Notre Dame vs. Alabama and the 5 Most Embarrassing Losses in BCS Title History
In no way, shape or form was this year’s BCS title game pretty if you were Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish got a good old-fashioned spanking from Alabama as the Crimson Tide rolled 42-14 over Notre Dame on Monday night.
It was a demoralizing loss for the Irish, a team that last played in a national title game in 1989. After a quarter-century wait, Alabama crushed the hopes and dreams of Notre Dame’s return to glory and the SEC has now won seven straight BCS National Championships.
This game got us thinking—what are the five most embarrassing losses in BCS title history? There have been a fair share of them in the 15-year history of the BCS. Click on to find out.
5. 2002 Rose Bowl: Miami (FL) 37, Nebraska 14
Remember when the BCS Championship Game wasn’t always called the BCS Championship Game? For the 2001 season, the Rose Bowl had the honor—or maybe not so much—of hosting the title game in which Miami trounced the then-Big 12 Nebraska Cornhuskers by 23 points, and it wasn’t even that close.
As usual with the BCS, there was plenty of controversy, as Nebraska didn’t even play in its conference championship game. After falling to No. 6 in the rankings following a loss to Colorado in their final regular-season game, the Cornhuskers leapfrogged teams in the BCS standings to earn the right to play the ‘Canes in the championship.
Perhaps they didn’t deserve this recognition, because Miami jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead before easing off the gas pedal in the second half. Colorado and Oregon will forever believe that they deserved a spot in the title game ahead of Nebraska, and thanks to Nebraska’s humiliating defeat, they have a pretty good argument.
4. 2012 National Championship: Alabama 21, LSU 0
It’s never a good thing when you don’t score any points in a football game, let alone the BCS title game. That’s exactly what happened to LSU against Alabama last season when the Tigers were shut out by the Crimson Tide.
After LSU defeated Alabama during the regular season in an offensive struggle that was a bit of a snoozer, there wasn’t much of a positive vibe amongst college football fans heading into the title game. That vibe turned out to be reflective of the outcome, as Alabama slowly built up its lead throughout the game and rendered LSU’s offense useless.
Since the Tigers were never really getting blown out until the very end, it’s not all that distressing of a loss, but to fail at putting up points of any kind—the only team in BCS title game history to do so—they automatically earn a spot on this embarrassing list.
3. 2007 National Championship: Florida 41, Ohio State 14
This game had the potential to pit two Big Ten teams against each other, and unfortunately for Ohio State, that was not what happened, as Florida leaped Michigan in the BCS standings and throttled the Buckeyes in the 2007 title game.
Things looked promising for Ohio State when Ted Ginn Jr. took the opening kickoff to the house, but Florida and the Chris Leak-led Gators—yes, Tim Tebow played as well—put their foot down and ended the game on a 41-7 run to almost instantly put a halt to Ohio State’s momentum.
While Ohio State at least held a lead at one point, unlike the two losing teams previously mentioned on this list, that’s what makes this loss even more embarrassing. To lose by 27 after being up early was truly humiliating for the Buckeyes and their fans.
2. 2013 National Championship: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14
The matchup between Alabama and Notre Dame was highly anticipated due to the rich history and devout fanbases of each school. It didn’t even come close to living up to those expectations.
Perhaps a lot of people expected an Alabama rout of Notre Dame—they were 10-point favorites—but it was obvious from the very beginning who would win this football game. By halftime, the Crimson Tide led 28-0. At one point in the third quarter, Alabama jumped out to a 35-point lead, and if it hadn't eased up in the second half, this one could have gotten downright ugly.
The sheer speed and strength advantage of Alabama was evident. Even though Notre Dame showed a lot of fight in the second half, the game was over before the coin was even flipped, making this the second-most embarrassing loss in BCS title history.
1. 2005 Orange Bowl: USC 55, Oklahoma 19
The Orange Bowl didn’t exactly get the luck of the draw in regards to the two BCS National Championship Games it was selected to host.
While one of those games barely missed out on this list, there was no denying the 2005 Orange Bowl belongs. USC annihilated the Oklahoma Sooners by 36 points behind the high-powered Trojan offense led by Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.
But wait—does this game really even count? USC was forced to vacate its title because of NCAA sanctions, but nonetheless, the game was played, and the Trojans completely owned the Sooners, leading by as many as 45 points in the fourth quarter.
It was the first game to face two former Heisman Trophy recipients against each other in Leinart and Oklahoma’s Jason White, and it also featured NFL superstar Adrian Peterson, but all that hype was extinguished in the most embarrassing loss in BCS title history.