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What we learned from the Greatest CFB Plays tournament

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Barely 20 months old, the Kick Six legend already has acquired YouTube fame, its own Wikipedia page, and has even been commemorated by the Auburn grounds crew in orange chalk. And now, the 109-yard missed field goal return by former Tigers cornerback Chris Davis that stunned archrival Alabama in 2013 has been voted as the greatest play in college football history.

With 68 percent of the vote, Kick Six easily outpaced the Bluegrass Miracle -- Devery Henderson's incredible touchdown catch to lead LSU over Kentucky in 2002 -- in CFB 24/7's tournament to determine the greatest play in college history.


» Full results of Greatest CFB Plays tournament


As it should have.

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The Bluegrass Miracle, spectacular as it was, didn't have the championship implications that Kick Six had. Alabama would have played in the SEC title game, with a chance at a third consecutive national championship, had the missed field goal on the play been good. Instead, Auburn went to and won the SEC title and earned the right to play FSU for the national title. Naturally, the place Kick Six holds in Auburn lore knows no bounds. The helmet worn by Davis, now a cornerback with the San Diego Chargers, during the return fetched more than $47,000 in an auction.

The play's run through the tournament, which was voted on by fans in each round, began with a bye as the No. 2 seed in the Urban Meyer Region. From there, it topped Vince Young's touchdown scramble to bring Texas from behind to beat USC for the 2005 national title in the Rose Bowl. Voters then chose Kick Six over Boise State's game-winning "Statue of Liberty" play against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. In the semifinals, Kick Six beat out Jim McMahon's Hail Mary pass to beat SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl.

Here are five other things we learned from the voting process:

2. McMahon with the upset. How exactly did Hail Flutie lose a head-to-head matchup with another Hail Mary? Jim McMahon's Holiday Bowl Hail Mary in 1980 beat out Doug Flutie's Hail Mary to beat Miami in a quarterfinal matchup. And it wasn't even close -- McMahon's play took 86 percent of the vote. Were Boston College fans taking the day off? Were Cougars fans rallying votes on message boards? The Hail Mary Hall of Fame demands a recount.

3. Recent history had edge. Should it really come as any surprise that the most recent play in the 24-team field won the tournament? Not that the Kick Six isn't deserving, but the speed with which some of the older plays in the tournament bowed out was a bit striking.

4. No love for Larry. Lindsay Scott's 92-yard touchdown catch to beat Florida in 1980 stands on its own as one of the greatest plays of all time, but the fact that it was coupled by the greatest radio call of all-time by the late Larry Munson didn't buy the play much help in the tournament. Hear the extended version of that call.

5. Win some, lose some. While Alabama coach Nick Saban was on the wrong end of Kick Six, he was the beneficiary of the play that met Kick Six in the tournament final. Remember, it was Saban who was coaching the LSU Tigers in the Bluegrass Miracle.

6. Top this. The incredible catch by former Alabama receiver Tyrone Prothro didn't stand a chance in the tournament, perhaps because it happened in a relatively meaningless game. As such, it bowed out in the first round as a bottom-seeded option. But there might not have been a more impressive display of pure athleticism in the entire 24-play field.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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