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College Football: Most Points in a Losing Effort

Posted by Andrew McKillop on September 3, 2011

Post Highlights

  • The most points scored in a losing effort by a FBS team is 67 points.  In 2007, Nevada lost to Boise State 69-67.
  • The most points scored in a losing effort by a ranked team is 51 points.  In 2000, No. 12 Michigan lost to Northwestern 51-54.
  • The most points scored in a losing effort in a bowl game is 61 points.  In 2001,   East Carolina lost to Marshall 64-61 in the GMAC Bowl.

 

Last night TCU opened their season with a disappointing 50-48 loss to Baylor.  It’s the most points TCU has scored in a losing effort.  Their 48 points also marks the fifth most points scored by a ranked team in a losing effort.  Check out the list below for more.


Important Note: The lists/compilations below only includes games in which the school was a member of the FBS/1-A division.

Most Points in a Losing Effort by a Ranked Team

Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score Mar
1 2000 12 Michigan at 21 Northwestern 51-54 -3
2 1997 12 Oklahoma St Missouri 50-51 -1
3t 1996 20 Auburn Georgia 49-56 -7
3t 1996 20 Southern Miss at Houston 49-56 -7
5t 1999 16 Georgia at 20 Georgia Tech 48-51 -3
5t 2007 1 LSU Arkansas 48-50 -2
5t 2011 14 TCU at Baylor 48-50 -2
5t 2005 14 Wisconsin at Northwestern 48-51 -3
9 2002 23 Texas A&M Texas Tech 47-48 -1
10t 2001 9 BYU at Hawaii 45-72 -27
10t 1984 12 Miami FL 10 Boston College 45-47 -2
10t 1980 19 SMU n 14 BYU 45-46 -1
10t 1998 3 UCLA at Miami FL 45-49 -4
10t 2002 18 Virginia Tech at 1 Miami FL 45-56 -11
15t 2001 9 Georgia Tech Clemson 44-47 -3
15t 2005 19 Louisville at West Virginia 44-46 -2
15t 1996 25 Oregon at Washington St 44-55 -11
15t 2009 14 Pittsburgh 5 Cincinnati 44-45 -1
15t 2000 7 Wisconsin Northwestern 44-47 -3
20t 1972 11 Arizona St at Wyoming 43-45 -2
20t 2010 12 Arkansas at 7 Auburn 43-65 -22
20t 2000 22 Minnesota at Indiana 43-51 -8
20t 1998 21 Oregon n Colorado 43-51 -8
20t 2001 21 Washington n 9 Texas 43-47 -4

 

Below is a listing of FBS schools that have scored the most points in a losing effort, without regard to ranking.

Most Points in a Losing Effort

Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score Mar
1 2007 Nevada at Boise St 67-69 -2
2 2010 Illinois at Michigan 65-67 -2
3t 2003 Kentucky Arkansas 63-71 -8
3t 2004 Rice at San Jose St 63-70 -7
5t 2001 Eastern Michigan at Akron 62-65 -3
5t 2007 North Texas Navy 62-74 -12
7 2001 East Carolina n Marshall 61-64 -3
8t 2004 Central Michigan n Eastern Michigan 58-61 -3
8t 2001 Idaho at Mid Tennessee St 58-70 -12
10 2005 Western Michigan Ball St 57-60 -3
11t 1993 BYU at Utah St 56-58 -2
11t 2001 Mississippi Arkansas 56-58 -2
11t 1993 Purdue at Minnesota 56-59 -3
14t 2004 UAB at Tulane 55-59 -4
14t 1996 Arizona at California 55-56 -1
14t 2000 Arizona St 7 Oregon 55-56 -1
14t 2003 Houston 15 TCU 55-62 -7
18 2008 Toledo 25 Fresno St 54-55 -1


Below is a listing of  the most points scored by each current FBS school in a losing effort.

Most Points in a Losing Effort by School

Atlantic Coast
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1997 Boston College Miami FL 44-45
1999 Clemson at 13 Georgia Tech 42-45
2010 Duke at Wake Forest 48-54
2009 Florida St 22 Georgia Tech 44-49
2001 9 Georgia Tech Clemson 44-47
1994 Maryland North Carolina St 45-47
1984 12 Miami FL 10 Boston College 45-47
2003 North Carolina Syracuse 47-49
2003 North Carolina St at 13 Florida St 44-50
2010 Virginia at Duke 48-55
1992 Virginia Tech at Rutgers 49-50
2003 Virginia Tech n California 49-52
2002 Wake Forest at Northern Illinois 41-42
Big East
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1968 Cincinnati 17 Ohio 48-60
2009 Connecticut at 4 Cincinnati 45-47
1999 Louisville at Army 52-59
1965 Pittsburgh at West Virginia 48-63
1997 Rutgers Pittsburgh 48-55
2004 South Florida Army 35-42
1997 Syracuse at Oklahoma 34-36
2002 Syracuse at Auburn 34-37
1997 West Virginia Pittsburgh 38-41
Big Ten
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
2010 Illinois at Michigan 65-67
1996 Indiana at Illinois 43-46
1995 25 Iowa at 4 Ohio St 35-56
2000 12 Michigan at 21 Northwestern 51-54
2002 Michigan St Purdue 42-45
2007 Minnesota at Northwestern 48-49
2007 Nebraska at Colorado 51-65
2004 Northwestern at TCU 45-48
1981 18 Ohio St at Minnesota 31-35
1988 Ohio St 12 Michigan 31-34
2002 12 Penn St Iowa 35-42
1993 Purdue at Minnesota 56-59
2005 14 Wisconsin at Northwestern 48-51
Big 12
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1996 Baylor Missouri 42-49
1992 Iowa St 25 Kansas 47-50
2003 Kansas at Colorado 47-50
2010 Kansas St at Baylor 42-47
1989 Missouri Kansas 44-46
2006 7 Oklahoma n 9 Boise St 42-43
1997 12 Oklahoma St Missouri 50-51
2006 4 Texas at Kansas St 42-45
2002 23 Texas A&M Texas Tech 47-48
2003 Texas Tech at 23 Oklahoma St 49-51
Pac-12
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1996 Arizona at California 55-56
2000 Arizona St 7 Oregon 55-56
2002 California Arizona 41-52
2010 Colorado at Kansas 45-52
1997 Oregon at 20 Stanford 49-58
1979 Oregon St Washington St 42-45
1996 Oregon St at California 42-48
1984 Stanford Washington St 42-49
1998 3 UCLA at Miami FL 45-49
1996 USC at UCLA 41-48
1988 Utah Air Force 49-56
1973 Washington at California 49-54
2000 Washington St at 22 Arizona 47-53
Southeastern
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
2003 Alabama 22 Tennessee 43-51
1990 Arkansas Texas Tech 44-49
1996 20 Auburn Georgia 49-56
1999 3 Florida 21 Alabama 39-40
1999 16 Georgia at 20 Georgia Tech 48-51
2003 Kentucky Arkansas 63-71
2007 1 LSU Arkansas 48-50
2001 Mississippi Arkansas 56-58
1995 Mississippi St South Carolina 39-65
1994 South Carolina East Carolina 42-56
1995 8 Tennessee at 4 Florida 37-62
2005 Vanderbilt Kentucky 43-48
Independents
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1974 Army at North Carolina 42-56
2002 Army at Houston 42-56
1993 BYU at Utah St 56-58
2007 Navy Delaware 52-59
2007 Notre Dame Navy 44-46
Mountain West
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1988 Air Force Wyoming 45-48
2001 Boise St at Louisiana Tech 42-48
2008 Colorado St 17 BYU 42-45
1985 New Mexico at Utah 49-58
1990 San Diego St at Wyoming 51-52
1992 TCU at Houston 46-49
1997 UNLV San Jose St 48-55
2002 Wyoming at UNLV 48-49
Conference USA
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
2005 Central Florida n Nevada 48-49
2001 East Carolina n Marshall 61-64
2003 Houston 15 TCU 55-62
2001 20 Marshall n Toledo 36-41
2004 Memphis 14 Louisville 49-56
2004 Rice at San Jose St 63-70
2007 SMU at Memphis 52-55
2010 Southern Miss at Tulsa 50-56
1968 Tulane at Virginia 47-63
2010 Tulsa at East Carolina 49-51
2004 UAB at Tulane 55-59
2007 UTEP at Rice 48-56
Mid-American
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
2008 Akron at Ohio 42-49
2004 Ball St at Central Michigan 40-41
2007 Ball St at 24 Nebraska 40-41
2005 Bowling Green at Wisconsin 42-56
2009 Bowling Green n Idaho 42-43
2006 Buffalo at Bowling Green 40-48
2004 Central Michigan n Eastern Michigan 58-61
2001 Eastern Michigan at Akron 62-65
1996 Kent St Central Michigan 51-52
2001 Miami OH at Hawaii 51-52
2005 Northern Illinois at Akron 42-48
1996 Ohio at East Carolina 45-55
1996 Temple at Pittsburgh 52-53
2008 Toledo 25 Fresno St 54-55
2005 Western Michigan Ball St 57-60
Sun Belt
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1997 Arkansas St UL Lafayette 38-41
2007 Florida Atlantic UL Monroe 30-33
2008 Florida Intl n Florida Atlantic 50-57
2003 Mid Tennessee St UL Lafayette 51-57
2007 North Texas Navy 62-74
2009 Troy n 25 Central Michigan 41-44
2001 UL Lafayette New Mexico St 46-49
1981 UL Monroe at SE Louisiana 47-50
2009 Western Kentucky at North Texas 49-68
Western Athletic
Year Rk Lost Rk Won Score
1997 Boise St Nevada 42-56
1992 Fresno St at Hawaii 45-47
2007 Fresno St at 23 Texas A&M 45-47
2000 Hawaii San Jose St 48-57
2001 Idaho at Mid Tennessee St 58-70
1995 Louisiana Tech Nevada 45-49
2007 Nevada at Boise St 67-69
1998 New Mexico St Boise St 51-55
2004 San Jose St 14 Boise St 49-56
1997 Utah St at North Texas 48-51
2002 Utah St at UL Monroe 48-51

 

Additional Facts

Texas Christian is no stranger to seeing teams score a lot of points only to lose.  However they have always been on the other end of it.  In 2003, they defeated Houston 62-55.  In 2005, they defeated BYU 51-50.

The most points and smallest points margin in a losing effort is 55 points, and -1 point margin.  In 1996, Arizona lost to California 56-55.  In 2000, Arizona State lost to Oregon 56-55.

The most points in a losing effort in a bowl game is 61 points.  In 2001, East Carolina lost to Marshall 64-61 in the GMAC Bowl.

 

Reference: James Howell’s College Football Scores, College Football Data Warehouse, College Football at Sports-Reference.com

 

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