How far would you rank the finish to the Iron Bowl behind The Play in terms of greatest plays in college football history?
Leland Wong: It's not as good as The Play and Yahoo's Pat Forde is ridiculous for claiming that it is. That's all that matters.
Ragnarok: It's up there. Top 5? I'd give it more than 24 hours before calling it #1, but would be willing to reconsider, especially if Auburn manages to win a title this year. If we rank it against The Play or Flutie-to-Phelan (sp?), its definitely got the same gut-wrenching, last-second momentum swing. It's also got the improbability factor going for it, more improbable than a Hail Mary but less, perhaps, than The Play (maybe Boise's trick plays in the Fiesta Bowl over Oklahoma would be a level comparison). It's also got major national title implications, which is a big bonus, although, since this was a Top 5 matchup, it lacks the "major upset" factor of some of the other plays mentioned -- even given Alabama's quest for a three-peat, Auburn winning the Iron Bowl was much less surprising than, to pick another story from the same day, Duke in the ACC Title Game (in football!).
In any case, a shocking, crazy ending, will be on Top Plays lists perhaps as long as college football is around.
Ruey Yen: The Iron Bowl finish was pretty dramatic but how many laterals were there on that play? ZERO. Yes, the Iron Bowl return has bigger national ramification than The Play (most likely unless Alabama somehow back their way into the National Championship game somehow anyway), it was just a straight out return against a non-existent kick return defense.
I would put the 2013 Iron Bowl finisher in the top 10 right now, with a chance to move up to top 5 if Auburn ends up winning the National Championship.
TwistNHook: No laterals, no mercy. It was a great play, no doubt about it. But it was different for several reasons. One, the Iron Bowl was tied. They were going to go to OT. The 82 Big Game, Stanford had the lead. It was now or never. Two, Alabama had its All-White Castle team out on the field for the FG. This is not to denigrate the excitement of the return, but it wasn't against Alabama's punt or kick return team.
Plus, the magic of the band being on the field is what makes the Play special. Its a combination of the need to do it to win coupled with the insanity of the laterals coupled with the band being on the field. It was a unique play that you'll probably never see again. I could conceive of seeing that Auburn return again, because at its heart, it was just a kick or punt return.
Sam Fielder: I'd rate it as either 2b or 3 behind The Play and Flutie's Hail Mary. As Twist said, it was a great play, very improbable, in a huge game, on the last play, much like the Flutie play. But for sheer madness and insanity, I can't think of anything that will ever top The Play. People have run missed kicks back for TD's before in the NFL but I'm pretty sure no one has combined 5 laterals with the band on the field before and I doubt that ever happens again. So in the same way that people have hit Hail Mary's before (heck Auburn did it two weeks ago), the moment and the stakes make it monumental, but I think the best it could ever be is #2.
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