MSU celebrates ‘Game of the Century' 50 years later

Posted at 12:50 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 12:50:33-04

On a November afternoon in 1966, an estimated 30 million fans watched the anticipated matchup between college football’s top two teams – No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State.

The two undefeated teams sought victory, but instead, left with a 10-10 tie.

“I think it’s amazing that 50 years later, we’re celebrating a game that ended in a tie,” said Jimmy Raye, the Spartan’s 1966 quarterback. “The fact that it did end in a tie has caused it to preserve itself and its legacy over the years.”

This game also stands out in college football history because of Coach Duffy Daugherty’s recruitment efforts in the south, resulting in a diverse 1966 roster. During this “Game of the Century,” Jimmy Raye made history by becoming the first African-American quarterback from the south to lead a team to a national title.

With the approaching anniversary on Nov. 19, MSU’s University Archives and Historical Collections hosted a 50th anniversary celebration during Homecoming week, Oct. 10-15.

The 1966 MSU Spartan football players, including Jimmy Raye, Jerry West, Sterling Armstrong, Regis Cavender and Bob Apisa, reflected on this historical game during a panel discussion.