Ranking The 2016-17 Bowls: 10 to 1
[lead align=”default”]In ranking the 2016-17 bowls, we’ve finally arrived at the ten best games of the season.[/lead]
Not all of these were high-profile games, but these all featured close finishes, and in some cases, a lot of excitement. Of course, the National Championship between Clemson and Alabama is here, but you’ll have to scroll down to see where. The Rose Bowl is here, too, don’t you worry.
#10: Camellia Bowl
Yes, the Camellia Bowl was one of the most entertaining of the year. This was a tight one all the way through, with neither team getting more than a touchdown ahead. Appalachian State won 31-28 over Toledo after kicking a game-winning field goal with about five minutes to go. No turnovers in this game, either.
#9: St. Petersburg Bowl
This was a low-scoring game, but it ended on a play you don’t see too often to finish a contest. Mississippi State led Miami-Ohio by a score of 17-16, but the RedHawks slid all the way down to the Bulldogs 20. It seemed for certain that Miami was about to win the game, but Nick Dowd’s field goal was blocked by Nelson Adams, and that won it for Mississippi State.
#8: Birmingham Bowl
Mid-way through the third quarter, this game was a runaway for South Florida. 39-21 was the score, but South Carolina didn’t hear no bell. The Cocks tied it up with 1:11 to go on a touchdown and two-point conversion, which followed a long punt return to the two yard line. In overtime, USF scored first and stopped South Carolina to earn a bowl victory.
#7: Belk Bowl
This game featured a huge turnaround that was awe-inspiring to watch, unless you rooted for Arkansas. The Hogs led this thing 24-zip at halftime, but then, the Hokies turned on the jets and scored 35 unanswered. You don’t see bowls turn like this too often, and you could feel a total change in energy just watching it.
#6: Foster Farms Bowl
Indiana and Utah played a close game all the way to the end. The Hoosiers spent all season creeping up on good teams, but not banking many wins. Unfortunately, this was another one of those, but it was quite heartbreaking for Indiana. With 1:24 to go, Indiana’s 24-23 lead turned into a 26-24 deficit on a Utah field goal. The Hoosiers got about as far as midfield before the game ended.
#5: Heart of Dallas Bowl
Army took a big lead in this regular season rematch with North Texas, but the Mean Green stormed back. A 24-7 game turned to 31-31 heading into overtime. North Texas forced overtime after kicking a tying field goal with 28 seconds to go in regulation. In overtime, Army punched in the game-winner on a Jordan Asberry touchdown run.
#4: Armed Forces Bowl
This high-scoring contest between Louisiana Tech and Navy ended in a 48-45 LT win. 31 points went on the board in the fourth quarter. The Midshipmen led once in the second quarter, but after the Bulldogs retook the lead, Navy tied LT four times. They couldn’t make it five, as a game-winning 32 yard field goal as time expired won it for Louisiana Tech.
#3: Orange Bowl
Florida State defeated Michigan, 33-32, in this battle of elite college football programs. The lead flipped several times in the fourth quarter, despite Florida State having a 12-point lead with 11:38 to go. Michigan scored with 5:22 remaining, and then took a 30-27 lead just inside two minutes left on a 30-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing kickoff, Keith Gavin returned it 66 yards to set up a short touchdown drive. FSU went ahead 33-30 with 36 seconds left, but to make things very interesting, Michigan blocked the PAT and ran it back for two.
#2: Rose Bowl
This game had intensity, offense, late heroics, and a comeback. Until Monday’s National Championship, this was easily the best game of bowl season. USC came from well behind in the fourth quarter to stun Penn State, 52-49. The game was won on a field goal as time expired.
#1, The Best Bowl of 2016-17: National Championship
College football saved the best for last. As good as the Rose Bowl was, it’s hard to argue this wasn’t better. Clemson went from a loss to a national championship with a second left on the clock. This was the end result of a fast paced fourth quarter. High, high drama in this 35-31 win over Alabama, which may have been the best game of the season overall.