ESPN Celebrates College Football’s 150th Birthday by Unveiling Sport’s 150 Greatest Games, Amplifying Season-Long CFB150 Initiative

College Football

ESPN Celebrates College Football’s 150th Birthday by Unveiling Sport’s 150 Greatest Games, Amplifying Season-Long CFB150 Initiative

  • Blue Ribbon Panel Selects 1971 Nebraska at Oklahoma as Greatest College Football Game Ever; Special Marvel Covers Recognize Top Games
  • ‘Games of the Century’ and ‘Greatest Upsets’ the Focus of The American Game and The Greatest Docuseries; ESPN’s Monday Night Football to Feature Multiple CFB150 Elements
  • This Season’s First College Football Playoff Committee Rankings Revealed
  • Two ESPN CFB150 Showcase Games: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio to be Played on Sport’s Anniversary, Undefeated Princeton vs. Undefeated Dartmouth from Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9

College football’s 150th birthday is Wednesday, Nov. 6, and to mark the occasion ESPN will amplify its season-long, multi-platform College Football 150 celebration throughout the week. The sport’s 150 greatest games were revealed this morning, beginning a week that will include ESPN’s Monday Night Football recognizing the anniversary; The American Game examining “Games of the Century”; The Greatest debating the sport’s biggest upsets; and a special ESPN CFB150 Showcase Game between MAC East Division leaders Miami (Ohio) and Ohio on the night of the anniversary, among many other elements.

The night before the sport’s birthday, ESPN will look to the immediate future, as the College Football Playoff committee’s first rankings will be revealed exclusively on ESPN Tuesday night (approx. 9 p.m. ET).

The 150 Greatest Games in College Football History Revealed; Nebraska in Top Two Games, Miami in Four of Top Six
A blue-ribbon panel comprising 150 influential figures and minds from across the spectrum of college football have voted the 1971 Nebraska at Oklahoma contest as the greatest game in the sport’s history. The Thanksgiving showdown (November 25, 1971) saw Nebraska win 35-31, the Cornhuskers’ 30th consecutive game without a loss.

Nebraska’s matchup vs. Miami in the 1984 Orange Bowl was voted the second greatest matchup ever, as the Cornhuskers and Hurricanes are represented in five of the top six games. has the complete 150 greatest games list here, with the top 15 also included below:

Rank Year, Game and Final Score Date
1 1971
Nebraska 35
Oklahoma 31
Nov 25, 1971


2 1984 Orange Bowl
Miami 31
Nebraska 30
Jan 2, 1984



3 2007
Appalachian State 34
Michigan 32
Sep 1, 2007


4 1984
Boston College 47
Miami 45
Nov 23, 1984


5 1987 Fiesta Bowl
Penn State 14
Miami 10
Jan 2, 1987


6 1988
Miami 30
Notre Dame 31
Oct 15, 1988


7 2006 Rose Bowl
Texas 41
USC 38
Jan 4, 2006


8 1983 Sugar Bowl
Penn State 27
Georgia 23
Jan 1, 1983


9 1959
Ole Miss 3
Oct 31, 1959


10 1973 Sugar Bowl
Notre Dame 24
Alabama 23
Dec 31, 1973


11 1968
Yale 29
Harvard 29
Nov 23, 1968


12 1979 Sugar Bowl
Alabama 14
Penn State 7
Jan 1, 1979


13 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama 26
Georgia 23 (OT)
Ja. 8, 2018


14 1967
USC 21
Nov 18, 1967


15 1957
Notre Dame 7
Oklahoma 0
Nov 16, 1957



ESPN and Marvel Recognize Sport’s Greatest Games with Special Comic Book Covers
ESPN and Marvel have teamed up to recognize five of college football’s 10 greatest games in a unique way – with special comic-book themed covers based off original covers. The games highlighted are:

No. 1: 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma

No. 2: 1984 Nebraska-Miami

No. 7: 2006 USC-Texas

No. 8: 1983 Penn State-Georgia

No. 10:1973 Alabama-Notre Dame

For original files of the Marvel covers, please email [email protected]

‘Games of the Century’ the Focus of The American Game; Greatest Upsets Debated on The Greatest
ESPN will continue its two season-long, docuseries: The American Game (every Tuesday) and The Greatest (every Thursday):

  • The American Game (Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2): The “Game of the Century” idiom in college football lexis dates back to the 1935 matchup between undefeated Notre Dame and undefeated Ohio State. Since that showdown in front of more than 81,000 spectators, fans and media alike would repurpose the phrase when a monumental showdown in the sport was on the horizon, signifying the game’s importance. This week’s episode examines this unique college football description and the historic matchups which have been played under the moniker.
  • The Greatest (Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. on ESPN): College football has always been a game of Davids and Goliaths which makes some of the most memorable games involving teams least expected to win. This week, the Top 11 upsets in the sport’s history and the stories behind them are examined.

ESPNU will re-air multiple programs from the ESPN CFB150 initiative throughout the day on Wednesday, Nov. 6, including episodes of both docuseries as well as select episodes from Saturdays in the South: The History of SEC Football.

ESPN Reveals College Football Playoff Committee’s First Top 25 Rankings
ESPN will exclusively televise this season’s first College Football Playoff: Top 25 on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at approximately 9 p.m., between games of college basketball’s tip-off event, the State Farm Champions Classic (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). Live from Madison Square Garden, Rece Davis alongside Kirk Herbstreit, Jesse Palmer and Joey Galloway will reveal the committee’s first weekly rankings of the season. CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens will join the show following the rankings news.

This season’s College Football Playoff: Top 25 schedule is as follows

Date Show Time (ET) Network
Tue, Nov 5 College Football Playoff: Top 25 9 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov 12 College Football Playoff: Top 25 7 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov 19 College Football Playoff: Top 25 7 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov 26 College Football Playoff: Top 25 7 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Dec 3 College Football Playoff: Top 25 7 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Dec 8 College Football Playoff: Selection Show Noon ESPN

Please note: Commentators will stay the same each Tuesday; David Pollack will join starting next week

ESPN CFB150 Showcase Games: Miami (Ohio) at Ohio and Princeton vs. Dartmouth from Yankee Stadium
ESPN will air two ESPN CFB150 Showcase Games this week, beginning with Miami (Ohio) at Ohio on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. (ESPN2) and continuing with Princeton vs. Dartmouth in a battle of Ivy League undefeated teams on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU) from Yankee Stadium.

Both games have intriguing storylines, as Ohio head coach Frank Solich enters the game with 110 conference victories, tying him for the most ever among MAC head coaches. A win on the anniversary date will make him the all-time winningest coach in the conference.  For the Ivy League matchup, both teams enter the game with 7-0 overall records and 4-0 conference records. Overall, this will be the 98th matchup in a series which began in 1903, with the Big Green holding an 49-44-4 all-time advantage.

On Wednesday, a special College Football Countdown (7:30 p.m. on ESPN2) precedes the MAC game. Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard is calling the game along with Matt Barrie and Holly Rowe.  ESPN Senior Writer Ivan Maisel, the Editor-at-Large of ESPN College Football 150, will also join the telecast.

Additional Anniversary Week Highlights

  • ESPN’s Monday Night Football presentation between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will feature multiple acknowledgements of the anniversary, as well as NFL100. Among the highlights:
    • During Monday Night Countdown, Joe Tessitore will voice an essay, examining the historical aspect of both college and pro football.
    • During the game, NFL players will sport a helmet decal featuring their college logo.
  • SportsCenter will pay tribute to the sport’s history at various times throughout the week.
  • My Story vignettes continue throughout the week, including from Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers on the sport’s birthday as he recalls a tale from the aforementioned greatest game in college football history.
  • ESPN Radio will pay homage to the greatest voices of college football throughout the anniversary day.


Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner

Derek Volner

I currently lead ESPN’s NFL Communications, including Monday Night Football, NFL Draft and studio programming. Previously, I did the same for ESPN’s vast college football portfolio. I have been with ESPN since 2013.
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