Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 10 Super Bowls of All-Time: No. 5-1

Continuing on from Part 1, here are my Top 5 Super Bowls of all-time!

#5 Super Bowl XXV - New York Giants 20 Buffalo Bills 19
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This game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants was a low-scoring affair dominated by good defense by both teams. Down 17-12 heading into the final quarter, the Bills scored in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to take a 19-17 lead. With eight minutes remaining, New York answered with a go-ahead field goal.

From then on, the Bills and Giants exchanged punts until Buffalo received one last chance with 2:16 left in the game. Starting from the 10-yard line, Bills QB Jim Kelly operated a masterful two-minute drill as he took the offense 61 yards downfield to set up the game winning field goal.

With eight seconds left and the ball on the New York 29-yard line, Buffalo kicker Scott Norwood stepped onto the field for the biggest kick of his career. This was not like Jim O'Brien's kick before him, or Adam Vinatieri's kicks in the subsequent years. Those kickers had overtime to lean on if they missed. If Norwood missed, it was game over.

Norwood took a deep breath and kicked the ball as the clock wound down. The ball did not come off his foot well and sailed wide right! The game was over. The Giants were Super Bowl Champions! This loss would forever vilify Scott Norwood among Buffalo fans for years to come and kicked off a string of four consecutive Super Bowl losses.

For New York, this was their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history and running back Ottis Anderson was named MVP after rushing 21 times for 102 yards and one touchdown.

#4 Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots 28 Seattle Seahawks 24

Image result for malcolm butler interception

In the most recent Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks were looking to become the eighth team in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Fittingly, they would need to beat the last team to accomplish this feat, the New England Patriots.

Seattle seemed to be in control of the game as the Seahawks owned a 24-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, Seattle's prestigious "Legion of Boom" defense could not contain Brady and the Pats forever.

Brady found wide receiver Danny Amendola with eight minutes left to cut the lead to 24-21. Then, with 2:06 left in the game, Brady hooked up with wideout Julian Edelman to give the Patriots a 28-24 lead. The Seahawks would not go down quietly, however.

Starting from his own 20-yard line, QB Russell Wilson took his offense downfield and ended up on the Patriots' goal line with less than 30 seconds in the game! After running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for four yards to set up second and goal from the one-yard line, the Seahawks made the most questionable decision in NFL history.

With arguably one of the NFL's best running backs in Marshawn Lynch, Seattle chose to throw the ball on second and goal. This decision would prove absolutely disastrous as Russell Wilson's slant pass was picked off by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.

To this day, I believe this is possibly the worst play call ever. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants about trying to throw off the Patriots' defense but he has to live with the fact that he made the worst coaching call of his career that ultimately cost him a Super Bowl.

Butler's timely goal line interception secured the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title and MVP honors went to Tom Brady after he completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.

#3 Super Bowl XXIII - San Francisco 49ers 20 Cincinnati Bengals 16
Image result for joe montana 1988 super bowl

This was the second time that the 49ers and Bengals met each other in the Super Bowl, with San Francisco winning the first contest 26-21 back in Super Bowl XIX. This would be another close affair between the two as the 49ers tied it up at 13 all early in the fourth quarter.

After a San Francisco punt and a missed field goal, Cincinnati nailed the go-ahead field goal with less than four minutes remaining in the game. After the ensuing kickoff, San Francisco had the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:04 left on the clock. From this point on, the spotlight was all QB Joe Montana's as he led one of the most remarkable fourth quarter drives of his career.

Utilizing four different wide receivers and a couple rushes from running back Roger Craig, Montana completed 8 of his 9 passes for 97 yards and effectively killed the clock as he drove the 49ers downfield for the impending go-ahead touchdown. With 34 seconds on the clock and the ball on the Cincinatti 10-yard line, Montana hooked up with receiver John Taylor to give San Francisco a 20-16 lead. The 49er defense held tough and stopped the Bengals' last attempt at a miracle comeback.

This would be San Francisco's third Super Bowl title in franchise history and the third of QB Joe Montana's career. MVP honors, however, would go to his touted wide receiver Jerry Rice as he had 11 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown. His 215 receiving yards are still an NFL record for most in a single Super Bowl.

#2 SuperBowl XXXIV - St. Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
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This game is the epitome of heartbreaking, mostly for Tennessee fans. For nearly the entire game, the Titans trailed before rallying to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Right after Tennessee tied the game up at 16 with a field goal, St. Louis scored in less than 30 seconds to take a 23-16 lead with 1:54 remaining. With the ball on their own 10-yard line, Titans' QB Steve McNair (God rest his soul) brilliantly used his arm and legs to move Tennessee downfield.

Upon reaching the Rams' 10-yard line after a wonderful showing of pocket awareness and evasiveness by McNair, Tennesse used its final timeout with five seconds remaining in the game. This was it. Tennessee would have to get into the end zone or the game was over.

McNair lined up in the shotgun and took the snap. He dropped back, waited for just a few moments, and fired a bullet to receiver Kevin Dyson on a slant route. Dyson caught it in stride at the three-yard line and made his push for the end zone. But waiting for him was linebacker Mike Jones, who lunged at Dyson and tackled him to the ground. Dyson extend the ball hoping to reach past the goal line, but he was just short at it only reached up to the one-yard line.

The game was over. The underdog Titans could not pull off the comeback. Tennessee stood frozen in disbelief, while St. Louis celebrated their first Super Bowl in franchise history. MVP honors went to QB Kurt Warner as he completed 24 of 45 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for one touchdown on a QB sneak.

#1 Super Bowl XLII - New York Giants 17 New England Patriots 14

Image result for david tyree catch

Coming in at No.1 is possibly one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The New England Patriots were looking to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins in Perfectville as they entered this Super Bowl at an astounding 18-0. It was up to the New York Giants, a wild card team seeded 5 out of 6, to stop them.

The game remained a defensive stalemate through three quarters before the Giants scored their first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to take a 10-7 lead. After a three-and-out by both teams, New England took the ball and scored on a Tom Brady pass to wide receiver Randy Moss with 2:42 to go in the game.

Giants' QB Eli Manning now had a very unique opportunity before him that never presented itself to his father, Archie, or his older brother, Peyton. He had a chance to lead a game winning drive in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. With the ball on his own 17-yard line, Eli and company went to work.

After converting a fourth down and one early in the drive via a Brandon Jacobs run up the middle, the Giants were faced with a third down and four on their own 44-yard line. With 1:15 remaining, Eli hiked the ball and avoided a sack by the Patriots' defensive line. After running out of the sack, Eli kept his eyes downfield and chucked the ball up.

In hindsight, it was a bad pass as there were four Patriot defenders in the area compared to just one Giants wide receiver. But that one receiver, David Tyree, was in a good enough position to jump up and catch the ball. As he caught the ball, Tyree pinned it to his helmet and shielded it away from Patriots safety Rodney Harrison as they both came crashing to the turf.

It was an incredible 32-yard reception that gave the Giants a fresh set of downs. After one more third down conversion, Manning hooked up with receiver Plaxico Buress for the go-ahead touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game!

The Giants were not out of the woods yet, however, as the Patriots had three time outs and Tom Brady as their QB. But neither of the two could save the Patriots this time around. The clock on their perfect season had finally struck midnight as the Giants defense stopped them on four straight plays.

After Brady's final pass to Randy Moss fell incomplete, New York began to celebrate. For the third time in franchise history, the Giants were Super Bowl Champions! New England's ticket to Perfectville and a shot at immortality were all gone.

One thing that many people do not remember is that the Patriots did have a chance to seal this game late in the fourth quarter. On the play right before David Tyree's incredible catch, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel dropped an easy interception thrown right to him. Granted, he did have to jump, so there was some degree of difficulty. But still, Samuel's drop allowed the drive to continue and the Giants capitalized in a very big way.

MVP honors went to none other than Eli Manning after he went 19 for 34 with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns. The lone interception that he threw this game came off of a deflection and was his ONLY pick of the postseason! Also fittingly, Eli won the Super Bowl and MVP honors just a year after his older brother Peyton did against the Chicago Bears (29-17).

As a Dolphin fan, I was ecstatic! The Giants had saved the Dolphins' undefeated season for another year, and it has still stayed that way ever since.

Honorable Mention:
Super Bowl XLVI - New York Giants 21 New England Patriots 17

Super Bowl XXXIX - New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21

I hope you enjoyed the second part of my first ever Top 10 article! I have no idea what I will pursue from here, but in the the meantime keep up with my articles for Hail Florida Hail, the new website I am writing for!

I will still be writing for ZackKnowsSports as the founder and leading (as well as only) writer, it's just now I am also taking advantage of a great opportunity that God has blessed me with! Thank you to all my readers for your continued loyalty and readership! My next article for ZKS will be out sometime in July. Have a great 4th of July everybody!

*All stats accredited to pro-football-reference.com & Wikipedia.com

*All photos accredited to iameviltebow.com, scoopnest.com, totalprosports.com, reddit.com, & masslive.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top 10 Super Bowls of All-Time: No. 10-6

The Super Bowl is by far the most watched sporting event in the sports world.  With the 50th Super Bowl set to take place on February 7, 2016, in California, I thought I'd take the time to rank my Top 10 Super Bowls of all-time. With this being such a long article packed with information, I decided to break it up into two pieces. So without further adieu, here is the first part of my Top 10 Super Bowls in NFL history!

#10 Super Bowl VII - Miami Dolphins 14 Washington Redskins 7
Image result for Garo Yepremian

1972 was a very special year for the Miami Dolphins as they finished the regular season 14-0. In the playoffs, the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers were no match for the 'Phins as they kept on winning and boasted a 16-0 record heading into the Super Bowl.

Now just one win away from the first perfect season in NFL history, the Dolphins had one last challenge in the Washington Redskins. The game was a low-scoring affair as the Dolphins held a 14-0 lead with less than three minutes in the game. As Miami attempted a de facto game-sealing field goal, the kick was blocked.

Kicker Garo Yepremian scooped up the loose ball and desperately tried to throw it downfield. However, the ball slipped out of his hands and he accidentally batted the ball up in the air. Redskins defensive back Mike Bass was there to catch the ball in the air and run it back for a touchdown with 2:38 left in the game.

Despite the late Washington score, the Dolphins would prevail 14-7 to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history and complete a perfect 17-0 season. Dolphin safety Mike Scott was named MVP after recording two interceptions for a total of 63 yards. Meanwhile, Garo Yepremian all but guaranteed himself a spot on NFL Follies with his mishandling of the block kick in the fourth quarter. That play itself was just as memorable as the 'Phins undefeated season.

I will also mention that Miami played the entire postseason without its starting quarterback, Earl Morrall. Instead, the Dolphins were led to glory by a future Hall of Famer and soon to be legendary quarterback by the name of Bob Griese. To this day, the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to finish a season undefeated!

#9 Super Bowl V - Baltimore Colts 16  Dallas Cowboys 13

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This afternoon game between the Colts and Cowboys featured a Baltimore rally in the fourth quarter. After the Colts tied it up at 13 with a little under eight minutes left in the game, both offenses stalled.

With 1:09 left in the game, Dallas QB Craig Morton dropped back on 2nd and 35 from his own 27-yard line and looked for one of his leading receivers in Dan Reeves. He hooked up with Reeves but the ball deflected off of the receiver's hands right into the palms of Baltimore linebacker Mike Curtis.

Now with the ball already in Dallas territory, all Baltimore had to do was run down the clock and kick the Super Bowl-winning field goal. As the clock stood still at nine seconds, rookie kicker Jim O'Brien trotted onto the field. The Super Bowl and a chance at immortality among Colts fans rested on his right foot.

O'Brien took a deep breath and nailed the 32-yard attempt right through the uprights with five seconds left in the game. Dallas would do nothing with its last offensive play and the Colts were crowned Super Bowl Champions. Baltimore linebacker Chuck Howley would be named MVP thanks to his two interceptions for 22 yards. This would be the first and only time they claimed a title for the city of Baltimore before moving to Indianapolis in 1984.

#8 Super Bowl XLIII - Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Arizona Cardinals 23
Image result for santonio holmes super bowl catch hd

In a game that saw linebacker James Harrison run an interception back for 100 yards, the Steelers took a 20-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Then, the fireworks began.

A Kurt Warner touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald and a safety made it 20-16 Pittsburgh. Then, with 2:47 left in the game, Warner again found Fitzgerald for the go-ahead touchdown. The game was now in the hands of Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger. "Big Ben" took what the Arizona defense gave him and slowly drove Pittsburgh up the field with a combination of short and intermediate passes.

Surely enough, the Steelers were soon on Arizona's six-yard line with less than a minute to play. On first and goal, Big Ben targeted star receiver Santonio Holmes and watched as the ball slipped through the hands of the wide-open receiver in the left corner of the end zone. On second and goal, Big Ben had plenty of time to throw. Seeing Holmes in the right back corner of the end zone, he again looked his way.

Roethlisberger threw it over three Cardinals defenders and somehow completed it to Holmes for a touchdown! Holmes did an incredible job of keeping both of his feet in bounds and Big Ben put the ball only where his receiver could get it. It was a great job on both ends.

With a 27-23 lead, the Pittsburgh defense quelled Arizona's last rally to win the franchise's sixth Super Bowl (which is the most among all NFL teams). Santonio Holmes was named MVP for his nine catches for 131 yards and his game-winning touchdown.

#7 Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens 34 San Francisco 49ers 31

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It was a very emotional postseason for the Baltimore Ravens as team captain, Ray Lewis, announced he would be retiring after the season. Using this as their motivation, the Ravens collided in New Orleans with a 49ers squad that had been jump-started with the emergence of rookie QB Colin Kaepernick.

This Super Bowl matchup was also intriguing because it pitted brothers Jim Harbaugh (head coach of San Francisco) and John Harbaugh (head coach of Baltimore) against each other. This prompted many to dub this "The Harbaugh Bowl".

The game looked to be a rout as Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones ran the second half opening kickoff all the way back to stretch the Ravens' lead to 28-6. Shortly after a sack of Kaepernick on the ensuing 49ers drive, the strangest occurrence in Super Bowl history took place.

The lights in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went out for 22 minutes, causing a 34-minute game delay. Once play resumed, the 49ers came back to life and snapped for 17 unanswered points. After a failed two-point conversion intermeshed between a couple of Baltimore field goals, San Francisco found themselves on the Baltimore goal line down 34-29 with less than three minutes in the game.

Three downs came and went and now fourth and goal with the Super Bowl on the line had arrived. Kaepernick took the snap and looked for receiver Michael Crabtree on the fade route. The pass fell incomplete and to be honest, it looked like there may have been some defensive pass interference that inhibited Crabtree from making the catch.

Regardless, Baltimore took over and ultimately took a safety to kill the clock. With the score 34-31 and four seconds left in the game, Baltimore punted it off to former star returner Ted Ginn Jr. There would be no Auburn-Alabama heroics from Ginn as he was dragged down at midfield to end the game.

The Ravens had brought a second title to Baltimore since their move there in 1996. Joe Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP for his 22 completions on 33 attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Maybe most importantly, this Super Bowl victory gave older brother John Harbaugh bragging rights over Jim at the next Thanksgiving family gathering.

#6 Super Bowl XXXVI - New England Patriots 20 St. Louis Rams 17
Image result for adam vinatieri super bowl kick

After losing starting QB Drew Bledsoe in Week 2 of the season, the Patriots came in as 14-point underdogs to the St. Louis Rams. However, the Patriots did not get the memo as they brought a 17-3 lead into the fourth quarter.

This was all behind second-year QB Tom Brady, who had barely played a game his rookie year and who the Patriots had selected 199th overall in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. This no-name kid from Michigan was out-dueling the Rams' great QB Kurt Warner.

When the fourth quarter rolled around, the Rams woke up and were able to tie the game at 17 with 1:37 left in regulation. The Pats had the ball on their own 17-yard line. It was now decision time for New England's second-year head coach Bill Belichik. Would he take his chances in overtime or give his young QB a shot to drive down the field?

Belichik chose the latter and the stage was all Brady's. Methodically, the 24-year-old Brady executed the two-minute drill masterfully and put the Pats on the Rams' 30-yard-line with seven seconds left.
Now, from 48 yards out, it was up to kicker Adam Vinatieri. He trotted out onto the turf and remained calm in the biggest of moments as he drilled the game-winning field goal right down the middle to win New England's first Super Bowl in franchise history!

Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP after going 16 of 27 for 145 yards, one touchdown, and an incredible fourth quarter drive. He and Belichik did not know it at that moment, but it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and a formidable Patriots dynasty.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my first ever Top 10 article! Part 2 will be coming real soon! So stay tuned!

*All stats accredited to pro-football-reference.com & Wikipedia.com

*All photos accredited to miamiherald.com, abcnews.go.com, youtube.com, upi.com & bostoniano.info

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 College World Series: Florida's Season is Over

The 2015 Florida Gator baseball season has reached a somber conclusion with their 5-4 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers in the Semifinals at the College World Series tonight. It was one exhilarating ride, and I am very sad to see it end like this.

It is so hard to stomach this loss when I know that on paper, the Gators were a far superior team. Of course, the Gators ultimately get beaten by a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning. It is just fitting because that is how Virginia beat them the first time. They threw the same pitcher that they threw on Monday, Brandon Waddell, and the Gators were able to score four off of him this time around.

However, that did not stop him from going six innings and somewhat keeping the Gators at bay. Once he left, Virginia used the same strategy and went with reliever Josh Sborz. Florida could not figure out Sborz yet again as he went three innings and held the Gators scoreless to seal the victory.

Apart from Harrison Bader's solo home run, Peter Alonso's two-run home run, and Mike Rivera's RBI single, the Florida Gator offense scattered nine hits. In his final collegiate game, Bader notched four hits (including his final homer) and scored once. Mike Rivera followed with two hits of his own and an RBI. Finally, JJ Schwarz ended his freshman season with a 1-3 performance with two runs scored.

For pitching duties tonight, it was not A.J. Puk who got the ball. Instead, Coach Kevin O'Sullivan went with sophomore Dane Dunning. He did his job and kept Florida in the game as he went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on four hits, struck out just one, and walked two.

Once Dane left, a usually lights out Florida bullpen finally came down to earth. Sophomore lefty Kirby Snead came in and gave up a run on two hits in just 0.1 innings. Once he was removed, junior Taylor Lewis came in and gave up what proved to be the game-winning sac-fly. He also allowed a hit, walked two, and struck out one. Following Lewis was junior lefty Danny Young, who retired all four batters he faced in 1.1 innings.

The bullpen should not be faulted nor should the offense. It was not the Gators' night. As deserving as they seemed to be, Florida got beaten by the fundamentals. There was no cutoff man to field Bader's throw from left field on a UVA double in the fifth. UVA was able to get bunts down and execute with men on base. Florida misplayed a couple balls in the outfield. It is easy to blame pitching and hitting on the surface, but it goes so much deeper than that.

As much as it hurts now, the pain will eventually subside. When it does, happy reminisces of a spectacular season will take its place. Making it to Omaha and winning the SEC Tournament are just a couple of this team's amazing feats that I will cover in my season recap. I am very proud of this Gator baseball team, it just was not their year. Even though Florida is losing eight players to the MLB Draft, much of the team is returning. They are so close to figuring it out, they just got to find a way to climb over the hump.

Florida finishes its 2015 baseball campaign with a very respectable 52-18 record. It truly was a fantastic season to watch. The team will return to Gainesville within the next day or two and soon go their separate ways as players get ready for summer ball or the minor leagues. The loss tonight should only motivate them to work harder this offseason.

As for Virginia (42-23), they set up a rematch of last years Finals with Vanderbilt (50-19). Game 1 will be Monday, June 22nd. Game time will be 8 p.m. and it can be seen on ESPN. If anyone is wondering, I have Vanderbilt taking this one in a sweep to claim back-to-back National Championships.

*All stats accredited to NCAA.com

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Top 5 ACC College Football Games of the 2014 Season

The 2014 ACC regular season was, in reality, just a waiting game to see who would face Florida State in the conference championship. Along the way however, there were some memorable games that captured the attention of the entire country. Without further adieu, let's go back a year and see all the wackiness that unfolded!

5) Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech (GT 27-24)
Image result for georgia tech virginia tech 2014 field goal

This early season matchup between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Virginia Tech Hokies was a good one as no team could pull away with the lead. In fact, Georgia Tech was fortunate to still be in the game after being out-gained by over 40 yards and boasting a pitiful 4 for 12 on third down conversions compared to Virginia Tech's 8 for 12.

What kept the Yellow Jackets in the game was their ability to pick off Hokie QB Michael Brewer three times. The last two of them came in pivotal the fourth quarter. The first of the two was a pick-six ran back by Paul Davis to take a 17-16 lead with a little over 13 minutes in the game.

The second of the two picks came on the Virginia Tech 25-yard line. The culprit this time was defensive back P.J. Davis. After this interception in Hokie territory, all Georgia Tech needed to do was run down the clock and kick the game winning field goal. With three seconds on the clock, Yellow Jacket kicker Harrison Butker came out and nailed the game winner as time expired. Georgia Tech would improve to 4-0 with this nail-biting victory, while Virginia Tech would fall to 2-2.

4) #3 Florida State vs Miami (FSU 30-26)
Image result for fsu miami 2014

The Miami Hurricanes were on a three-game winning streak coming into their annual rivalry game with the hated Florida State Seminoles. FSU was ranked #3 in the College Football Playoff rankings and was 9-0 at the time.

The Hurricanes jumped on the 'Noles fast as they took a 23-10 lead into halftime. In the second half, however, the Hurricane offense disappeared and could only muster a field goal. The defining moment of the game came with a little less than five minutes in the third quarter on third down and goal. Down 23-10, Jameis Winston dropped back and had his passed deflected by Hurricane linebacker Tyriq McCord. Unfortunately for the 'Canes, the ball went right to FSU running back Karlos Williams and he scored a touchdown to make it 23-17 Miami.

The game would remain a battle of field goals until FSU finally broke through and took a 30-26 lead on Dalvin Cook's touchdown run with 3:05 left in the game. With their team trailing for the first time all night, many Miami fans saw the 3:05 on the clock as a sign of a miracle to come. Could freshman QB Brad Kaaya top off an already great performance with a comeback?

Kaaya led Miami to FSU's 43-yard line before being picked off by Jalen Ramsey on fourth down to end the game. It was a valiant effort for the true freshman, who had thrown for two touchdowns and 316 yards with just that lone pick.

It was a tough loss for Miami to stomach after virtually leading the entire game. They would fall to 6-4 and their chances of winning the ACC Coastal division had been dashed. As for Florida State, they escaped (yet again) and went to 10-0 with the ACC Atlantic all but wrapped up. This was their fifth consecutive win over Miami.

3) #24 Louisville vs Notre Dame (LOU 31-28)
Image result for notre dame louisville 2014 field goal

After suffering a drubbing at the hands of Arizona State and losing a heartbreaker at home to Northwestern, Notre Dame figured it had a good shot at a 6-3 Louisville squad coming into South Bend.

The Cardinals led most of the game thanks to two rushing touchdowns from QB Reggie Bonnafon and one from running back Brandon Radcliff. Notre Dame, however, did all it could to fight back and avoid another heartbreaking loss.

Down 31-28 with less than five minutes in the game, Notre Dame started with the ball on their own 20-yard line and drove 70 yards down to Louisville's 10-yard line. After being denied from the end zone three times, the Fighting Irish went for the game-tying field goal from 32 yards out with less than a minute remaining in the game. Kicker Kyle Brindza walked onto the field and looked to redeem himself after missing a crucial field goal last week in a 43-40 loss to Northwestern in overtime.

The ball was snapped and Brindza kicked it. Even though it was a different team, it was the same result. Brindza's kick went wide right and the Louisville sideline erupted in cheers. Notre Dame had lost its second consecutive home games by means of a missed field goal.

The Fighting Irish would fall to 7-4, while Louisville continued a respectable first year of ACC play with an 8-4 (4-2) record.

2) #22 Clemson vs #1 Florida State (FSU 23-17)
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Clemson had an incredible opportunity to win this game after FSU's Jameis Winston was suspended for saying a profane phrase in the student union. Winston still suited up to play anyways for some reason, and head coach Jimbo Fisher scolded him and told him to go back in the locker room and change. Without Winston, FSU's offense was not the same. Clemson feasted on redshirt sophomore quarterback Sean Maguire as they sacked him four times and hurried him four times as well.

Maguire's QBR in the game was 28.9, yet the game remained close. After Clemson's Jadar Johnson picked off Maguire at the FSU 25-yard line with a little over two minutes to go in the game, all Clemson had to do was run the ball and kick a field goal. But it was not that simple.

On the second play from scrimmage, Clemson running back C.J. Davidson fumbled and FSU recovered it. A golden opportunity to upset the #1 team in the country on the road had been lost. The game would go to overtime and Clemson did not score after failing to convert on fourth down and one. Behind the legs of Karlos Williams, FSU needed two plays to score the game-winning touchdown and escape with the win.

FSU improved to 3-0 and would get Jameis back the very next week. Many even said that if FSU had lost to Clemson if would not have hurt them in the playoff because Jameis did not play. Anyways, Clemson would fall to 1-2 and realized early that their ACC Atlantic dreams had been dashed.

1) #5 Notre Dame vs #2 Florida State (FSU 31-27)

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Coming in at No.1 is a game that I will never forget as long as I live. It was a highly anticipated Top 5 matchup in Tallahassee that could have potentially been FSU's first loss in two seasons. Both teams were 6-0, and the college football playoff implications were at an all-time high.

The game was close throughout. Apart from a few ties, Notre Dame was leading for most of the game. As usual though, FSU mustered up some fourth quarter magic and scored a touchdown to take a 31-27 lead with under eight minutes to play. After punting it back to FSU and getting a stop, Notre Dame had one final opportunity to knock off the Seminoles with less than three minutes in the game.

Starting around midfield, Notre Dame plowed through FSU's defense all the way to the 8-yard line with less than 30 seconds to go. After three plays, it was fourth down and goal from the FSU 2-yard line. One of the most infamous plays of 2014 was about to occur.

Notre Dame QB Everett Golson took the snap and rolled out to his right and hit a wide open Corey Robinson for the go-ahead score! I remember being in my dorm room with one of my best friends (and fellow writing colleague) R.J. Walsh and going absolutely nuts when the Fighting Irish scored. It was pandaemonium, it was exhilarating, it was offensive pass interference! Wait, what!?

That's right. Apparently there was offensive pass interference on the play as one of the Notre Dame receivers "picked" or got in the way of one of the FSU defenders (keep in mind this is a very common play in college football). I could not believe the call and I was furious. Notre Dame would get another shot on 4th and 18, but Golson threw a pick to end the game.

I cannot say in this article the words I said after that game, but I can assure you I was furious and that my voice could be heard from across the hall. It did not help either that this game was the same night that my Florida Gators lost an embarrassing homecoming game to Missouri 42-13. Regardless, the game was over and FSU escaped again with the victory (that has been quite the trend in this article).

Notre Dame would fall to 6-1 and their season would eventually fall to shambles. Florida State would improve to 7-0 and keep their winning streak alive yet again.

Honorable Mention:
Duke vs #25 Georgia Tech (Duke 31-25), North Carolina vs Virginia (UNC 28-27), Boston College vs #3 Florida State (FSU 20-17)

I hope you enjoyed this Top 5 article! Stay tuned for my next article covering the Florida Gator baseball game vs the Virginia Cavaliers in the College World Series!

*All stats accredited to ESPN.com & clemsontigers.com

*All pictures accredited to nytimes.com, flnewsfeed.com, ndinsider.com, postandcourier.com, & ftw.usatoday.com