50 Greatest Upsets in College Football History

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer INovember 9, 2010

50 Greatest Upsets in College Football History

0 of 50

    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jevan Snead #4 of the Ole Miss Rebels runs for a touchdown against Brnadon Hicks #40 of the Florida Gators during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 27, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by S
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    On a college football Saturday, what could be better than taking a look at the best upsets in college football history?

    I thought you might like that.

    There have been some monumental upsets in college football history. We've seen top-ranked teams fall to the little guys; we've seen huge favorites turn into teams that didn't know what hit them or how it happened.

    Think back to the game between Cal and Stanford in 1986 and that famous call from Joe Starkey as he screamed that the band was out on the field.

    Though the official record at Stanford still has them winning the game, Cal fans believe that they can pull yet another monumental upset in 2010 against Oregon.

    We remember the teams we knew nothing about or took no interest in, then we finally wanted to know something about.

    Some of these games you'll remember watching, sitting there in your living room with friends or family and either being shocked because they beat your team, or jumping off the couch and celebrating a huge win that was never expected.

    These games are what make college football so much fun to watch for the big fans. This is why we look forward to football season, because these games always seem to rear their ugly heads and pop up when we least expect them.

    So, without further ado, here are the 50 best upsets in college football history.

50. Stanford Over Ohio State (1971)

1 of 50

    It was the 1971 Rose Bowl between the Stanford Cardinal and the Ohio State Buckeyes, who had won 27 of their last 28 games coming into this one.

    Stanford, behind Jim Plunkett, jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Buckeyes before Ohio State came back to take a 14-10 lead at the half.

    The Cardinal would close the game with a 14-3 run to give them their first Rose Bowl victory since 1941.

49. Tulane Over LSU (1982)

2 of 50

    A series between the two teams that was called the "Battle for the Rag," that LSU has won in each of the last 18 meetings dating back to 1983.

    The battle had been competitive between the two teams until Tulane decided to leave the SEC and focus more on academics than football. Which, in turn, made the football program take a downhill turn.

    The Battle for the Rag would continue with Tulane's last win being their biggest, coming back in 1982.

48. Georgia Tech Over NC State (2002)

3 of 50

    COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Damarius Bilbo #8 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets runs the ball during the game against the University of Maryland Terrapins   on October 17, 2002 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland.  Maryland defeats
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The 2002 season for Georgia Tech was the first under head coach Chan Gailey, a guy who already had a coaching stint with the Dallas Cowboys as well as two other college football gigs.

    Their most notable victory that year came against a team led by quarterback Philip Rivers, one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy, and a team that was one of the favorites for the national championship.

    The Yellow Jackets rallied to score 15 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Wolfpack, 24-17.

47. Texas Over Nebraska (1996)

4 of 50

    It was 1996, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were the defending two-time national champions, were favored in the game by 20 points, and the Longhorns were unranked.

    Needless to say, this was Nebraska's game to lose.

    After it was all said and done, the Longhorns had picked up a 37-27 upset win over the Cornhuskers and would earn a shot in the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State.

46. Boise State Over Fresno State (2001)

5 of 50

    Fresno State was ranked eighth in the country and already had wins over Wisconsin, Colorado and a few others en route to its highest ranking in school history.

    Boise State, on the other hand, was a relative unknown at this point. It was its first season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference and first year under head coach Dan Hawkins.

    It would become the Broncos' coming out party as they would hand Fresno State a 35-30 loss at Bulldog Stadium.

45. Syracuse Over Louisville (2007)

6 of 50

    LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 22:  Quarterback Andrew Robinson #9 of the Syracuse Orange looks for an open receiver against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium September 22, 2007 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The Syracuse football team couldn't have been any worse during its 2007 campaign. Well, maybe it could have been.

    The Orangemen finished with just two wins that season, but one of them was a win no one saw coming.

    After opening the season with three straight losses, Syracuse headed to Louisville to take on the 19th-ranked Cardinals.

    In front of 40,922, the Orangemen jumped out to a surprising 21-7 lead at the half. Louisville came with a furious charge in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 points, but it wasn't enough as Syracuse held on for a shocking 38-35 win on the road.

    What was even more surprising about this game, Louisville was favored by 37 points.

44. TCU Over Oklahoma (2005)

7 of 50

    FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  Robert Merrill #33 of the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs runs for a touchdown against the Utah Utes on September 15, 2005 at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    TCU began the 2005 season as the newest member of the Mountain West Conference.

    They finished their season with an 11-1 record and an unbeaten 8-0 record in conference.

    One of those 11 wins during the 2005 season was a memorable one as they traveled to Norman, Okla., and knocked off the seventh-ranked Oklahoma Sooners 17-10. And on national television no less.

43. Oregon State Over USC (2008)

8 of 50

    EL PASO, TX - DECEMBER 31:  Quarterback Lyle Moevao #3 of the Oregon State Beavers drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the Brut Sun Bowl on December 31, 2008 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The 2008 Oregon State football team would start their season with back-to-back losses on the road against Stanford and 19th-ranked Penn State before coming up with a win at home against Hawaii, 45-7.

    The fourth week of the season would be a match-up that fans were looking forward to. The USC Trojans, ranked No. 1 at the time, were making the trip to Corvallis to take on the Beavers.

    Oregon State jumped out to a 21-0 lead at the half and would ride Jacquizz Rodgers, a freshman at the time, to a shocking 27-21 win over the Trojans to become just the second Pac-10 team to knock off USC twice during the Pete Carroll era.

42. Southern Miss Over Florida State (1989)

9 of 50

    The 1989 Southern Miss Golden Eagles were led by a quarterback well known to NFL fans everywhere and by more than just his last name, as unfortunate as that might be.

    Brett Favre was the young quarterback wearing No. 4 in the picture and he was the man behind center that led his team to a shocking 30-26 win over Florida State in the season opening game.

    Unfortunately for the Eagles, it would be one of only five wins that season.

41. East Carolina Over Boise State (2007)

10 of 50

    BLACKSBURG, VA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Quarterback Patrick Pinkney of the East Carolina Pirates rolls out of the pocket to pass in the third quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies on September 1, 2007 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech won
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    A 7-5 record in 2007 for the East Carolina Pirates was void of any big-time wins. They did play two ranked teams, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, and dropped both.

    They did finish with three wins over the their last four games heading into the bowl season as they would receive a bid to play in the Hawaii Bowl to face 22nd-ranked Boise State, which was 10-2 coming into the game.

    The Pirates jumped out to a quick 31-14 halftime lead, making most wonder if the Broncos were overrated through the entire season.

    Boise State came running back with a 24-point second half, tying the game at 38-38.

    The Pirates drove the ball down the field and stuck a 34-yard field goal through the uprights in the closing seconds to upset the Broncos, 41-38.

40. UCLA Over Ohio State (1976)

11 of 50

    The Ohio State Buckeyes, led by head coach Woody Hayes, headed into the Rose Bowl undefeated and ranked No. 1.

    The UCLA Bruins, on the other hand, were led by second-year head coach Dick Vermeil.

    It was a defensive first half with Ohio State leading 3-0 as the game went to the break.

    The Bruins would come out with a 16-point third quarter and attached another seven points in the fourth quarter to shock the top-ranked Buckeyes, 23-10.

39. Ole Miss Over Florida (2008)

12 of 50

    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jevan Snead #4 Mississippi Rebels drops back with the ball during the game against the Florida Gators during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 27, 2008 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Gr
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Ole Miss was under first-year head coach Houston Nutt and had started the season with a 2-2 record before heading to take on Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators at The Swamp.

    They had already dropped two of their first four against ranked teams, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, and it didn't look good against fourth-ranked Florida.

    Florida would take a 17-7 lead at the half, and it looked like the Gators could run away with it. However, a 24-13 run by Ole Miss gave them a 31-30 lead late in the fourth quarter.

    On a fourth-down play, Tim Tebow tried to convert a fourth-and-one but was stuffed by the Rebel defense, securing the win for Ole Miss.

38. Navy Over Notre Dame (2007)

13 of 50

    BALTIMORE - DECEMBER 01:  Head coach Paul Johnson of the Navy Midshipmen yells to his team against the Army Black Knights during the 108th Army v Navy football game on December 1, 2007 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Get
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Naval Academy and Notre Dame had played each other 83 times coming in to this game since 1927 but the Midshipmen's record against the Irish wasn't good: 12-71-1.

    On Nov. 3, 2007, that streak would end as Navy handed Notre Dame a 46-44 loss in triple overtime.

37. Arizona State Over Nebraska (1996)

14 of 50

    26 Oct 1996:  Offensive lineman Juan Roque of the Arizona State Sun Devils engages his opponent Kailee Wong #13 of the Stanford Cardinal during a pass play in the Sun Devils 41-9 victory over the Cardinal at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    If there were any surprises during the 1996 college football season, two of them game from the campus of Arizona State.

    The first of which came in their third game of the season.

    After two wins over Washington and North Texas, the Sun Devils took on a Nebraska team that was ranked No. 1 at the time.

    Not only did they knock off the Cornhuskers, they shut them out 19-0, ending a 26-game win streak for Nebraska.

    That win would be the third of an 11-win season for Arizona State. Unfortunately, it couldn't finish it off against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

36. UCLA Over USC (2006)

15 of 50

    PASADENA, CA - DECEMBER 02:  Dennis Keyes #11 of the UCLA Bruins tries to recover a fumble on a kickoff return during the game against the USC Trojans on December 2, 2006 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The UCLA Bruins defeated the USC Trojans 1
    Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    The USC Trojans had won 10 of their first 11 games and they looked like national champion favorites once more.

    All they had to do was get past their crosstown rival, UCLA. It looked like a cinch, especially since the Bruins weren't exactly a powerhouse that year.

    But USC took them lightly and the Bruins shocked the Trojans at the Rose Bowl, 13-9.

35. Pitt Over West Virginia (2007)

16 of 50

    MORGANTOWN, WV - DECEMBER 1: Pat Bostick #19 of the Pittsburgh Panthers calls the play during the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium on December 1, 2007 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Pittsburgh defeated West Virginia 13-9.
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The West Virginia Mountaineers were 10-1 coming into their game against Pitt and were 28-point favorites.

    All they needed was one more win to earn a berth into the BCS National Championship Game.

    But, two missed field goals, a lack of offense, and an inspired Pitt team ended those hopes as they knocked off the Mountaineers, 13-9.

34. Washington Over USC (2009)

17 of 50

    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies calls the play during the game against the USC Trojans on September 19, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Trojans 16-13. (Photo by Otto Gre
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    After going 11-1 and recording a decisive win in the Rose Bowl over Penn State to end the 2008 season, it looked like USC was going to be the big team on campus again in 2009.

    After a win over San Jose State and then beating Ohio State on the road in the second week of the season, the college football world had a right to think the Trojans were going to be dangerous.

    But Washington's home stadium is not an easy place to win and USC found that out the hard way. No one saw an 16-13 win from Washington coming, but it came nonetheless.

33. Miami (OH) Over LSU (1986)

18 of 50

    In 1986, the quarterback leading Miami (OH) University was Terry Morris, a guy who would lead his school to the biggest win in school history.

    They traveled to Baton Rouge, where LSU has never been easy to beat. The Tigers were ranked eighth at the time and it didn't seem like a game the Redhawks would have a chance to win.

    Well, not only did they have a chance, but they knocked off the LSU Tigers, on the road, 21-12.

32. LSU Over Alabama (1993)

19 of 50

    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    The 1993 season is not one that Alabama wants to remember, at least not fondly.

    It was the season that they were forced to forfeit wins after it was discovered that Antonio Langham signed with an agent after the 1992 season.

    Prior to that, the Tide had run up their winning streak to 31 games after a 40-0 beating of Southern Miss.

    The Tigers came in to Tuscaloosa and knocked off Alabama 17-13.

    The Tide would have to forfeit all games that Langham played in, dropping their official record that year to 1-12.

31. Mississippi State Over Florida (2004)

20 of 50

    GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 13:  Running back Skyler Thornton #25 of the Florida Gators runs upfield against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2004 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated South Carol
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Florida Gators came in to the 2004 season under head coach Ron Zook ranked 10th in the preseason polls.

    Little did they know, it would be Zook's final season.

    They won four of their first six games with the only losses coming against 13th-ranked Tennessee at Neyland Stadium and 24th-ranked LSU at The Swamp.

    Two losses to ranked teams doesn't sound all that bad, but it was in their seventh game of the year that things unraveled for the Gators.

    They traveled to Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., and were beaten by the Bulldogs, 38-31. That loss would be the final straw as the university fired Ron Zook but allowed him to coach the rest of the season.

30. Georgia Tech Over Alabama (1981)

21 of 50

    The 1981 season is not looked upon fondly by Georgia Tech or the fans that remember that year. The team had just one win.

    The second game of the 1981 season was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., against the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

    When the dust settled, the Yellow Jackets shocked the Crimson Tide, 24-21. The Tide would recover from that loss to win their ninth SEC title in 11 years.

29. Texas Tech Over Texas (2008)

22 of 50

    LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Michael Crabtree #5 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders carries the ball into the end zone to score the winning touchdown during the game against the Texas Longhorns on November 1, 2008 at Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas.  (Photo by
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    It was an upset that none of us saw coming but one that we all saw on national television.

    The Red Raiders were ranked fifth in the nation and were up against a high-powered, not to mention No. 1-ranked, Texas Longhorns team.

    The Red Raiders jumped out quickly to the surprise of everyone but the Texas Tech fans in attendance and watching on television.

    They jumped out to a 19-0 lead and led 29-13 by the end of the third quarter. But, as we knew was bound to happen at some point, the Longhorns came storming back with back-to-back touchdowns to pull to within three, 29-26.

    Texas would take the lead on a Vondrell McGee four-yard touchdown run with just under a minute-and-a-half left.

    But the Red Raiders had some magic left thanks to quarterback Graham Harrell. He led them down the field and, with just seconds left, hit wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who eluded a tackler at the five-yard line and scored what would be the winning touchdown.

    Texas Tech shocked Texas that night, 39-33.

28. Michigan State Over Ohio State (1998)

23 of 50

    21 Nov 1998:  Fullback Matt Keller #23 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in action during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at the Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines 31-16. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Ohio State was the preseason No. 1 pick and the overall favorite to be the national champions that year.

    Through eight games, it played like national championship favorites as well, winning all eight games, scoring less than 30 points just once.

    The Buckeyes took a quick 17-3 lead in the first quarter and it looked like they were going to run away with their ninth straight win.

    They had a 24-18 lead going into the fourth quarter but the Spartans put up 10 points in the quarter to shock the top-ranked Buckeyes, 28-24.

    That loss would keep Ohio State out of the national championship game, although the loss to Michigan State would be their only loss all year.

27. Jacksonville State Over Ole Miss (2010)

24 of 50

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Brandon Bolden #34 of the Ole Miss Rebels against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Ole Miss Rebels had gotten themselves involved in the drama that had gone on at the University of Oregon and all their off-the-field problems.

    They took on a player the Oregon Ducks had kicked off the team, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Though there were some hiccups getting through the NCAA, they eventually cleared him to play and he became the starter for the Rebels, but not for their season-opening game.

    As with just about every SEC team, there's always a cupcake team or two on the schedule to get ready for the upcoming conference schedule.

    The first of which came at home against Jacksonville State, a team unknown to just about everyone in Division I football.

    It looked like it was going to be another SEC blowout after Ole Miss took a 31-10 lead at the end of the first half thanks to big touchdown passes from quarterback Nathan Stanley.

    Jacksonville State scored just three points in the third quarter and it looked like the game was going to be a foregone conclusion.

    However, they would score 21 points in the fourth quarter and send the game into overtime. The two sides would stay tied through the first overtime but Jacksonville State came up with one last big play to shock the Rebels in the second overtime, 49-48.

26. Louisiana Tech Over Alabama (1999)

25 of 50

    The Alabama Crimson Tide were ranked 20th in the preseason under third-year head coach Mike DuBose.

    The Tide had knocked off Vanderbilt and Houston to start the season when they welcomed Louisiana Tech to take on the 18th-ranked Alabama football team.

    The Bulldogs came into Legion Field and shocked Alabama with a last-second win, 29-28.

25. Utah Over Alabama (2008)

26 of 50

    SALT LAKE CITY - NOVEMBER 22:  Matt Asiata #4 of the Utah Utes runs with the ball against the BYU Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The 2008 Utah Utes made it to their second BCS game, the Sugar Bowl. Their opponent that day was the University of Alabama.

    The Utes finished the season as one of only two unbeaten teams, the other being Boise State, but the BCS polls showed the Utes as the more deserving team to be in this game.

    There were a lot of people talking about this game leading up to it. No one thought Utah stood a chance, not against the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide.

    Utah took all of that talking, all of those expectations of them to lose, and turned it into fuel that day.

    The Utes jumped out to a shocking 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. They knocked off the Tide, 31-17, in a game that was never close from the start.

24. Illinois Over Michigan (1924)

27 of 50

    It was the day of the dedication of Illinois' new football stadium, Memorial Stadium, and they were facing a Michigan team that hadn't lost in two years.

    This was the game that earned Harold "Red" Grange his nickname, "Galloping Ghost."

    Michigan's athletic director, Fielding Yost, assured the media that they could handle Grange and would have their eye on him every time he had the ball in his hands.

    Words were not enough in this one as Grange couldn't be caught, hence the "ghost." He would run for five touchdowns and pass for one more in Illinois' 39-14 win over the Wolverines.

23. James Madison Over Virginia Tech (2010)

28 of 50

    Virginia Tech was expected to be a good football team when the 2010 season opened with a highly anticipated matchup against Boise State. There were those who didn't think Boise State stood a chance against the Hokies.

    Well, Virginia Tech would hang with Boise until a late touchdown pass from Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore put the game on ice.

    So, the Hokies licked their wounds and got ready for a non-conference game at home against James Madison. This should be a cinch, right?

    The Hokies would take a 13-7 lead into the half, but were outscored 14-3 in the second half as James Madison took the upset on the road, 21-16.

22. Boston College Over Notre Dame (1993)

29 of 50

    4 Sep 1993:  Wide receiver Kenyatta Watson of the Boston College Eagles moves down the field during a game against the Miami Hurricanes at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    A showdown for the ages between these two teams. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were national championship contenders in 1993 and they looked well on their way.

    The Irish had won their first 10 games before they played host to the Golden Eagles on Nov. 20, 1993.

    But it looked like Boston College was going to take this one, and easily, as it led 38-17 with just 11 minutes left.

    However, Notre Dame fought its way back to a 39-38 lead—but a 41-yard field goal iced it for Boston College, 41-39.

21. Kansas State Over Oklahoma (2003)

30 of 50

    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 6:  Defensive back James McGill #8 and tackle Jon Doty #79 of the Kansas State Wildcats celebrate after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship on December 6, 2003 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Head coach Bill Snyder and the 2003 Kansas State Wildcats were ranked seventh in the preseason and would end the season with the 14th ranking and an 11-4 record that year.

    They had won 10 of their first 13 games and were headed to the Big 12 Championship game against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma.

    What was expected to be a game Oklahoma would easily win turned into a blowout of epic proportions as the Wildcats put a 35-7 beating on the Sooners to claim the Big 12 Championship.

20. Colorado Over Michigan (1994)

31 of 50

    Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

    A game that will forever be called "The Miracle at Michigan."

    Colorado had taken a 14-9 lead at the half but Michigan scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, giving the Wolverines a quite comfortable 26-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.

    The Buffaloes would get a touchdown to pull it to within 26-21 but the momentum looked to be too little, too late.

    Colorado would have the ball last and quarterback Kordell Stewart would get his team to their own 36-yard line. But, with just six seconds left, Michigan all but had this game wrapped up.

    Stewart took the final snap and heaved it 70 yards down the field, where it was tipped by Blake Anderson and right into the hands of Colorado receiver Michael Westbrook.

    The Buffaloes won the game, 27-26.

    What's even crazier than that was the quote given to the Colorado media guide by running back Rashaan Salaam prior to the 1994 season.

    He was asked what would be his favorite SportsCenter highlight. He said, "We're on our 2 yard line, and with 2 seconds to go, Kordell pitches me the ball. I throw a 98-yard touchdown pass to Michael Westbrook and the Buffs win the game."

    He got closer than he ever thought he would.

19. Cincinnati Over Wisconsin (1999)

32 of 50

    13 Nov 1999: Ron Dayne #33 of the Wisconsin Badgers carries the ball  during the game against the  Iowa Hawkeyes at the Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. The Badgers defeated the Hawkeyes 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman  /Allsport
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Wisconsin had everything going for it.

    It had a running back by the name of Ron Dayne who would eventually go on to win the Heisman Trophy, and they were heavily favored over Cincinnati.

    But the Bearcats defense allowed Dayne in the end zone just once and pulled out a shocking 17-12 win over the Badgers.

    However, Wisconsin did go on to win the Rose Bowl that year.

18. Oklahoma Over Florida State (2000)

33 of 50

    2 Dec 2000: Tim Duncan #40 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates his field goal in the fourth quarter with teammate Patrick Fletcher #16 during the Big 12 Championship against the Kansas State Wildcats at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Oklahoma
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Coming in to the 2000 season, the Florida State Seminoles were the reigning national champions and looked to be headed to their second straight BCS title.

    They had won 11 of their first 12 games and, as most thought, they were headed back to defend their national championship against the Oklahoma Sooners.

    Little did they know, they were in for a bigger battle than they realized.

    It was a defensive struggle all the way though, neither team really able to put points on the board.

    The Sooners had a 3-0 lead at the half and would extend it to 6-0 by the end of the third quarter.

    Quentin Griffin scored Oklahoma's only touchdown of the game, a 10-yard run to the end zone that put the game away for good. It gave Oklahoma their seventh national title in school history and their first under Bob Stoops, who was in his second season as head coach.

17. Boise State Over Oklahoma (2006)

34 of 50

    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Aiona Key #84 of the Boise State Broncos celebates after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 43-42 at the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2007 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Get
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Like Utah before them, the Boise State Broncos headed in to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl as the underdogs against the Oklahoma Sooners.

    This wasn't a game in which the Broncos were even supposed to challenge the Sooners. They had no chance.

    What this game turned out to be was one of the best bowl games in BCS history.

    Like Utah, Boise State took control of the game and, by the third quarter, the Broncos had built up a 28-10 lead, silencing the Sooner fans in attendance.

    But, just when you thought Boise was about to run away with it, Oklahoma fired back and scored 25 unanswered points to take a 35-28 lead late in the fourth quarter with just over a minute left.

    That was enough time for the Broncos to get down the field to the Oklahoma 35-yard line. Quarterback Jared Zabransky connected with wide receiver Drisan James.

    Just when it looked like James was about to be tackled, he lateraled the ball to Jerard Rabb, who took it the rest of the way for the touchdown. The extra point would tie the game and send it to overtime.

    Oklahoma struck first, a 25-yard touchdown run from running back Adrian Peterson to put the Sooners on top by seven with the extra point.

    The Broncos had one more trick up their sleeve. Zabransky went in motion to the left and backup running back Vinny Perretta took the snap. Perretta rolled to his right and threw a perfect pass to tight end Derek Schouman to pull the Broncos to within one.

    Head coach Chris Petersen didn't want the tie, he wanted the win, and so did his team.

    Zabransky took the snap and faked a throw with his right arm, holding the ball behind him with his left. The Sooners bought it hook, line and sinker. Running back Ian Johnson took the ball from behind Zabransky's back and ran in for the 2-point conversion and the win.

16. NC State Over Florida State (1998)

35 of 50

    3 Oct 1998:  Quarterback Chris Weinke #16 of the Florida State Seminoles prepares to throw a pass during a game against the Maryland Terrapins at the Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The Seminoles defeated the Terrapins 24-10.
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The 1997 Florida State football team posted an 11-1 season and a 31-14 win over Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl.

    The 1998 season was going to be Florida State's shot at a national championship.

    They were ranked second in the nation going into the season and they looked every bit of it after a 23-14 win over 14th-ranked Texas A&M.

    However, their second game of the year came on the road against NC State. It wasn't a ranked opponent, so you wouldn't think the Seminoles would have much problem taking down the Wolfpack.

    Unfortunately for the Seminoles, the day wouldn't go as planned. Quarterback Chris Weinke was intercepted six times as NC State upset Florida State, 24-7.

    However, that loss wouldn't deter the Seminoles. They would go on to the national championship game where they would be beaten by Tennessee, 23-16.

15. Oregon State Over Washington (1985)

36 of 50

    To say Oregon State was a long shot would a tremendous understatement. In fact, the Washington Huskies were 37-point favorites coming in to this game.

    Though the Beavers held tough against the Huskies, they trailed 20-14 with little time left in the game. But they forced Washington to punt, then came up with the block and ran it in for the touchdown.

    They added the extra point and shocked Washington, 21-20.

14. Kansas Over Oklahoma (1975)

37 of 50

    The Oklahoma Sooners were the dominant team in football. They were riding a 37-game winning streak and came in to the 1975 season with the No. 2 ranking in the country and as defending national champions.

    The Jayhawks came in to the game not only unranked, but they hadn't beaten Oklahoma in 11 years.

    That came to an abrupt half on this day as the Sooners turned the ball over eight times and allowed Kansas to run away with a 23-3 win.

    Despite that loss, Oklahoma would still go on to the win the national championship that year, its second straight.

13. Notre Dame Over Oklahoma (1957)

38 of 50

    The Oklahoma Sooners came in to this game against Notre Dame holding a 47-game winning streak. If you think about it, that's four years without a loss. Pretty impressive, right?

    It was a defensive battle for almost the entire game, with neither team able to put the ball in the end zone.

    Oklahoma looked flat, almost like they expected to walk in the building and Notre Dame was going to hand them the win.

    The Irish got a late turnover and turned it in to a 20-play scoring drive to put a stop to that win streak with a 7-0 win.

12. Cal Over Stanford (1982)

39 of 50

    This is a game that sticks out in just about every college football fan's memory as one of the greatest finishes in college football history.

    I call it the "band is out on the field" game, but for the rest of the historians, it's simply called, "The Play."

    For those of you who haven't heard this brilliant and epic call by the legendary Joe Starkey of the final play, you have to look it up to appreciate it.

    Down 20-19, Cal took a kickoff and after several laterals and no flags, Kevin Moen ran the ball into the end zone. But, just before he would get there, Starkey yelled out, "OH, THE BAND IS OUT ON THE FIELD."

    Apparently Moen didn't realize it or didn't care as he leaped into the air in the end zone, absolutely crushing Stanford trombone player Gary Tyrell, who is famously seen in this picture just before Moen runs into him.

    Cal won the game 25-20, but Stanford still has it down in their records as a Cardinal win, 20-19, arguing that one of the players had his knee down before lateraling the ball to another player.

11. Stanford Over USC (2007)

40 of 50

    LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 6:  Bo McNally #22 of the Stanford University Cardinal tackles Chauncey Washington #23 of the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum October 6, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    We always remember the games that are expected to be blowouts, especially when they end up going the other way.

    This is exactly that kind of example.

    In 2007, No. 1-ranked USC and Stanford met in Los Angeles with the Trojans favored by 40 points.

    Stanford's starting quarterback that year, T.C. Ostrander, suffered a seizure one day after their game against Arizona State and was held out of this game against USC.

    They would instead go with back up Tavita Pritchard and wouldn't regret that decision one bit.

    Down 23-14 late in the fourth, the Cardinal would close with 10 unanswered points, capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Pritchard to Mark Bradford to give Stanford an improbable 24-23 win.

10. Stanford Over Notre Dame (1990)

41 of 50

    13 Oct 1990:  Wide receiver Ed McCaffrey of the Stanford Cardinal in action during a game against the USC Trojans.  The USC Trojans won the game 37-22.   Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were national champions in 1988, had knocked off Colorado 21-6 in the Orange Bowl on New Year's 1990, and finished with a 12-1 record and the No. 2 ranking in the country.

    They looked just as strong going into the 1990 season, picking up three straight wins over Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

    However, they met up with Stanford in their fourth game of the year, and the Cardinal knocked off the heavily-favored Irish, 36-31.

9. Temple Over Virginia Tech (1998)

42 of 50

    28 Nov 1998:  Quarterback Al Clark #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies looks to throw during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Lane Stadium in Blackburgh, Virginia. Virginia defeated Virginia Tech 36-32. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran  /Allsport
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    This was supposed to be as lopsided a game as any.

    The Temple Owls were winless coming in to this game; the Hokies were the fifth-ranked team in the country and were favored by more than four touchdowns.

    The Owls were down by 17 at the half but rallied to shock Virginia Tech, 28-24.

8. Holy Cross Over Boston College (1942)

43 of 50

    The 1942 Boston College team was as good as you could imagine: national championship favorites, undefeated through eight games that season, and had given up a grand total of just 19 points through those eight games.

    Yeah, they weren't bad.

    On the other side, Holy Cross came into this game with an underwhelming 4-4-1 record.

    This wasn't how this game was supposed to go, or end for that matter.

    Holy Cross ended any national championship hopes for Boston College that day with a 55-12 blowout win.

7. Navy Over Army (1950)

44 of 50

    President Harry Truman at the 1950 Army/Navy game
    President Harry Truman at the 1950 Army/Navy game

    U.S. President Harry Truman, along with 110,000 other fans, saw Army come in as heavy favorites: 21-point favorites, to be exact.

    But five turnovers and not a single touchdown doomed Army in this one as Navy would pick up the win, 14-2.

6. Michigan Over Ohio State (1969)

45 of 50

    The 1969 Ohio State football team was called the "greatest team in college football history." They came in with a 22-game win streak and were defending national champions behind head coach Woody Hayes.

    On the flip slide, Michigan was trying to rebuild during a time that saw them go to just one Rose Bowl in 17 years.

    The Buckeyes didn't play at all up to their billing, turning the ball over seven times, including six interceptions, as they lost to the Wolverines, 24-12.

5. Ohio State Over Miami (2002)

46 of 50

    ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 22:  Running back Lydell Ross #30 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the football as linebacker Carl Diggs #43 of the Michigan Wolverines in the 100th meeting of the two teams November 22, 2003 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michi
    Danny Moloshok/Getty Images

    The 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes were coming off a 7-5 record, wanting badly to improve upon that and show it was a better team than that.

    They did exactly that the following year, winning all 13 of their non-conference and conference games, earning a berth into the national championship game.

    The game would take place on Jan. 3, 2003, in the Fiesta Bowl against 11.5-point favorite and defending national champion Miami.

    The Buckeyes took a 14-7 lead at the half, but Miami would battle back and trailed by three with just under two minutes to go.

    They would use one last drive to get inside Ohio State territory and nail a game-tying field goal with no time left on the clock to send the game into overtime.

    Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey found tight end Kellen Winslow to put Miami on the board first, but Ohio State would answer and tie the game up, sending it to a second overtime.

    Ohio State scored first in the second overtime to put them up 31-24, giving Miami a shot to tie the game up.

    Two penalties gave Miami new life, but the Buckeyes defense held and stuffed the Miami offense, winning the national championship.

4. Columbia Over Army (1947)

47 of 50

    The Army football team had an unbeaten streak that had reached 32 games coming in to their game against Columbia. Army was expected to make quick, though not quite painless, work of Columbia.

    It looked like they were going to do just that as Army led 20-7 at the half. But thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Lou Kusserow, Columbia got a shocking 21-20 win.

3. Carnegie Tech Over Notre Dame (1926)

48 of 50

    This was a game that Knute Rockne wished he would have never taken. Notre Dame wasn't supposed to lose this game.

    In fact, Rockne thought it was such a cinch, he headed up to Chicago to catch the Army/Navy game that year.

    Bad decision.

    Carnegie Tech led 13-0 at the half and wouldn't look back, upending the Irish, 19-0, and ending their national championship hopes that season.

2. Centre College Over Harvard (1921)

49 of 50

    While Harvard isn't exactly known for football these days, it was back then. And the Crimson were good, too.

    It made their matchup against Centre College look all the more lopsided.

    However, Centre College put up a solid defensive front, holding Harvard to a big zero. Centre would score a touchdown in the third quarter but would miss the extra point, but it didn't end up mattering.

    The upset was theirs, 6-0.

1. Appalachian State Over Michigan (2007)

50 of 50

    If you've never heard 100,000 fans gasp all at the same time, then you weren't at The Big House when Michigan suffered the biggest upset in college football history.

    Appalachian State, a team in the second tier of Division I, was coming in to Ann Arbor to get the thrashing it was paid for, roughly $400,000.

    The Wolverines wanted a warm-up game; they wanted an easy non-conference opponent.

    What they ended up getting was a blocked field goal at the end of the game and an up-close view of this small school no one knew anything about celebrating on their field.

    The Wolverines and their fans couldn't believe what happened. It was on their field in front of their fans.

    Believe it: a 34-32 upset win by now well-known Appalachian State.