Today in Sports History: January 29th

Steve Young looks to pass in Super Bowl XXIX. The 49ers annihilated the Chargers, 49-26, and Young was named the game's MVP. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

1/29/1968 - Rupp passes Phog Allen

With an 85-76 victory over unranked Mississippi, Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp wins his 772nd game, passing Forrest "Phog" Allen for the most in college basketball. Rupp, who had recorded his 600th win exactly nine years earlier, had played for Allen back when he was a student at Kansas. After the game, Rupp was given a standing ovation from the Ole Miss crowd as well a the game ball from Rebels coach Eddie Crawford.

"I don't think my records are important," Rupp modestly said at the time. "But it does make you feel good to know you've been a success in your profession."

"Now go for your second 772nd," Allen simply wired him.

Although his win record officially came against Mississippi, Rupp himself believed that win No. 772 happened on Dec. 30, 1967 -- one day before the Ice Bowl -- when Kentucky defeated Notre Dame, 81-73. But the NCAA had ruled that five Kentucky wins in a 1966 tournament in Tel Aviv were ineligible, thus forcing Rupp to wait another month to reach the milestone. Since then, Rupp has retroactively been credited with achieving the record after beating Notre Dame, and not after beating Ole Miss. Further muddying the occasion is the fact that shortly after his death, Phog Allen's win total was adjusted after researchers found inconsistencies in his record; his career wins mark was reduced from 771 to 746, meaning that Rupp had actually surpassed Allen's record sometime during the 1966 NCAA tournament.

Rupp would finish with 876 career victories. His record was surpassed in 1997 by North Carolina coach Dean Smith.

1/29/1995 - Young gets monkey off his back

The San Francisco 49ers destroy the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX, and receiving the game MVP award is future Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who threw for 325 yards and a Super Bowl record six touchdown passes. Young had taken over at quarterback when Joe Montana went down to an injury, and though he had established himself as one of the best QB's in the game, he had struggled to live up to Montana's imposing stature. Now that he had won the regular season and Super Bowl MVP awards in the same year, there was no doubt he was the right man for the job.

"The way (Young) played, he's got to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time," said 49ers coach George Seifert. "To play a game as he did tonight and play the way he did this season ... But the other thing you have to say is that we're fortunate, I'm fortunate, that I've been a part of an organization that had two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time."

Chargers safety Rodney Harrison, who would win a pair of Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, later admitted that his team "played scared" against the 49ers. "I honestly felt like when we got to that game, we looked across the field at those guys and it was like, 'Wow,'" he told the Palm Beach Post in 2010. "It was like an all-star team against a Little League team. We were intimidated."

With the victory, the 49ers claimed the all-time lead in Super Bowls with five (four of which had come during the Joe Montana era). Their lead didn't hold for long; just one season later, the Dallas Cowboys won their third title in four years to tie the Niners with five championships. Both were surpassed in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.

Also on this day:

1996: Magic Johnson signs with the Los Angeles Lakers, officially completing his comeback to professional basketball. He'd suit up for the Lakers the next day. [See: January 30th]

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