1. 2006 Rose Bowl, 41-38 over USC
2. 1969 at Arkansas, 15-14
3. 2004 Oklahoma State, 56-35
4. 2005 Rose Bowl, 38-37 over Michigan
5. 2001 Holiday Bowl, 47-43 over Washington
6. 2004 at Kansas, 27-23
7. 2005 at Oklahoma State, 47-28
8. 1970 UCLA, 20-17
9. 1985 at Arkansas, 15-13
10. 1970 Cotton Bowl, 21-17 over Notre Dame
No surprise about the No. 1 spot. Capped off by Vince Young's 4th-and-5 touchdown run, Texas' 2006 Rose Bowl victory once again finds itself in at the top of the list. Following very closely is the "Game of the Century", where Texas came from a 14-0 deficit to secure the No. 1 spot in the nation, en route to the 1969 National Championship.
No. 3 is one of the most improbable wins in college football history. Down 35-7, a seemingly hopeless deficit, Young led the Longhorns to 49 unanswered points and a 56-35 comeback-blowout of Oklahoma State. Next on the list is that season's final game, the 2005 Rose Bowl. Young brought the Horns back with four touchdowns and Dusty Mangum finished it off as his field goal sailed through the uprights as time expired.
No. 5 is the last game for a Texas legend. Texas was down 19 points in the third quarter, but Major Applewhite, throwing for a Texas record 471 yards, led the Longhorns back to one of the greatest comebacks in school history.
No. 6 is another VY victory. It looked like the Longhorn's 2004 BCS hopes were about to be derailed as Texas trailed Kansas in the 4th quarter and faced a 4th and 18. But Young took off up the right sideline and kept the Longhorns alive. The drive ended with a 21-yard TD pass to Tony Jeffrey and the win.
The next one on the list was a case of déjà vu. After trailing 35-7 to Oklahoma State the year before and down 16-7 the year before that, the Longhorns were trailing 28-9 to a team that was 0-4 in conference play. But Young did it again, leading Texas to 38-unanswered points in the 47-28 win. Over that three year span, Texas outscored Oklahoma State in second halves at total of 118-0.
Then we go back to 1970 for one of the most dramatic plays in Texas football history. Quarterback Eddie Phillips hit Cotton Speyrer for a 45-yard touchdown to give Texas the win over UCLA. Next we make a brief stop in 1985 for the Longhorns dramatic 15-13 win over Arkansas in Fayetteville before coming to the final entry on the list, the 1970 Cotton Bowl. The Longhorns converted two 4th-and-twos on their final drive of the game to score the winning touchdown and beat the Fighting Irish in Notre Dame's first bowl game in 44 years and secure Texas' second national championship.
Just off the list: 2005 at Ohio State, 25-22
Mack Brown: 6 (2001 Holiday Bowl, 2004 Oklahoma State, 2004 Kansas, 2005 Rose Bowl, 2005 Oklahoma State, 2006 Rose Bowl)
Darrell Royal: 3 (1969 Arkansas, 1970 Cotton Bowl, 1970 UCLA)
Fred Akers: 1 (1985 Arkansas)
Recent games dominate the list with six of them under current Longhorn head coach Mack Brown. It would be easy to say that this is because people have short memories, but a look at the results in other categories show lists populated by important games throughout Longhorn history (Texas' 1934 win at Notre Dame is No. 4 on the list of Greatest Road Wins). But emotion is an important part of comebacks, perhaps the most important part, and recent emotions remain fresh in our minds. Or, it could be that the recent Longhorn squads were much higher scoring teams than the defensive juggernaughts of the 1960s, making the wins appear that much more improbable. But emotion is so important that the games that are most fresh in our minds come to the forefront on this more than any other category. That, or Vince Young is just that mind-boggling. Also a possibility.
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