The Most Lopsided CFB Scores of the Past Decade
Moral victories aren't the goal, but a competitive loss can sometimes be an encouraging sign. But when the scoreboard shows a blowout, there usually isn't much to learn.
Unfortunately for college football teams, it's not so simple to burn the tape anymore. Awful losses live forever on the internet.
And, more specifically, right here.
This piece highlights the most lopsided results in the Football Bowl Subdivision since the 2011 campaign. Games that involve a lower-division program are not included in the ranking, though the next section includes a brief list of the largest margins of victory against non-FBS teams.
The list begins with a 67-point differential because five matchups are tied with a 66-point margin.
FBS vs. Non-FBS Teams
- 84: Oklahoma State 84, Savannah State 0 (2012)
- 79: Maryland 79, Howard 0 (2019)
- 79: Missouri 79, Delaware State 0 (2016)
- 77: Miami 77, Savannah State 0 (2018)
- 77: Texas Tech 77, Lamar 0 (2018)
- 76: Ohio State 76, Florida A&M 0 (2013)
- 76: Boston College 76, Howard 0 (2015)
- 76: Oklahoma 76, Western Carolina 0 (2021)
- 74: Oregon State 77, Nicholls State 3 (2012)
- 74: Georgia Southern 83, Savannah State 9 (2014)
- 74: North Texas 77, Nicholls State 3 (2014)
7. Ohio State 77, Bowling Green 10 (2016)
Ohio State put together a record-setting performance in the opening game of the 2016 season.
Granted, it didn't begin with a promising start.
J.T. Barrett tossed a pick-six on the Buckeyes' first possession, handing Bowling Green a quick 7-0 advantage. But from there, it was all Ohio State en route to the 77-10 triumph.
Barrett tallied a program-best seven touchdowns (six passing, one rushing), and the offense gained 776 yards to shatter an 86-year-old single-game record of 718. Curtis Samuel also had a prolific day, catching nine passes for 187 yards, rushing for 84 yards and scoring three times.
Ohio State ultimately finished the year 11-2, losing to Clemson in a College Football Playoff semifinal.
6. TCU 69, New Mexico 0 (2011)
Perhaps it's only sensible that New Mexico's third straight 1-11 season includes an inglorious place in history.
TCU racked up 515 yards in this 69-0 victory, mostly leaning on a lockdown performance from the defense. While limiting the Lobos to just 85 yards, including an absurd 1.9 yards per pass attempt, TCU collected 10 tackles for loss and three takeaways.
Casey Pachall tossed two touchdowns for the No. 20 Horned Frogs, who scampered for seven scores. Six different players had a rushing touchdown on the day.
The dominant victory was part of TCU's eight-game winning streak to close an 11-2 year. After the season, the program bolted the Mountain West for the Big 12.
T-4. Oregon 77, Nevada 6 (2019)
Early on, it didn't appear Oregon had an annihilation up its sleeve. Nevada's Brandon Talton hit a 45-yard field goal to make it 7-6 in favor of the Ducks with 10:38 to play in the second quarter.
Amazing what a few takeaways can do, huh?
Excluding a kneeldown before halftime, Nevada's next eight drives included two fumbles, two interceptions and a turnover on downs. Oregon scored a touchdown after each possession change, capping the impressive stretch with a fumble return for a score.
As a result, the Ducks turned an unimpressive one-point lead in the second quarter to an overwhelming 63-6 edge heading into the fourth. They added two touchdowns for the 77-6 final score.
Star quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 310 yards and five touchdowns in the blowout win. He later guided the program to a 12-2 record with a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl victory.
T-4. Ohio State 76, Miami (Ohio) 5 (2019)
Similar to the rout of Bowling Green three years earlier, Ohio State started slowly opposite Miami in 2019.
After surrendering a safety, the Buckeyes ceded a 14-play scoring drive that resulted in a field goal. So, trailing 5-0, they basically had no other choice but to rattle off 76 straight points.
Justin Fields, who transferred from Georgia in the preceding offseason, accounted for six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing) in OSU's 42-point second quarter. He threw for 223 yards, ran for 36 and didn't play a single snap in the second half.
Ohio State outgained the visiting RedHawks 601-130, and eight players scored at least one touchdown.
Although the Buckeyes rattled off a 13-0 record with a Big Ten championship—something the program missed in 2016—they again lost to Clemson in the CFP.
3. Louisville 72, Florida International 0 (2013)
Ah, yes, back to the Teddy Bridgewater days at Louisville. The future NFL quarterback went 17-of-22 for 212 yards and four touchdowns in this 72-0 stomping of Florida International. Bridgewater connected with DeVante Parker for two scores, too.
Considering how UL's defense performed, though, there wasn't much pressure on Bridgewater and Co.
Led by Marcus Smith's two sacks, the Cardinals held FIU to a dismal 30 offensive yards. Louisville amassed 15 tackles for loss and allowed just two first downs the entire game.
Louisville fell short of Blake Bortles and UCF for the AAC title, but the Cards still finished 12-1 with a bowl win over Miami.
2. Memphis 77, Bowling Green 3 (2016)
Sorry about your luck, Bowling Green. Despite having a pair of 10-win seasons and MAC championships in the last decade, it's also the only program with two appearances on this list.
Look, 2016 wasn't a great year, OK?
Exactly three weeks following the unsightly loss at Ohio State, the Falcons could not stop a prolific Memphis offense. Riley Ferguson shredded Bowling Green's defense for 359 yards and six touchdowns through the air and added one rushing score.
Two quarterbacks combined to throw four interceptions, and BGSU committed four turnovers on downs, too. In fairness, all of the latter happened with the score at 42-3 or worse. Honestly, we're here for ignoring the scoreboard in the moment.
History, though, mostly remembers the 77-3 final.
1. Michigan 78, Rutgers 0 (2016)
Maybe you remember this contest for being 78-0. But you might also recall it because of Jabrill Peppers.
During the 2016 season, Heisman Trophy hype followed Michigan's do-everything superstar. And in this matchup, he finally cracked the box score on offense.
One of four Wolverines with at least 74 rushing yards, Peppers scored two touchdowns on the ground. Karan Higdon, Ty Isaac and Khalid Hill also contributed two rushing scores each, while Chris Evans sprinted his way to a team-best 153 yards.
Michigan—which fell painfully shy of beating Ohio State and settled for a 10-3 record in 2016—gave up a meager 39 yards.
Peppers, meanwhile, ended the campaign with 66 tackles (13.0 for loss and three sacks), 167 rushing yards and three scores and one punt return for a touchdown. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy, and Peppers checked in fifth.