A Quick Decade of Highlights

We don't know if you watched ESPN's College Football Live prior to the National Championship Game this year, but you would have seen a rather good montage of college football memories from the last decade.

If you didn't, here's a quick summary from the VFA, with a couple of our own:

First of all, we cried a little bit. Adam Taliaferro's return to a packed Beaver Stadium after sustaining a massive injury against OSU that left his near-paralysed was one moment, to Chris Fowler trying to hold it together during Virginia Tech and ECU's entrance onto the field after the massacre, to the excuse-me-while-I-applaud bit (insert your Reggie Bush highlight here).

Crowds didn't get a whole lot of look-in - so no love for Penn State's student section against Ohio State in 2005, or the whole damn stadium against Notre Dame in 2007.

Ohio State had a few of their own, from "Holy Buckeye" against Purdue in 2002 to the 2003 NC game. I would have put OSU-Michigan game in 2006 there too. Michigan, on the other, didn't have too many (we're not going to feature Mario Manningham's catch against Penn State in 2005- the memories are still too painful), and nor did the University of Notre Dame during the reign of Charlie Weis.

But let's think about the players. Who could forget Tyrone Prothro's catch for Alabama in 2005,  Calvin Johnson for Georgia Tech against NC State in 2006 (his highlight reel's also sexy),  incredible plays (Knowshon Moreno, step up!; 'The Catch' that led Iowa to a 2005 Capital One win over LSU).

We saw eyes shining brightly for Texas - Vince Young, led them to a National Title against USC was simply ridiculous (Chris Simms' interception against Oklahoma in 2001). But no love for 45-35 in 2008 - a game we were proud to say we attended).

This was also a decade in which Florida State's Greg Jones using North Carolina players - and his own -as skittles, Jordan Norwood got flattened by Taylor Mays in the Rose Bowl in 2009, and CJ Spiller did his thing -torching defences - brilliantly.

Then, there's the locker room. While we'll choose to ignore the fights, but choose the inspiration. Take your pick: Tashard Choice's speech for Georgia Tech in 2007, Paul Rhoads' "I'm so proud to be your coach" after ISU's stunning upset of Nebraska in Lincoln this year, or Ed Reed's "I'm hurt, dog" halftime mouth-off against his Miami Hurricanes colleagues against Florida State. One can only imagine what Byron Leftwich said to his Marshall teammates after being carried the length of the field after breaking a shin - also in 2001).

 And we loved the press conferences. We are all men, Oklahoma State. And don't get in the way of Les Miles, who apparently isn't going to Michigan. You have a great day too, mad hatter.

Oh, and who could forget Tebow, who may well be the player of the decade? The fourth-and-game stop by Ole Miss that upset the Gators in 2008 took Tim to the podium, and he made a speech that sent shivers through the spine of neutrals and 'Gator Nation' crazy. They won a National Title in 2009 soon afterward. We'll forget about his tears against Alabama in 2009 - the guy was an inspiration to many. Thanks for playing all four years, Tim.

There were games of the decade. We talked briefly about 45-35, but how about the Florida State vs Miami games- almost all of them have been great to watch? Or how about the Paterno-Bowden Bowl in 2005, or the Boise State- Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl, which might just have been the best game ever? This video by Fox was almost as insanely good as the game itself, but not quite). 

But what we really live for in college football is the upsets. Stanford vs USC (2007), when Mark Bradford caught a dying-second touchdown to life the Cardinal over the Trojans. Heck, I even cried when we heard that Bradford's father had died on the same day as he took THAT catch. We loved Kentucky's stunning victory over LSU the same year (though the 2005 Hail Mary game was pretty cool), but then again, there wasn't a whole lot we didn't love about the 2007 season, where top ranked teams fell like the October rain or December snow.

And speaking of upsets, there was one upset - the biggest college football has ever seen. We at the VFA think we may have written about it before.