Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Cannon's Halloween Havoc
By Chris Low
ESPN.com's House of Pain project continues its countdown of the 50 most painful outcomes in college football history.
Today, Nos. 30-21 are featured, and it has a distinct SEC flavor. Losses involving Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss are all included. I probably don't have to tell Ole Miss fans which game was selected involving the Rebels.
Here's a hint: It was played on Halloween night, and a guy named Cannon broke a few tackles on his way to a memorable punt return for a touchdown.
No. 25: LSU 7, Ole Miss 3
Oct. 31, 1959
The black-and-white footage of Billy Cannon breaking tackles and racing to an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown against Ole Miss might as well be a horror flick in the state of Mississippi. After all, the game was played on Halloween. The No. 3 Rebels led 3-0 in the fourth quarter when Cannon scored the game's only touchdown and ripped out the Rebels' collective hearts. Ole Miss came back to beat LSU in the Sugar Bowl, but Cannon's legendary return cost the Rebels a perfect season.
No. 23: Texas 21, Alabama 17
Jan. 1, 1965
Alabama was named the 1964 national champion by both the AP and UPI, but had its perfect season ruined in the Orange Bowl when quarterback Joe Namath was stopped short of the goal line on a fourth-down play from just inside the 1. That play remains one of the most controversial in Alabama football history. Namath, who had hurt his knee earlier in the season, contends to this day that he got into the end zone and so do his teammates.
No. 22: Penn State 27, Georgia 23
Jan. 1, 1983
Herschel Walker was poised go out on top. That's the way it's supposed to be for legends, but the previously unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Bulldogs couldn't stop the Nittany Lions' offense that night in the Sugar Bowl and suffered what many in Dawg Land still consider the most painful loss in school history. A win would have secured Georgia's second national championship in three years.