Upsets and Cinderella Stories: The Unforgettable Moments of College Football History

College Football Upsets: History’s Biggest Cinderella Stories – Fuel Your Future Picks!

College football season is upon us as the air crackles with anticipation. Will powerhouse teams dominate, or will underdogs rise to the occasion and rewrite the script? History is littered with unexpected College Football wins, and the 2024 season promises no shortage of drama.

With the start of the College Football season right around the orner, it is a great time to go back and look at some of the best games in the history of the sport. These are all games where a big upset occured. Let’s take a look at the Upsets and Cinderella Stories:


Upsets and Cinderella Stories: The Unforgettable Moments of College Football History | MyBookie’s Gives You a Throwback of NCAAF Games that Made History

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish over Oklahoma Sooners Cinderalla Story in 1957

We go to the back machine with this one. When this game started, the Oklahoma Sooners had the longest winning streak in College Football. The Sooners had won 47 straight games and back to back titles.

The Fighting Irish came to Norman just before Thanksgiving and were 19 point underdogs.

It was one of the best defensive games in history as neither team scored until the Irish completed a 80 yard drive late in the fourth quarter. It was the first shut-out loss for the Sooners in 123 games.


Oregon State over Washington Upset

An unranked Notre Dame ended OU’s 47-game win streak with a 7-0 victory.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Notre Dame         7
Oklahoma         0

Pac-10 Conference Game | Saturday, October 17th, 1998 at 1:00 PM
Husky Stadium | Seattle, Washington


Oregon State Beavers over Washington Huskies Pac-10 Conference Game Upset in 1985

A pair of Pac-12 teams that seemingly were going the opposite direction with their program. Washington finished the season a year ago ranked second in the country. The last two times these two teams had played, the Beavers lost 97-0.

Oregon State came into the game as 38 point underdogs. The Beavers were without their starting quarterback and leading receiver, who both were out with injury.

The defense did the job for Oregon State with four interceptions, a blocked punt for a touchdown, and that was all she wrote.

Pac-10 Conference Game Upset: Oregon State over Washington

The Huskies were favored by 38 points at home and lost after the Beavers blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone with 1:29 left to play.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Oregon State 7 7 0 7 21
Washington 3 7 7 3 20

Pac-10 Conference Game | Saturday, October 17th, 1998 at 1:00 PM
Husky Stadium | Seattle, Washington


Giant Killers Temple Owls over Virginia Tech Hokies Week 8 Upset in 1998

Starting the game in October of 1998 against undefeated and No. 14-ranked Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., Temple was 0-26 in Big East road games and just 1-6 overall. Virginia Tech jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first and the Hokies basically quit from there.

They felt this game was over, especially against a Temple team that had 10 players, including freshman quarterback Devin Scott, making their first career starts for the Owls.

Against the Hokies fourth-best defense, Temple rallied behind Scott’s 155 yards and two touchdowns to grab a stunning come-from-behind road win over Virginia Tech. It was Temple’s first win over a ranked team since Sept. 19, 1987.


Week 8 Upset: Temple over Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech was thinking National Championship and were a 35 point favorite, but with 6:04 remaining, Temple got the lead 28-24.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Temple 0 7 14 7 28
Virginia Tech 10 7 0 7 24

Week 8 | Saturday, October 19th, 1985 at 1:00 PM
Lane Stadium | Blacksburg, Virginia


James Madison Dukes over Virginia Tech Hokies Week 2 Cinderella Win in 2010

Virginia Tech started the 2010 season ranked No. 10 in the country and was the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Hokies had already loss their opening game of the season against third-ranked Boise State, but the next game against FCS team James Madison seemed like a good chance to rebound.

The Dukes were a huge underdog against a powerhouse like Virginia Tech—in their previous two meetings, JMU was outscored by a combined score of 90-0—but the Dukes kept the game close and quarterback Drew Dudzik Dudzik’s 12-yard touchdown run sealed the 21-16 victory.

Despite the loss, Virginia Tech then strung together 11 straight wins and ended the season ranked 15th in the nation. 


Week 2 Cinderella Story: James Madison over Virginia Tech

James Madison put together one of the biggest wins in school history with a come-from-behind 21-16 victory.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
James Madison 0 7 7 7 21
Virginia Tech 7 3 3 0 16

Week 2 | Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 1:30 PM
Lane Stadium | Blacksburg, Virginia


Appalachian State Mountaineers 34-32 over Michigan Wolverines Week 1 Upset in 2007

One of the most storied upsets in college football history occurred on September 1, 2007, when Appalachian State, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team, faced the mighty Michigan Wolverines at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The Mountaineers, led by head coach Jerry Moore, were heavy underdogs against a Michigan team ranked fifth in the nation.

Appalachian State displayed amazing resilience and skill, with quarterback Armanti Edwards leading a potent offensive attack. The game wrapped up in a dramatic finish, with Appalachian State blocking a field goal attempt in the final seconds to secure a stunning 34-32 victory. This upset not only rocked the college football world but also solidified Appalachian State’s place in sports folklore.


Week 1 Upset: Appalachian State over Michigan

Michigan was attempting a 43-yard field goal but was blocked with 1:37 left and the Mountaineers drove 69 yards down the field setting up a Rauch field goal with 26 seconds left.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Appalachian State 7 21 3 3 34
Michigan 14 3 9 6 32

Week 1 | Saturday, September 1st, 2007 at 12:07 PM
Michigan Stadium | Ann Arbor, Michigan


Boise State Broncos over Oklahoma Sooners Upset in 2007 Fiesta Bowl

The 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Boise State and Oklahoma is another unforgettable chapter in college football’s upset history book. Boise State, a team from the Western Athletic Conference, faced a formidable Oklahoma squad from the Big 12. The Broncos were viewed as significant underdogs but played with a fearless attitude that epitomizes Cinderella stories.

The game featured several dramatic moments, including a hook-and-lateral play that forced overtime. In the extra period, Boise State executed a daring "Statue of Liberty" play to clinch a 43-42 victory. This game is remembered not only for the upset but also for its sheer entertainment value and the innovative play-calling that defined it.


2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Upset: Boise State over Oklahoma

Oklahoma was the designated home team and was favored by 7½ points, but Boise State raced out to a 21-10 halftime lead.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT F
Boise State 14 7 7 7 8 43
Oklahoma 7 3 7 18 7 42

Fiesta Bowl | Monday, January 1st, 2007 at 8:30 PM
University of Phoenix Stadium | Glendale, Arizona


Stanford Cardinal over USC Trojans Upset in 2007 Conference Game

The Cardinal came into the game as a 41 point underdog. Nearly six touchdowns. The Stanford offense was going to use a redshirt sophomore quarterback for his first career start. USC came into that game with a 35 game winning streak at home.

Stanford had their season on life support, as they were 1-3, and had not had a winning season since 2000. Jim Harbaugh’s Cardinal forced five turnovers in the game, and a late blocked extra point aided in the win.

The game was most remembered for the touchdown by that sophomore redshirt signal caller with under 1:00 to go to wrap it up.


Stanford over USC Conference Game

Stanford Cardinal won 24–23 despite USC having been favored by 41 points entering the game.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Stanford 0 0 7 17 24
USC 3 6 7 7 23

Conference Game | Saturday, October 6, 2007 at 7:00 PM
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, California


Butler Bulldogs over Youngstown State Penguins Week 1 Upset in 2018

The FCS division of college football is super underrated. Youngstown State came into the season with high expectations, entering the game ranked No. 24, while Butler was coming off a mediocre 6-5 season in 2017. Youngstown State wasn’t only a ranked team, but they had much more talent—on paper at least, with 63 athletes on a football scholarship. Butler had zero.

Down 21-7 with just over nine minutes to play, the Bulldogs managed to score twice and Butler coach Jeff Voris elected to go for the two-point conversion to take the lead—but it missed. Butler trailed 21-20 with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter and after the missed conversion, the only option was an onside kick.

Lo and behold, the Bulldogs recovered the kick, marched into field goal territory, and Drew Bevelhimer knocked in a 44-yard field goal with only four seconds remaining to complete the shocking upset win over Youngstown State.


Butler over Youngstown State

A 44-yard field goal with just four seconds on the game clock to give Butler a 23-21 victory at Youngstown State.

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Butler 7 0 0 16 23
Youngstown State 7 0 14 0 21

Week 1 | Saturday, September 1st, 2018 at 2:00 PM
Stambaugh Stadium | Youngstown, Ohio


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Who Will Reign Supreme? 2024 College Football National Championship Odds Revealed!

Team Odds
Georgia Bulldogs +320
Ohio State Buckeyes +450
Texas Longhorns +800
Oregon Ducks +1000
Alabama Crimson Tide +1100
LSU Tigers +1200
Michigan Wolverines +1400
Ole Miss Rebels +1400
Florida State Seminoles +1800
Penn State Nittany Lions +2200
Clemson Tigers +2500
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +2500
USC Trojans +3300
Texas A&M Aggies +3300
Missouri Tigers +4000
Tennessee Volunteers +4000
Oklahoma Sooners +4000
Washington Huskies +5000
Miami (FL) Hurricanes +6600
Kansas State Wildcats +6600
Utah Utes +6600
Arizona Wildcats +7500

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