Throughout the past four weeks, ESPN.com users have been voting on the top plays in the history of college football. Now, the final five plays have been chosen. The five games you selected will be aired on ESPN Classic as part of the Pontiac High Performance Plays of the NCAA® series, airing Mon., Nov. 24 through Fri., Nov. 28 at 9 p.m. ET.
Re-live the games that created awe-inspiring plays and filled college football history with passion.
Perhaps no play in the history of football is more associated with an incredible finish than the Cal-Stanford game in 1982. John Elway had led the Cardinal to a 20-19 lead when Mark Harmon kicked a 35-yard field goal with four seconds left. All the Cardinal had to do was cover the kickoff. They couldn't.
Cal's Kevin Moen scooped up the squib kick at the Cal 43 and sprinted to the Stanford 48, where he pitched it to Richard Rogers. Immediately in trouble, Rogers pitched it to Dwight Garner, who desperately lateraled back to Rogers as he was being tackled. Thinking the game was over fans and the Stanford band rushed the field. It wasn't over.
Rogers sprinted to the wide side of the field, before pitching to Marriet Ford, who faced not only Stanford defenders, but the band too. Ford made a blind pitch at the Stanford 25, which Moen caught and headed for the end zone. Moen moved though the Stanford band before busting into the end zone and crashing into Gary Tyrrell, a Stanford trombone player. After five laterals, it was over and Cal had won 25-20 in as Joe Starkey, the Bears' radio voice put it: "The most amazing, sensational, traumatic, heart wrenching, exciting, thrilling finish in the history of college football!"
FYI - If you are looking for Gary Tyrrell's trombone, it's in the College Football Hall of Fame.
He did it, he did it, Flutie did it!
What makes a play special, worthy of remembrance? Sometimes it's the situation. Sometimes it's the place. Sometimes it's the player. And sometimes when all these factors combine, it's a play for the ages. That's what happened in the Orange Bowl on Nov. 23, 1984 when Boston College's Doug Flutie connected with Gerard Phelan on the final play of the game against Miami in the historic Orange Bowl.
With BC down 45-41 with only six ticks left, Flutie took the snap at the Miami 48-yard line ready to run a play the Eagles practiced every Thursday - 55 flood tip. He took the snap, avoided the rush and rolled to his right and launched a Hail Mary high into the Miami night. The pass drifted over a group of Eagles and Hurricanes at the goal line and nestled into the gut of Phelan in the end zone. Game over. The BC players then launched themselves into a massive dogpile to celebrate the 47-45 win. The play sealed the Heisman Trophy for Flutie - and a signature play for college football.
Oh my God, Carter scored!
A late rally had Lee Corso's Indiana Hoosiers clinging to a 21-21 tie with No. 10 Michigan in the Big House on Oct. 27, 1979. With just six seconds left and the ball resting on the Indiana 45, the Wolverines had time for one last play.
Coach Bo Schembechler thought Michigan's only chance was to throw a pass inside, which they did. QB John Wangler hit freshman Anthony Carter on a post at the 20, but Carter was sandwiched between two Hoosiers. Then the incredible happened. Carter was left standing after the collision, stumbled forward and broke toward the goal line. One last Hoosier made a last-ditch shot at Carter, but he shook free and scored to give Michigan a 27-21 win.
Miracle in Louisville
The legend of Brett Favre began long before he won a Super Bowl and MVP trophies as quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers. It started when he was leading the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Favre started the 1989 season guiding Southern Miss to an upset of Florida State, but his most remarkable effort of the year would come at Louisville against the Cardinals on Oct. 14.
The Golden Eagles were on its own 21-yard line with six seconds left and the game tied at 10. Farve had time for one play. He took the snap, scrambled to the right, stiffarmed a defender and staggered to maintain his balance. Farve then drilled a pass to the middle of the field, which deflected off the helmet Eagles WR Michael Jackson directly into the hands of another Eagle, Darryl Tillman. The miraculous deflection turned into a 79-yard TD pass as Tillman broke a tackle and raced to the end zone. "The odds of that play working are probably slim to none," said Favre after the16-10 win.
"Like the dark, it never goes away, " said former Michigan coach Gary Moeller two years after Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook hooked up to shock the Wolverines on Sept. 24, 1994. It's no wonder. Michigan led 26-21 with six seconds left and Colorado was on its own 36, when disaster struck for the Wolverines.
Buffs QB Stewart called "Rocket left", sending three receivers to the left and one to the right. Michigan rushed only three, which gave Colorado's receivers plenty of time to reach the end zone. The question was did Stewart have the arm. He did. Stewart launched a pass 73 yards in the air. The ball came down into a group on the goal line and Buffs WR Blake Anderson tipped into the end zone where Westbrook cradled it into his arms for a 27-26 win. "There were 106,00 people there…and you could have heard a pin drop," said CU announcer Larry Zimmer.