NCF Nation: share the pain 2010

SEC fans recall their pain

August, 6, 2010
I realize this is a road some of you might not be giddy about going back down. Then again, for some of you, maybe it’s therapy.

Either way, here’s your chance to vent about some of the most painful SEC losses in history:

Wayne in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: The most PAINFUL game ever! In 1980, the Florida Gators had UGA backed up on their on 7, 3rd down and 12, under two minutes remaining and ahead 21-20. I was in that end zone, a sophomore at UF, waiting to storm the field! Belue drops back, is almost sacked but escapes and throws to Lindsay Scott, who catches it at about the 25 yard line. "Run Lindsay Run!!" The most hated quote ever made by the great Larry Munson! Aaarghh! I have to go throw up now!!

Andy in Orlando, Fla., writes: Lindsay Scott.

Mike in Kennesaw, Ga., writes: 1973 Sugar Bowl: Notre Dame 24, Bama 23. I can still see Tom Clements completing the pass out of his end zone on 3rd and long to clinch the game.

John in Las Vegas writes: I am a South Carolina fan, so there have been many. The worst was 1984, USC against navy. The Gamecocks were No. 2, and No. 1 Nebraska lost earlier. I was 8, and we were blown out 38-21 by a bad Navy squad. Never been that highly ranked again. Ask any Gamecock fan about it, but stand back. They might be sick.

Chris in West Memphis, Ark., writes: It was 1998, Houston Nutt's first year at Arkansas. I was a junior and flew to Knoxville to see the #8 and undefeated Hogs take on #1 Tennessee. Arkansas jumped out to a 21-3 lead. The Tennessee lady I was sitting next to was already crying about the impeding loss. With less than two minutes left and just needing to run the clock out, quarterback Clint Stoerner tripped on a lineman's leg and coughed up the ball. The next thing I know, I was the one crying on a bathroom floor at the house I was staying at.

Walker in Virginia writes: Almost all of my family went to Arkansas, and I don't think any of them will ever recover from the Clint Stoerner fumble.

Hunter in Venice, Fla., writes: I grew up in Kentucky where football season is known as that thing that starts before basketball season... Blue Grass Miracle, yeah thats painful. But losing to Tennessee and Florida for more then two decades now? That is a House of Pain. Facing these two teams each year cause me more pain than any one loss.

James in Bay Saint Louis, Miss., writes: The Les Miles clock management game at Ole Miss. Nothing more needs to be said.

Marty in Kingsport, Tenn., writes: Tennessee's 21-17 loss to the University of Memphis (or Memphis State) in 1996 is one of the most memorable losses in UT history. A win over the Tigers and the rest of their schedule would have possibly given Peyton Manning and the Vols a shot at the national championship and a possible rematch with Florida without even going to the SEC championship game. The "Phantom" tackle on the KO return late in the game after a Manning scoring drive will never be forgotten.

Daniel in Meridian, Miss., writes: Not really a painful loss, but a win that could be considered painful for a hated rival. Ole Miss played Southern Miss in 1970, ranked No. 4 in the country. Lowly Southern Miss, with the help of Ray Guy, beat the Rebels. Ole Miss is knocked out of the national title hunt and kills any chance for Archie Manning to win the Heisman.

Tom in Savannah, Ga., writes: I was in the stadium for "Punt Bama Punt" in 1972. In the waning minutes of a one-sided game, Auburn blocked two punts in a row and ran them in for touchdowns against an Alabama team that had dominated the game that day. Instead of winning 16-3, the Tigers won 17-16. Ouch!!!

Martin in Ariton, Ala., writes: The 2003 Alabama vs. Tennessee game. The thought of that game makes me want to go throw up all over again. Mike Shula was in his first season at Alabama, and we had that game won so many times. The stupid game should have never gone into OT in the first place. All we had to do was get one lousy yard and we could have run out the clock. Then the infamous 4th-and-19 play. I can't write any more, or I am going to have to start a prozac drip.

Tom in Friendswood, Texas/Erbil, Iraq, writes: LSU vs. USC, 1979. The Trojans came in ranked high, but LSU turned on the crowd noise to upset the Paul McDonald/Charles White/Brad Budde/Don Mosebar/Anthony Munoz machine. A late inadvertent facemask allowed a Southern Cal drive new life, and the Trojans went on to score and win the game 17-12 over LSU.

Sarah in Charleston, S.C., writes: Biggest heartbreaker for me since I've been cheering my Vols on for 16 years was that Bama game from last season. I still cry when people talk about it (sort of). One kick away from knocking our rival and Saban off their high horses. Now THAT''S a real heartbreaker.

Tom in Westmont, Ill., writes: From a 'Bama fan: Losing to Auburn during the 1982 season, my senior year at 'Bama, by one stinking point, 23-22. Some new guy at Auburn named Bo Jackson played a big part in the game. This loss stung for a long time because (1) it ended a nine-game winning streak by 'Bama in the series, (2) it was my senior year, my last game against our hated rivals, my last regular-season game, my last home game and (3) it was Coach Bryant's final game against Auburn and his final home and regular-season game. It still hurts writing about it ... 28 years later.
Thanks for all the submissions, all. Got a lot of good stuff from a lot of different corners. Here are the best tales of painful losses across the Big 12. Apparently there are both high volumes of Big 12 blog readership and pain from losses in Houston.

Brian Kimball in Chicago writes: Three words - Statue of Liberty. I was a freshman at OU when they got trounced in the title game by 'SC, but the Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise St. still eats away at me. Just the whole thing - falling behind early, fighting back, taking the lead late in the game on a pick-6 ... and then the gimmicks ... I still don't order baked potatoes when I eat out.

Wilson DeSpain in Houston writes: I'm a Texas Tech fan and the worst loss ever was against Oklahoma in 2008. the 65-21 blowout still haunts my dreams of what could've been today. My dad got me the tickets for my 15th birthday and we drove 8 hours to get there. It was freezing cold and i was sick but it was the biggest game in Tech history and i had to be there. It was the worst birthday of my life. For all these reasons I will never forget the day Texas Tech went into Norman with the aspirations of going to a Big 12 championship and lost in the worst way possible for any fan to endure a blowout crushing the dreams not only of the players but of the entire Texas Tech community in Lubbock and all over the world.

Nathan Penney in Tampa, Fla., writes: Sept 17 2004. So Miss 21 Neb 17. Growing up in Omaha as a season ticket holder and going to college at Nebraska I had seen over 100 Nebraska Football Games (including a dozen road games and 2 national championships) and I had never seen them lose in person. I had always missed the games they lost. To walk out of the stadium after a loss was a foreign feeling that made me sick.

Ben in Atlanta writes: November 22, 2008 was supposed to be the day the Everyman changed the stars forever. For three weeks, Texas Tech was the talk of the college football world. There was no doubt in my mind we would beat Oklahoma, claim the #1 ranking, and win a national championship for the little guys. We couldn't just lose the game though. Oh no! We had to be completely obliterated in every way possible. For three weeks, I felt like Stephen King's "Carrie" when she won she won Homecoming Queen. By halftime I felt like Carrie when the pig guts fell on her!

Chris Vasquez in Houston writes: 08'-I was so excited to watch my beloved Horns match up with Texas Tech, that I went out and bought a brand new 52'' Sony LCD to enjoy the game...When Michael Crabtree caught the long ball in the last seconds to knock my beloved horns out contention for the NC game.,I was glad I had purchased the "whatever happens we will replace your TV" insurance. I knew the TV could not handle that spiral! They took the TV back, and I can no longer watch games with projectiles in my hands.

Heartbreak in USA writes: 0:01

Jason Showman in Omaha, Neb., writes: After watching Texas make the game-winning field goal in the Big 12 title, I was crushed. As a die hard Husker fan, being so close and seeing it all slip away was tough.What hurt even more was that my three year-old son, who is a budding football enthusiast and watched the entire game with me, enjoyed seeing the post-game celebration so much that he asked me to carry him on my shoulders while he made the "Hook'em Horns" symbol with his hands, just like Hunter Lawrence.

Chip Van Horn in Houston writes: I'm sure I won't be the only one to mention this, but 1997 Nebraska @ Mizzou. I was 12 years old and on The Hill for the game. I remember having to watch the video board because I couldn't see over everyone. As we went to storm the field I remember people yelling "Get off the field, the game isn't over!" That play was really heart breaking as a fan, and I'm sure as a player. After the overtimes the fans still went on the field and I went up behind Scott Frost and pushed him and took off running.

Rachel in Madison, Wis., writes: Texas A&M losing to Oklahoma in '03, 0-77. Three first downs all game. It was so horrible I blocked it from my mind for an entire year.

Patrick in Houston writes: 2008: Texas @ Texas Tech.It was my super senior semester at UT. I had purchased options for BCS National Championship tickets at the beginning of the year, who value increased from $20 to $250 in 3 weeks. We were watching the game in Austin at a house party; when it looked like Blake Gideon caught the game winning interception everyone ran to the street cheering and yelling. When we came back to the TV we found out he had dropped the ball, and Crabtree caught the game winning touchdown with a second left.

David in Houston writes: I'm a Husker just choose any of the recent games against Texas. (slap to the forehead with long sigh)

Bob Cullwell in Denver writes: Kansas' loss to Missouri in 2007 would be the most distasteful loss in my memory. It's bad enough to lose to Missouri in anything, but that game and that season had a once-in-a-lifetime feeling to it. It was disappointing to lose that one--even though that was a superb Missouri team.The revenge came, though, when the Orange Bowl had to decide whom to invite. It's sweet to still hear Tiger fans gripe about that!

Elijah in Mount Vernon, Tex., writes: For us at Oklahoma State, it wasn't a game. We took a brutal beating by the NCAA when they took Dez.

Jon Stewart in McCook, Neb., writes: I was 5 or 6 years old. My father was eathing peanuts during the game. I asked for some, begged in fact. He told me he would give me some when nebraska scored. They never scored again and I got zero peanuts.

Jake in Houston writes: 11/27/2004. ISU's first chance at a conference championship since 1912. Opponent: a 4-6 Missouri team. Drove from Minneapolis through a snowstorm. Somehow got to Ames. 30 MPH winds, wind chill of 22. In the stands, shirtless (last-game tradition), snowflakes are no longer melting on our skin. 1:04 left, Bret Culbertson with a 24-yard field goal to win it for ISU. Wide Right. Overtime.Missouri hits a FG, up 17-14. ISU drives, Meyer flings a fade to the end zone. Intercepted. Game over.Walked a mile back to the dorms on frozen joints. Longest mile of my life.

Bryan C in Austin, Tex., writes: As a Texas fan that started watching the team at the age of 7 in 1998, I can say without a fraction of a doubt that the most painful, excrutiating loss was the loss to Texas Tech in 2008. To watch the Horns fall into a deep hole, watch my team come back and take a late lead, watch one of our DBs drop a clinching interception, watch Michael F***ing Crabtree waltz into the endzone, and then having to watch the hated OU Sooners edge us out in the BCS by percentage points was almost unbearable.

Kaustubh Sagdeo in Milwaukee writes: As an OU alum, it'd have to be the loss to Florida in the 2009 championship game. Two possessions inside the 10 that resulted in zero points and a tie game at half instead of a 21-7 Sooners lead was a bad sign. The tebow-worship that followed combined with seeing our defense play their guts out made it particularly difficult to swallow. That game could have really changed OU's and Coach Stoops' "big game" reputation. I had a residency interview the next day and it's safe to say I didn't sleep much that night, or for several days after.

David H in San Antonio writes: Shorthanded Texas Loses to Tech, w/ no Quan, no Orakpo, dropped interceptions on last second. Physically sick for a week, my wife was 7 months pregnant and she almost induced. Coworkers talked smack for a year.

Aaron Jay Campbell in Lubbock, Tex., writes: Asking for the most painful game for a Tech fan is like asking when is it windy in Lubbock, always. Anytime the Red Faders show up to play, its tough. The worst to me was getting our hopes and dreams destroyed by OU two years ago in the midst of our best season in decades, if we win we're in our first BCS bowl and maybe Natl. Championship. I could have taken a loss and wouldn't have been that surprised, but to come out on that stage and just get plain embarassed, it hurt, and still hurts, I feel like I'm talking to a shrink here. I'll come back tomorrow and we can work through the damge caused by last years upset by tamu in the Jones.

ACC: Painful mailbag

August, 6, 2010
Well, the House of Pain project is coming to a close. But not before we use this space for you to vent. Virginia Tech fans filled up the HOP mailbag with the torturous memory of Matt Ryan's improbable comeback.

Hurley, in Arlington, Va., couldn't go into details, writing "it's still too soon."

Just ask Sam F. in Lynchburg, Va., who wrote plain and simple: Virginia Tech's loss to Boston College was one of the most painful moments of my life.

What goes around, comes around, Sam.

John in Bronxville, N.Y., writes: The most painful loss I witnessed was Boston College vs. Florida State in 2007. FSUwon at Chestnut Hill 27-17. With that loss BC lost its No. 2 ranking (which it saved the week before in the Miracle at Blacksburg), its national title hopes, its perfect season, and, eventually, a second Heisman winner.

Consider me your bartender today, guys: I'm here to listen.

Andrew McCord, in Spartanburg, S.C., writes: In 2000, a game I saw in person, Clemson had risen to #4 in the Coaches Poll at 8-0 as unrankedGeorgia Tech came into Death Valley. George Godsey threw a 16 yard TD pass with 7 seconds left in the game to beat Clemson 31-28 to ruin Clemson's run at perfection, crushing Tiger Fans' hopes of a 1981 repeat.

Wayne in Tallahassee writes: All I have to say is WIDE RIGHT........... UUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Adam in Atlanta, Ga., writes: 2002 National Championship, Miami v. Ohio State. The only football game that I have ever cried over in my entire life. Miami was absolutely dominant over the previous two seasons, and back-to-back national championships was the perfect ending. Never again should McGahee's injury be shown again. Terry Porter should never be allowed to have a yellow flag ever again. To this day I will not watch a replay of that game simply because I will break something. Thankfully, redemption is coming, but the hole in my heart can never be fixed.

Corey in Tampa, Fla., writes: Miami's sixth national title, the one the refs took from us. After watching our great team play the worst game they had in years, we thought we had won the championship. I remember leaping into my dad's arms celebrating, then i saw the flag (which was thrown by a referee from across the field.) I could go into how much it hurts but I don't want to.

Steve in Arlington, Va., writes: Seriously, asking a UVa fan shouldn't be fair, because there were just so many of them in the last two decades, most of them in choke-aliscious fashion. While Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl and Georgia in the Peach Bowl are both up there (both losses after leading 21-0), the 1995 game at the Big House wins (um, or is that loses?). Up 17-0 to start the fourth. Predictable final score, Michigan 18-UVa 17.

Chop in Columbia, S.C., writes: Good stuff, Heather. I am a UVa fan and I agree that those two last-second losses in 1995 were brutal, but without question the toughest loss in UVa football history was November 3, 1990 against Georgia Tech. The Hooswere 7-0 and ranked #1 in the nation (for the only time in school history) with two Heisman candidates -- Shawn Moore at QB and Herman Moore at WR. The Hoos blew a lead and ended up losing 41-38 on a last-minute field goal. The loss started a downward spiral for UVa in which they lost to Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Tennessee (blew a huge lead and lost by one in the Sugar Bowl). It was UVa's best team ever (despite the pedestrian 8-4 record). The loss sent UVa on a downward spiral and catapulted Georgia Tech to a share of the national championship. I still think UVa had a better team that year, but maybe I'm just bitter.

MSWILLIS in North Carolina writes: As a N.C. State fan, it is hard to forget the 2001 and 2003 N.C. State vs. Maryland games. Both were in Raleigh and bothended withMaryland wins. In 2001, Shaun Hill threw a TD pass with 41 seconds remaining. After that, the Maryland fans littered the field with oranges. In 2003, Philip Rivers was playing his last home game. N.C. State held a 24-10 lead in the 4th. T.A. McLendon fumbled and Maryland won on a field goal with less than 35 seconds to play. Talk about the pain....

Luke in Warner Robins, Ga., writes: How about how painful it was to watch Reggie Ball play for Georgia Tech. No one can forget how much it hurt to watch him play, especially against the bitter rivals to the East. Remember in 2004, when it was 4th and 21 with the Jackets down by 6, and Reggie Ball threw the ball OUT OF BOUNDS?! Those were sad days for Georgia Tech football.

Chris in Beaufort, S.C., writes: The Puntrooskie Game of 1988 between FSU and Clemson. Clemson dominated the ACC during the 1980s, having won a national championship in 1981. Entering the game at number 3 in the nation, the Tigers needed to beat the Noles at a noisy, rainy Death Valley. One fake punt in the fourth quarter was the difference, as Deion Sanders and Bobby Bowden left Tiger Town with the win. Though FSU wouldn't join the ACC until 1991, it was a symbolic passing of the torch for the top team in the ACC.

Rod in High Point, N.C. writes:Gameday was in Chapel Hill for UNC vs. Florida State 1997. Mack Brown always seemed to lay down versus his alma mater, but this was the year we get over the hump. Not to be. Oscar Davenport broke his ankle and our hearts as the 'Noles thumped us 20-3. We were 10-1 and #7, but still lost out on an Alliance bowl bid somehow!

Tim in College Park, Md., writes: November 22, 2008: Florida State @ Maryland. The Terpscame into the game with a 4-2 ACC Record and had a shot at a Conference title for the first time since 2001. The crowd celebrated Senior Night by blanketing Byrd Stadium in black. The Seminoles responded by annihilating the Terps 37-3. Maryland would lose the following game to Boston College and settle for a trip to the Humanitarian Bowl. The following season, the Terps went 2-10 and the future looks bleak for football fans in College Park.

Zach in Winston-Salem writes: 2006 Wake Forest vs. Clemson. The late (and great) Gaines Adams grabs a botched field-goal snap and takes it the other way starting a 24 point fourth quarter comeback to halt the Deacons' chance at upsetting the Tigers and perhaps get a sniff at the Top 10 later in the season.

Patrick in Clemson, S.C., writes: After defeating then No. 10 Miami in their own place, in overtime when we were slated to have no chance, we have the luxury of following up that win with a win at Duke ... so we thought. LOSING 16-13 THE NEXT WEEK WAS MY BELOVED CLEMSON TIGERS. To DUKE! It was dismal, the worst feeling ever ... all 12 of Duke's band members rushed the field. That scar will never heal.

Non-AQ fans Share the Pain

August, 6, 2010
The time has come to hear from you, the faithful fan, about your most painful losses. ESPN has given you its ranking of the top 50 most torturous losses of all time. Yesterday we featured a few from the non-AQ school perspective.

Here is a sampling of what non-AQ fans have submitted.

Ezra from Dallas writes: TCU's 2003 loss at Southern Miss was devastating. TCU took a 10-game winning streak, #6 BCS ranking, and hopes of busting the BCS (which had, in 2003, not yet been done) to Hattiesburg, and choked. But not before scoring something like 28 points in four minutes to come within 3 points, in the fourth quarter. The almost-comeback was thrilling in the extreme, followed by the most punishing downer imaginable. The crowd gave TCU a standing ovation at the end of the game.

Dave LaCerra from Mount Prospect, Ill., writes: Northern Illinois Loss to Bowling Green 2003.The scenario: Week #1, the Huskies beat #14 Maryland 20-17 in overtime. Then, the Huskies traveled to Tuscaloosa and beat #21 Alabama 16-13. After beating Iowa State the following week, the Huskies won their first 7 games. Following week 5 the first BCS standings were released, and by week 7 the Huskies had climbed to #10 overall. The Huskies could not keep that momentum going, as they lost in week 8 at #22 Bowling Green, which featured the first ever ESPN GameDay appearance for a MAC football game. The Huskies would finishing the year 10-2, unranked, and uninvited to a bowl game.

Zach from Fresno, Calif., writes: 2001 -- Boise State defeats Fresno State 35-30. Fresno State was ranked 8th in the nation and was on its way to be the first true test to being a BCS buster. All they had to do with a David Carr led team was run through the WAC and they would be playing in a New Years bowl game, after upsetting three nationally ranked teams in Colorado, Oregon State and Wisconsin to start the season. Upstart Boise arrives in the WAC the same year, comes into Bulldog Stadium with no quit attitude and pulls the upset on the undefeated Bulldogs. Cinderella's slipper switched hands that night, Boise decade of dominance begins and Fresno's year after year of over hype and huge let downs have left the program on life support.

Sean D. from Salt Lake City writes: How could anyone forget "Beck to Harline" in the corner of the end zone at Rice-Eccles in the 2006 Holy War?

Philip from Boise, Idaho writes: Idaho Vandals vs. Boise St. Broncos in the Kibbie Dome 2006. It was the year Boise ended up winning the Fiesta Bowl over Oklahoma. Both teams undefeated (3-0) in the WAC going into that game. Boise was only up by 2 (28-26) with about 7 minutes remaining in the game. It would have ended years of losing for Idaho. It ended up being 42-26 (Boise win) but the Kibbie Dome was rocking the whole game and Boise faced the most hostile crowed of the entire season. When the game ended the air quickly left the Dome, and a few months later our coach, Dennis Erickson fled for warmer waters in Arizona.

Charles Baine of Greenville, Ala., writes: 2008 TROY 31 vs LSU 40...30 pt 4th qtr for the tigers

Roger from Greensboro, N.C., writes: The 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. ECU (my team) vs. Arkansas. Tied with two minutes left. Our kicker missed two chip shot field goals in the final two minutes which would have won the game. We got the ball first in OT, kicked another field goal...and missed. Arkansas won 20-17. It still stings.

Jared of San Francisco writes: TCU at Utah 2008. TCU leads for 59 minutes. 1 more minute and they are in their first BCS game. Utah pulls it out. TCU heartbreak. Enough said.

Brian Krylowicz from Missoula, Mont., writes: I am a diehard San Diego State fan and my most painful loss was not even a loss, it was a tie. I don't even have to describe the game other than 52-52. San Diego State has a history of being described as a sleeping giant. But in my lifetime they have never woken up. And the 52-52 tie to BYU when we had Marshall knocked us so bad that we have never come close to waking that sleeping giant since. I won't even bring up how we led 45-17. Too painful.

Josh Harper from Memphis, Tenn., writes: 2006 at the Liberty Bowl. Arkansas State vs. Memphis. Freshman quarterback Corey Leonard chucks a Hail Mary 45 yards into the end zone for a last second TD. Arkansas State beats Memphis 26-23. Memphis hasn't been the same since.

Josh Bryant from Taft, Calif., writes: Nov. 19, 2005 - #1 USC beats #16 Fresno State 50 - 42 in one of the most classic bouts in college football history... Too bad my poor 'Dogs lost =-(

Travis Faanes from Sparks, Nev., writes: Oct. 14 2007 Nevada at Boise. 67-69 OT4 It was Colin Kaepernick’s first game and it was the first time Nevada almost beat Boise at home since becoming FBS. On the 2 point conversion Colin almost ran it in but got caught from behind on the 1 yard line.

Jeff Lewis from Greensboro, N.C., wriites: Marshall over Miami (OH) 36-34 in November 2002. Winner gets the berth in the MAC title game. Miami has the lead 34-29 with 6:33 left, then breaks up a pass on 4th down in the end zone to seal the deal ... almost. A phantom pass interference call gives Marshall another crack and they run it in with 5 seconds left. And to cap it all off, our defensive coordinator gets led off the field in handcuffs.
Sometimes the best way to get over a painful memory is to talk about it. So consider this forum your therapy this morning.

Here is a compilation of your best thoughts and comments in regard to our House of Pain series about soul-crushing defeats:

Ryan Kostick in Baltimore writes: WVU-Pitt 2007 Backyard Brawl...need I say more? Not only was this the 100th meeting, it was in Morgantown on national television with one of the worst seasons Pitt fans can remember. All this with the National Championship game on the line. Words can't describe the awfulness that WVU showed up and played with that game at home, against a rival. To the credit of Pitt, they did the job.

Jason Everett in Waynesburg, Pa., writes: West Virginia vs. Pitt, 2007. The stars were lined up in WVU's favor to play for all the marbles -- all they had to do was beat Pitt, who they were favored to beat by double digits. Pitt was in no mood for that. Long suffering Mountaineer fans had to continue to wait for their first national championship. I will never forget the silence in the stadium as I headed for the exits after the game.

Ryan Lucas in Martins Ferry, Ohio, writes: I am a Pitt fan and without a doubt the most painful loss for me was last season when Cincinnati overcame a 21-point halftime deficit and 14-point 4th quarter deficit to beat my Pitt Panthers 45-44 and deny them the Big East Championship and BCS bowl bid. I didn't talk to anyone the entire trip home and I didn't speak for about two days. All I kept seeing in my sleep was Mardy Gilyard returning that kickoff for a TD and our holder botching a snap on an extra point with less than 1 minute left in the game. I still have nightmares to this day about it. I hate Brian Kelly to this day and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from that loss.

Eric Arnold in Morgantown, Pa., writes: Watching the 13-9 WVU loss against Pitt in 2007 is best described as attending a state-wide execution of an innocent man; palpable silence combined with an aura of tension and ensuing gloom that was unavoidable and undeserved. Helpless to change your scenery. Everyone in attendance knew we were passengers in a 18-wheeler with no brakes careening down Mount Everest for three hours. But that's a Mountaineer fan's fate; see the Sugar Bowl against Florida and Da'Sean Butler's knee. No one is better than WVU at eschewing an eternity of sports bliss for what feels like a lifetime of heartbreak.

Bryan Boyd in Tampa, Fla., writes: I know we wouldn't have remained undefeated. I think I know that ... 18 October 2007. USF had thrust itself into the national spotlight. The game was winnable, but lost. From the beginning, invisible hands holding players back from the greatness they were capable of, referees seeing forward laterals that were not there, there was something holding the team down. Even with all that, the final score was 27-30. Almost, but naught. There were other losses, but this broke that team's spirit. They weren't in it again until the next preseason.

Sean in Hartford, Conn., writes: Everyone in the stands is either holding up a "6" sign or chanting "Jas-per Howard" as UConn has just taken the lead over Rutgers. Finally, UConn was going to get the win it needed after Jasper's passing.Then Tim Brown caught an 80+ yard touchdown pass and the rest of the day was a very, very depressing and hazy memory.

Evan in Louisville writes: When Louisville lost to Rutgers in '06,. I wanted to cry. Not just the loss at the last second after a huge lead, but the miss (with the offsides call on William Gay nullifying it), the fact that our second best player Michael Bush didn't play (I'd say we ran the ball a little better with Bush out there...), and then watching Ohio State get blown out in the game we would've been in. Plus, I was in Marching Band, so I would've gone to the Title game FREE...

Joaquin in Brooklyn, N.Y., writes: The 2006 regular season-ending triple OT loss against West Virginia stands out as a painful game for Rutgers. RU stood to get the conference's BCS bid with a win. That Rutgers came that close to finally breaking a double digit long losing streak to WVU and completing a remarkable turnaround made the loss sting even more.

Dave F. in Rockville Centre, N.Y., writes: The 1987 Pat Dye-Tie ... It prevented Syracuse from having an undefeated season at 11-0 and left them with a 10-0-1 record. Of course this was pre-BCS and pre-Alliance Bowl, so basically there still was no guarantee they would have gotten a national title, but maybe it would have prevented the Greg Robinson Error at Syracuse from starting.

Brian in Tampa, Fla., writes: No.2 USF @ Rutgers. Why did the clock have to strike midnight?! WHY?!? Also the Miami game last year. Not because USF lost but because when I was doing the USF "The Bull" with the hand gesture I poked myself in the eye. This too was very painful.

Rod Edmiston in Altoona, Pa., writes: The most painful loss for me as a Pitt fan was the 48-14 loss to Penn State. They still wear badges with the score on. What made it so bad is Pitt jumped out to a 14-0 lead! They by far had the talent that year to be national champs, oh but for that guy named JoPa!

Rich Toland in Howell, N.J. writes: Without a doubt the 2006 Rutgers Triple OT loss to WVU in Morgantown ranks as painful as they come if you're a Rutgers fan. The Cincy loss after the Louisville victory was tough, but there was still hope for the Big East title and a BCS berth if we could beat WVU. I just remember wanting to smash the TV. It was a stunning loss.

Charles Taylor in Raeford, N.C., writes: The most painful loss for me is the WV loss to Pitt in 2007 that cost them the NC opportunity. I had just watched WVU annihilate UCONN the week before in Kuwait on my way home from Iraq. On the flight home I was sure that I would get home and get to watch the replay the my wife DVR'd for me. When I finally touched down in Alaska, my wife said she was afraid to tell me what had happened considering I had just arrived home. I was devastated and my fellow soldiers enjoyed tormenting me about it for weeks.

Zack in Louisville, Ky., writes: For Louisville it has to be, in the Kragthorpe era, the first loss to UK in '07. Seeing that blown coverage just let them waltz into the end zone with the winning TD, and then watch as Harry Douglas was 2 yards from our own game winning TD. We didnt know it yet, but that was the sign of the future for the next 3 years. Who knows what the team would have done if someone actually covered the WR and broke up the pass?

Andy Vielhaber in Avon, Ohio, writes: Cincinnati's crushing loss to Florida in the 2010 Sugar Bowl is my most painful loss. To watch a team go 12-0 in the regular season and miss a chance at the title by one second in the UT/Neb game is bad enough, but then to lose your head coach and have your reputation trampled as badly as it was will be a loss that will still hurt for years to come.

Greg in Louisville, Ky., writes: The Rutgers loss was awful. In fact, I almost broke my hand on my dorm room door at UK when William Gay jumped offside (that's right, I was attending UK as a UofL fan when this happened). However, this doesn't compare to when Brian Brohm and the Cardinals had WVU beat in 2005 and the officials forgot what a fair catch was. How didn't they know that a fair catch is allowed on kickoffs as well as punts? When you find out, let me know, because I'm still not OK with them missing that call.

Shawn Moore in Butler, Pa., writes: The most painful loss was the 1988 Fiesta bowl between WVU and Notre Dame. I still feel as though that game would have gone a lot differently had it not been for Major Harris getting hurt early on. Winning that game would have given us our first National Title. The second should have come in 2007/2008, but that is another story altogether.
If you're in college right now, odds are you remember more painful Notre Dame losses than rapturous Irish victories. But even old-school Domers have some memories they'd like to block.

It's OK. You're in a safe place now. The welcome mat is out and we just baked some fresh cookies. Step into the Notre Dame House of Pain:

Beau Brumbaugh in Syracuse, Ind., writes: A lot of ND fans, especially the younger generation, will point to the Bush Push as the biggest heartbreaking loss at Notre Dame, but Boston College game in '93 is the absolute worst loss for 3 reasons. First, it came the week after the highest of absolute highs in beating No. 1 Florida St in an absolutely classic game that was a nailbiter to the end. Secondly, it was a loss to a subpar opponent that had no business being in the game, period, and it threw the hopes for a national championship up in the air. And third, and worst of all, we had to watch Florida State, a team we BEAT, go on and win the national championship.

If you can name me one college football game that was a triple-decker kick in the gut like that game was, I'd love to hear it.

Paul in Toledo, Ohio writes: 1993 BC game ... I was 11 and I still remember that field goal. Very painful.

James Russell in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Five years later, I still can't talk about the "Bush Push" game. The play before the final TD, Leinart's fumble could have gone anywhere and allowed time to expire. Instead, it went directly out of bounds, preserving enough time for Reggie to escort his QB into the end zone and crush ND's title chances. The fact that USC recently forfeited this game doesn't even begin to fill the empty void left in my soul. Ah, the luck of the Irish indeed.

Nate Johnson in Ashburn, Va., writes: My sophomore year at Notre Dame and Ty Willingham's first year coaching. Started off with that magical run to 8-0 with Boston College coming to town. No one even imagined we would lose that game, but 5 turnovers later we sure did. I can still see Pat Dillingham's ill advised pass landing in the arm's of linebacker Josh Ott as he sprinted for the deciding touchdown. I don't think I've ever heard the campus as quiet and dejected as it was that night.

Mike Allocca in Long Island, N.Y., writes: My freshman year at Notre Dame while watching our team take on No.1 ranked USC as well as try to break of losses against our rivals. The game lived up to the hype and it seemed that victory was within the Irish's grasp before an ending which included the scoreboard running out the clock to zero seemingly signaling an Irish victory accompanied by myself and my fellow students beginning to rush the field; only to have 7 seconds put back on the clock and the ensuing agony of the "Bush Push." A joyous victory turned into a crushing defeat in the matter of seconds.

Shawn Miller in Creston, Iowa writes: The most painful loss for me was the 1996 game at USC. Notre Dame scored late to go up 20-12 only to miss the PAT keeping USC within one score. As luck would have it, the Trojans drove the length of the field and tied the score and won in overtime 27-20. This marked Lou Holtz's last game on the Irish sideline and combining this loss with a questionable loss to Air Force ended the campaign at 8-3 instead of 10-1 playing for a potential championship. Notre Dame football has never been the same since and has greatly suffered under the leadership of Davie, O'Leary, Willingham and Weis.

Eric Marleau in Forest Lake, Minn., writes: Notre Dame-USC 1964. Irish 9-0 and went to USC, defeated by pro-wrestling type officiating. The game was officiated so badly, that the Irish were awarded the Maxwell Trophy that year, and Ara was awarded Coach of the Year. The loss still hurts, and I hate USC as bad now as back then. Glad the the bums are on probation.

Rob Curcio in Johnstown, Pa., writes: I was at a friends wedding Oct. 16,2005, following the ND-USC game on my phone and called my friend because my phone was behind. He told me that ND recovered a fumble and then said, no, they didn't. Then he told me Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone and they lost. The rest of the night was just horrible.

Joe Geglio in South Bend, Ind., writes: In 2002 Nebraska came to ND and I remember ND ticket holders were selling their tickets to Nebraska fans for up to $500 each, because we had been so bad in recent years. Come kickoff, the "Sea of Red" was painfully visible in Notre Dame Stadium. In the end, Bob Davie opted to let the clock run into overtime instead of trying for a field goal and a win. We got a field goal in overtime, but Eric Crouch scored in OT, spun the ball behind the goal line, and that was history!

Jack in Des Moines, Iowa, writes: Notre Dame-Navy, The First Time the Unthinkable Happened. When Navy finally broke Notre Dame's seemingly never-ending streak after 3 OTs in 2007, there was joy in the world (no school the following Monday for Midshipmen). But there was a dark, painful, gut-wrenching aspect too: notably for the Domers who stayed in the stadium waiting for (and hallucinating about) a 4th OT that never came. Is there anything more painful than being excluded from the following group: Students at Notre Dame who Never Experienced a Loss to Navy. I submit that there is not.

Pac-10 shares its pain

August, 6, 2010
Wow. You guys may need therapy.

And now I might, too. I read every one of your more than 300 notes on your own, personal House of Pain. Two words: Ouch & Sorry.

The highs of fandom are great. Ah, but those lows.

You guys got thrown out of bars, your parents stopped speaking to you, you banged your head against the wall and you collectively have shaken your fist at the heavens at various times when the football gods frowned upon you.

These are your stories.

Jeff Albright in Portland, Wash., writes: We traveled thousands of miles to watch Oregon State play LSU, the defending national champs. Tailgating at an SEC school was great. Our special teams were not. LSU won by a point. In overtime. After we missed 3 extra points. There wasn't enough bourbon in Louisiana to erase that memory

Barzin Pourfarrokh in San Francisco writes: In 2007, the Oregon Ducks were ranked #2 in the nation and were led by Heisman front runner Dennis Dixon. They had already overtaken their top Pac-10 competition that year, handily defeating USC and Arizona State. The Ducks had a straight and easy path to their first BCS national title game and Heisman trophy winner when it happened. On a nationally broadcast game on ESPN, Ducks star Dennis Dixon tore his ACL against the Arizona Wildcats. The Ducks went on to blow their lead, lose the game, and ultimately fell apart under their 4th and 5th string quarterbacks.

Michael Lourenco in Gilbert, Ariz., writes: Arizona State losing to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl in 1996. By far and away, ASU's best chance to win a National Title was well within grasp in the 4th quarter. The roller coaster of emotions from anxiety to sheer joy to utter despair were all experienced in mere minutes. When Plummer scored, I jumped out of my seat and at that moment finalized the decision to go to ASU for my college career. By the time Boston scored to give OSU the lead, I was speechless until my dad asked if I still planned to go to ASU. Mike- Sun Devil Class of 2001.

Tim in Tucson, Ariz., writes: 2009 Oregon vs Arizona game: What I personally consider to be the best college football game I have ever seen live (even better than 06 UA v Cal, and 07 UA v Oregon), it was painful to watch as numerous other students poured onto the field to celebrate our 'victory'. Problem was, these kids didn't know about Oregon's high powered offense and what turned into a double OT thriller left my buddies and I heartbroken. The closest we have ever been to the Rose Bowl got taken away with one QB sneak by Masoli to the north Endzone. Next came the Holiday Bowl and I still don't think my Cats have shown up for that yet.

Kyle Waldron in Ferndale, Wash., writes: It was the 2008 season when my UW Huskies were playing at the WSU Cougars. They were winless going into that game and WSU only had one win on the year over Portland State of the FCS. They played well and were tied 13-13 and the UW kicker comes up with a chance to win the ball game. He misses a chip shot and it goes into overtime where we get the ball and he comes out and misses another chip shot and the WSU kicker makes his kick to send us to a winless season

Mike in Portland, writes: Well as a fan of the Oregon State Beavers, where do I start?? I could pick the 2008 65-38 beatdown at the hands of Oregon, when all the Beavs had to do was win to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1964 when my dad was only a kid. Or last year when the Ducks again kept OSU out of the Rose Bowl. But that would be too easy and give too much respect to the Ducks, so how about almost every game between 1971 and 1998? 28 straight losing seasons. One of my first games was at Parker Stadium vs. lowly UNLV in 1990 when I was 10 years old. We left at halftime with the Beavers down like 45-3. And yes, it was raining.

Bob Perez, Santa Barbara, Calif., writes: UCLA's loss to Miami in 1998 in a game that was postponed from early in the year due to a hurricane, before the Bruin defense had completely imploded. Cade McNown threw for over 500 yards and were driving for a score to put the game away when refs said Brad Melsby fumbled though replay showed his knee clearly down. The Hurricanes went on to drive for the winning score, costing the Bruins a spot in the first BCS title game. That was the last year UCLA won the Pac-10.

Jason Wang in San Jose writes: I was working in the concession stands the night Kevin Riley decided to try to go Vince Young and scramble into the end zone on the last play against Oregon State in 2007. It was so painful to be #1 in the nation for literally 2 hours for a game to end like that, I just tried to sell my 100 leftover hotdogs outside of Top Dog for 1 dollar each after the game to fund for my keg that night.

Zach Pullins in Watertown, N.Y., writes: The USC loss to UCLA back in 06' was awful. I was stuck on a submarine during a deployment in the Gulf and couldn't avoid the humiliation from all the Trojan haters. I just KNEW we were playing in the BCS championship game despite an early that early loss to Ore St. Never got over that one.

Jack Parrish in Montgomery, Ala., writes: The agonizing, excruciating pain suffered by us USC fans at the bloody red hands of Texas in 2005. The harrowing experience chilled my bones to their very marrow. To see Vince Young take away everything we had worked so hard for that year on one play boiled my blood. I threw the remote at the wall and screamed in bloody anguish at the world. That loss was/is a painful experience for me which rips my soul from my body.

Bret Manley in Washington, D.C., writes: Hey Ted,23-17 2004 loss at USC. Our only conference loss, cost us Pac-10 championship, cost us Rose Bowl birth (thank you Mac Brown), led to throttling by Texas Tech. What makes it the most painful was the final drive, where Rodgers started the game 26-26 and ended by finding a WIDE OPEN Geoff MacArthur in the back of U$C's end zone only to have the ball sail right between his arms to end the game. I was so mad I grabbed an ax out of the closet, ran outside, and chopped down a tree.

Jared Engeset in Washington, D.C., writes: Mine is two sided as I'm a Husky and my dad is a Cougar, but the 2002 Apple Cup in which the Huskies won in triple overtime has to be one of the most painful outcomes ever. I was at the game and I called my dad at halftime. We had a great conversation about how the Cougars were up but in all honesty they should be up by quite a lot more. After the Huskies tied the game and we waited for overtime, I called again this time to the voice of my mom answering the phone. I'll never forget what she said, "He doesn't want to talk to you." Click. At that moment I wondered if I would be allowed to come home for Thanksgiving dinner, but after we sealed the victory in the third overtime it didn't matter. We rushed the field in what turned out to be a battle field of flying liquor bottles from destroyed Cougar fans. My final memory was walking back to my friend's house, who happened to be a cougar, and hearing random outbursts of anger from Greek Row. We arrived at a deathly quiet house, hugged our Cougar friends because no amount of trash talk could do any harm. They were already destroyed beyond repair?

Greg Barry in Columbia, S.C., writes: After returning from military service in Iraq in December of 2009 my wife and I eagerly made our way from South Carolina to San Diego to meet my Father and Sister (also a Wildcat Alum) at the Holiday Bowl. I only saw one televised game while deployed, but it was a thrilling overtime loss to Oregon that indicated we had a good team and a great offense. I was informed by my family that we were to face a reportedly staunch Nebraska defense, and an offense that was statistically terrible. What happened over the next several hours can only be described as the worst football I've ever witnessed in person. To add insult to injury, my family was rained on for nearly two quarters of play, and was forced to walk to a cab in a throng of Nebraska fans following the beatdown. The agony of months of football deprivation followed by having your team smashed before your eyes can't be expressed in words. To make matters worse I secretly suspect that my wife, a Texas Alum, was secretly wishing that we wouldn't be able to beat Nebraska for no other reason than their Big-12 affiliation.

Mark DeVaughn in Sacramento, Calif., writes: Sept. 10, 1988 Stanford Stadium USC at Stanford Not since 1970 had Stanford won at home against USC. Stanford was right on the doorstep of knocking off the defending Pac-10 champs, leading 20-17. Five minutes remained. The Cardinal had 1st-and-goal at the 2. Oh my God, I thought. We're going to beat USC.No dice. The Cardinal got conservative, with quarterback (and future San Francisco Giants catcher) Brian Johnson having been knocked out of the game plays earlier with a concussion. John Hopkins missed a 22-yard field goal. Queue the heroics of Rodney Peete, who drove SC 80 yards in two minutes for the winning touchdown to ruin everything.Stanford went 3-6-2 that year. USC went to the Rose Bowl again.

Nat Mucha in Dallas writes: UW @ Oregon 1994My sophomore year at UW, several of us traveled down to Eugene to party with our Fraternity's UO Chapter and go to the game. While this was the probation years, we had already already ended Miami's home winning streak and were a solid bet to continue our dominance over Oregon. So while sitting in the middle of the UO student section in Autzen surrounded by 15 UW Pikes as well as 50+ UO Pikes (the only reason I am alive to tell) After talking smack for most of the game, we witnessed the interception that helped Oregon get to the Rose Bowl a few months later. Needless to say we got out of there quickly for our own protection. To add to the pain, one of my customers has a picture of the interception hanging in his office. I make sure to always sit with my back to it.

Kurt in Keizer, Ore., writes: Civil War 2008. Beavers need to win at home in order to go to their first Rose Bowl in over 40 years. The Ducks dominate the game, never quite getting a lead that seemed insurmountable until the final moments, but always being just out of reach. The 65 points scored set a Civil War record, and the game was almost as annoying as the 18 months of trash talk we've had to endure ever since.

Dennis Dominguez in Los Angeles writes: November 5, 2005. UCLA an 8-0 record that matches cross town rivals USC. For years everyone has been talking about how great USC is and this season seemed to be the time for the Bruins to be on their way to a BCS bowl with their #7 ranking. All that stood in the way between the crosstown match up were two games against the lackluster Arizona schools. UCLA goes into Arizona and gets demolished by the 2-6 Wildcats by the final score of 52-14. Perfect season, ended. Confidence, gone. Dreams, shattered. I still haven't gotten over it.

Andrew Dzeguze in Springfield, Ill., writes: 1929 Rose Bowl, Cal v. Ga. Tech - Cal's outstanding defense kept Georgia Tech's offense to only 6 points. Cal was responsible for 9 points. Unfortunately, 2 of them counted for GT when the otherwise outstanding Roy Riegels first ran a forced fumble 65 yards the wrong way, then botched the snap on a quick kick attempt which was blocked out of the end zone for a safety. Riegels was an All American, a future Cal and Rose Bowl Hall of Famer - but forever tagged "Wrong Way."

Chris Pippin in Bend, Ore., writes: I sat through a driving rainstorm for over 3 hours only to see Stanford go down by 18 points against Washington with less than 6 minutes to play. But it was worth it when the Cardinal recovered 2 onsides kicks and scored 3 touchdowns to pull ahead in the final minute. With the rain coming down in sheets, Marques Tuiasosopo needed only 3 plays and 53 seconds to go 80 yards and beat the Cardinal by three points at the gun. We got in the car and turned on the radio to hear that UW safety Curtis Williams was in the hospital and probably paralyzed after a collision in the 3rd quarter. That put the game in perspective.

Brian Cap in Portland, Ore., writes: Oregon State-LSU. missing one extra point is ONE thing. Missing 3 is down right scratch to the head, going bald, cant sleep, nightmares when you do sleep, don't want to talk to anyone, when you do talk to someone they mention the game depressing.

Scott in Louisville writes: Arizona State hosted LSU in 2005. ASU led 24-14 in the 4th Quarter, and lined up for a field goal to extend the lead, but the kick was blocked and returned for a TD. On ASU's next possession, the Devils had to punt; of course, the punt was blocked and returned for another TD. ASU fought back and scored a TD to take a 31-28 lead into the final minutes. On 4th and 10 from the 40 JaMarcus Russell heaved a desperation throw in the corned of the end zone that was caught by Early Doucet for the winning score.

Isaiah Kirshner-Breen in Berkeley, Calif., writes: Do you know how it feels as a Cal fan to see the Golden Bears ranked 1st in the Nation? I can't tell you how it feels, because it hasn't happened in my lifetime. The closest they got was number 2, midway through the 2007 season. After beating Tennessee and then 11th ranked Oregon, we were poised for a number 1 ranking and our best season since the 1950's. You remember what happened at Oregon State, right? How could you not. Kevin Riley dropping back to pass, not seeing anyone open and electing to run. Only a handful of seconds left and no timeouts. Oregon State won, 31-28. Cal went on to finish 5th in the conference if I remember right. That is the closest we've been to greatness in 60 years. And a 3-3 OSU team took it away.

Phil in Traverse City, Mich., writes: Arizona was in the hunt for the Rose Bowl in '93. They had one loss already to UCLA. They got some help from their arch rival, when ASU knocked off the Bruins. UCLA would finish with two conference losses that year. All Arizona needed to do was win out.On the road at Cal, Arizona had the lead AND the ball. A little swing pass to Terry Vaughn went in and out of his hands, and right to a Cal defender who raced for the go ahead TD. Arizona still had time to rally and was driving late in the game. During their "hurry-up" offense, an Arizona receiver caught a pass and in his haste to line up for the next play, inadvertently knocked down a referee, drawing a 15 yard penalty. Head coach Dick Tomey went ballistic. Arizona's Rose Bowl hopes crashed and burned with a 24-20 heartbreaking loss.

Richard Phillips in Medford, Ore., writes; Oct. 20, 2001, when the Ducks gave up a two-touchdown fourth quarter lead to Stanford, helped by two blocked punts and an interception.The loss knocked Oregon out of the NC game, a stunning disappointment for longtime Duck fans like myself who had endured years of losing and mediocre seasons, only to see our NC dreams dashed.I was on a fishing trip to the Southern Oregon Coast, and watched the game at a bar in the small town of Agness with two fellow Duck fans after a day of fishing. We eventually got thrown out after the game for our temper tantrums and foul mouths. Thank God there were no Stanford fans present or it could really have gotten ugly. Oh well, at least it wasn't the Huskies!

Kenny Abbey Jr., in Florence, Ariz., writes: UCLA at Arizona- 1998. It was Arizona's only loss of 1998. Tied at 28 going in to the 4th when UCLA reeled of 3 straight TD's. UCLA also screwed us again that season, losing in their final game at Miami, knocking us out of the Rose Bowl.2. Arizona at Penn State- 1999. Lost 41-7 as the #4 team in the country on opening day, starting a decade long downward spiral for the program.

Kevin Soon in Portland, Ore., writes: 10/20/2001 Stanford 49, #5 Oregon 42I watched from the Autzen stands as Stanford scored 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to give the Ducks their first home loss in 4 years. What's even worse is that losing that game kept Oregon from playing for the national championship vs. Miami in the Rose Bowl. That one still hurts.

Jeff Bowlin in Tucson, Ariz., writes: By far the hardest one was the Apple Cup in [1992] when Drew Bledsoe and the WSU Cougars ran up like fifty points [42] on the Huskies in a freaking blizzard. Worse the impending sanctions were coming and everyone knew it and it would be the second to last game that Don James would coach for the Huskies.
This sounds a little twisted, but House of Pain week actually was a lot of fun. If you needed a refresher on some of college football's most memorable games, the series certainly provided one. I also really enjoyed trying to identify the most painful loss for each Big Ten team, and your participation on Twitter really helped out.

These are the losses that linger, and while the pain is still there for Big Ten fans, I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory pain lane.

Here's what some of you had to say (most mentioned games: Wisconsin-Purdue in 2004 and Penn State-Michigan in 2005) ...

Aaron D. in Washington, D.C., writes: 2003 #17 Minnesota- #20 Michigan. Both undefeated. Night game. Full Metrodome. Minnesota was up 28-7 entering 4th, only to lose 38-35. Minnesota had Barber III and Maroney. Was apex of renewed Gopher program. It has never recovered since.

Dan in New York writes: Nothing pains me more as a Penn State fan than that magical season of 2005, and the horrific call in the October 15th game against Michagan, which gave the dreaded Wolverines a few extra seconds to score the game-winning touchdown, and thus end our quest for yet another perfect season and a shot at the BCS National Championship. I thank the good Lord above that my children weren't alive yet to see my reaction...

Craig Hearn in Atlanta writes: October 16, 2004, #5 Purdue has a ten point lead over Wisconsin. All Purdue has to do is stop the Badgers for six minutes and they are 6-0. Wisconsin gets a touchdown with 5:36 left. Purdue ate the clock to under three minutes. One first down would do it. Kyle Orton lunged for the first down and got past the marker, but in the blink of an eye the game was flipped upside down. He fumbled and Badgers corner Scott Starks took it to the end zone to win 20-17. Purdue lost four straight and was never the same again.

Nick Dembski in Columbus, Ohio, writes: The Buckeyes' loss to Michigan State at home in 1998 that cost the team another national title in the 1990's and pretty much ended John Cooper's career in Columbus. After all of the near misses in the decade, this was going to be the year that OSU finally got over the hump with the most talented team I have seen in my lifetime (even more than 2002 champs). However, OSU blew a 24-9 lead in the second half and lost 28-24, the only game all year that the opponent stayed within a single digit margin of a team that finished #2.

Josh in Sparta, N.J., writes: Most painful loss for me was Penn State losing to Michigain in 2005. We had just went ahead 25-21 with under 2 minutes and our perfect season was still in tact. This was awesome considering we haven't beat Michigan since 1996 and especially since the week before was one of the most thrilling Penn State wins in history (Penn State 17-Ohio State 10 in the inauguration of the Whiteout). "Henne to Manningham" will always reasonate in my head forever and it's still very painful to remember, even 5 years later, especially because it was our only loss of the season.

Steve Guzowski in Livonia, Mich., writes: Known to Michigan fans and alums simply as The Horror. The images will haunt us into perpetuity: Armanti Edwards slicing up the Michigan defense with spread option precision. Appalachian State's eventual game winning field goal. The sickening double thud of a blocked Michigan field goal returned for a touchdown. If dwelled upon too long, The Horror opens fresh those searing, painful wounds.

Jim in Barrington, Ill., writes: The first game that comes to mind is the 2000 Michigan theft against Illinois aided by the Big Ten refs. Two badly blown fumble calls in the last three minutes of the game gave Michigan the win. The Big Ten later apologized for the refereeing errors but didn't institute instant replay until some questionable clock management at MSU cost Michigan the game a couple of years later.

Josh in Baltimore writes: The most painful one had to be Michigan State vs. Michigan in 2004. John L. Smith's team was on the rise and Drew Stanton was emerging as a big-time quarterback as MSU walked into Ann Arbor and jumped out to a big lead, helped by long TD runs by Deandre Cobb. (that kid was so fast)Then Drew Stanton went down with a shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter with no prepared backup QB ready to take the field. Michigan would come back though it took 3 OTs. Spartan fans will never forget Michigan WR Braylon Edwards repeatedly jumping over the undersized, converted cornerback Jaren Hayes for easy touchdowns. John L. Smith teams would have a few more "almost made it to the top" moments but that game really hurt his program.

Dan in Kansas City, Mo., writes: 2004. Wisconsin. Undefeated. 9-0. #5 in the polls. On the cover of Sports Illustrated. East Lansing, MI. Spartans. 5-5. Score tied 14-14 at the start of the 2nd Q. Touchdown. Touchdown. Touchdown. Touchdown. Touchdown. 14-49 Final. Devastating. Lost next 2 games.

Shawn Eagle in Bryan, Ohio, writes: As a big time Michigan fan, my most painful loss, was when Cordell Stewert hit Michael Westbrook for the Hail Mary over Michigan. Before the game, while tailgating I had re-torn my ACL. With Michigan sitting on a 12 point, I decided to beat the crowd out. I could hear the 1st touchdown while still walking out to the car, and had to hear the game winner on the radio.

Jeff Schell in Chicago writes: Truly no more painful loss than Northwestern's loss to the Hawkeyes in 2000. NU had just come off dramatic wins against Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and had a path to the Rose Bowl. Instead, NU came out flat against the lowly last-place Ioa and watched its Rose Bowl hopes vanish.

Alice Beutel in North Brunswick, N.J., writes: For me, Penn State's worse loss came in the Sugar Bowl versus Bear Bryant's Alabama Crimson Tide on 1/1/79. Coach Paterno had already lost to the Bear in the 1975 Sugar Bowl. In 1979, PSU was 11-0 and ranked number 1, Bama was 10-1 and ranked number 2. It was a defensive struggle, with Alabama leading 14-7 late in the game. PSU had the ball deep in Bama territory but ultimately could not score from 1-2 feet out. Paterno would face Bryant 2 more times but would never beat him. Had it gone differently, it might have been Paterno's first NC.

Andrew McAlister in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Oct. 16 2004 #5 Purdue vs. #10 Wisconsin - It had all the makings of a great day in Purdue football history with a top 5 ranking, ESPN "College Gameday," a Heisman hopeful quarterback, homecoming, and a rare nationally televised evening game. What seemed like the perfect ending was lined up as one more first down would all but seal it. Instead, an Orton fumble (with a non-called facemask) taken back for six gave Wisconsin the lead and eventually the game. The sounds of excitement giving way to the pin-drop sounds of defeat cemented that night in my memory forever.

Trent Evans in Bloomington, Ind., writes: Being an IU football fan is painful enough as it is.

Billy Patterson in Topeka, Kan., writes: Iowa vs. Northwestern, 2009. Ranked #4 in the country with an undefeated season on the line and a legitimate chance to play for a national title if we win out. Stanzi goes down with an ankle injury and we end up losing at home to the unranked Wildcats. The post game atmosphere of Kinnick Stadium was unlike anything I had ever seen. People stayed in the seats for an hour after the game just sitting there in shock and disbelief. Destroyed a dream season; absolute devestation.