Review: The Game of the Century - Michael Corcoran


You'd be surprised at how many college football games are referred to as "The Game of the Century". How the 1993 game between Notre Dame and Florida State makes the list at Wikipedia - I'll never understand. Great game, but clearly not even close to THE game in 1971 between Oklahoma and Nebraska. The problem is that most of you probably remember the 1993 Notre Dame-Florida State game and fewer of you remember the 1971 Oklahoma-Nebraska game.

What you need is a reference. Not a reference just to the game itself - what yards were gained by who and how - but a reference that tells the story of the Game of the Century. What was it about the two teams that made it go beyond from just a great football game to being ageless? Why was it such a big game? Why did it mean so much to both states? How big was it nationally?

It's important that you understand what this book is like you're not disappointed. It is not a detailed account of every single aspect of the 1971 Oklahoma-Nebraska game. It doesn't include complete bios of every player and coach and their lifelong stats and accomplishments as would be desired by football diehards. It contains the pertinent information about the game - yardage, records, player stats, but these are in table format at the beginning and end of the book so they do not conflict with the story. What it is a great story book that tells the tale of the game in a novelistic style which makes it very entertaining.

One of the highlights of the book are comments from the players as they recall the game. The ongoing battle between Oklahoma receiver Jon Harrison and safety moved-to-cornerback Bill Kosch are marvelous. Dean Unruh missed Johnny Rodgers on his famous punt return and tells about having to watch himself miss him again every time the replay has been shown over the years. Comments from others such as Barry Switzer, Jeff Kinney, Monte Kiffin, Greg Pruitt, Jack Mildren and Larry Jacobson add up to make it more wonderful. If you want to know how Boyd Epley got his start as Nebraska's strength coach - the story is in this book.

It's a short read - about 180 pages - which makes it a perfect travel (a few hours stuck in the airport) book. The 1971 t football team is still regarded by many as the best team in college football history - the next closest challenger being the 1995 Nebraska team. Reading Game of the Century will make you understand their greatness. I highly recommend this book to Cornhusker and college football fans in general.

Other Nebraska and Husker Related Books You Might Like:

What It Means To Be A Husker
Stadium Stories
Diary of A Husker
Nebraska Cornhusker Football
Forever Red
Nebraska - Under A Big Red Sky

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