Change One Play In CFB History For Maximum Impact

BamaMoon

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Not to sound like a school marm, but some of this is getting far more complicated than the question is even intended to be. This is not some "what if Jesus was never born" scenario.

It's more of:
a) something actually did happen BUT
b) happens slightly differently, a matter of inches, history turns on a dime

Not "well if Tebow picks Alabama" (I'll tell you how that ends - he transfers and Shula gets fired anyway but we miss Saban). That - to me - is taking this WAY TOO FAR.

In the case of the missed OSU FG - changing that one thing but leaving everything else the same - OSU plays LSU. Whether they win or not is irrelevant...Alabama has one less title and maybe Miles has a longer chain before he's tossed off the ship.

=================

Another interesting one I see is the Goal Line Stand at the 1979 Sugar Bowl. That one certainly has POTENTIAL ramifications all across the board.

1) Bryant does not win six national titles
2) Alabama is NOT "the team of the 70s", which changes perceptions greatly
3) Paterno wins THREE, not two titles - a huge difference in that perception, too

How that plays going forward....nobody knows. But on the other hand, it changes PERCEPTIONS but does it really change much? Paterno still blows himself up and Bryant still dies in 1983. Well - I guess it affects Daniel Moore but.....
Guilty as charged...and I realized I was stepping outside of your OP with some "what if" moments.

However, I'm not 100% sure the Tebow scenario plays out like you suggest. He was a generational player who could have made a huge difference in choosing Bama. The recruiting impact could have been huge. Kinda like, what if Julio didn't choose Bama...what players might not have followed his lead? Granted, Shula was never going to win like CNS, but as bad as we were under him we were still pretty good in 2005 and the question is could Tebow have beat out John Parker Wilson in 2006 and made much of a difference in the outcome of that year? Would Tebow be worth 2 more wins and one of those against Auburn? We'll never know for sure, but if it does happen we don't get CNS in 2007 so I'm glad Tebow chose UF!

However, I fully agree with the implications of 1979 Penn State game.
 
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DzynKingRTR

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I will expand on my Tua comment. If Tua never gets hurt, it may not have impacted college football. It definitely would have had an impact on the 2020 NFL draft. Teams have said they passed on Tua because of the hip injury.
 
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patman

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Personally, I think about this one quite a bit. With about minute left in the first half of the 2018 CFP Championship, there was almost a pick 6 that had it happened, would have given us a 7-6 lead the half. I have a hard time believing Coach Saban would have gone to Tua over Jalen to start the second if we have the lead nor do I think we win the game.

We all know what happened after that but that one play would have completely changed (and possibly not for the better) the way the past 5 years have played out had Jake Fromm's pass been a little lower.

The play occurres at the 55:30 mark.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

BamaMoon

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Personally, I think about this one quite a bit. With about minute left in the first half of the 2018 CFP Championship, there was almost a pick 6 that had it happened, would have given us a 7-6 lead the half. I have a hard time believing Coach Saban would have gone to Tua over Jalen to start the second if we have the lead nor do I think we win the game.

We all know what happened after that but that one play would have completely changed (and possibly not for the better) the way the past 5 years have played out had Jake Fromm's pass been a little lower.

The play occurres at the 55:30 mark.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
That's a good question that we'll never know. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the half and to know exactly what was said by players and coaches alike.

This I know, even if Averette intercepts there and returns it for a TD and we lead 7-6 at the half, there's no way we win that game with the 2017 version of Jalen.
 
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crimsonaudio

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Not to sound like a school marm, but some of this is getting far more complicated than the question is even intended to be. This is not some "what if Jesus was never born" scenario.

It's more of:
a) something actually did happen BUT
b) happens slightly differently, a matter of inches, history turns on a dime

Not "well if Tebow picks Alabama" (I'll tell you how that ends - he transfers and Shula gets fired anyway but we miss Saban). That - to me - is taking this WAY TOO FAR.

In the case of the missed OSU FG - changing that one thing but leaving everything else the same - OSU plays LSU. Whether they win or not is irrelevant...Alabama has one less title and maybe Miles has a longer chain before he's tossed off the ship.

=================

Another interesting one I see is the Goal Line Stand at the 1979 Sugar Bowl. That one certainly has POTENTIAL ramifications all across the board.

1) Bryant does not win six national titles
2) Alabama is NOT "the team of the 70s", which changes perceptions greatly
3) Paterno wins THREE, not two titles - a huge difference in that perception, too

How that plays going forward....nobody knows. But on the other hand, it changes PERCEPTIONS but does it really change much? Paterno still blows himself up and Bryant still dies in 1983. Well - I guess it affects Daniel Moore but.....
Okay, dad.

Let the kids have some harmless fun, it's fine.
 

scrodz

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My problem is that they're not consistent.

The same people saying Alabama didn't win it in 1964 because they lost an exhibition bowl game that didn't count NEVER EVER SAY:
- 1950 Oklahoma lost their bowl game (to Bryant's Kentucky team btw)
- 1951 Tennessee lost their bowl game
- 1953 Maryland lost their bowl game
-1960 Minnesota lost their bowl game
- 1970 Texas lost their bowl game (but won the coach's poll)

WHY DID IT ONLY MATTER IN 1964????

And the following national champions didn't even play bowl games:
Minnesota - 1936, 1940, 1941
Ohio St - 1942
Notre Dame - 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949
Pitt - 1937
Michigan State - 1952
UCLA - 1954
Oklahoma - 1956, 1974
Auburn - 1957
Notre Dame - 1966

We only won in 1965 because people got angry over the 1964 thing. And in all honesty, that probably played the larger role in us not winning it in 1966.

You can legit argue we don't deserve 1978; but that was mostly a makeup call for 1977.

The thing I don't like when people go after Colorado is that that's just one of the more famous examples. There are many times when calls in games affect the final outcome - nowhere near as famous - but it aids a team in winning the national championship.

What a lot of people don't know that was taken into account in 1978 was:
a) USC beat Notre Dame only because of a bad call where the Irish recovered a fumble that was mysteriously ruled an incomplete pass
b) USC then beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl when a fumble recovered by Michigan in the end zone was ruled a TD for Charles White (oh - and they won by 7 points).

The coaches went with, "Well, USC beat Alabama head-to-head so therefore champs." The writers went with, "USC should have three losses anyway plus Alabama beat #1."
As long as we keep counting '41, we're just asking for slanted comparisons like this.
 

Ledsteplin

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Personally, I think about this one quite a bit. With about minute left in the first half of the 2018 CFP Championship, there was almost a pick 6 that had it happened, would have given us a 7-6 lead the half. I have a hard time believing Coach Saban would have gone to Tua over Jalen to start the second if we have the lead nor do I think we win the game.

We all know what happened after that but that one play would have completely changed (and possibly not for the better) the way the past 5 years have played out had Jake Fromm's pass been a little lower.

The play occurres at the 55:30 mark.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
I doubt a pick 6 and 1 point lead would have changed anything. Jalen still wasn't moving the ball and scoring.
 

selmaborntidefan

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As long as we keep counting '41, we're just asking for slanted comparisons like this.
How in the world do you figure this?

The whining was happening in 1965 TWENTY YEARS BEFORE Wayne Atcheson decided to mix things up. I don't have any problem with the objection of "well after the bowl games." It's just nobody I've ever seen who makes that objection seems to know it happened earlier because they don't give a damn about after the bowl games - they give a damn about trying to bring Alabama down a peg.
 
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jabcmb

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I have a picture of the goal stand on my wall, but there were still several minutes left in the game after that series. It doesn’t fit the criteria of “one play”
There were about six minutes left, but Penn State was done after the 4th down play. You could feel it and see it on the field. I like this play for the reasons that Selma and I listed in above posts.
The third down goal line stop was a great play but not the gravity of the following play.
A near miracle play occurred on the second down of the same series when DB Don McNeal came of the vapor and knocked the Penn St receiver out at the one, setting up the two goal line stand plays. All that is interesting but the 4th down is THE play.
Fun fact: it was a downpour in New Orleans after the game as fans emerged from the dome, but drenched Bama fans made the trek to Bourbon Street regardless. It was a rough day the next day.
 

CB4

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There were about six minutes left, but Penn State was done after the 4th down play. You could feel it and see it on the field. I like this play for the reasons that Selma and I listed in above posts.
The third down goal line stop was a great play but not the gravity of the following play.
A near miracle play occurred on the second down of the same series when DB Don McNeal came of the vapor and knocked the Penn St receiver out at the one, setting up the two goal line stand plays. All that is interesting but the 4th down is THE play.
Fun fact: it was a downpour in New Orleans after the game as fans emerged from the dome, but drenched Bama fans made the trek to Bourbon Street regardless. It was a rough day the next day.
Everyone remembers those third and fourth down plays and Marty Lyons remarking to Penn State QB Chuck Fusina prior to the 4th down play as they stood next to each other “I think you better throw it”, and Krauss meeting Guman over the top. But the most often overlooked play was the one by McNeal. How in the world he hit that PSU receiver, stood him up, stopped his momentum and took him out at the one yard line still amazes me even today.
 

CoachJeff

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Everyone remembers those third and fourth down plays and Marty Lyons remarking to Penn State QB Chuck Fusina prior to the 4th down play as they stood next to each other “I think you better throw it”, and Krauss meeting Guman over the top. But the most often overlooked play was the one by McNeal. How in the world he hit that PSU receiver, stood him up, stopped his momentum and took him out at the one yard line still amazes me even today.
I believe this is the play you're talking about.

 

selmaborntidefan

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Guilty as charged...and I realized I was stepping outside of your OP with some "what if" moments.

However, I'm not 100% sure the Tebow scenario plays out like you suggest. He was a generational player who could have made a huge difference in choosing Bama. The recruiting impact could have been huge. Kinda like, what if Julio didn't choose Bama...what players might not have followed his lead? Granted, Shula was never going to win like CNS, but as bad as we were under him we were still pretty good in 2005 and the question is could Tebow have beat out John Parker Wilson in 2006 and made much of a difference in the outcome of that year? Would Tebow be worth 2 more wins and one of those against Auburn? We'll never know for sure, but if it does happen we don't get CNS in 2007 so I'm glad Tebow chose UF!

However, I fully agree with the implications of 1979 Penn State game.
Here's my problem: while nobody doubts Tebow's ability to lead in college, he wouldn't have a vastly underrated powerhouse of an offense at Alabama under Mike "Three Yards And Hope We're In Field Goal Range And Don't Miss It" Shula. It's why I've never lost a moment of sleep about "if we had Tebow." Florida won that first national title largely behind Chris Leak, who was no great shakes as a CFB player (most non-Florida fans don't even remember him).

Because they're sandwiched between the USC dynasty and the Alabama Millennium, too many fans forget how great those Urban Meyer Gator teams really were. TWENTY-THREE Gators (23) were drafted in the NFL drafts of 2007-10, including SIX in the first round. They're a forgotten powerhouse because of time - but my God, the talent on those teams.

Tebow would not have had anything close to 23 NFL draft picks around him. Remember - we had not one single player taken in the 2008 draft...and the only reason our numbers go up Tebow's last year is because of Saban coming here.

===================================


Furthermore, I simply have zero faith that Mike Shula would not have screwed it all up anyway. Shula would probably have held to the old school approach of "the guy who has been here the longest is the starter until unusual circumstances enable the new guy." He probably would have redshirted the guy, who then would have transferred, and the whole story would be even more bad for us than it is.


I've never lost one wink of sleep over "but Tebow," because he could not have miraculously transformed Shula, the coaching staff, and that team into something it wasn't.
 

Cruloc

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Here's my problem: while nobody doubts Tebow's ability to lead in college, he wouldn't have a vastly underrated powerhouse of an offense at Alabama under Mike "Three Yards And Hope We're In Field Goal Range And Don't Miss It" Shula. It's why I've never lost a moment of sleep about "if we had Tebow." Florida won that first national title largely behind Chris Leak, who was no great shakes as a CFB player (most non-Florida fans don't even remember him).

Because they're sandwiched between the USC dynasty and the Alabama Millennium, too many fans forget how great those Urban Meyer Gator teams really were. TWENTY-THREE Gators (23) were drafted in the NFL drafts of 2007-10, including SIX in the first round. They're a forgotten powerhouse because of time - but my God, the talent on those teams.

Tebow would not have had anything close to 23 NFL draft picks around him. Remember - we had not one single player taken in the 2008 draft...and the only reason our numbers go up Tebow's last year is because of Saban coming here.

===================================


Furthermore, I simply have zero faith that Mike Shula would not have screwed it all up anyway. Shula would probably have held to the old school approach of "the guy who has been here the longest is the starter until unusual circumstances enable the new guy." He probably would have redshirted the guy, who then would have transferred, and the whole story would be even more bad for us than it is.


I've never lost one wink of sleep over "but Tebow," because he could not have miraculously transformed Shula, the coaching staff, and that team into something it wasn't.
Exactly. Tebow would never have been what he was if he had come to Bama under Shula. Shula would have wasted his talents.

I remember listening to his announcement, hopeful he'd come to Bama, knowing how foolish that was given his UF mailbox, his UF posters in his room, his UF graduate parents. But Shula spent all day with him to turn him....and he loved Shula.....blah blah blah. Tebow made the right decision.

Plus we made him cry in 2009, so it was an excellent way to send him on his way out of college football.
 
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Tidelines

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If Tommy Lewis hadn’t of come off the bench to tackle Rice’s ( yes that Rice ) runningback Dickey Maegle in the 1954 Cotton Bowl. Then Lewis would not be famous.Of course, if Alabama’s DB Bart Starr would have made the tackle, it would never have happened either.
 
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