70. Wisconsin 48, Nebraska 17 (Oct. 1). Wisconsin looked like a genuine national title contender, but was still only the second-best competitor at Camp Randall, behind the Wisconsin crowd.
There's always a little time for "Build Me Up, Buttercup."
69. Texas Tech 41, Oklahoma 38 (Oct. 22). A storm delay and injured defensive backs opened the door for an upset amid the rare lackluster crowd at Owen Field.
68. Illinois 38, Northwestern 35 (Oct. 1). The Illini come back from 18 down in the second half ... and win just once in the final seven games of the regular season.
67. Auburn 16, South Carolina 13 (Oct. 1). South Carolina is rising, Auburn is falling, and then a porous defense seals its holes, even if just for one week.
66. Maaco Bowl: Boise State 56, Arizona State 24. The Broncs carry an imperfect Kellen Moore to his final win.
65. Missouri 38, Texas A&M 31 (Oct. 29). Not the most thrilling game from the crowded "Comebacks Against Texas A&M" department, but it did have this play:
64: Houston 73, Rice 34 (Oct. 27). Case Keenum at the height of his powers: 24-for-37, 534 yards, nine touchdowns. And his first touchdown pass didn't come until the final play of the first quarter.
63. Louisville 38, West Virginia 35 (Nov. 5). Louisville's Future, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, completes 21 of 27 passes, and the Cards stun the Mountaineers in Morgantown, with help from a touchdown return of a blocked field goal.
62. UAB 34, Southern Miss 31 (Nov. 17). From a rankings perspective, this was perhaps the single most inexplicable result of the 2011 season. UAB was terrible.
61. California 36, Colorado 33 (Sept. 10). A Paul Richardson supernova (he catches 11 passes for 284 yards, and gains only 271 yards the rest of the season) cannot prevent Cal from coming through in overtime.
60. Poinsettia Bowl: TCU 31, Louisiana Tech 24 (Dec. 21). A fun, mostly well-played slugfest that sees the Bulldogs surge ahead, 24-17, before TCU applies the clamps in the fourth quarter.
59. Navy 27, Army 21 (Dec. 10). Army just keeps getting closer and closer, but the losing streak continues.
58. USC 31, Notre Dame 17 (Oct. 22). The first in a series of "Hmm, it appears USC might have clicked" moments.
57. Conference USA Championship: Southern Miss 49, Houston 28 (Dec. 3). It's a sellout crowd, Houston is one win from an improbable Sugar Bowl appearance ... and Cordarro Law and the Southern Miss defense simply decimates them.
56. Liberty Bowl: Cincinnati 31, Vanderbilt 24 (Dec. 31). The Liberty Bowl always -- always -- produces a close game.
55. LSU 47, West Virginia 21 (Sept. 24). For atmosphere, ambiance and alcohol sales alone.
54. MAC Championship: Northern Illinois 23, Ohio 20 (Dec. 2). To say the least, a 20-point lead was far from safe in the MAC this year.
53. San Jose State 28, Hawaii 27 (Oct. 14). The epitome of sloppy, passionate, entertaining football that sees 12 turnovers, 914 yards, two separate 20-0 runs, a last-second touchdown ... and this fantastic "Oh crap, I'm hurt ... eh, f*** it, I'm scoring anyway" moment:
One of my favorite moments of the year. You never know what you're going to see on Friday night games.
52. Georgia 33, Vanderbilt 28 (Oct. 15). Georgia races to a 20-7 halftime lead, throws the car into neutral, and almost allows a huge Vandy comeback. (This wasn't the last time Georgia would find it doesn't always benefit you to go conservative.)
51. Oregon 53, Stanford 30 (Nov. 12). Heading into November, I was pretty sure Oregon might be better in 2011 than they were in 2010, despite the loss to LSU. After this game, I was completely sure. (And then they lost to USC a week later.)
50. Northwestern 28, Nebraska 25 (Nov. 5). There is always room on this list for a crazy, out-of-nowhere upset.
49. Clemson 56, Maryland 45 (Oct. 15). "Hey, Sammy Watkins, we're trailing against a bad Maryland team. Please go out and save us." "Sure thing."
48. Armed Forces Bowl: BYU 24, Tulsa 21 (Dec. 30). BYU leads for just 11 seconds, but they are the right 11 seconds -- the final ones.
47. Little Caesars Bowl: Purdue 37, Western Michigan 32 (Dec. 27). A 439-yard passer, a 149-yard rusher, a 265-yard receiver, four first-half lead changes and a back-and-forth finish. MACtion continued in bowl season.
46. Ball State 33, Eastern Michigan 31 (Nov. 5). This one saw five second-half lead changes, and when EMU's Kody Fulkerson kicked a 20-yard field goal with 1:18 left, it appeared Eastern Michigan truly might pull off an improbable run to bowl eligibility. And then Ball State drove right down and kicked the game-winner with nine seconds left.
45. Virginia Tech 38, Miami 35 (Oct. 8). Virginia Tech takes a ten-point lead with 12 minutes left, blows it, then goes ahead again on a Logan Thomas touchdown. Lane Stadium took it from there (with little help from announcer Mike Patrick).
44. Toledo 66, Western Michigan 63 (Nov. 8). This game was pure, sensory overload: 1,439 total yards, 10 turnovers, 10 touchdown passes. The teams combined for at least 35 points in three different quarters, and both teams held double-digit leads at some point.
43. Georgia Tech 66, Kansas 24 (Sept. 17). I don't recommend it, but I'm pretty sure if you looked up "Flexbone Porn" on YouTube, this game would (or, at least, should) come up as the first search result. Georgia Tech rushed for 604 yards, and Tevin Washington threw for 164 yards ... in four completions. Sure, it was against the Kansas defense, but this would have been impressive against an NAIA defense.
42. Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29 (Oct. 29). Ohio State blows a 12-point lead in the final four minutes, then wins anyway when Braxton Miller improbably connects with Devin Smith for a 40-yard touchdown. There were 31 points scored in the first three quarters, 31 in the fourth.
41. Orange Bowl: West Virginia 70, Clemson 33 (Jan. 4). If nothing else, this game gave us the great "Clemson gave up more touchdowns in the Orange Bowl than Alabama allowed all season" tidbit.