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Defeating Number One in College Football

Posted by Andrew McKillop on January 26, 2011

Below is a listing of all occurrences where the #1 ranked team in the AP Poll was defeated.

Legend: Sea (Season), Rk (AP Poll Rank), Sc (Game Score)

Sea Date Rk Winner AP #1 Sc
1936 31-Oct #3 Northwestern Minnesota 6-0
1936 21-Nov #11 Notre Dame Northwestern 26-6
1938 5-Nov #19 Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh 20-10
1938 3-Dec #8 USC Notre Dame 13-0
1939 21-Oct Duquesne Pittsburgh 21-13
1942 31-Oct #6 Wisconsin Ohio St 17-7
1942 21-Nov Auburn n Georgia 27-13 Columbus, GA
1942 28-Nov Holy Cross Boston College 55-12
1943 27-Nov Great Lakes Notre Dame 19-14
1949 8-Oct #7 Army at Michigan 21-7
1950 7-Oct Purdue at Notre Dame 28-14
1950 4-Nov #7 Texas SMU 23-20
1950 18-Nov #8 Illinois Ohio St 14-7
1950 1-Jan #3 Kentucky n Oklahoma 13-7 Sugar Bowl
1951 20-Oct #11 USC at California 21-14
1951 1-Jan #3 Maryland n Tennessee 28-13 Sugar Bowl
1952 11-Oct Ohio St Wisconsin 23-14
1953 1-Jan #4 Oklahoma n Maryland 7-0 Orange Bowl
1954 2-Oct #19 Purdue at Notre Dame 27-14
1955 24-Sep #5 Maryland UCLA 7-0
1956 27-Oct Illinois Michigan St 20-13
1957 19-Oct Purdue at Michigan St 20-13
1957 16-Nov #20 Rice Texas A&M 7-6
1959 7-Nov #13 Tennessee LSU 14-13
1960 5-Nov #3 Minnesota Iowa 27-10
1960 12-Nov Purdue at Minnesota 23-14
1961 4-Nov Minnesota Michigan St 13-0
1961 18-Nov TCU at Texas 6-0
1962 6-Oct UCLA Ohio St 9-7
1962 10-Nov #8 Wisconsin Northwestern 37-6
1962 17-Nov Georgia Tech Alabama 7-6
1963 28-Sep #3 Oklahoma at USC 17-12
1963 12-Oct #2 Texas n Oklahoma 28-7 Dallas, TX
1964 26-Sep Kentucky n Mississippi 27-21 Jackson (MS)
1964 17-Oct #8 Arkansas at Texas 14-13
1964 28-Nov USC Notre Dame 20-17
1964 1-Jan #5 Texas n Alabama 21-17 Orange Bowl
1965 25-Sep #6 Purdue Notre Dame 25-21
1965 16-Oct #3 Arkansas Texas 27-24
1965 1-Jan #5 UCLA n Michigan St 14-12 Rose Bowl
1967 30-Sep #10 Purdue Notre Dame 28-21
1967 11-Nov Oregon St USC 3-0
1967 18-Nov #4 USC UCLA 21-20
1968 12-Oct #4 Ohio St Purdue 13-0
1969 22-Nov #12 Michigan Ohio St 24-12
1970 1-Jan #6 Notre Dame n Texas 24-11 Cotton Bowl
1972 9-Sep UCLA Nebraska 20-17
1974 9-Nov Michigan St Ohio St 16-13
1975 1-Jan #11 UCLA n Ohio St 23-10 Rose Bowl
1976 6-Nov Purdue Michigan 16-14
1977 8-Oct #7 Alabama at USC 21-20
1977 22-Oct Minnesota Michigan 16-0
1977 2-Jan #5 Notre Dame n Texas 38-10 Cotton Bowl
1978 23-Sep #7 USC at Alabama 24-14
1978 11-Nov #4 Nebraska Oklahoma 17-14
1978 1-Jan #2 Alabama n Penn St 14-7 Sugar Bowl
1979 1-Jan #3 USC n Ohio St 17-16 Rose Bowl
1980 1-Nov Mississippi St Alabama 6-3
1981 12-Sep Wisconsin Michigan 21-14
1981 19-Sep #11 Michigan Notre Dame 25-7
1981 10-Oct Arizona at USC 13-10
1981 17-Oct Arkansas Texas 42-11
1981 31-Oct Miami FL Penn St 17-14
1981 28-Nov #11 Penn St at Pittsburgh 48-14
1982 6-Nov Notre Dame at Pittsburgh 31-16
1982 1-Jan #2 Penn St n Georgia 27-23 Sugar Bowl
1983 2-Jan #5 Miami FL n Nebraska 31-30 Orange Bowl
1984 27-Aug #10 Miami FL n Auburn 20-18 Kickoff Classic
1984 8-Sep #14 Michigan Miami FL 22-14
1984 29-Sep Syracuse Nebraska 17-9
1984 10-Nov #14 USC Washington 16-7
1984 17-Nov #6 Oklahoma at Nebraska 17-7
1985 28-Sep Tennessee Auburn 38-20
1985 2-Nov #8 Ohio St Iowa 22-13
1985 9-Nov #17 Georgia n Florida 24-3 Jacksonville, FL
1985 1-Jan #3 Oklahoma n Penn St 25-10 Orange Bowl
1986 27-Sep #2 Miami FL Oklahoma 28-16
1986 2-Jan #2 Penn St n Miami FL 14-10 Fiesta Bowl
1987 1-Jan #2 Miami FL n Oklahoma 20-14 Orange Bowl
1988 3-Sep #6 Miami FL Florida St 31-0
1988 15-Oct #4 Notre Dame Miami FL 31-30
1988 29-Oct Washington St at UCLA 34-30
1989 25-Nov #7 Miami FL Notre Dame 27-10
1989 1-Jan #4 Notre Dame n Colorado 21-6 Orange Bowl
1990 8-Sep #16 BYU Miami FL 28-21
1990 6-Oct Stanford at Notre Dame 36-31
1990 13-Oct Michigan St at Michigan 28-27
1990 3-Nov #16 Georgia Tech at Virginia 41-38
1990 17-Nov #18 Penn St at Notre Dame 24-21
1991 16-Nov #2 Miami FL at Florida St 17-16
1992 7-Nov #12 Arizona Washington 16-3
1992 1-Jan #2 Alabama n Miami FL 34-13 Sugar Bowl
1993 13-Nov #2 Notre Dame Florida St 31-24
1993 20-Nov #17 Boston College at Notre Dame 41-39
1994 15-Oct #6 Auburn at Florida 36-33
1996 21-Sep #17 Arizona St Nebraska 19-0
1996 30-Nov #2 Florida St Florida 24-21
1996 2-Jan #3 Florida n Florida St 52-20 Sugar Bowl
1997 11-Oct #14 LSU Florida 28-21
1998 7-Nov Michigan St at Ohio St 28-24
2000 7-Oct #7 Miami FL Florida St 27-24
2000 28-Oct #3 Oklahoma Nebraska 31-14
2001 13-Oct Auburn Florida 23-20
2002 9-Nov Texas A&M Oklahoma 30-26
2002 3-Jan #2 Ohio St n Miami FL 31-24 Fiesta Bowl
2003 6-Dec #13 Kansas St n Oklahoma 35-7 B12 Championship
2005 4-Jan #2 Texas n USC 41-38 Rose Bowl
2006 8-Jan #2 Florida n Ohio St 41-14 BCS Championship
2007 13-Oct #17 Kentucky LSU 43-37
2007 10-Nov Illinois at Ohio St 28-21
2007 23-Nov Arkansas at LSU 50-48
2007 1-Dec #9 Oklahoma n Missouri 38-17 B12 Championship
2007 7-Jan #2 LSU n Ohio St 38-24 BCS Championship
2008 25-Sep Oregon St USC 27-21
2008 11-Oct #5 Texas n Oklahoma 45-35 Dallas, TX
2008 1-Nov #6 Texas Tech Texas 39-33
2008 6-Dec #2 Florida n Alabama 31-20 SEC Championship
2009 5-Dec #2 Alabama n Florida 32-13 SEC Championship
2010 9-Oct #19 South Carolina Alabama 35-21
2010 16-Oct #18 Wisconsin Ohio St 31-18



The Miami Hurricanes have upset the AP #1 team on nine occasions, the most upsets by any school all-time.

The season in which the AP #1 team was upset the most was in 1981.  There was a total of six upsets.

References: College-Football-Reference.com, College Football Data Warehouse, USA Today College Football Encyclopedia (2008) by Bob Boyles and Paul Guido

Also thank you to Tex Noel Executive Director of The Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association for providing additional information.

One Response to “Defeating Number One in College Football”

  1. […] Defeating Number One in College Football: SportsDelve’s Andrew McKillop lists every instance of an AP #1 being defeated. […]

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