1987 Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Penn State (11-0) 14, No. 1 Miami (11-0) 10
Some called the matchup "The Game of the Century." But it didn't turn out to be. Both teams averaged 30+ points coming into the game, but played ineptly when they had the ball. Penn State played tenacious D, sacking Miami's Vinny Testaverde four times and picking off five passes. Still, the Hurricanes, who finished the game with 445 total yards to Penn State's 162, led until D.J. Dozier's 6-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter, which put Penn State up 14-10. Then, Heisman Trophy winner Testaverde marched the Hurricanes 71 yards as the final minutes ticked off. He completed six straight to get to Penn State's 6-yard line, but then was sacked at the 13, threw an incompletion, then, finally, was picked off by the perfectly named Pete Giftopoulous in the final seconds.
1963 Rose Bowl: No. 1 USC (10-0) 42, No. 2 Wisconsin (8-1) 37
The Trojans and Badgers squared off before 98,698 fans and it looked like a runaway. USC QB Pete Beathard completed his fourth TD pass with 14:54 left in the game, giving the Trojans a seemingly insurmountable 42-14 lead. "The kids were congratulating each other on the sidelines," USC coach John McKay said after the dust settled.
But that took awhile. Badger QB Ron VanderKelen threw for two touchdowns to lead Wisconsin on a 23-point scoring spree in the last 12 minutes. But time simply ran out on the Badgers. VanderKelen's performance (33 of 48 for 401 yards) was one for the ages, as was the comeback that almost was.
After the game, McKay secured a spot in the Sore Winner Hall of Fame. "We're still No. 1 and they're still No. 2," he said. "They're a good team, but they'd finish about sixth in our league."