Regarding the new AP ranking of the greatest games of all time

I’ve got several thoughts about this.

First - why is this vote being taken now? This isn’t the 150th or 200th year of the game…it’s year 152. There appears to be no specific reason for it other than Nebraska and OU are playing tomorrow. So, there is hype around that game (which is nostalgic more than anything else). Could that have affected the voting?

Second, I think the current-day bias toward offense (or should I say, lack of understanding and appreciation for a more defensively oriented game) affects the selection. The OU - Nebraska game…which I will attest, was a superbly entertaining and dramatic game…did not feature much defense, especially for the era. What set the Arkansas - Texas game of 1969 in a special class (as far as the game on the field itself; it had oodles of other intangibles OFF the field as well) was that it featured two extremely good offenses AND two outstanding defenses.

For most of that game, the defenses ruled…however, in key sequences, for both teams, the offenses asserted themselves, leading to one of the more dramatic finishes of all time.

I think, like many things, polls taken in “current day” distort the reality of the way the games were perceived in real time, when they took place. How could a 30 year old today (with no disrespect intended) have ANY idea of how it felt to experience those respective seasons (1969, 1971) and those games? Answer is, he cannot. He can only view it through the prism of the games he has seen over the last 15-20 years, which is a dramatically different era than when those games were played.

Both of those games featured ferocious wishbone attacks vs. prodigious pro-set balanced attacks. Going into the game, the predominant question was weather the more balanced teams (Arkansas, Nebraska) could hold down the wishbone attacks to keep them close enough to outscore them.

By today’s standards, ad 15-14 game, no matter how much drama it had, is probably going to seem relatively boring. It wasn’t. Believe me, each play was packed with outrageous drama.

Final note. If some poll or group wants to rank OU-Nebraska ahead of Texas-Arkansas, that is their right.

But one thing isn’t. The OU-Nebraska game should NEVER be called “The game of the Century”, as many OU fans refer to it. And there is a simple reason for that - that name had already been conferred to Texas-Arkansas 2 years earlier…and with good reason.

It was THE final game of the 100th season (i.e., first century) of College Football. There were no other games that day, or in the regular season.

It was Number 1 vs. Number 2.

The President of the United States came to confer the (mythical) Championship to the winner.

And then, the game itself somehow surpassed the unbelievable hype. it was truly THE game of the Century.

Now, you or someone may say “as good as it was, I preferred the OU-Nebraska game 2 y ears later”. And that is your/their prerogative. But you still cannot make a game in the 102nd game of college football “the game of the century” when the century is over and that title has already been given to a deserving game.

Call it the best game you ever saw, if you wish. Call it the “game of the century” for the SECOND century, if it holds up for the next 50 years. But, until then, it is NOT the game of the century and should not be referre3d to by that name.

Rant over (for now).


It was, at least nice to see that the 9-6 LSU win over Bama made the top 10, at #9. That was a great defensive masterpiece.

I agree totally our 1969 game should be #1, even though I never want to watch it again. At least not to the last TX TD.

The pregame hype for NU-OU was the immovable object (Husker defense) against the irresistible force (OU Wishbone). Huskers proved to be quite movable, but thanks to Johnny Rodgers and Jeff Kinney (they accounted for all five Nebraska touchdowns), they scored enough to win what was a track meet for 1971.

If you’re not a fan of one of the four teams, I can see how you would prefer 35-31 to 15-14.

I surely agree there is no way to determine the greatest game of all time.
Apples and Oranges, Notre Dame Box, Single Wing, Straight T, triple option, wishbone etc. all are totally different types of games.

How about game of the decade?

As was the case in our game against Texas…it was exactly the same story line - the unstoppable Texas Wishbone (beat TCU 69 to 7, among other blowouts; leading nation with an average of 44.3 points per game) against our defense that was allowing just 6.7 points per game to lead the nation in that category. Offensively, the Hogs scored an average of 35.2 PPG coming into the Shootout, while Texas’ defense was giving up 9.8 points each game.

By comparison, OU came into their game against Nebraska averaging 44.4 PPG, and giving up 15.7, while the Huskers were scoring at a 38.9 PPG clip, allowing 8.1.

The Nebraska OU game WAS a fantastic and entertaining game. I just think the prism of time judges it more favorably because the game today is much more similar to that game than the one we played against Texas - and that has nothing to do with how the two games were perceived in the moment. Both were classics, but those who followed football closely 50 years ago mostly disdained high scoring shootouts because of the “lack of defense” displayed.

Another thing - both OU and Nebraska had a game AFTER their big showdown. The didn’t, but either could have lost those games. Meanwhile, the Texas-Arkansas game was the very final game of the regular season. Added even more drama to a game already loaded with dramatic story lines.

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