Change One Play In CFB History For Maximum Impact


Moderator (FB,BB) and Vinyl Enthusiast
Staff member
Mar 13, 2001
Breaux Bridge, La
Saban takes a knee in 2013 and takes his chances in OT.

Bama makes it a 3-Peat, Jimbo never gets a title, never gets hired at 8&4, never gets the highest all time signing class

Bama wins threepeat. Nuss stays. Never hires Kiffin, and likely miss out on Sark as well. Not to mention Tua.
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New Member
Oct 31, 2000
Dothan, AL
Not sure of the impact, but I sure would feel a lot better if we could get a review on Walter Lewis to Preston Gothard in the (not too far) back of the end zone. Home cookin' in Happy Valley.


TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
auburn doesn't block one of the punts in the 4th quarter
In no way disrespectful to you - but I'm not sure what in the larger picture of CFB that changes.

USC was ranked #1 and won out, so even assuming we'd beaten Texas, it wouldn't have won us the national championship.

I mean, I'm with you if you mean "Auburn fans would only be maybe 1/4 as obnoxious", that part's true, ha ha.
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TideFans Legend
Mar 31, 2000
Much of this thread - almost expectedly - is Alabama-centric, though.
Most of these responses are "how this would have affected ALABAMA" as opposed to the larger picture of college football.

And granted - something affecting the King of CFB is liable to have the biggest ripple effect.

I rarely watch Pate but having seen this question, I was intrigued. He settled on two moments:

1) Okie St missing the kick in regulation to lose to ISU in 2011
2) UGA not hitting the TD at the end of the 2012 SECCG.

His point with the first one was - to my view - flawed in that while he correctly did say the ripple effect was huge (though he conceded Alabama is still "fine" in that scenario)...NO, that DID NOT CAUSE the CFP!!! UGH!!!

The second is interesting, though. Because if UGA wins in 2012 there's no way they fire Richt in 2015 - and Kirby goes elsewhere and who knows?


Hall of Fame
Mar 30, 2001
Florence, AL
The most obvious, long-reaching answers have little to do with the seasons in which the plays took place.

Example: What if something catastrophic happened on a play in the game against Tennessee when Paul Bryant played with a broken leg, resulting in him never playing football again nor ever coaching a game?


Hall of Fame
Nov 22, 2011
1972-:The barn doesn’t block the punts

1982-Bo fumbles trying to go over the top

Doesn’t change much but I don’t have to hear about it
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Jan 21, 2014
Shelby County Alabama
Does going into a strip club count?

If Mike Price doesn't do that, he doesn't get fired, if he doesn't get fired, Bama doesn't hire Mike Shula, if Shula isn't hired, he doesn't get fired about the same time Saban is looking to get back in college.


Feb 20, 2005
This sounds to me like the old, "What if this General who won multiple wars got killed as a lieutenant?" scenario...
[There is a great series co-authored by Newt Gingrich based on the premise that the south won Gettysburg. I highly recommend it.]


Hall of Fame
Aug 8, 2011
Birmingham, AL
Coach Jeff’s strip club comment got me thinking about not necessarily a “play” but coaching decisions with possible ripples.

What if Vince Dooley decides to “come home” to Auburn when offered the job in 1980? Does Dye some how end up leaving Wyoming for UGA or does Erk Russell get the job? And does that in any way eventually affect the decision to hire Perkins when Bryant retired!? Does Dye end up following Bryant?

Similarly the Bowden fiasco that led to hiring Bill Curry.

Lots of plays in the Alabama era I would love to change. Block punts in 1972 (either really), Kick 6, Mark Ingram fumble in 2010, Clemson pick play, etc.

Either of two plays in the Sugar Bowl in 1973. Al Hunter’s kickoff return to tie the game 7-7. Bama had just driven down the field and had all the momentum. That kickoff return just neutralized it completely. The other of course the 3rd down pass to freshman TE Robin Weber over Tyrone King from Tom Clements. ND was backed up on their goal line. An incomplete pass stops the clock and forces a punt which would have given us time to possibly get in position for a game winning FG.


1st Team
Jan 1, 2007
Brewton, Alabama, United States
I don't know how much of an impact it would have had on the season, but the 2005 Florida game where Prothro gets hurt. I think that it would have gotten Alabama one or two more wins that season. They lost to LSU 13-16 and Auburn 18-26. I think both of these games could have ended differently, especially LSU, if he was able to play. After he went down the offense wasn't the same. If he doesn't get hurt it could possibly put Alabama in the National championship game and may buy shula another season after the 2006 season. Also, it would have allowed him to have a pro career.