Friday, December 30, 2005 Updated: January 2, 12:30 AM ET
All the marbles: 1 vs. 2
By Jeff Merron Page 2
Everyone stayed up late to see if the Mighty Canes would go down.
2003 Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) 31, No. 1 Miami (12-0) 24 (2 OT)
It was a game that turned out to have three thrilling finishes. The first: with three seconds left in regulation, Ohio State led 17-14, and forced a 40-yard Miami field-goal attempt. Miami kicker Todd Sievers got it just barely straight enough to force the game into OT. The second: Trailing 24-17 after a great TD catch by Kellen Winslow Jr., it looked like Ohio State had lost after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-3. But Miami was called for pass interference, and Buckeye QB Craig Krenzel QB-sneaked the game into a second OT. The third: Maurice Clarett put Ohio State up with a 5-yard run in the second OT, but the Hurricanes followed with a drive to fourth-and-goal at the Buckeyes one. Miami QB Ken Dorsey, who had missed the third-down play after getting hit on second down (backup Derrick Crudup completed an 8-yard pass), re-entered with the season on the line. Incomplete pass. Miami's 34-game winning streak was over. Ohio State's 34-year championship drought was over. And college football fans couldn't have had it any better.
1996 Fiesta Bowl: No. 1 Nebraska (11-0) 62, No. 2 Florida (12-0) 24
The game wasn't close, but makes our list for the pregame anticipation of the two offensive powerhouses (Nebraska had averaged 52 points per game, Florida 45) and the absolution the Huskers put on Steve Spurrier's Gators. Nebraska scored 29 points in the second quarter, and clearly had the game in its pocket even with 30 minutes left to play. The score told the story accurately: the Cornhuskers gained 629 total yards, the Gators 269. Nebraska gained 524 rushing yards; Florida went sub-zero, with minus-28. Huskers QB Tommy Frazier was named game MVP, rushing for 199 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Lawrence Phillips also hit the end zone three times while amassing 165 yards rushing. Nebraska won its second-straight national title while handing Spurrier the second-worse loss of his coaching career. Florida QB Danny Wuerffel was sacked seven times and tossed three interceptions against an invincible Huskers defense. For the first time since 1956, college football's national champion was a unanimous selection by both the AP and UPI.