With the College Football Playoff Championship game tonight between Alabama and Georgia, let’s take a look back at the top 10 games in 2017.
For consistency, this will include games contested prior to the bowl season and will not include any, despite the difficulty in leaving the semifinal between Georgia and Oklahoma out of it.
Without further ado, the top 10 college football games of 2017.
10. UCF 62, Memphis 55. There was a lot on the line for UCF in the AAC Championship game. They had beaten Memphis earlier in the season and with an undefeated season and New Year’s Six bowl on the line, the Knights won a double overtime contest against the Tigers.
McKenzie Milton threw for 494 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another one as UCF finished the season 12-0 before heading to the Sugar Bowl to face Auburn.
9. Iowa State 38, Oklahoma 31. In 81 games in Norman prior to this year, the Cyclones were an abysmal 5-74-2. Enter Kyle Kempt and the Cyclones.
Kempt out-dueled Baker Mayfield while the Iowa State defense held Oklahoma without a touchdown for nearly two full quarters to pull the upset.
8. Oklahoma 62, Oklahoma State 52. Fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. The game was tied at 38 at the half and the final score more resembling a basketball game.
Baker Mayfield’s 598 yards 5-touchdown performance essentially sealed himself the Heisman.
7. Penn State 21, Iowa 19. Kinnick Stadium might be one of the most difficult visiting venues in college football. That proved to be the case for Penn State.
Iowa rallied and took the lead late, but Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley took the Lions down the field in 1:42 where McSorley found Juwan Johnson with no time left on the clock for the win.
The game also featured a handful of highlight-reel plays for Barkley.
6. Boise State 59, Colorado State 52. The Broncos rallied from 14 points down during the final three minutes of regulation before winning it in overtime.
This was one of the best comebacks of the season.
5. Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. An early season showdown in South Bend served as the coming-out party for true freshman Jake Fromm.
This game also featured possibly the play of the year when Terry Godwin caught a one-handed falling touchdown.
4. UCLA 45, Texas A&M 44. The second largest comeback in Division I history deserves a spot on this list, right?
Texas A&M held a 44-10 lead in the third quarter before the Bruins started coming alive late in the quarter.
The hosts came alive in the Rose Bowl and came back to beat the Aggies.
3. Western Michigan 71, Buffalo 68. I know, I know, a MAC game at number three? This game set an FBS record for combined points with 139, beating out the previous record of 137 points that Pitt and Syracuse scored last year.
This was a also a seven overtime game. The game featured a fumble in the third overtime by Buffalo but continued after the Broncos missed a field goal. The score after regulation? 31-31.
2. UCF 49, USF 42. This game comes in at number two. It was the last game of the regular season and the winner earned a bid in the AAC Championship game.
Quinton Flowers threw for 503 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown as he rallied the Bulls from a 21-7 deficit.
The Knights had the last laugh as Mike Hughes returned a kickoff 95-yards moments after USF scored a touchdown to tie the game.
1. Ohio State 39, Penn State 38. The number one game in college football this year was Ohio State’s thrilling comeback over Penn State.
The Buckeyes needed this win. They had already lost to Oklahoma and quickly found themselves in a hole after Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.
J.T. Barrett added to his legacy at Ohio State, which included winning a championship three years ago, leading a comeback for the ages. He threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help the Buckeyes knock-off then No. 2 Penn State.
What did you think of the list? Which game was your favorite?