- Associated Press - Friday, September 16, 2011

Michigan’s miraculous comeback against Notre Dame will go down as one of the most memorable games in college football history.

But it seems that we’ve been saying that a lot over the past few seasons. Rarely does a week go by when there isn’t at least one great game.

With that in mind, here are the 12 most memorable regular-season games from the last five seasons:

1) Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 (Sept. 1, 2007)

The Wolverines came into the season ranked fifth in the country, with a team that included Mike Hart, Jake Long and Chad Henne. Appalachian State was (and still is) one of the top FCS programs, but nobody thought the Mountaineers had a chance at the Big House on the first Saturday of the season.

Not only was it a great upset, it was a wild game. Michigan took the lead with 4:36 remaining. Armanti Edwards and App State came back to go ahead on a field goal with 26 seconds left. Then Corey Lynch sealed it for the Mountaineers by blocking Michigan’s last-play field goal attempt.


2) Auburn 28, Alabama 27 (Nov. 26, 2010)

Auburn was undefeated, Cam Newton’s recruitment was being investigated by the NCAA and Alabama was the defending national champion. The Iron Bowl is always huge, but this one was bursting at the seams even before it started.

The Tide jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the first half, but Newton led Auburn to the greatest comeback in school history.

If that wasn’t enough to make this game go down in history, Auburn’s famous oak trees at Toomer’s Corner were poisoned not long after this game.


3) Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31 (Sept. 10, 2011)

The first night game at the Big House provided a mesmerizing setting to a wildly sloppy game between two of the most storied programs in history.

Denard Robinson and Michigan erased a 24-7 fourth-quarter deficit, and the teams combined for three scores in the last 1:12, capped by a Robinson’s TD pass to Roy Roundtree with 2 seconds left.


4) Nevada 34, Boise State 31 (Nov. 26, 2010)

Kellen Moore and unbeaten Boise State jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead against their WAC rivals and seemed on their way to another BCS bid. But Colin Kaepernick and the Wolf Pack’s pistol offense tied the game at 31-all with 13 seconds left.

Moore hit Titus Young with a 54-yard bomb to set up a 26-yard field goal to win the game. But Kyle Brotzman missed it. He missed another short one in OT, and Nevada made its kick to knock the Broncos out of the BCS mix.


5) Texas Tech 39, Texas 33 (Nov. 1, 2008)

Maybe the greatest game in the history of Texas Tech football.

Mike Leach’s Red Raiders jumped out to a 19-0 lead in the first half against top-ranked Longhorns and led 29-13 in the third. But Colt McCoy led Texas back, and the ‘Horns took a 33-32 lead with 1:29 to play.

In range for a potential winning field goal, Graham Harrell fired to Michael Crabtree near the sideline. The All-America receiver brushed off a tackler, stayed in bounds and score the winning touchdown with a second left.

It was Texas’ only loss of the season and kept the Longhorns out of the Big 12 and BCS title games.


6) Stanford 24, USC 23 (Oct. 6, 2007)

As big an upset as Appalachian State over Michigan was, this one was even more unlikely.

The mighty Trojans had won 35 straight home games and Stanford was a 41-point underdog, starting backup quarterback Tavita Pritchard.

Pritchard converted a fourth-and-20 before tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradford on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds left.

And with that, Jim Harbaugh’s turnaround of the Cardinal had begun.


7) Pitt 13, West Virginia 9 (Dec. 1, 2007)

All Rich Rodriguez’s Mountaineers needed to do was beat their floundering rivals to play for the national championship.

The Panthers came into the 100th Backyard Brawl 4-7, having been pounded by Pat White and Steve Slaton each of the past two seasons.

But suddenly on a cold night in Morgantown, West Virginia’s offense disappeared.

Pitt pulled the last, and considering what was at stake, maybe the most stunning upset of a season filled with them and Rodriguez soon after left for Michigan.


8) Arkansas 50, LSU 48 (Nov. 23, 2007)

The Tigers needed a victory to keep their chances to play in the BCS title game alive _ or so it seemed.

With a banged up defense, LSU couldn’t stop Darren McFadden and the Razorbacks. The Heisman candidate ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns, but LSU forced overtime with a touchdown with 22 seconds left.

All six overtime possessions resulted in touchdowns, but LSU’s 2-point conversion attempt failed on the last one and the Tigers lost for the second time that season.

Of course in this weird season, LSU went on to become the only team to lose twice and win a national championship.


9) Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 31, OT (Sept. 18, 2010)

Little Giants.

That was the name of the play called by the Spartans down by three in overtime. Instead of trying a 46-yard field goal to tie it on fourth-and-14, holder Aaron Bates took the snap, stood up and waited for Charlie Gantt to come open downfield. The stunning fake worked to perfection, and Gantt’s 29-yard touchdown catch.

After the game, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio was hospitalized because of a heart attack.


10) LSU 16, Tennessee 14 (Oct. 2, 2010)

Sheer madness can be very entertaining.

It looked as if the game would end on a mishandled snap by LSU with Tennessee winning. Not so fast. As LSU wasted time by substituting players, Tennessee ran players on the field, too. Too many players.

Tennessee was flagged for too many men on the field, and, given another chance, LSU scored the game-winning TD on Stevan Ridley’s 1-yard run.

For LSU coach Les Miles and Tennessee coach Derek Dooley, this was not one for the clinic tape.


11) Cincinnati 45, Pittsburgh 44 (Dec. 5, 2009)

Nothing like a snow storm to make a game memorable.

With the Big East championship on the line and snow falling hard, the Panthers jumped out 31-10 over the unbeaten Bearcats. But Mardy Gilyard returned a kickoff 99 yards for touchdown late in the first half to give Cincinnati a spark.

The teams traded the lead three times in the final 5:46, with Tony Pike’s touchdown pass to Armon Binns providing the winning margin with 33 seconds left.

It also turned out to be the last game Brian Kelly coached the Bearcats.


12. Tie. South Carolina 45, Georgia 42, (Sept. 10, 2011)

Defensive tackle Melvin Ingram scores two touchdowns, one on fake punt, for the Gamecocks.

Miami 38, Florida State 34 (Sept. 7, 2009)

Jarmon Fortson can’t scoop up potential game-winning touchdown pass on last play of game.

LSU 28, Florida 24 (Oct. 6, 2007)

Tigers go 5 for 5 on fourth down to beat Tim Tebow’s Gators.

Michigan 67, Illinois 65 (Nov. 6, 2010)

The highest scoring game in Michigan history and the highlight of the Rich Rodriguez era.

The list could go on and on, but you get the point.


Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP

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