College Football Live, as we have been told, is having Mississippi Day today. Included in this general celebration are some poll questions. For the most part ESPN got the options right, but the World Wide Leader left off some questions. For some of the other states, some options for "Best Game" and "Best Finish" were included. So, I've taken this opportunity to pick up their slack. First up, vote for the best game in state history. Discussion follows after the break.
Alabama / Ole Miss (1969) - The game that made Archie Manning famous was also the first primetime broadcast of a college football game. Archie Manning and
Kenny "The Drunk" Stabler Scott Hunter (future sportscaster for WKRG TV-5 in Mobile) both had in excess of 500 yards of total offense. And, legend has it, that after Alabama's 33-32 victory, Coach Bryant and Coach Vaught, defensive specialists, agreed that it was the worst football game either of them had ever seen.
Ole Miss / Notre Dame (1977) - Forty times aren't the only things that are blazing in the SEC, something eventual champs Notre Dame found out in Jackson. The Rebels were right in the middle of the worst 10-year stretch in school history, but found time to knock off the kings of college football 20-13.
Miss. State / Alabama (1980) - No Egg Bowl victory brings the same wistful feeling to the hearts of bulldogs as their victory over Bear Bryant and #1-ranked Alabama. The Tide was sporting a 28-game winning streak and seeking their third straight national title. Alabama would not be ranked #1 in the nation during the regular season again until 2008.
Southern Miss / Florida State (1989) - Of all Brett Favre's amazing victories, his six-minute drive in the fourth quarter to beat the sixth-ranked Seminoles 31-26 stands out because, in quentisential Favre form, it might not have been. Down 24-26 on third down from the four with twenty-something seconds to go, Favre's offensive coordinator wanted a running play that would force a 'Nole timeout. Instead, Brett floated a play-action pass to the end-zone for an electrifying victory.
Miss. State / Texas A & M (2000) - What the "Snow Bowl" lacked in grandeur - it was, after all, just an Independence Bowl match-up between mediocre teams - it made up in suspense, as Jackie Sherrill got the last meaningful win of his career in a 43-41 overtime win over his former employer during an unexpected Louisiana snowstorm.
If you think I've left something out, remember that I am attempting to separate the "greatest games" from the "best finishes." So, your favorite fifteen-player lateral or blocked extra point may well be included elsewhere. Happy voting!