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Vince Young races for a touchdown in the 2006 BCS National Championship.
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

There isn’t enough time in the day to recap every terrific moment in college football‘s national championship history.

From the BCS National Championship Game to the heavily scrutinized College Football Playoff National Championship of recent years, this is the game where legends are born. Names are remembered forever. Legacies are etched in NCAA lore. It’s where Vince Young became an icon and guys like Jameis Winston and Cam Newton proved winning doesn’t stop at the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Numerous national title games have lived up to the hype and produced flashes of unforgettable brilliance. We here at FanBuzz polled our readers to see what are the 15 best moments in national championship game history. We tallied likes, comments and reactions on Facebook as votes, and here’s what they came up with.

15 Best National Championship Moments in CFB History

15. Penn State Beats Mighty Miami in 1987

A Miami player gets tackled during the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.
Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Total votes: 2

Miami was unstoppable that year, and yet a Joe Paterno-led Penn State took down the Hurricanes in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl by a score of 14-10. You’ll see Miami a few more times on this list.

14. Florida Downs Ohio State in 2007

Florida players dump Gatorade on Urban Meyer after winning the 2007 BCS National Championship Game.
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Total votes: 3

Urban Meyer’s Gators walloped Ohio State to cap the 2006 season by a final of 41-14. It was the first of two titles in three years for the University of Florida.

13. George Teague’s “The Strip” in 1993

RELATED: Alabama’s “The Strip”: Remembering the Greatest Play That Didn’t Count

Total votes: 3

It’s the greatest play in national title game history that never counted. It was called off after an offsides penalty from Alabama. Still, George Teague’s remarkable hustle energized his team’s sideline.

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“That kind of play demoralizes a team, and it also demoralizes that player. He’s like, ‘National TV, millions of people watching, I get run down, and I’ve been talking all week about how fast I am,'” former Alabama defensive back Antonio Langham told AL.com.

12. Alabama’s Surprise Onside Kick vs. Clemson in 2016

Total votes: 3

Tied at 24 in the fourth quarter of the 2016 national title game, Alabama head coach Nick Saban rolled the dice against Clemson by calling an onside kick. It was executed brilliantly, and Saban’s squad went on to win 45-40.

11. Nebraska Goes For Two Against Miami in 1984

Total votes: 4

The option play on fourth down before was the real brilliant play here, but for a coach to go for the win on a two-point conversion like Nebraska coach Tom Osborne did in the 1984 Orange Bowl was fantastic. It didn’t work out, but it produced a moment that lives on forever.

10. Oklahoma Beats Florida State in 2000

An Oklahoma player jumps for the ball during the 2001 BCS National Championship Game.
Eliot J. Schechter/Allsport/Getty Images

Total votes: 5

Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners were crowned champs of the 2000 season. Boomer Sooner Nation was quite happy after their team stifled Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles, 13-2.

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9. Maurice Clarett Strips Sean Taylor in 2003 Fiesta Bowl

Total votes: 8

Clarett’s strip here was one of the most athletic plays you’ll find in a national title game. After Sean Taylor’s interception in the end zone, the former Ohio State running back ran him down and swiped the ball clean out of his hands. Ohio State won the game, 31-24.

8. 2nd and 26: Alabama’s OT Thriller Over Georgia

Total votes: 8

Tua Tagovailoa. DeVonta Smith. No other words are needed.

7. All 18 of Alabama’s National Titles

Richard Mackson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images (left), Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (right)

Total votes: 12

I’m guessing more than a few Alabama fans took the opportunity in this poll to boast about their national championships. Nick Saban has six of them.

6. Clemson’s 44-16 Rout vs. Alabama

Total votes: 15

Clemson won their second national championship in three years, kicking Saban’s butt in the process in 2019. That was the game Trevor Lawrence solidified his place in college football.

5. Jameis Winston to Kelvin Benjamin Beats Auburn

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Total votes: 19

Winston to Benjamin. Three words every Florida State fan should know. If only Jimbo Fisher had stayed.

4. Joe Burrow & LSU’s Perfect Season

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow looks down field against Clemson in the CFP National Championship game.
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images 

Total votes: 26

There’s a real case Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers put together the greatest season in college football history in 2019. With too many moments that season to keep track of, it’s easy to see why LSU fans simply voted “the entire season.”

3. Cardale Jones Takes Down Alabama & Oregon

Cardale Jones celebrates Ohio State's 2015 National Championship game win.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Total votes: 34

Cardale Jones was Ohio State’s third-string quarterback, but he certainly didn’t look like it when the playoffs rolled around at the end of the 2014 season. He trounced Alabama and Oregon in the playoff, proving depth charts are just hogwash.

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2. Deshaun Watson to Hunter Renfrow Against Alabama

Total votes: 59

Deshaun Watson hitting Hunter Renfrow to take down the mighty Tide in 2017 has to be No. 1 in the minds of Clemson fans. It comes in at No. 2 here.

1. Vince Young’s 4th & 5 Touchdown Against USC

Total votes: 81

There really wasn’t any other option. This game is considered the greatest in college football history, and much of that is because of this one final play. Vince Young forever.

MORE: 5 Beloved College Football Teams That Deserve a National Championship Most

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Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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