Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA)

The Most Lopsided Victories in Sports History

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Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA)

Running it Up

Cantankerous Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes, seeking revenge against rival Michigan, ran up the score in their 1968 encounter, going so far as to try a two-point conversion near the end of the game when the Buckeyes were already up 50-14. When asked why, legend has it he says, “Because I couldn’t go for three.” Not all blowouts are based on bad blood, but they do leave a mark on the psyche of the losers, creating extra motivation for future rematches. Here’s a look at some of the biggest “laughers” in sports history.


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Yale Pass To The Quarterback
Underwood Archives/Contributor/Getty

College Football: Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0

Oct. 7, 1916


Despite the fact that Cumberland had discontinued its football program in 1916, Georgia Tech coach John Heisman — yes, that one — insisted the school honor its commitment to play or cough up $3,000 as a penalty. “Cumberland’s roster was filled with fraternity brothers assembled by the team’s student manager,” NCAA.com says. “Tech was stocked with players [that] went on to win the national championship in 1917 by defeating Cal in the Rose Bowl.” The result was 32 touchdowns, 15 takeaways, and 978 rushing yards for Tech.


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1930's High School Football
Michael Ochs Archives/Stringer/Getty

High School Football: Haven (Kansas) 256, Sylvia 0

Nov. 16, 1927


Imagine scoring every time your team touched the ball. That’s what the Haven Wildcats did against their opponent, notching 38 touchdowns — including five kickoff returns — and 28 extra points. A former Sylvia player told The Kansas City Star in 1992 that his team was supposed to play Haven’s second team, not the varsity. “When we saw their first team was out there, we walked off the field,” he says. “When we were halfway to the dressing room, our coach talked us into going back out there.” Big mistake.


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The Ball Game
FPG/Staff/Getty

High School Baseball: Atlantic (Iowa) 109, Griswold 0

April 26, 1928


To say this game was lopsided is an understatement: 109 runs — 30 in the second inning alone and 27 in the eighth — on 92 hits through eight innings for Atlantic vs. no runs on no hits and 22 errors for Griswold. ESPN quotes one newspaper as saying the game was called after eight innings “because the scorekeeper was exhausted,” but another source says it ended due to darkness, by which time Griswold had only seven players on the field. In addition to the incredible score, the game set several other records, according to National Federation of State High School Associations stats, including most hits, doubles (26), and home runs (16) in a game. 


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Sid Luckman @ Home W/Football Trophies
Bettmann/Contributor/Getty

NFL Football: Bears 73, Redskins 0

Dec. 8, 1940


How much is too much? The sky was the limit for the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. The Bears had won a tight 7-3 contest three weeks earlier against Washington, but things were very different in this game. Unable to move the ball on the ground, Washington threw eight interceptions — four of them returned for touchdowns. The Bears hung 45 points on the scoreboard in the second half, including 19 in the fourth quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt.


The Canadian Hockey Team Prepare
Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty

NHL Hockey: Red Wings 15, Rangers 0

Jan. 23, 1944 


The defending Stanley Cup Champions had built a solid 7-0 lead after two periods and added eight more goals — nearly nine as a puck slid into the net after the buzzer — to become the first NHL team to score 15 consecutive goals in a game and establish the biggest margin of victory. Those records still stand.


Ned Jarrett Holding His Trophy
Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Auto Racing: Ned Jarrett Wins by 14 Laps

Sept. 6, 1965


Ned Jarrett won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway by a stunning 14 laps — a record that isn’t likely to be broken in a sport where seconds count. NBC Sports says the margin of victory translates to a 19.124-mile advantage on the oval track over runner-up Buck Baker.


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Secretariat 1973 Derby
Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Horse Racing: Secretariat, 31 Lengths

Belmont Stakes, June 9, 1973


Secretariat and Sham set a blistering pace out of the gate, leaving the other horses far behind by the back straight. Then Sham began to fade. “He is moving like a tremendous machine!” announcer Chic Anderson says in amazement as Secretariat opened the lead to 12 lengths. Jockey Ron Turcotte says he lost control of “Big Red,” who finished 31 lengths ahead of second-place Twice a Prince, breaking the track record on his way to becoming the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown.


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Mike Tyson
Phillip Faraone / Stringer / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images North America

Boxing: Mike Tyson vs. Marvis Frazier

July 26, 1986


It took all of 30 seconds for Iron Mike to dispatch the son of legendary heavyweight Smokin’ Joe Frazier, delivering a devastating right uppercut that left his opponent out cold on his feet. When Frazier crumpled to the canvas in a corner of the ring, Tyson had notched his quickest knockout. Frazier later told ESPN, “I threw a jab and I don’t remember anything else.”


1988 Roland Garros Tennis Tournament
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Contributor/Getty

Women's Tennis: Steffi Graf vs. Natasha Zvereva

French Open June 5, 1988


At her second stop on the way to winning a Golden Slam — all four Grand Slam tournaments and an Olympic gold medal — the German legend made short work of Belarus’ Natasha Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in a dominating performance that lasted all of 32 minutes, denying her opponent a single game. It’s still the only “double bagel” Grand Slam final, according to Olympics.com.


Female High School Basketball Team Playing Game
monkeybusinessimages/istockphoto

Girls High School Basketball: Inglewood (California) Morningside 102, South Torrance 24

1990


Future Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie — then a 6-foot-5 senior center — scored 101 points in 16 minutes in this blowout. And that was only the first half of the game. South Torrance refused to play the second half after finishing the first with four players; two more had fouled out. Who could blame them?

Young Basketball Player on Practice Session. Youth Basketball Team Bouncing Balls on Sports Court. Group of Kids Training Basketball Together
matimix/istockphoto

Boys High School Basketball: Jackson City (Kentucky) 215, Woodbridge Academy 28

Feb. 10, 1992


Unlike most blowouts that just evolve naturally due to mismatches or other circumstances, this one might be viewed as premeditated. After pounding Woodbridge 135-17 earlier in the season, Jackson City coach Ed Lowdenback “had publicly stated … that his team would attempt to break the reported national record of 211 points,” according to MaxPreps.com. Mission accomplished.


Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods by Keith Allison (CC BY-SA)

Golf: Tiger Woods Wins by 15 Strokes

2000 U.S. Open, June 15-18


While Pebble Beach was eating up the rest of the field, Tiger Woods couldn’t have been hotter, opening with a first-round 65 and finishing at 12-under to leave “the Open and major championship record books in tatters,” ESPN.com says. The next closest golfers to Woods were Ernie Els and Miguel Jimenez at 3-over for the tournament.


Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles
Mitchell Layton/Contributor/Getty

Major League Baseball: Rangers 30, Orioles 3

Aug. 22, 2007


It was 3-0 Orioles after three innings. Then things took a dramatic turn. The Rangers’ No. 8 and 9 hitters — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — had pairs of home runs that each accounted for seven runs batted in. Texas broke the game open in the sixth with nine runs on 10 hits, added 10 runs on seven hits in the eighth, and another six runs on four hits in the ninth for good measure. The rout set an American League record, making the Rangers the first team in 110 years to score 30 runs in a game, ESPN says.


Women's Ice Hockey Olympic Qualification
Xavier Laine/Contributor/Getty

Women’s Hockey: Slovakia 82, Bulgaria 0

Sept. 8, 2008


In most hockey games, you’re lucky to see a goal or two every period. How about a game with a goal every 44 seconds? That’s what happened in this European Olympic pre-qualifying tournament game in which Slovakia put 139 shots on goal to none for Bulgaria, ESPN says. “We took it as training,” Slovakia’s coach says afterward. Slovakia had already lost 30-1 to Croatia and 41-0 to Italy in the tournament.


Baylor v Kansas State
Peter G. Aiken/Contributor/Getty

Women's College Basketball: Baylor 140, Winthrop 32

Dec. 15, 2016


The Bears hold the record for biggest blowout between two Division I teams, rolling to a 77-18 halftime score on the way to this 108-point win. Khadijiah Cave led the Bears with 25 points, but everyone on the Baylor squad played at least 13 minutes and all but one player scored as Bears coach Kim Mulkey began subbing in the first quarter after it was clear Winthrop was overmatched by her taller squad, according to The Associated Press.

Mississippi Valley State v St. John's
Steven Ryan/Contributor/Getty

Men's College Basketball: Utah 143, Mississippi Valley State 49

Nov. 8, 2019


Utah took an early lead and built it to 50 points by halftime on the way to setting the Division I record for margin of victory. The Utes shot 63.3% overall, dominated the boards with 68 rebounds, and had two players record triple doubles. “Tip your hat to them, they’re a great team,” Mississippi Valley State coach Lindsey Hunter said afterward.

Oklahoma Thunder v Utah Jazz
Gene Sweeney Jr./Stringer/Getty

NBA: Grizzlies 152, Thunder 79

Dec. 2, 2021


Memphis put on a show for the hometown crowd, riding a 62.5% shooting night to top a struggling Oklahoma City team and set an NBA record with a 73-point margin of victory. Everyone on the Memphis team played at least 14 minutes, with the bench posting 93 points alone.


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