ESPN Says Spartans, Tigers, Benefited From Some of the Biggest Collapses in Sports
In the ho-hum down time of summer with the MLB All-Star break and the dominant coverage on ESPN is ESPY award coverage, a list was put out by ESPN that went a little under the radar, the top 25 collapses in sports.
Sure there's the big ones everyone thinks of, the 1992 Houston Oilers, the 1986 Red Sox, Jean Van De Velde in 1999, but there are two that make the early entries of the list that are curious to locals.
ESPN claims the 1968 Tigers and the 2014 Michigan State Spartans were beneficiaries from all-time great collapses.
Coming in at #21 are the 2014 Baylor Bears. Though it's low on the list, ESPN points to a 20 point 4th quarter lead for Baylor in the 2015 Cotton Bowl and Bryce Petty's monster 550 yard day in a loss as evidence of the choke job. Michigan State rallied hard to pull off the comeback blocking kicks, forcing defensive stops and having a clutch performance from Connor Cook to seal the bowl victory.
Later on in the list at #15, the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals are listed. The defending World Series champs were up 3-1 in the series and were outscored 22-2 in the final three games for Detroit to take the crown in 1968. Bob Gibson who struck out 17 Tigers in game 1 was the goat in game 7, getting tagged for three runs in the seventh inning to help clinch the Tigers the championship.
Were they chokes? Were they great efforts of perseverance that allowed a great comeback? Maybe a little bit of both.