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College Football’s Most Lopsided Championship Games

By Dave Martin
Epoch Times Staff
Created: January 12, 2013 Last Updated: January 14, 2013
Related articles: Sports » College Sports
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Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner (R) broke up a pass intended for DaVaris Daniels (L) that was then picked off by Alabama's Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix early in the third quarter. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner (R) broke up a pass intended for DaVaris Daniels (L) that was then picked off by Alabama's Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix early in the third quarter. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A year ago Alabama turned back LSU 21–0 in one of the more dominating defensive performances in a championship game ever recorded as the Tigers didn’t even reach mid-field until the fourth quarter. This year Alabama topped last year’s performance with a 42–14 win in a game that was over shortly after halftime. Where the dominating performance ranks among title games of the last 20 seasons is up for debate, but here we’ll rank the top five. On to the list:

5. Jan. 8, 2007: Florida 41, Ohio State 14

Ohio State’s Ted Ginn Jr. actually started this one with a 93-yard touchdown return to put the Buckeyes up 7–0, just seconds into the game. An unfazed Gator squad though, led by a pair of quarterbacks in senior Chris Leak and freshman Tim Tebow, scored a pair of touchdowns before the first quarter ended and then put up two more in the next quarter, plus a pair of field goals, to take a nearly insurmountable 34–14 lead into halftime.

Meanwhile, an out-of-sync Buckeyes offense managed little against Urban Meyer’s defense. Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith finished just 4/14 passing for 35 yards as the offense as a whole managed just 82 total yards in the loss.

Tom Osborne’s club racked up 524 rushing yards, gained 27 first downs, out-gained the Gators 183 yards to zero in the second quarter, while outscoring them 29–0, and held Steve Spurrier’s team to -28 yards rushing on the game.

Why here: The Florida defense, in terms of statistics anyway, was probably even more dominating than Alabama’s last year (10 fewer yards than the Tide gave up in 2012 in a 21-0 romp over LSU) though they allowed 14 points.

4. Jan. 7, 2013: Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14

Defending champion Alabama, which boasted the nation’s best offensive line, scored touchdowns on each of their first three possessions against Notre Dame’s stout defense, led by All-American linebacker Manti Te’o, and led 28–0 at halftime. The 28 points was already a season’s worst by the Irish’s defense, which had allowed just 10.3 points per game heading into the contest.

Unfortunately for the Irish, the other side of the ball was controlled by Alabama as well. The offense mustered just 32 rushing yards (compared to Alabama’s 265) and didn’t get on the scoreboard until 4:08 was left in the third, with the Tide already ahead 35–0.

Why here: Though in terms of total yards Florida’s win over Ohio State was a little more lopsided, this game was essentially over when Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson was intercepted on the Irish’s first series after halftime.

3. Jan. 3, 2002: Miami 37, Nebraska 14

The Cornhuskers, fresh off a 62–36 loss to Colorado that knocked them out of their own conference title match, somehow (through a string of other losses) made it to the big game, where the Hurricanes quickly dispatched the unpopular notion that Nebraska belonged there in the first place.

Miami, with a roster stacked with future NFL stars Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, and Jeremy Shockey (and that’s just on offense), quickly blitzed Nebraska with a 27-point second quarter to take a commanding 34–0 lead into halftime and were never threatened after.

Why here: The game was probably over by the second quarter, and had the Hurricanes stayed aggressive, this one could have been a lot worse.

2. Jan. 4, 2005: USC 55, Oklahoma 19

After USC was snubbed the year before in their bid for a BCS title-game berth (LSU beat Oklahoma instead), the Trojans came out with a vengeance and knocked the Sooners, with stars Adrian Peterson and Jason White, out of the game by the second quarter.

Matt Leinart tore through Oklahoma’s defense for 332 yards passing and five touchdowns in USC’s 55–19 rout in the 2005 Orange Bowl. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Matt Leinart tore through Oklahoma’s defense for 332 yards passing and five touchdowns in USC’s 55–19 rout in the 2005 Orange Bowl. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Despite scoring the game’s first touchdown, the Sooners defense soon became unraveled and found themselves behind 38–10 after two quarters, and 55–10 early in the fourth.

Trojans quarterback and newly minted Heisman Award-winner Matt Leinart threw five touchdowns on the day while former Heisman winner Jason White was picked off three times.

Why here: A tough call over Miami’s romp (both were essentially over by halftime) but USC gets bonus points in that the win came against much better competition.

1. Jan. 2, 1996: Nebraska 62, Florida 24

The lopsided score doesn’t even say it all. Tom Osborne’s club racked up 524 rushing yards, gained 27 first downs, out-gained the Gators 183 yards to zero in the second quarter, while outscoring them 29–0, and held Steve Spurrier’s team to -28 yards rushing on for the game.

Both Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier (199 yards rushing) and running back Lawrence Phillips (165) ran wild on the Florida defense, while the 62 points scored are still a Fiesta Bowl record.

Florida’s only statistical advantage (297–105 in passing yards) yielded three interceptions while quarterback Danny Wuerffel was sacked seven times.

Why here: Another tough call here over USC but Nebraska’s performance just kept going. Up 35–10 at the half they didn’t let up (though their backups were playing) until their final drive, mercifully electing to take a knee while in the red zone to prevent further embarrassment.

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