Outside of bowl season during the holidays and perhaps the opening weekend of the season, there’s no greater week in college football than championship week. Nowadays, each conference has arranged it so they have a formal championship game, giving fans 10 high-intensity games to watch. Of course, the hope is to put on a game that will be remembered for the ages. Granted, the competition is tough, as we picked out a list of the greatest conference championship games in college football history, and they’re amazing!
Oklahoma 30, Baylor 23 (overtime) (2019)
Less than a month earlier, Oklahoma rallied from a 31-10 halftime deficit to beat Baylor, and the Sooners and Bears gave us another classic in the Big 12 title game. The Sooners went up 10-0 and looked like they would cruise with Baylor losing starting quarterback Charlie Brewer to injury.
But the Bears fought back and got touchdown passes from two different backup quarterbacks. Just forcing overtime was a huge win for Baylor, although they ran out of steam in overtime, allowing Oklahoma to win a fifth straight Big 12 title.
Michigan State 16, Iowa 13 (2015)
The Hawkeyes had put together a magical season that saw them head to the Big Ten Championship Game at 12-0 with a chance to reach the College Football Playoff. The game didn’t have a lot of offensive fireworks, but it was nothing if not compelling. An 85-yard touchdown pass put Iowa ahead 13-9 in the fourth quarter.
But the 11-1 Spartans answered back with a touchdown drive that lasted more than nine minutes and gave them a 16-13 lead with just 27 seconds left to play, sending Michigan State to the CFP.
Texas A&M 36, Kansas State 33 (double overtime) (1998)
Kansas State entered this game undefeated and knowing that a win likely would have sent them to the BCS title game. The Wildcats surely felt good about themselves with a 27-12 lead. However, in less than 10 minutes, the Aggies scored two touchdowns and one two-point conversion to force overtime.
After going to a second overtime, K-State kicked a field goal. However, Texas A&M scored a touchdown to win the Big 12 title and spoil Kansas State’s national championship hopes.
Texas 13, Nebraska 12 (2009)
This is the game that made Ndamukong Suh a star. Nebraska sacked Texas quarterback Colt McCoy nine times, which somehow wasn’t enough. An incomplete pass appeared to end the game with the Cornhuskers ahead 12-10.
However, the officials put one second back on the clock, allowing Texas to kick a field goal for the 13-12 win. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini claimed the refs did it to help Texas get to the BCS title game, which the Longhorns ended up losing anyway when McCoy got hurt early in the game.
Alabama 32, Georgia 28 (2012)
This could have and probably should have been the national championship game this year. The two teams went back and forth all day with A.J. McCarron, Eddie Lacy, and Amari Cooper leading Alabama against Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley, and Georgia. Cooper scored on a 44-yard touchdown catch with 3:15 left in the game to put Alabama ahead 32-28.
Murray orchestrated a brilliant and gutsy drive back down the field, only for the clock to expire with the Bulldogs at the 5-yard line. Alabama survived and went on to crush Notre Dame to win the national championship.