ncaa The Biggest College Bowl Game Upsets Ever  

Blake Edwards
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The biggest college bowl game upsets include dozens of college football games that defied all expert predictions and shocked the country. One fine NCAA Football team went in with every expectation of bringing home a victory but they either failed or were simply overpowered by their opponent and went home upset. These games might not have played out how everyone expected, but more often than not it made these games even more exciting.

Even before NCAA Division I football started using the Bowl Championship Series, at the end of each season teams play in bowl games rather than participate in a standard playoff system. To become eligible, teams must win at least half of their games but even after that requirement is met, the bowl game match-ups are still up to the sponsors. Normally, this creates games with well-matched opponents but sometimes, especially in these cases, one team enters as a clear favorite. In case you haven't already guessed, sometimes that favorite crashes and burns.

That was the case for all of these bowl game upsets but just like some bowl games are more meaningful than others, some of these upsets are more memorable as well. Take the 2007 BCS National Championship Game for example. The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes entered with a win streak of 19 games and were the clear-cut favorite against the Florida Gators. Head coach Urban Meyer and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow never got that memo as they ran right over the Buckeyes 41-14 to win the National Championship.

Other games have not come with national championship consequences but that didn't make the upset any easier to deal with for the losing players. Close games, such as those who go into overtime, are especially tough for the upset players, such as the 2000 Sugar Bowl between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Michigan Wolverines. Then-Michigan quarterback Tom Brady led the Wolverines back from two 14-point deficits to force overtime but it was a missed field goal from the Alabama kicker in the extra session that cost the Crimson Tide the game.

Whether teams are heavily favored to win a college bowl game and lose or dominate the entire contest only to fall from one bad play, these college bowl game upsets will be remembered as the best of the best.
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1
1,485 368
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2007 Fiesta Bowl Boise State 43 - Oklahoma 42

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2
1,003 392
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1986 Sugar Bowl Tennessee 35 - Miami 7

3
735 327
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2009 Sugar Bowl Utah 31 - Alabama 17

4
177 79
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maccyjg added 1990 Liberty Bowl Air Force 23, Ohio State 11

5
410 344
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2008 Fiesta Bowl West Virginia 48 - Oklahoma 28

6
316 300
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1987 Fiesta Bowl Penn State 14 - Miami 10

7
272 303
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2003 Fiesta Bowl Ohio State 31 - Miami 24

8
52 29
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NickMarica added 1995 SUGAR BOWL Virginia Tech 28, Texas 10. Virtually no one gave Tech a chance in this game, and they outplayed Texas....

9
277 303
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2006 Sugar Bowl West Virginia 38 - Georgia 35

10
243 229
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Ozarkbilly added 1978 Orange Bowl Arkansas 31 - Oklahoma 6 6th ranked Arkansas upsets 2nd ranked Oklahoma, Arkansas is an '18 point underdog' in this game. Lou Holtz in his 1st year as head coach at Arkansas pulls off the upset! Roland Sales and Ron Calcagni in ...

11
135 138
1990 Orange Bowl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Biggest College Bowl Game Upsets Ever
mdillinger88 added 1990 Orange Bowl Colorado 10 Notre Dame 9

12
325 330
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2011 Rose Bowl TCU 21 - Wisconsin 19

13
127 109
1975 fiesta bowl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Biggest College Bowl Game Upsets Ever
dldewitt added 1975 fiesta bowl arizona state 17 - oklahoma 14

14
176 173
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buster_d added 1951 Sugar Bowl Oklahoma vs Kentucky

15
264 304
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2006 Rose Bowl Texas 41 - USC 38

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16
26 17
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WilliamThomasDoro added 2012 sugar bowl Louisville: 30; Florida: 20

17
190 257
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2007 Hawai'i Bowl East Carolina 41 - Boise State 38

18
168 188
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Ozarkbilly added 1978 Orange Bowl Ark. 31 - Okla. 6

19
40 25
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John Sayer added 1984 Orange Bowl

20
259 336
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2007 BCS National Championship Game Florida 41 - Ohio State 14

21
185 244
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2008 Capital One Bowl Michigan 41 - Florida 35

22
154 217
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2000 Orange Bowl Michigan 35 - Alabama 34

23
102 185
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1984 Cotton Bowl Georgia 10 - Texas 9

24
95 197
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2003 Insight Bowl California 52 - Virginia Tech 49

25
103 218
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1992 Sugar Bowl Notre Dame 39 - Florida 28

26
103 178
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1998 Alamo Bowl Purdue 37 - Kansas State 34

27
120 213
1997 Sugar Bowl is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Biggest College Bowl Game Upsets Ever
1997 Sugar Bowl Florida 52 - Florida State 20

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107 195
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1999 Rose Bowl Wisconsin 38 - UCLA 31

29
37 174
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2002 Sugar Bowl LSU 47 - Illinois 34