Monday, June 28, 2010
A few famous ties in the SEC
By Chris Low
In keeping with the spirit of the World Cup, my ESPN.com colleague, Ivan Maisel, has a piece on famous ties in college football history.
Hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the tie was replaced by overtime in college football. It’s certainly changed strategy at the end of games. Coaches typically play for overtime now and kick the extra point instead of going for the two-point conversion and the win.
Ties involving a pair of SEC teams are featured in Maisel’s piece -- Auburn’s 16-16 tie with Syracuse in the 1988 Sugar Bowl and Florida’s 31-31 tie with Florida State in 1994.
A few more come to mind:
- In fact, in that same season Auburn played Syracuse to a 16-16 tie in the bowl game, the Tigers tied Tennessee 20-20 earlier that year in Knoxville.
- The only blemish on Ole Miss’ 1960 record was a 6-6 tie with LSU in late October in Oxford. The Rebels finished 10-0-1, winning the SEC championship, and were also voted national champions by the Football Writers Association of America.
- Auburn tied Georgia Tech 7-7 in 1958, which was the only blemish on the Tigers’ record that season. The Tigers went into that game ranked No. 2 nationally and had won 17 straight games.
- Alabama and David “Deuce” Palmer rallied to tie Tennessee 17-17 in 1993 in a battle of Top-10 teams. Palmer scored on a two-point conversion in the final seconds to forge the tie, which was later forfeited because of NCAA sanctions against the Crimson Tide.
- Alabama went unbeaten in conference play to win the 1981 SEC championship, but lost two games that season and tied one. The tie was to Southern Miss, 13-13, at Legion Field in Birmingham. That next season, Bear Bryant’s last at Alabama, Southern Miss beat Alabama 38-29 in Bryant’s final game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- LSU and Alabama played to a 14-14 tie in 1985 in Baton Rouge, which cost the Tigers a share of the SEC championship. LSU had a chance to win the game, but missed a 24-yard field goal with five seconds to play.
- Colorado and Tennessee played to a 31-31 tie to open the 1990 season in the Pigskin Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The Buffaloes went on to win the Associated Press national championship that season.
- In 1979, Charlie Pell’s first season at Florida, the Gators played Georgia Tech to a 7-7 tie in Gainesville. The reason that tie was significant was that it marked the only game all season the Gators didn’t lose. They finished 0-10-1.
- Georgia and Clemson battled to a 16-16 tie the second game of the season in 1983. The Bulldogs rallied from a 16-6 deficit and tied the game with 38 seconds to play on Kevin Butler’s 31-yard field goal. The game ended in bizarre fashion. Clemson’s Donald Igwebuike tried a 68-yard field goal in the final seconds that was no good, leaving a second on the clock. Butler then tried one from 66 yards for the Bulldogs that was also short.