Nov. 15, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s 1988 football team claimed a unanimous number-one ranking following that season, thanks to a 12-0 record and a victory over third-rated West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.
Now, 11 years later, that same Irish team has earned yet another number-one finish.
Notre Dame’s 31-30 triumph over top-rated Miami in ’88 has been voted the greatest moment in the last century of Irish football as part of the Century of Greatness program that has run throughout the ’99 Notre Dame season.
That midseason victory in ’88 over the ‘Canes ended up atop the list – and was followed, in order, by the Irish comeback to defeat Houston in the ’79 Cotton Bowl (second), Notre Dame’s ’93 win against top-rated Florida State (third), the Irish win over Army in ’28 in the “Win One for the Gipper” game (fourth) and Notre Dame’s ’77 win over USC that featured a switch to green jerseys (fifth).
The vote totals result from balloting at area Meijer stores and on Notre Dame’s athletic web site (www.und.com) throughout August – and from ballots distributed at Notre Dame’s season-opening football game against Kansas. The Century of Greatness program has been a joint promotional effort of the University of Notre Dame, Host Communications and University Netcasting, with Meijer and Coke as the title sponsors. Coke has been distributing a series of trading cards throughout the season in 12-packs sold at area Meijer stores.
The top 20 moments will be featured in a special 24-page insert in the Notre Dame-Boston College game program produced for that Nov. 20 contest. In addition, there will be special ceremonies at that game recognizing the final vote totals.
Also, Host Communications has produced a 45-minute video highlighting the top 20 moments. It will be available beginning tomorrow at area Meijer stores, the Notre Dame Bookstore and other outlets.
Here’s the final rankings of the top 20 moments:
1. 1988 – Notre Dame defeats top-ranked Miami 31-30
2. 1979 – Montana throws TD as time expires in Cotton Bowl win over Houston
3. 1993 – Irish defeat top-rated Florida State 31-24
4. 1928 – Notre Dame defeats Army 12-6 behind Rockne’s “Gipper” speech
5. 1977 – Irish don green jerseys, defeat fifth-rated USC 49-19
6. 1935 – Notre Dame knocks off Ohio State in “Game of the Century”
7. 1989 – Raghib Ismail returns two kickoffs for TDs as Irish beat #2 Michigan
8. 1924 – Grantland Rice christens Four Horsemen after 13-7 win over Army
9. 1966 – Irish and Michigan State end epic matchup in 10-10 ties
10. 1973 – Notre Dame prevails 24-23 in Sugar Bowl game against #1 Alabama
11. 1957 – Notre Dame’s 7-0 win ends Oklahoma’s record 47-game win streak
12. 1987 – Tim Brown returns two punts for TDs as Irish beat Michigan State
13. 1992 – Mirer throws for two-point conversion to beat Penn State in the snow
14. 1913 – Rockne and Dorais popularize forward pass in 35-13 Irish win at Army
15. 1946 – Notre Dame and Army battle to 0-0 tie at Yankee Stadium
16. 1978 – Irish knock off top-rated Texas in Cotton Bowl to claim #1 spot
17. 1989 – Defeat of #3 West Virginia 34-21 in Fiesta Bowl to clinch national title
18. 1975 – Notre Dame holds off #1 Alabama in Orange Bowl in Ara’s last game
19. 1980 – Oliver’s 51-yard field goal as time expires beats Michigan
20. 1992 – Bettis’ second-half runs enable Irish to beat Florida in Sugar Bowl