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Which was the greatest Notre Dame game you ever saw?
I've always contended that 24-23 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama to win the national title is the greatest game in Notre Dame history. Everything was on the line, and there were seven lead changes in that contest — the most ever to my knowledge in a Notre Dame game or any championship tilt.
I have Miami '88 as my runner-up, mainly for two reasons. One, ND never trailed in that game, so it wasn't as back-and-forth, although pulsating in its own right. Second, there wasn't a finality to it like the Sugar Bowl. You still had to win six more games to win the national title.
Thoughts ... or do you have another game you consider the greatest?
I wasn't alive for the 1973 Sugar Bowl, and watching a replay just doesn't do the moment justice, so my unbiased answer would be 1a vs. 1b, really. It's like Jordan vs. Wilt vs. Russell vs. Magic, or Kobe vs. LeBron, Tiger vs. Jack, Brady vs. Peyton, etc. Not sure there's really a wrong answer.
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For some reason, I've got to go with the 38-10 shellacking of No. 1Texas and Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell in the 78 Cotton Bowl. ND got to play the underdog, in the home state of the undefeated and unbeatable Longhorns. Besides Campbell, the game had ND greats like Montana, MacAfee, Browner. Admittedly, there was ultimately less drama--ND dominated from the get go---but call me crazy, I like no drama, runaway wins for the national championship. Any way I can get that this year? :)
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I lean toward Miami '88 for two reasons: I was there and we still had a lot to prove to ourselves and the country after being down for a while. The '73 Sugar Bowl win was incredible for the reasons you give and the Clements pass is cemented as the most curageous call and memorable ND pass play I can recall. It was a huge win but we had been a top program for the entire time Ara had been there at that point. Both were simply huge wins.
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I was an undergrad for the 1973 bowl game vs. AL, and though it was "only" the second best ND victory I've seen (behind the 1973 home win vs USC), I would rank it ahead of the 1988 Miami game.
'73, because i was 14 and it was new years eve. afterwards i went to a party and made out with the cutest girl in the 8th grade.
I was 11 when I watched the 73 Sugar Bowl in my aunt and uncles basement. I was staying there because my mom and dad went to the game. I remember being REALLY REALLY hyped up and went nuts when Weber caught the pass from Clements. Between the game and finding my uncles magizine with a naked picture of a young Syble Shepard, I was so excited I don't believe I slept much that entire night...... I was at the 88 Miami game and I remember how quiet it was as the stadium was emptying because everybody was exhausted from the intensity of the game. That was one of two of the most intense, emotional sporting events I have seen in person!
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by sportsfansb 16 months ago
Very close..I have to go with the Sugar Bowl win because 1. It was the last game of the season, no tomorrow, and 2. the tension of the decision that Ara had to make, run against a tough defense that was anticipating a run and was likely to force a punt or pass and risk stopping the clock with an incompletion and give Alabama good position. What played out was even more gutsy, send in your blocking TE to show run then throw him his 2nd pass of the season. The drama was gut wrenching..
Still feels good...
1973. New Years Eve. In a room full of haters. Champagne $. Food $. The Play, Priceless. I will always remember the shock and quiet in the room, with the exception of one delirious, unbelievably happy fan.
Tough Pick but the 1973 Sugar Bowl win was as special as they get!!!
73 Sugar Bowl!!!! 1988 Miami game was great, but that was mid-season. Alabama game was for all the marbles. Plus, the back and forth of that game was unmatched for a title game.
73 was like a road game,I would take the 73 team,Dave Casper set up the game winning field goal with an over the shoulder catch from Tom Clements,the Irish might have been a 7 point underdog going into this game.
Only 7 during the Sugar Bowl but my brother was there...still remember my father on his hands an knees pounding the floor in front of the TV...I will defer to Llu on this one but for me it is the '88 Miami game and make no mistake that game was for the NC..I was in the stadium for that one and it will always hold a special place in my heart
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Concur that the 73 win over the Tide was more gripping from the beginning to the pass for the ages. The flow from quarter to quarter with neither team allowing the other to pull away. Was stationed in Hawaii and it was a tape delay there. Left the house in the afternoon to avoid being tempted to see/hear any scores and watched it in the evening to experience every thrill that game provided. The Miami game was specail because it was a big upset after the previous several games with the Canes but it wasn't the NC game, a gigantic step on the way and a vindication that we were for real, just not quite as huge as Ara-Bear.
It makes me think... My boys are 6 and 7 and they know how intense my passion is for ND football, I wonder if a day will come 40 years from now where they will be reminiscing about the 2012 national championship and how dad was praying and pacing that entire season and how the night of January 7th was one of the happiest moments of his life. Sigh.
1973 hands down. Once Major Harris went down very early it just seemed ND was good to go the whole way. 73 was an edge of the seat from start to finish. Watched it with my family and new bride of 5 weeks at my folks house in Milwaukee.
Irish Oak in Chicago
1973 Sugar Bowl. Number 2: The Bettis-Florida game.
The 1973 GAME and as Hodges said the Clements to Weber pass play from ND's endzone was total clutch just a great play in a great game! My 2nd all time favorite win was ND over Campbell/Texas in 1977 ND jumped from #5 to #1 - Golic was ALL over Campbell in that game and, as a side note, a good friend of mine is an avid Texas fan and he still shakes his head - I love it!! GO IRISH!!
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