The 8 Best Bowl Games Of All Time

Bowl games are one of the best things about college football. They're great for the players, the coaches, the fans and everyone involved. Every season produces a few thrilling bowl games and hopefully 2015 isn't any different. While we wait for the bowl season to kickoff, we thought it'd be fun to re-visit some of the best bowl games in history. It was not easy to narrow it down, and several amazing games just missed out. As a bonus, we've embedded clips from the bowl games. With that in mind, here are The 8 Best Bowl Games Of All Time:

8. 1979 Cotton Bowl - Notre Dame 35, Houston 34

The oldest bowl on this list is the first. It's likely better known as the "Chicken Soup Game." The game was played the day after an ice storm hit Dallas and Notre Dame QB Joe Montana was sick with the flu. He led Notre Dame to a comeback after eating a bowl of chicken soup at halftime. Houston was up 20-12 at the half and extended the led to 34-12 before the start of the fourth quarter. Montana then returned with just 7:37 left in the fourth quarter after missing most of the second half. He threw a TD pass with no time left on the clock to give the Irish a win after they hit the extra point. Even that wasn't routine, as Notre Dame had to kick the extra point twice because of a penalty. 

7. 2005 Rose Bowl - Texas 38, Michigan 37

This was actually the first ever meeting between Texas and Michigan and it was a memorable one. It was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with no team leading by more than 10. Michigan took that 10-point lead after rattling off 17 straight points in the third quarter. Texas hit the game-winning 37-yard field goal as time expired to give the Longhorns the win. After the game, head coach Mack Brown said "There will never be a better game in the Rose Bowl." He would be proven wrong the very next season. 

6. 1987 Fiesta Bowl - Penn State 14, Miami 10

Miami and Penn State were both undefeated and the winner would claim the national title. It featured two legendary coaches in Jimmie Johnson and Joe Paterno and the game went down to the wire. Miami had a chance to win the game and had the ball in the red zone with just 18 seconds left. However, QB Vinny Testaverde was picked for the fifth time, with this one coming in the end zone, to seal a Nittany Lion win. 

5. 1994 Orange Bowl - Florida State 18, Nebraska 16

This game was complete chaos at the end. Nebraska took a 16-15 lead with 1:18 left, but a kick out of bounds gave FSU great field position. The Seminoles took an 18-16 lead with 21 seconds left, but were whistled for excessive celebration, which gave Nebraska great field position. The clock hit zero, but the refs ruled Nebraska down at the FSU 28-yard line with one second left. Nebraska missed the game-winning field goal to give FSU the win. 

4. 1984 Orange Bowl - Miami 31, Nebraska 30 

This game was for a national title, as the Cornhuskers were heavily favored over the Hurricanes. Nebraska went for two and the win late, but the Hurricanes held. There was no overtime at this point in college football and head coach Tom Osborn's decision helped the Hurricanes snag a national title. This game has a case for being even higher on this list. 

3. 2007 Fiesta Bowl - Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42 (OT) 

If this game had national title implications, it might rank even higher. Still, this game had nearly everything fans could want. Boise State was a heavy underdog, because nobody believed in the Broncos. They were up early, but the Sooners rattled off 25 straight points to take a 35-28 lead in the fourth quarter. Then the Broncos tied the game on a hook and ladder play and won it on the Statue of Liberty two-point conversion. The hero of that play, RB Ian Johnson, then ran off and proposed to his girlfriend. This game was simply nuts and incredibly to watch, if you're not an OU fan. 

2. 2003 Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State 31, Miami 24 (2OT)

This one has some controversy and many Hurricane fans still believe the pass interference call (aka The Call) that gave the Buckeyes another chance in the first OT was completely bogus. Correct or not, the Buckeyes won a thriller to capture the national title. Miami were double-digit favorites, making the Buckeyes' win quite the upset. 

1. 2006 Rose Bowl - Texas 41, USC 38

This one isn't exactly a surprise is it? Texas captured its only national title under Mack Brown thanks to an incredible performance from QB Vince Young. Young racked up 467 yards of total offense and three TDs, and capped off his day by running eight yards for a TD on 4th and 5 with just 19 seconds left. There simply isn't a better bowl game in history. 

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Related Topics: Cotton Bowl, College Football Bowls, Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Vince Young