What would an analysis of the first decade of BCS vs. non-BCS matchups be without a list of the 10 most significant victories?
Below that, see the complete rankings of non-BCS teams based on numbers of wins over BCS opponents through last season.
CUPCAKE SEASON 2008
Sept. 1, 2007 at Ann Arbor, Mich.: In an upset for the ages, the No. 5 Wolverines became the first ranked Division I-A team to lose to a I-AA opponent. Appalachian State used the win as a springboard to its third consecutive I-AA title. The Wolverines would finish the season 9-4 with a win over defending BCS champion Florida in the Citrus Bowl, but the shocking loss to the Mountaineers will undoubtedly be better remembered. In the wake of the upset, the Associated Press changed its rules to allow Football Championship Subdivision teams to receive votes for its top 25 poll.
2. Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42
Jan. 1, 2007 at Glendale, Ariz.: The Broncos emptied their bag of tricks to withstand a furious comeback from the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl. Boise State forced overtime with a 50-yard touchdown on a hook-and-ladder and famously won on a two-point conversion off the Statue of Liberty play.
3. Utah 35, Pittsburgh 7
Jan. 1, 2005 at Tempe, Ariz.: Behind the passing of Alex Smith, the Utes easily covered the 16-point Fiesta Bowl spread to finish the season 12-0 and become the first team from outside the six power conferences to win a BCS bowl game. Too bad fans didn't get to see them play a better team.
4. TCU 17, Oklahoma 10
Sept. 3, 2005 at Norman, Okla.: The Horned Frogs produced a spectacular defensive effort, holding Adrian Peterson to 63 yards on 22 carries and handing the No. 7 Sooners their first home loss in nearly four years.
AP Photo/Duane Burleson
Is there any doubt that Appalachian State's surprise at the Big House is the stunner of the BCS era?
6. Louisville 26, Florida State 20 (OT)
Sept. 26, 2002 at Louisville, Ky.: The Cardinals outlasted the No. 16 Seminoles in a victory that put the Cardinals on the map and helped launch them from Conference USA into the Big East and membership in the BCS.
7. UNLV 23, Wisconsin 5
Sept. 13, 2003 at Madison, Wis.: Rebels safety Jamaal Brimmer returned a fumble for a touchdown and made two interceptions and 11 tackles as UNLV stunned the No. 15 Badgers. Wisconsin hadn't lost at home when ranked that high since 1959.
8. Utah 44, UCLA 6
Sept. 15, 2007 at Salt Lake City: Darrell Mack scored three touchdowns, and the Utes capitalized on five turnovers to destroy the No. 11 Bruins.
9. Southern Mississippi 21, Nebraska 17
Sept. 11, 2004 in Lincoln, Neb.: The Golden Eagles forced five Cornhuskers turnovers and became the first nonconference team to win in Lincoln since 1991, despite being outgained 476-239.
10. North Dakota State 27, Minnesota 21
Oct. 20, 2007 at Minneapolis: Granted, the Gophers were awful in 2007, finishing 1-11 in 11th place in the Big Ten. Still, this was shocking. North Dakota State wasn't even a full-fledged FCS member yet -- still in the transition process of moving up from Division II -- yet it ran for nearly 400 yards and held onto the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
Here is the complete list of non-BCS Division I-A (Football Bowl Subdivision) programs ranked top to bottom by number of victories against their BCS counterparts during 1998-2007. Ties are broken by winning percentage. Unlike other elements of this package, this list does include bowl games, which often provide the only chance for smaller programs to get a shot at the big boys on a neutral field. The following data represent nonconference games and bowls pairing BCS and non-BCS teams for the period of 1998-2007.
|Team||Nonconf. rec.||Win pct.||BCS victims|
|1. TCU||14-7||.667||Arizona, Baylor (2), Iowa State (2), Northwestern (3), Oklahoma, Vanderbilt (2), Stanford, Texas Tech, USC|
|2. Utah||14-10||.583||Arizona (2), Cal, Georgia Tech, Indiana (2), Louisville, North Carolina, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Washington State|
|3. BYU||12-18||.400||Arizona, Arizona State, Cal (2), Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Syracuse, UCLA, Virginia, Washington|
|4. Fresno State||12-19||.387||Cal, Colorado, Georgia Tech (2), Kansas State (2), Oregon State (2), UCLA, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin|
|5. East Carolina||12-24||.333||Duke (3), Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, North Carolina State (2), South Carolina, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Virginia, West Virginia|
|6. Bowling Green||9-13||.409||Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri (2), Northwestern (2), Purdue, Temple (2)|
|7. Air Force||8-8||.500||Cal, Northwestern (2), Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Washington (3)|
|8. Toledo||8-13||.381||Kansas, Iowa State, Minnesota, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple (3)|
|9. Colorado State||7-13||.350||Cal, Colorado (4), Michigan State, Virginia|
|10. Hawaii||7-14||.333||Alabama, Arizona State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Oregon State, Purdue, Washington|
|11. Miami (Ohio)||7-18||.280||Cincinnati, Northwestern (2), North Carolina (2), Syracuse, Vanderbilt|
|12. Southern Miss.||6-22||.214||Alabama, Illinois, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State (2)|
|13. Houston||5-15||.250||LSU, Mississippi State (2), North Carolina, Oklahoma State|
|14. San Jose State||5-22||.185||Illinois, Stanford (4)|
|15. Boise State||4-12||.250||Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oregon State (2)|
|16. New Mexico||4-13||.235||Arizona, Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech|
|17. Wyoming||4-14||.222||Mississippi (2), UCLA, Virginia|
|18. Marshall||4-15||.211||Clemson, Kansas State, South Carolina, Temple|
|18. UNLV||4-15||.211||Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Wisconsin|
|20. Northern Illinois||4-16||.200||Alabama, Iowa State, Maryland, Wake Forest|
|21. Ohio||4-19||.174||Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Pittsburgh|
|22. Western Michigan||4-20||.167||Iowa (2), Vanderbilt, Virginia|
|23. UAB||4-22||.154||Baylor (2), LSU, Mississippi State|
|24. Tulane||3-12||.200||Mississippi State (2), Rutgers|
|25. Akron||3-17||.150||North Carolina State, Temple (2)|
|26. Mid. Tennessee||3-26||.103||Vanderbilt (3)|
|27. Troy||3-22||.120||Mississippi State, Missouri, Oklahoma State|
|28. Louisiana Tech||3-30||.091||Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma State|
|29. Nevada||2-11||.154||Northwestern, Washington|
|30. Memphis||2-20||.091||Mississippi (2)|
|31. Idaho||2-23||.080||Washington State (2)|
|32. North Texas||2-25||.074||Baylor, Texas Tech|
|33. Central Florida||2-27||.069||Alabama, North Carolina State|
|34. Florida Atlantic||1-12||.077||Minnesota|
|35. Kent State||1-16||.059||Iowa State|
|36. Tulsa||1-17||.056||Oklahoma State|
|37. New Mexico State||1-18||.053||Arizona State|
|42. San Diego State||1-26||.037||Kansas|
|43. Florida Intl.||0-11||.000||--|
|45. Eastern Michigan||0-17||.000||--|
|46. Utah State||0-18||.000||--|
|47. Central Michigan||0-20||.000||--|
|49. Arkansas State||0-25||.000||--|
|50. Ball State||0-26||.000||--|
|Navy (ind.)||14-37||.275||Boston College, Connecticut, Duke (4), Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Rutgers (2), Stanford, Vanderbilt (2), West Virginia|
Note: Former Big East member Temple and current Big East members Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville and South Florida aren't tabulated in this study because they weren't BCS conference members during the entire span of 1998-2007. These schools are considered BCS opponents for the years they were Big East members: Temple (1998-2004), Connecticut (2004-07), Cincinnati (2005-07), Louisville (2005-07) and South Florida (2005-07). Additionally, Connecticut counts as a Division I-AA or provisional I-A member through the 2001 season and a non-BCS I-A member in 2002-03. South Florida was a Division I-AA or provisional I-A member through the 2000 season and a non-BCS I-A member during 2001-04. Other schools that moved up to the Division I-A classification from 1998-2007 are classified as I-AA until their first official I-A season.
Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2. You can contact him here.