Biggest Play of the Decade; Not a Slam Dunk

January 27, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

OK, you saw this and thought ‘What’s the debate?  It’s Tate to Holloway in the 2005 Capital One bowl.  Next topic.’

In case it’s only been three days since you have viewed that play in some fashion, here it is again for you:

Yes, it’s awesome and I just watched it again and it’s one of the favorite moments of my entire lifetime…it’s in the Top Ten with my daughters being born, getting married and a few other things that are for another day.

But was it bigger than Stanzi to McNutt, Michigan State, 2009? Here is that play:

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Ahh…more gooseflesh on a Wednesday…can’t beat it.

OK, let’s get down to brass tacks here…

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Tate to Holloway:

-Enabled Iowa to post it’s third straight 10 or more win season
-Enabled Iowa to post its third straight #8 season ending ranking
-Widely considered one of the greatest endings to a bowl game in the history of the sport
-Will still be played to millions of people in highlight reels for years, perhaps decades to come
-Capped an unreal year, a Big Ten title when they should not have done that given all the injury adversity they faced
-A huge play for a bowl win, and a January bowl win at that

OK, that’s a pretty convincing list.  Now why Stanzi to McNutt was a bigger, more important play

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-Led to Iowa’s 8th straight win to start a season, the most in school history.  The 10 win 2004 season and Top 8 ranking had been done in each of the preceding seasons.  An 8-0 start had never been done, ever
-Kept Iowa in the hunt for National Title talk, which is a boon for recruiting
-Brought Sports Illustrated to Iowa City the following week, which led to an amazing comeback against Indiana, which led to just the second Hawkeye related cover in four or five decades; you can’t pay for that kind of exposure for your program
-Without that win, Iowa does not get to 9-0, and does not get to the Orange Bowl, does not get to win the Orange Bowl, which is enormous for recruiting

These are just some of the counterpoints.  So which play was the most ‘impactful’ to the Iowa football program?  You likely have your own thoughts on this, and I’d love to read them and have this debate.

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