Blowouts are about as common to college football these days as marching bands' halftime performances, and in many cases, the musical compilations are more memorable. Take this past Saturday when 11 games were decided by at least 30 points, five of those in matchups of Power 5 teams.
In the modern college football era, only a handful of blowouts remain etched in our memories for their lopsidedness, quality of teams and shock value. Here are the five most memorable blowouts in college football history.
5. Florida State 54, Clemson 7
Nov. 4, 2000 – Tallahassee, Fla.
Both the Bobby Bowden-coached Seminoles and Tommy Bowden-coached Tigers rolled into this game 8-1 and ranked in the top 10. That was apparently all they had in common. Florida State ran up 771 yards on offense, the most ever given up by Clemson, with quarterback Chris Weinke accounting for 521 of them. The game was billed as “Bowden Bowl II” and I have to wonder if Bobby was thinking, “Son, this hurts me more than it hurts you.”
4. UCLA 66, Texas 3
Sept. 3, 1997 – Austin, Texas
Texas entered the game ranked 10th and left having suffered the worst loss ever by a team in the AP Top 25. UCLA quarterback Cade McNown threw five touchdown passes and the Bruins capitalized on eight Longhorn turnovers. Texas never recovered, finished 4-7 and head coach John Mackovic was fired at the end of the season.
3. Oklahoma 77, Texas A&M 0
Nov. 8, 2003 – Norman, Okla.
The 4-5 Aggies were limping through head coach Dennis Franchione’s first season, but still had a shot at making a bowl game. Then they faced the top-ranked Sooners, who jumped out to a modest 14-0 first quarter lead. Oklahoma then scored 35 points in the second quarter and 28 in the third. It was the most lopsided defeat in Texas A&M’s history and to make matters worse, it was on national television. The Aggies lost their last two games and finished the season 4-8.
2. Texas 70, Colorado 3 (Big 12 Championship Game)
Dec. 3, 2005 – Houston
Before the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game, Colorado head coach Gary Barnett said, "I do not think anybody expects us to come in here and beat Texas." The Buffaloes did not give anyone reason to think otherwise, allowing six touchdowns in the first half and four in the third quarter. The Vince Young-led Longhorns would go on to win the national title and their margin of victory against Colorado is the largest in conference championship history.
1. Miami 58, Notre Dame 7
Nov. 30, 1985 – Miami
This game, whose fourth quarter consisted of the Irish just wanting it to end and Miami whooping it up on the sideline, was a watershed moment for both schools. For Miami, it fully ushered in the era of its unapologetic ruthlessness and “The U” attitude. For Notre Dame, whose basketball team gave up fewer points that day in an 87-56 win over Butler, it was a wake-up call. Head coach Gerry Faust resigned and was replaced by Lou Holtz, who led the Irish to a national title three years later and beat the Hurricanes along the way.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.
(Above, right photo courtesy of uclaband.com)