College Football: Top 10 Bowl Game Upsets Of All Time
For every game that goes according to plan, there is "THE ONE."
The one game that shocks us all, the one that wasn't supposed to happen that way, the one that made us drop our jaw, drool and say, "Did I just see that?"
College football has a way of doing that to us. Upsets are expected in sports. These just stand out more.
Here are college football's 10 greatest upsets of all time.
10. 2013 Sugar Bowl: Louisville 33 Florida 24
So much was made of this game. The fact Florida came in third in the country and was a game away from playing in the BCS Championship. The fact Charlie Strong was bringing his Cardinals to New Orleans to play his former team where he was defensive coordinator. Strong and sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore up the Gators and proved they were a team on the rise.
9. 2009 Sugar Bowl: Utah 31 Alabama 17
Alabama came in a 10-point favorite. Utah did not let that stop them. Utah quarterback Brian Johnson was named Most Outstanding Player of the game. With this win, Utah completed the 2008 season as the only undefeated, 13–0 Division I FBS team in the nation, along with becoming the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS bowls.
8. 1984 Orange Bowl: Miami 31 Nebraska 30
It was the signature game that helped put the ‘Canes on the map. Nebraska with Turner Gill and Mike Rozier were more than eager to show how great they were. And he “little” Hurricanes were ready for the challenge. As a child growing up in Miami, the Hurricanes were always the inferior team in the state. On that night, they pulled off the biggest win of the school’s history of that time.
7. 1996 Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska 62 Florida 24
I tease my father about this one to this day. It wasn’t even close. With 29 points in the second quarter Tommie Frazier led his Cornhuskers to an early lead and shut down and shut out the Florida Gators and their “Fun and Gun” offense. Lawrence Phillips just ran away from a Florida defense that was considered one of the best ever.
6. 1987 Fiesta Bowl: Penn State 14 Miami 10
This was the first season the Fiesta Bowl joined the ranks of the major bowls. It was also a masterpiece coached by Joe Paterno. The vaunted Miami offense with weapons seemingly everywhere, could not score against Penn State. Linebacker Shane Conlan led the defensive charge for the Nittany Lions and DJ Dozier scored the go-ahead touchdown with seven minutes in the contest.
5. 1978 Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame 38 Texas 10
The game was huge for so many reasons. First Bob Golic was named defensive MVP for the Fighting Irish who dominated the more than able Longhorns. The game was also significant in that Notre Dame leapfrogged the third ranked Crimson Tide to claim the national title that season.
4. 1990 Orange Bowl: Notre Dame 21 Colorado 6
Colorado entered the game undefeated and ranked number one in both polls, while Notre Dame entered the game coming off their only loss of the season to the rival Miami Hurricanes in the final week of the season. Notre Dame would spoil a championship season for the Buffaloes with a 21-6 victory, Colorado's loss allowed Miami to win the National Championship, with Notre Dame finishing number two.
3. 1997 Sugar Bowl: Florida 52 FSU 20
To this day I can recall everything about this game. And I remember being a graduate of the FSU, looking at the talent on the field and thinking this was football heaven. Before it was said and done, Steve Spurrier had exacted revenge for a 24-21 loss at home and with Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel throwing three scores, the Gators ran away early.
2. 2003 Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State 31 Miami 24 (Double Overtime)
Craig Krenzel at quarterback and Maurice Clarett at running back were just enough to compete with Miami. The Buckeyes beat Miami and snapped a 34-game winning streak. In a role reversal from the 1984 Orange Bowl, Miami had their luck come to an end. Krenzel ran 19 carries for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game.
1. 2006 Rose Bowl: Texas 41 USC 38
It may go down as the greatest college bowl game ever played. Vince Young and the Longhorns denied an NFL-laden group of players coached by Pete Carroll and two Heisman Trophy winners in Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush for the win, snapping a 34-game winning streak for the Trojans. The win was also the 800th in Texas history.