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Happy Leap Day! What is your favorite college football leap?

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These are some of ours.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Banner Society Illustration.

Leap days exist because what we understand a year to be (one full orbit of the Earth around the Sun) takes longer than 365 days. Our years are really just collectively agreed-upon lies, which makes February 29th the day we confirm the fraud. And if we’re willing to deceive ourselves about something as straightforward and simple as how long a year is, what darker fictions do we share?

You shouldn’t think about that. Instead, you should join us in celebrating Great College Football Leaps:

Golden Tate dives into the MSU band, by Ryan

If you played Super Mario 3, you’re aware that Raccoon Mario could, with enough of a running start, jump and fly for a short period of time. I believe that Golden Tate attempted that exact maneuver when he jumped into Michigan State’s band.

Karen from Alabama

Ram Vela’s fourth-down flying squirrel attack on Evan Sharpley, by Spencer

November 3, 2007, South Bend, Indiana. On 4th and 8 at the Navy 24, and tied with the Midshipmen at 28-28 with :41 on the clock in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame forgoes a 34 yard field goal attempt. Instead, Charlie Weis opts to have quarterback Evan Sharpley drop back and attempt a pass. Related: Navy had not beaten Notre Dame in 43 years.

Navy’s 5’9” linebacker Ram Vela leaps from the 29 yard line, easily clears a diving Armondo Allen, and flies about ten feet through the air to meet Sharpley at the 31 yard line.

Vela didn’t even get full credit for the sack. So many bad things are happening for Notre Dame here — look at poor Armando Allen leapfrogging into empty space! — that it’s hard to notice that defensive end Chris Kuhars-Pitters beats two Notre Dame linemen to bring down Sharpley, too. Navy won the game 46-44 in triple OT, beat the Irish for the first time in 43 years and did it in South Bend, and Ram Vela flew. Stats be damned, because GIFs are forever.

The Stoops Hop

When the Playoff Committee did this

Appalachian State’s leap to FBS, by Alex

The Mountaineers won three straight FCS national titles from 2005 to 2007. They continued to be good for several more years, even after coming off their championship high. Having accomplished everything one could reasonably accomplish at that level, the Neers made a quantum leap to FBS, and they did it more gracefully than any other team in their era.

The results in App State’s first six years in FBS: four Sun Belt titles, five bowl wins (probably six if they’d been eligible in their first year up), a 61-17 record, and two head coaches (and counting). You cannot leap more impressively in college football.

The Leap by the Lake

Jarvis Moss blocking South Carolina’s game-winner, by Ryan

It sucks to lose by one point. It sucks to lose by that single point thanks to a blocked field goal at the end of the game. It sucks when that deficit was caused by a blocked extra point. And it really, truly sucks when the same person blocks that extra point and that field goal, as Jarvis Moss did.

It definitely DOESN’T suck when Jarvis Moss plays for your team and does those things, though.

Basically any hurdle by Arizona State’s Manny Wilkins, by Alex

There are a lot, but here is a classic:

Kyra Hedgewick

Najee Harris, by Richard

The DB Harris hurdles here, Jeremiah Dinson, is 6’0. He breaks down slightly to try and make the hit, so let’s be generous and say Harris hurdles 5’9 of opponent here.

I think a lot about the defenders in these hurdle situations. Consider all they have to think about in these situations. They can’t hit too high or it’s targeting on some plays, and they shouldn’t ankle dive because it’s not sound technique most of the time. The optimal strike zone doesn’t usually move to above one’s head. You’re expecting a minicar crash’s worth of collision and then you just come away with ... nothing. Compared to the rest of us, Dinson is in the 1% of athletes, and yet the leap leaves him falling clumsily to the turf.

Lamar Jackson’s High Octane Football for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis

NCAA Football: Louisville at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Jump Around

The LaVar Leap, by Ryan

Cheers to this Illinois quarterback, watching LaVar Arrington descend like an angry falcon inches away from him (and in the spot he occupied moments ago) and responding with the “dang, almost!” clap your uncle does at bowling when he nearly picks up a spare.

Let us know which great leaps we missed in the comments!