The theme of this blog has always been college football since 1967 because that was the first year of my life that I remember watching the game. Yes, that does make me an old guy, but I was just 8 years old when I recall watching Bill Bradley Quarterback the Texas Longhorns against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
I love today’s game, but I also truly love the history of the game.
1967: USC defeated UCLA in what was then the Game of the Century. OJ Simpson wasn’t the super villain then that he is now, and UCLA’s quarterback Gary Beban won the highly desirable Heisman Trophy.
1968: The Super Sophomores of Ohio State won the national championship in the Rose Bowl by beating the USC Trojans and Mr Simpson who took the Heisman.
1969: The brand new Wishbone offense helps Texas win the national title with big come from behind wins over Arkansas and Notre Dame. President Richard Nixon came to the Texas vs Arkansas game and crowned the Longhorns national champs forever ticking off Penn State’s Joe Paterno.
1971: Nebraska outlasted Oklahoma in the game that most consider the Game of Century. Nebraska won the national championship with Oklahoma finishing 2nd and Colorado 3rd.
1972: The USC Trojans and head coach McKay are almost head and shoulders above everyone else. The Trojans just obliterated a really good Ohio State team in the Rose Bowl and claimed the championship. Lynn Swann was the most graceful and talented receiver I had ever seen, but Nebraska’s Johnny Rodgers won the Heisman Trophy.
1973: One of the craziest of all time seasons with no Overtimes and Ohio State versus Michigan ending in a controversial 10-10 tie. Notre Dame beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to win it all, but 6 unbeaten teams at the end of the season. Oklahoma, or Ohio State, may have been the best teams in the nation and we will never know. Ohio State crushed a very good USC team in the Rose Bowl.
1974: The great comeback game: Notre Dame had USC down 24-7 at the half and the Trojans’ Anthony Davis returned second half kick for a touchdown and the comeback was on. Trojans won 55-24.
1975: Oklahoma dominated college football ranked number 1 from start to finish. Archie Griffin of Ohio State became one and only 2 time Heisman winner.
1976: Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh broke Griffin’s one year old career rushing record as the Panthers won the national title.
Dame won the national title with Joe Montana at quarterback.
1978: Billy Sims of Oklahoma thought he could fly and he almost could. He won the Heisman as Alabama and USC split the national championship. Bear Bryant was at his best.
1979: Charles White won Heisman while Alabama finished ahead of unbeaten USC for the championship.
1980: Herschel Walker, maybe the best running back of all time at the college level, arrived on the scene while Georgia won the national title. Not without a little drama along the way as quarterback Buck Belue hit Lindsay Scott on something of a miracle pass to beat Florida.
1981: Clemson Tigers won it all.
1982: After years of championship frustration, Penn State finally wins it all with a win over Georgia and Heisman winner Herschel Walker.
1983: Miami shocked Nebraska under quarterback Bernie Kosar and arrived on the scene.
1984: This season can be wrapped up by the amazing Hail Mary play made by Heisman winner Doug Flutie to lead his Boston College Eagles over the Miami Hurricanes and new head coach Jimmy Johnson.
1985: The amazing Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy.
1986: Joe Paterno won his second national title with a shocking win over the unbeatable Miami
1987: Florida State vs Miami really got going with the Dynasty Period for the Seminoles beginning here. Miami and Johnson won the title with a 12-0 record, but the championship was really won against the Seminoles.
1988: Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders. Oklahoma State’s Sanders had a season to remember when he won the Heisman. Lou Holtz and Notre Dame won the national championship and nobody will ever forget the famous Catholics vs. Convicts game in South Bend.
1989: The 1980s had to be the decade of the Hurricanes as Miami won it’s third this season.
1990: Colorado and Georgia Tech split the national title, but the Yellow Jackets were unbeaten.
1991: Another title split with Miami and the Washington Huskies finishing unbeaten and untied. I was a huge Don James of Washington fan and Nick Saban came from his coaching tree.
1992: Who can forget underdog Alabama led by coach Gene Stallings shocking the powerful Miami Hurricanes to win the championship.
1993: Florida State’s Bobby Bowden finally won the national championship with his quarterback Charlie Ward winning the Heisman. He remains the only Heisman winner to never play a down of NFL football because he signed with the New York Knicks of the NBA.
1994: Another year, another break through with Nebraska’s Tom Osborne finally winning his first ever title.
1995: The year of the Cornhusker. The Huskers just crushed 2nd ranked Florida, 62-24, to win like
nobody ever before.
1996: Steve Spurrier and his Gators bounced back with an almost as convincing as their loss the year before by thrashing rival Florida State, 52-20. What has happened to great championship games? No worries, they returned.
1997: The Huskers were back, but they had to split the championship with Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines. Charles Woodson of Michigan was the last defensive back to win the Heisman as he shocked Tennessee’s Peyton Manning.
1998: Ricky Williams of Texas beat Tony Dorsett’s long standing rushing record and won the Heisman. The Vols of Tennessee won the national title without Peyton Manning who had moved on to the NFL and Tee Martin capably took his place.
1999: So many people were scared of Y2K and the end of the world, but we survived. But, Ricky Williams rushing record was like Archie Griffin’s, it lasted all of one season as Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne broke it and won the Heisman.
Florida State finished unbeaten for Bobby Bowden’s only time and beat Virginia Tech and Michael Vick for the championship.
2000: Chris Weinke of Florida State won the Heisman, but he couldn’t get his team past the Oklahoma Sooners. Bob Stoops led the Sooners to his only national championship. The world ravages on.
2001: The season is decimated by 9/11, but we fight on. With maybe the best college team ever, the Miami Hurricanes crushed Nebraska to win the championship.
2002: Ohio State shocked Miami to win the national title. After many years away from the spotlight, the Trojans of USC began to rise in the West under Pete Carroll and quarterback Carson Palmer won the Heisman.
Carroll’s success against SEC teams. His teams were fast and talented.
2004: USC crushed Oklahoma for the national title and Trojan Quarterback Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy.
2005: Texas, behind Vince Young’s heroics, surprised the Trojans to win the national title as time expired in one of the all time great games. Reggie Bush won the Heisman, but it probably should have gone to Young.
2006: Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators crushed Ohio State to win it all and begin an era of SEC dominance.
2007: Les Miles and the LSU Tigers beat Ohio State to win it with Tim Tebow winning the Heisman.
2008: Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford won the Heisman and the Florida Gator’s with Tim Tebow and head coach Urban Meyer won the national title.
2009: Alabama beat Texas and won the national title and after Colt McCoy went down, the Longhorns were helpless.
2010: Cam Newton exploded onto the scene in 2010 winning both the Heisman Trophy and the national title with a last second win over the Oregon Ducks.
2011: Alabama beat LSU again in a game I didn’t bother watching. I really don’t like rematches.
2012: Alabama won it’s 2nd in a row and it’s 3rd in 4 years by crushing Notre Dame in a yawn fest. Johnny Manziel became the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
2013: The Florida State Seminoles snapped the SEC winning streak by beating Auburn to take it all with Jameis Winston winning the Heisman.
2014: The playoff era began with Ohio State surprising everyone and winning the national title in exciting fashion by first beating Alabama and then Oregon with their 3rd string quarterback. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the coveted Heisman Trophy and then bolted for the NFL along with the previous winner, Jameis Winston.
2015: Haha, I will never forget that all the media schmedia wrote off Alabama saying they were done and their dynasty was over. Well, the Crimson Tide rolled the SEC and crushed Michigan State in the playoffs before nipping an awesome Clemson squad to win yet another national title. Derrick Henry won the Heisman Trophy over Christian McCaffrey who broke the incredible Barry Sanders total yardage record in amazing fashion.
2016: Clemson finally got their national title with a highly dramatic last second victory over Alabama saying afterwards that he thought of Vince Young against USC back in 2006. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson blew everyone away early and held off a late charging Deshaun Watson to win that Heisman. Louisville cratered late and I still feel that Watson should have won it.
2017: Good ole Alabama and Nick Saban are the favorites to win another title in this, my 50th year of watching college football. Very few top ranked teams start and finish the season on top, if that means anything.
I love it.