ESPN Ranks Arizona State's 1996 Rose Bowl Loss As 12th Most Painful Game Of All Time
ESPN is counting down the 50 most painful losses in college football history this week and the Sun Devils are pretty high on the list.
ASU's crushing, last-second loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1997 is ranked as the 12th most painful loss in the sport's history.
Although it's been almost 15 years since this tragic game, the Sun Devils are still looking to get back to the Rose Bowl. And the pain of this game still stings.
With stars such as Jake Plummer and Pat Tillman (both of whom would go onto play in the NFL), this was the best team ASU has ever had.
A win here and the direction of the program could have been altered forever.
Here's what ESPN says about the game:
"The Sun Devils' only chance for a national title ended in the Rose Bowl on an Ohio State touchdown with 19 seconds left, after two defensive penalties enabled the winning 65-yard drive. ASU's 11-0 season featured a 19-0 shocking of two-time defending national champion Nebraska, snapping the Cornhuskers' 26-game winning streak. By season's end, ASU was a dominant team. But after Jake Plummer led the Devils to what looked like the winning points with 1:40 left, the defense could not hold."
A blogger for the Pac-10 also chimes in with his thoughts:
"So close to a national championship. The Sun Devils' 11-0 regular season included a 19-0 victory over defending national champion Nebraska, and they looked poised to win in Pasadena when Jake Plummer, on third-and-11, scrambled for a touchdown and 17-14 lead with 1:40 to play. But the Buckeyes weren't done. They drove 65 yards for the winning score, with David Boston hauling in a touchdown pass from five yards out with 19 seconds left. That pass was thrown by Ohio State's backup quarterback, Joe Germaine, who came off the bench to earn game MVP honors. Germaine was born and raised in Arizona and grew up rooting for ASU but opted to go to Ohio State because the Sun Devils coaches wanted him to play defensive back."
The link can be found here.