EA Sports College Football 25: Which Historic Moments Would We Want to Relive?

EA Sports College Football 25: Which Historic Moments Would We Want to Relive? article feature image

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Auburn’s Chris Davis.

With EA Sports set to release College Football 25 on July 19, we thought it would be fun to revisit the beloved video game series with a college football content collection.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be detailing how much has changed in the sport since the last game dropped in the summer of 2013, the stars gamers missed out on playing with and more.

  • Pontiac College Classics 2.0 (May 22)
  • Top 5 Moments in Gambling History (May 29)
  • Top 5 Players We Would Have Loved Playing With (June 5)
  • Offensive Innovations (June 12th)
  • How The CFB Landscape Has Changed (June 19)

For those unfamiliar with the “Pontiac College Classics” mode from NCAA Football 06, let me break it down for you.

For starters, Pontiac was first a brand and then a whole division of General Motors. The Pontiac division created iconic cars like the 1963 Tempest (of "My Cousin Vinny" fame), the 1966 GTO, the 1967 Bonneville and the 1969 Firebird Trans-Am.

By the early 2000s, they were almost exclusively churning out sedans with powerful engines. They were also closely linked with college football, having brokered an official partnership with the NCAA. They launched a website that allowed fans to vote for the “Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Week.” If your school won, Pontiac donated a $5,000 college scholarship, and whichever school won the site’s “Play of the Year” was rewarded with a $100,000 scholarship.

Pontiac, a brand that’s been defunct for nearly 15 years, was at one time linked as closely to college football as the Allstate field goal nets.

That quick history lesson brings us back to the unique “Pontiac College Classics” game mode.

Users had the ability to unlock classic teams by completing historic challenges. Thrown into iconic moments in college football history, users would need to complete Hail Mary passes (‘94 Colorado-Michigan), return kickoffs for touchdowns (‘82 Cal-Stanford) or orchestrate insane comebacks (‘80 Holiday Bowl between BYU-SMU).

You even had the ability to rewrite history by succeeding where real-life teams had failed, a la Nebraska’s two-point conversion attempt against Miami in the waning moments of the ‘84 Orange Bowl.

So, if College Football 25 revived this electric mini-game, which moments from the last decade would be on the menu? I selected eight challenges and separated them into four separate buckets: Two-Minute Drills, Walk-Offs, Insane Comebacks and Reversing History.

Two-Minute Drills

2014: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Auburn

Jan. 6, 2014
Final BCS National Championship
Winston to Benjamin

When You Take Over:

  • Auburn 31-27
  • Fourth Quarter, 1:11 Remaining

The fourth quarter of the final BCS National Championship game was a seesaw affair.

The Seminoles cut the lead down to one on a swing pass to fullback Chad Abram early in the fourth. Auburn responded with a 13-play march that stalled in the red zone. Cody Parkey’s chip-shot field goal gave Auburn a bit of breathing room at 24-20.

As it turned out, that cushion didn’t last long. Kermit Whitfield took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to the house, providing FSU with its first lead of the game.

Trailing by three, Auburn didn’t blink. The Tigers moved the ball inside the Seminoles' 35-yard before a read option was smothered in the backfield. Facing a second-and-16 at the FSU 37, Tre Mason took the handoff and made magic happen. After cutting through a hole, Brent Musburger’s call matched the energy of the moment:

“Mason steps outside, breaks to daylight! Still going! End zone…Touchdown Auburn! Not quite yet out of miracles.”

After Whitfield’s return to the Florida State 20-yard line, it’s on you to march 80 yards in 1:11 with two timeouts in your back pocket. Controlling the Heisman Trophy winner, the national title is on the line!

Watch the final moments here.

2017: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Clemson

Jan. 9, 2017
Third CFP National Championship
Watson to Renfrow

When You Take Over:

  • Alabama 31-28
  • Fourth Quarter, 2:01 Remaining

The Alabama War Machine was rolling over college football. The Tide were on a 28-1 run and had outlasted Clemson in the title game the previous year by a score of 45-40.

Despite starting a true freshman at quarterback for the first time in 32 years, Alabama looked even better than it did in 2015.

Nick Saban’s bunch faced nine ranked opponents before Clemson, humiliating them by an average score of 39-15. Later, 19 of Saban’s 22 starters were selected in the NFL Draft, including nine first-rounders.

After controlling the first 20 minutes of the game, Clemson began to impose its will. A late touchdown plunge from Wayne Gallman gave Clemson its first lead, 28-24, with under five minutes to go.

Jalen Hurts calmly answered, leading Alabama down the field before taking matters into his own hands with a 30-yard rushing score.

With the ball in your hands, this is your chance to remove “Clemsoning” from the college football vernacular. Can you handle the championship pressure?

Watch the final play here.

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2013: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Auburn

Nov. 30, 2013
78th Iron Bowl
The Kick Six

When You Take Over:

  • Game Tied 28-28
  • Fourth Quarter, :01 Remaining

When you fire up this challenge, you’ll be hearing from longtime SEC referee Matt Austin.

“After review, the runner’s foot touched out of bounds at the 39-yard line with one second on the clock. The clock will be reset to one second. It will be first-and-10.”

The Alabama students are thrilled, Gus Malzahn is encouraging his players, and AJ McCarron remains on the sidelines. Gary Danielson says what the whole country was thinking at the time: “They’re going to try a field goal?!”

Yung Joc's "It's Going Down" faintly plays in the background as Alabama’s Adam Griffith lines up for a 57-yard field goal. You call a timeout to ice him and the camera zooms in on the redshirt freshman kicker. They cut to a highlight reel of Cade Foster’s misses during the game — he went 0-for-3 with a blocked kick.

As they line up for the kick, “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osborne blares in the background. The crowd is now in a frenzy, whipping their orange pom poms across Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“Remember a blocked kick could go the other way,” says Danielson just before the snap.

The snap is good, the kick is up.

“On the way,” yells Verne Lundquist.

But the kick is fading toward the post and is clearly short. You field it nine yards deep in your end zone with Chris Davis. The rest is up to you!

Watch the return here.

2015: Miami vs. No. 22 Duke

Oct. 31, 2015
13th Meeting
You're Laterally Joking

When You Take Over:

  • Duke 27-24
  • Fourth Quarter, :06 Remaining

The Blue Devils’ Ross Martin squibbed a kick in the waning seconds of its soon-to-be win over the Hurricanes.

Duke led by three, and Miami had virtually no time to orchestrate a comeback. So, when you collected the kick on its third bounce at your own 26-yard line, you have a daunting task in front of you.

You could opt to sprint 10 yards and dive down before the final whistle blows. That would buy you an opportunity to uncork a Hail Mary with Malik Rosier from 65 yards out.

Or you could opt to play it the way the Hurricanes did on that fateful Halloween night.

It started with a baseball toss backward and across the field to Corn Elder. He caught it, ran up the sideline to the 33, backtracked to the 27 and pitched it over to fellow defensive back Jaquan Johnson.

With the coverage team blanketing him, Johnson backtracked farther and pitched it back to Mark Walton. The Canes running back, slipped one tackle at the 24 and barely got a lateral off before hitting the turf at the 26.

Johnson quickly collected the short hop and dumped it off to Tyre Brady. The hot potato continued, with Brady finding Elder at his own 10-yard line. Edler pump-faked, backtracked and hurled a fade-away throw that nearly went upfield.

With the ball in hand, Dallas Crawford weaved through traffic and tossed a dime back across field to Elder at his eight-yard line. But this time, Miami had the numbers advantage.

With a convoy in front of him, Elder took off upfield, getting a de-cleater of a block from David Njoku at the 21-yard line. From there, Elder had two lead blockers who cleared a lane near midfield.

Elder high-stepped away from the sideline and cut back toward midfield, leaving Shaq Powell as the last Blue Devil between him and the end zone. He slid through Powell’s arm tackle and jogged in for the game-winning touchdown.

Best of luck replicating that. It may take a few tries.

Watch the play here.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Miami's Corn Elder celebrates after beating Duke on a last-second kickoff return touchdown.

Insane Comebacks

2016: No. 15 Oregon vs. No. 11 TCU

Jan. 2, 2016
23rd Alamo Bowl
Remember The Alamo

When You Take Over:

  • Oregon 31-0
  • Second Quarter, :32 Remaining

It’s all gone right for Oregon. Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James are bludgeoning the Horned Frogs on the ground, and Darren Carrington has already caught one long touchdown pass from Vernon Adams Jr.

Without the suspended Trevone Boykin at quarterback, you’ll need senior walk-on Bram Kohlhausen to spark this comeback. Luckily, Kohlhausen is a capable dual-threat passer, and he’s surrounded by a talented supporting cast.

You have future NFL running back Aaron Green, freshman All-American KaVontae Turpin at receiver and Groza Award semifinalist Jaden Oberkrom at kicker.

Defensively, you have three first-team All-Big 12 defenders to slow the Oregon attack in the second half. It’s a tall task, but bowl immortality awaits you in San Antonio.

Watch the comeback here.

2018: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma

Jan. 1, 2018
104th Rose Bowl
Georgia's Comeback

When You Take Over:

  • Oklahoma 31-14
  • Second Quarter, :05 Remaining

As you enter this challenge, you’ll first see a replay of Oklahoma’s successful “Philly Special.” Baker Mayfield secured a pass from CeeDee Lamb, helping Oklahoma extend its lead to 17.

With Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler on the call, the graphics team flashes a stat on the screen.

“In the last 10 years, Oklahoma is 38-0 when scoring 30-plus points in the first half.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Tae Crowder shows off his hands, snagging the squib kick and falling to the ground at the OU 47-yard line.

Your first mission is to pick up 10 yards before the first-half clock runs out. Do that, and you’ve given Rodrigo Blankenship a shot at a long field goal before the break.

After that, it’s up to you to erase the Sooners’ big lead, complete the comeback and punch Georgia’s first ticket to the national title game in 37 years.

Watch the comeback here.

Reversing History

2016: No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 2 Ohio State

Nov. 26, 2016
113th The Game
Overtime in Columbus

When You Take Over:

  • Tied 17-17
  • Start of Overtime

Tyler Durbin’s 23-yard field goal has tied things up, and you get to watch Jourdan Lewis nearly take the ensuing kickoff back for a game-winning walk-off kickoff return touchdown.

Chris Fowler almost came unglued on the return, belting out a memorable “Heart in mouth time!” call.

As the user, you’ll be controlling Michigan in overtime, which means you’ll be starting on defense. Stop J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State offense, even if it means bowing your neck for a fourth-down stand.

Do that, and you’ll have a chance to win the game with Wilton Speight spinning the football to Amara Darboh and Jake Butt.

A win here sends Michigan to the Big Ten Championship against Wisconsin with a chance to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff.

Watch the highlights here

2019: No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

Dec. 28, 2019
49th Fiesta Bowl
Duel In The Desert

When You Take Over:

  • Clemson 29-23
  • Fourth Quarter, 1:49 Remaining

These two heavyweights arrived in the desert undefeated and on a mission.

Clemson, the defending national champion, had won 28 games in a row. According to ESPN’s Bill Connelly and SP+, Ohio State entered as the top-rated team in the country.

Ohio State struck first and steamed out to a 16-point lead before Clemson got off the mat. The Tigers then put together a 21-point run of their own before the two teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

This challenge opens with a replay of Travis Etienne’s pulse-stopping touchdown reception and the subsequent Lawrence-to-Higgins two-point conversion.

Trailing by six with 1:49 remaining in the game, you take over with Justin Fields hoping to lead the Buckeyes 75 yards into the end zone and straight into a national title game meeting with LSU.

Keep an eye out for Clemson safety Nolan Turner because he’ll be hoping to spoil the Buckeyes’ season once more with a back-breaking interception.

Watch the highlights here.

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