David Fox Rivals.com College Football Staff Writer
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Rivals.com national writer David Fox keeps an eye on message boards acorss the network looking for material for From the Boards, but he can't catch everything. If you see a topic generating great discussion among fans, send it to him at email@example.com.
Like everyone around the country this week, Rivals.com users had Virginia Tech on their minds.
Of course, Rivals' posters sent their messages in special ways.
Since the tragedy in Blacksburg on Monday, posters from all over the network shared their condolences with Hokies and their fans by posting prayers and other good wishes on the message boards at HokieHaven.com.
Posters have shown solidarity with Virginia Tech all week by putting Hokies logos in their signature files and avatars. Although college football fans may not be best of friends on Saturdays, they stand together during times of difficulty.
With that said, we'll continue with this week's From the Boards.
They're not all bad, are they?
Even the most ardent fans of one school have to respect (or even like) a player on their rivals' team, right?
Poster Raleigh3 of GatorBait.net asked fans on the football recruiting board to swallow some pride and pick players from their rivals they enjoy watching.
In a thread called Players You've Liked on Teams You Hate, Raleigh3 started with a long list of Florida's rivals that stand out from the crowd. The list included Florida State's Warrick Dunn, Georgia's Hines Ward, Miami's Sean Taylor and Tennessee's Peyton Manning.
Poster fsufsu returned the favor: "Danny Wuerffel - our whole strategy was to hit early, late, often, and cheaply if it took it and he just got back up and hit another deep out. He was a champion."
Poster athigpe, presumable an LSU fan, singled out Florida's Tim Tebow and former Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis.
"Hate to say it but I think if Tebow didn't play for UF that he would be my most favorite player in college. I love his passion for the game and he is a fireball who looks for contact, very refreshing! Ole Miss - Patrick Willis, SO glad he's gone, absolute man among boys and always did it with class. I still have nightmares of that hit he put on (LSU running back Justin) Vincent!"
Of course when one of those players ends up playing for your hometown NFL team, it makes it easy to root for him, according to jvilla, a USC fan.
"Tim Brown: nothing but class and ended up on my pro team."
Even Texas A&M fans have a soft spot for Major Applewhite: "I've never met anyone that didn't like him," GigEm87 posted. "And my hometown boys at Texas, Eddie Jones, Britt Mitchell and Michael Huey. I've actually met quite a few of the Horns and liked quite a bit of them as well -- Sherrod Harris, Rashad Bobino, Jamaal Charles. Their coaches are nothing but class acts as well."
"Do you have any plays still on your mind that you wish you could erase forever. Bad calls that cost your team the game or made your school look bad?"
Here's what stuck out in users' minds (unfortunately) this week:
It's one thing to have a call go against your team on a judgment call, but forgetting how to count to four is another.
"How about being cheated out of a victory over No. 1 Colorado in 1990 on a fifth down?"MizzouJD posted. "This would have been our sixth win to end a six-year skid of losing seasons - potentially changing the entire course of our program."
Colorado was able to beat Missouri 33-31 in 1990 after officials lost count of downs. The Tigers stopped Colorado on fourth down, but the Buffaloes were given the ball for one more play. Colorado scored a touchdown and earned a share of the national title.
Miami fans are still sore about a pass interference call late in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. Miami defensive back Glenn Sharpe was called for a late pass interference on fourth down at the end of the first overtime, giving Ohio State a chance to extend the game. The Buckeyes won the game 31-24 in the second overtime to upset the Hurricanes for the national championship.
"I still puke every time I see that game," THEuCANES posted. "There were a lot off calls that game that could of went the other way."
Arkansas fans everywhere wince when mentioning the words "Clint Stoerner" and "fumble" in the same sentence, as mazl4prez can attest: "There is the fumble against Tennessee during the 1998 season when we had the game won and Clint Stoerner left a gift on the ground for Tennessee to win the game."
With undefeated Arkansas leading No. 1 Tennessee 24-22, Stoerner fumbled with 1:43 left. Tennessee got the ball back inside Arkansas territory and marched down the field for a 28-24 win. The Volunteers went on to win the 1998 national championship.
iHEARTucf mentioned one of the most famous finishes and a not-so-famous finish: "Kordell's Hail Mary to beat Michigan. Also, Matt Prater missing an extra point, causing UCF to lose our first bowl game."
On the first play: Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart led the Buffaloes to a 27-26 win over Michigan in Ann Arbor when he heaved a pass from his 36-yard line to a diving Michael Westbrook for the game-winning touchdown. The Hail Mary sealed the win over Michigan, which led by 12 in the final two and a half minutes.
In the other play iHEARTucf mentioned, Central Florida kicker Matt Prater's extra point attempt in overtime went wide right to give Nevada a 49-48 win in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl.
In a play that's humorous to everyone not living in Lexington, Ky., LSU won a game with a miracle finish. In a this-is-why-you're-Kentucky moment, LSU's Devery Henderson caught a 75-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds to steal a 33-30 victory away from Kentucky in Lexington. This was after Kentucky coach Guy Morriss had been doused with Gatorade and as Wildcats fans were rushing the field.
"That play led to my most embarrassing moment as a UK fan. The fireworks went off, the team doused our coach in Gatorade, the students rushed the field, and UK went home with another loss," 80 proof posted.
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.