Sep 012013

McNeese State shocked the college football world yesterday with a 53-21 shellacking of South Florida. FCS schools aren’t suppose to defeat FBS schools- especially those from automatic-qualifying conferences. And if they do win it’s usually by the skin of their teeth, note North Dakota State’s 24-21 victory over Kansas St. this past Friday night. 

However, McNeese State broke all of those rules with a 32-point victory over South Florida; the most lopsided win by a FCS (I-AA) school over a FBS (I-A) opponent since 1996.

McNeese State also set the record for greatest margin of victory by a FCS (I-AA) school over a FBS (I-A) opponent from a power conference. The previous mark was 25 points; a record held by 1986 Texas St. (31-6 over Southwest Conf. Rice), and 1999 Furman (28-3 over the ACC’s North Carolina).

The most lopsided victory by a FCS (I-A) school against any FBS (I-AA) opponent – from a power conference or not – belongs to Lehigh. Back in 1981, Lehigh defeated the Ivy League’s Pennsylvania 58-0. Note: It was the Ivy League’s last season as a I-A conference.

Most Lopsided FCS (I-AA) over FBS (I-A) Victories

Season FCS (I-A) Winner   FBS (I-AA) Loser Score Margin
1981 Lehigh (PA) vs. Pennsylvania 58-0 +58
1981 Delaware at Princeton (NJ) 61-8 +53
1983 North Texas at New Mexico St. 49-3 +46
1986 Nevada vs. Cal St.-Fullerton 49-3 +46
1978 Eastern Kentucky vs. East Tennessee St. 49-6 +43
1991 Nevada vs. Nevada-Las Vegas 50-8 +42
1985 Nevada vs. Nevada-Las Vegas 48-7 +41
1983 Southern Illinois vs. New Mexico St. 41-3 +38
1989 Nevada vs. Nevada-Las Vegas 45-7 +38
1981 Delaware at Pennsylvania 40-6 +34
1991 Boise St. (ID) vs. Cal St.-Long Beach 48-14 +34
1994 Youngstown St. (OH) vs. Akron (OH) 41-7 +34
1983 Idaho St. vs. Cal St.-Fullerton 43-10 +33
1996 Cal St.-Northridge at New Mexico St. 33-0 +33


Most Lopsided FCS (I-AA) over FBS (I-A) Victories – Only Schools from Power Conferences

Season FCS (I-A) Winner   FBS (I-AA) Loser Conf. Score Margin
2013 McNeese St. (LA) at South Florida AAC 53-21 +32
1986 Texas St. at Rice (TX) SWC 31-6 +25
1999 Furman (SC) at North Carolina ACC 28-3 +25
1985 Furman (SC) at North Carolina St. ACC 42-20 +22
1996 Montana at Oregon St. Pac-10 35-14 +21
1984 Idaho vs. Oregon St. Pac-10 41-22 +19
2002 Villanova (PA) at Rutgers (NJ) Big East 37-19 +18
1985 Grambling St. (LA) n Oregon St. Pac-10 23-6 +17
1986 Northern Iowa at Kansas St. Big 8 17-0 +17
1992 Northern Iowa at Iowa St. Big 8 27-10 +17
2006 New Hampshire at Northwestern (IL) Big Ten 34-17 +17


Sources: College Football Data Warehouse and College Football at


  2 Responses to “Most Lopsided FCS (I-AA) over FBS (I-A) Victories”

  1. Interesting….and glad to see a lower division (CSD) defeat a major conference! Let’s hope there will be more.

    How about the other way: Most points (and difference) a BSD team over a CSD team?

    To jump start your list: 1982 Florida 77-14 over West Texas State (now A&M) and Tulsa defeating West Texas State (now A&M), 59-21…I was at the latter.

  2. Thanks Tex!

    Believe it or not it was just last year when the greatest FBS over FCS blowouts occurred.

    Oklahoma St. defeated Savannah St. 84-0, and ironically Oregon St. defeated Nicholls St. 77-3.

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