Occasionally someone will bring up the old inter-sectional rivalry that used to exist between Alabama and Penn St., which began in 1974 when coach Bryant talked Joe Paterno into coming to the Sugar Bowl for the first time (Alabama won). After playing in the famous "Goal Line Stand" game in the '79 Sugar Bowl, the two began a yearly series that lasted throughout the decade of the 1980s.
Those kinds of games don't really exist anymore — at some point in the early '90s, just about everybody decided they'd rather play cream-puffs and mid-majors than major inter-sectional games (note: Alabama and Penn St. do have a home-and-home scheduled for sometime next decade). It's sad, really: games like those are part of the reason I started liking college football in the first place.
In any case, one of my favorite games in that series from the '80s is the 1989 game, which came down to a matter of inches ...
Note that this clip also brings back memories of the days when Doug Layton — the color analyst at the time — used to leave the booth early so he could be in the locker room for the postgame "Lay's Locker Room Report," which meant sideline reporter Jerry Duncan came up to the booth to call the final few minutes with Eli Gold. It's Duncan's incoherent shouting you hear over Eli's attempt to call the game there at the end.
"If you ever blocked one, you gotta block this one."