, Elway completes a clutch 4th & 17 from the Stanford 13 yard-line. He completes two more big passes and moves the Cardinal to field goal position before the biggest coaching blunder, possibly in college football history, in retrospect, and certainly in Stanford history, when Stanford calls their final timeout with 8 seconds to play. The FG to win takes only 4 seconds off the clock.

You know the rest.

I love that the Stanford band is on the field. I love that in five laterals, not a single one of them was even particularly close to being illegal (the last one was the closest). And the broadcast call (I don't know if the guy was a Cal guy) while he didn't paint the best picture during the game, just completely lost it during the play and afterward when the officials penalized Stanford, clinching a Cal victory... "The band is on the field!! He's going into the end zone! TOUCHDOWN!! TOUCHDOWN!! I don't believe it! Cal has won the game! The Bears have won the game! I've never seen anything like this in my life! I apologize for my voice, but, I've never seen anything like this! Oh my God! Cal has won it! Cal has won it!!"

As far as the other entries in Pontiac's contest, the Favre play is too similar to the '02 LSU Randall to Devery Henderson (LSU @ Kentucky) throw to eliminate the LSU play from contention, in my opinion, which eliminates the Favre play. I've always been somewhat annoyed by the Flutie hail mary and its celebrity. Remember, Miami was good then, not great, and it wasn't quite the David beating Goliath type thing that it would be today, or two years ago. It was a big deal, but BC was ranked pretty high (that win made them #4 for a week) already.

I've always had a thing for the Kordell bomb caught by Westbrook, though. That, of hail marys that do what they intend, is a great one. But, I'll stick with Cal-Stanford.

If you have a favorite all-time play, let's hear about it.

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