When Texas Tech upset the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma 41-38 Saturday Night, it was as a 28 point underdog. Yep you read that right the Sooners were favored to win that game by 4 Touchdowns, and lost at home. It was an upset that threw the BCS into total chaos, but I’m not sure it’s getting the proper credit as one of the greatest upsets ever in College Football.
I watched the game stunned as the top 5 Sooners were on their heels the entire game. So where does it rank? I don’t think it’s fair to rank games that I wasn’t around to get a next day reaction, but I still can go back quite a few years.
1. Appalachian St. 34 Michigan 32: September 1, 2007
The upset by which all other recent upsets are compared to. The Wolverines were ranked 5th in the country and while App State was the reigning FCS Champions. An FCS school had never defeated a ranked BCS school. A blocked FG attempt ended the Wolverines chance at victory as the nation stared in disbelief at the final score.
2. Stanford 24 USC 23: October 6, 2007
Stanford entered this game as a whopping 41 point underdog to the mighty USC Trojans and hadn’t lost at home since 2001. The Trojans were ranked #1 in the Coaches poll and #2 in the AP Poll, and were at height of the powers under Pete Carroll.
3. Temple 28 Virginia Tech 24: October 18, 1998
I remember seeing this score and my jaw dropped. Temple entered the game 0-6 and hadn’t beaten a ranked team in more than 10 years. Virginia Tech was 5-0 and ranked 14th in the country. Temple was 0-26 in Big East Road games. Let’s just say the 2011 Kansas Jayhawks would beat that Temple team by 10 points, but on that day the Hokies could not.
4. Boise St 43 Oklahoma 42: January 1, 2007
Great game or great upset? I think this was one of the greatest upsets in recent because of what it meant. A non-BCS school defeated a highly ranked elite BCS in a major bowl. Not many people gave Boise St. a chance, but the game proved a non-BCS school could play at the highest level in the biggest games.
5. Penn State 14 Miami 10: January 2, 1987
This game was so long ago, even I was a kid when it was played, but I’ll never forget this one. The Hurricanes entered the game as of the greatest teams ever seen in college football outscoring their opponents 420-136. They were arrogant, brash, and really good. Joe Paterno and Penn State pulled a stunner for the ages.
6. Pittsburgh 13 West Virginia 9: December 1, 2007
There sure were a lot of big upsets in 2007 weren’t there? Pittsburgh entered the game as 28 1/2 point underdogs. West Virginia was within one game of going to the BCS Title game, but their arch rivals Pittsburgh would have none of it. I think I took Pitt and the spread. They made me pretty happy that night.
7. James Madison 21 Virginia Tech 16: September, 12, 2010
I hope Hokie fans don’t think I’m being rough on them, because they are on this list twice. When you get highly ranked so often, well there are going to some upsets. In 2010 the Hokies entered the season as darkhorse national title contenders. After losing to Boise St. in week, the #13 Hokies followed that with a stunning loss to FCS school James Madison.
8. Jacksonville St 49 Ole Miss 48: September 5, 2010
Ole Miss from the mighty SEC was expected to breeze through this game with FCS school Jacksonville St. What was the most shocking thing about this game? The Rebels led at Halftime 31-10 before losing in double overtime.
9. Texas Tech 41 Oklahoma 38: October 23, 2011
Oklahoma almost never loses at home. They had won 39 home games in a row, were ranked #3 in the country and were 4 touchdown favorites. The Red Raiders didn’t care as they played brilliantly in pulling off the biggest upset of the 2011 season so far.
10. NC State 24 Florida State 7: September 13, 1998
To fully understand this upset you have realize just how good the Florida State Seminoles were in the 1990s. Top 5 finishes were automatic; winning in the ACC was virtually automatic. The Seminoles came into the game ranked #2 in the country, were an incredible 47-1 in the ACC, and were 25 point favorites in this game. After the Wolfpack’s win the Noles were 47-2 in the ACC. Ok then won their next 23 ACC games.