Just 97 days until 2013 kickoff. Our countdown to college football season is inching ever closer to the start of a new season.
• The Alabama Crimson Tide named three-time All-America defensive tackle Cornelius Bennett its Player of the Decade for the 1980s. Bennett’s No. 97 was the last thing many opposing quarterbacks saw before meeting the turf. He recorded 211/2 sacks throughout his illustrious career, though none was more noteworthy than this pasting of Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Steve Beuerlein.
• The most lopsided rout in college football history occurred 97 years ago, when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets laid a 222-0 thrashing on tiny Cumberland College. Georgia Tech hung 63 points in the first and second quarters — not combined, but each.
(Editor’s note: reference to the Cumberland-Georgia Tech baseball game removed.)
• In 1966, 97 years removed from the first ever college football game, Florida Gators quarterback Steve Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy. Spurrier threw 16 touchdown passes and over 2000 yards.
Rivals Michigan State and Notre Dame split the national championship that season. The two met on Nov. 19, 10 days removed from exactly 97 years of the first college game. The Spartans and Fighting Irish were locked in a showdown that lived up to its Game of the Century hype, ending in a 10-10 stalemate. Two-time All-American Spartan Bubba Smith made a potentially game-saving sack of Coley O’Brien to force Ara Parseghian to run out the clock.
The 1966 title was Michigan State’s second in a row, and the last in the program’s history.