The Greatest Game Ever Played
Okay, I'm running late so I can't write much about this, but with all the hoopla surrounding the Michigan-Ohio State tilt (RIP Bo Schembechler) I had to mention that 10 years there was another "Game of the Century" between arch-rivals ranked #1 and #2. On Thanksgiving Weekend of 1996 Tank Black's - ummm, I mean Steve Spurrier's - Florida Gators strolled into Doak Campbell Stadium with a #1 ranking, a Heisman-frontrunner at QB, and a full complement of future NFL busts at WR. The Seminoles countered with Thad Busby, Warrick Dunn, and one of the greatest Defensive Lines in college football history. Colege football wouldn't see a game of that magnitude, with that much drama, and with so many stars on the field until Southern Cal and Texas played for the National Title last year. I sat down and figured it out one time: out of the 44 starters for both teams at least 40 would go on to play in the NFL, including future Pro-Bowlers like Dunn, Jevon Kearse, Peter Boulware, and Walter Jones.
On offense, Warrick Dunn was the hero for the 'Noles, playing like a man possessed and rushing for an awe-inspiring 186 yards. On defense, the 'Noles kicked the ever-loving shit out of Weurffel from start to finish. In fact, that was the day Danny Boy earned the respect of most Seminole fans because he kept getting back up after getting flattened by Boulware, Reinard Wilson, Andre Wadsworth, and pretty much everybody else wearing Garnet & Gold. It was the greatest defensive performance in Florida State history, and remains my favorite FSU victory even ahead of the two National Title wins.
Just remember 'Noles: the greatest Gator team of all time got their punk-asses handed to them when they came to Tallahassee!