There have been a lot of unbelievable endings throughout the history of college football, but on Saturday, November 30, 2013, the Iron Bowl may have produced the most legendary finish of them all.
With the score tied at 28, No. 1 Alabama lined up for a 57-yard field goal attempt. The kick fell short and into Chris Davis’ arms. With 109 yards in front of him, Davis brought the ball out of the end zone with no time left on the clock. Blockers aligned and gave Davis a lane around the left side of the field. Just a few seconds later, Auburn had scored the unbelievable, game-winning touchdown.
It was a moment that will go down in Iron Bowl and college football lore. The Tigers knocked off hated-rival Alabama, all but eliminating them from their third consecutive trip to the national title. A dynasty was brought to its knees. It also ensured Auburn would be playing for the SEC Championship, only a few short months after they were picked to finish in the bottom half of the SEC West.
Viewers around the country had to double-check that what they witnessed was real. All other games ceased to exist for a moment. Such is the power of the Iron Bowl rivalry, and just how monumental the play was.
But was it the greatest college football ending of all time? That question is hard to answer, and part of the reason sports are so transcendent.
There have been a ton of amazing finishes throughout the years: Hail Flutie, The Play, The Bluegrass Miracle, Miracle in Michigan, Prayer at Jordan-Hare (Auburn’s other 2013 miracle), among others.
The endings are so engrained into college football history that they can simply be described by a couple of words.
First a run down of how I rank the top five, then it’s time to settle it.
5. Prayer at Jordan-Hare (2013 – Didn’t quite end the game, but it was wild enough)
4. The Bluegrass Miracle (2002)
3. Hail Flutie (1984)
2. “The Play” Cal vs. Stanford (1982)
1. Iron Bowl Miracle (2013)