Special Report

20 Biggest Blowouts in Sports History

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Sports fans love nail-biting, down to the wire games. Two evenly matched teams going head to head can be must-watch games that turn into all-time classics. Matchups like the 2016 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs or the Miracle on Ice in the 1980 Olympics are thrilling. They keep sports fans glued to their seats and their TV screens season after season. Unfortunately, not every game can be that exciting.

In many instances, college and professional teams are hopelessly outplayed, outcoached, and outworked.

Regardless of how the losing team played, the victors deserved their win. Exceptional talent, sound strategy, and teamwork contributed to these outstanding wins. Consider Andy Cole’s five goals in the Manchester United match against Ipswich Town in 1995. With a 9-0 final score, that goal differential set the Premier League Soccer record, which still stand. Then there’s tennis pro Steffi Graf who, at the age of 18, defeated her opponent, Natasha Zvereva, 6-0, 6-0 at the 1988 French Open. And in 32 minutes no less.

In sports, as in life, skill, luck, timing, and maybe even a bit of destiny play a part. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical sports records to identify the 20 biggest blowouts in sports — just as these victories are stunning, so are the losses. It should be noted that these do not necessarily represent the biggest margins of victory in each sport, and games were picked to favor more recent games and recognizable teams.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed past games of professional, college, and international sports to find some of the largest margins of victory in sports history. Much of the data comes from the Sports Reference family of sites.

Click here to see the 20 biggest blowouts in sports history.

Source: Mike Powell / Allsport / Getty Images

20. Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
> Result: 153- 91
> Sport: NBA
> Date: Nov. 2, 1991

By half-time, the Golden State Warriors made clear they were taking home a big win in their match-up against the Sacramento Kings. The score was 88-41. In the end, the margin of victory was even greater: 153-91. Four Warriors scored at least 20 points.

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Source: Courtesy of the Syracuse Nationals

19. Syracuse Nationals vs. New York Knicks
> Result: 162-100
> Sport: NBA
> Date: Dec. 25, 1960

On Christmas Day in 1960, host Syracuse Nationals beat the New York Knicks 162-100. This 62 point victory set the record for biggest blowout in NBA history — one that lasted for 12 years. Today, the record is tied for fourth largest in NBA history. Nationals players Hal Greer and Dave Gambee each scored 24 points, and seven other Nationals players scored in the double digits. This remains the most lopsided defeat in Knicks franchise history.

Source: Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

18. Germany vs. Brazil
> Result: 7-1
> Sport: World Cup Soccer
> Date: July 8, 2014

Host country Brazil was unceremoniously ousted by Germany during the FIFA 2014 World Cup in the semifinals. Germany took a massive lead in the first half, scoring five goals within 6 minutes by the 29th minute. Brazil hadn’t lost a competitive game on home soil since 1975.

Source: Rick Stewart / Getty Images

17. Minnesota North Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets
> Result: 15-2
> Sport: NHL
> Date: Nov. 11, 1981

In 1981, the Minnesota North Stars routed the Winnipeg Jets in 15-2, coming within one goal of The NHL single game scoring record. Bobby Smith scored four goals with three assists. The North Stars had a total of 51 shots, compared to the Jets’ 42. Jets players took the blame collectively, rather than piling it all on goalie Doug Soetaert.

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Source: Courtesy of Baseball Digest / Wikimedia Commons

16. Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Browns
> Result: 29-4
> Sport: MLB
> Date: June 8, 1950

The Boston Red Sox 29-4 beatdown of the St. Louis Browns on June 8, 1950 remains one of the most lopsided games in Major League Baseball history. Red Sox Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr hit three home runs and Ted Williams and Walt Dropo each hit a pair of long balls. Seven Boston batters had multiple RBIs. This occurred just one day after the Red Sox beat the Browns 20-4.

Source: The Sporting News Archives / Malcolm W. Emmons / Wikimedia Commons

15. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors
> Result: 162-99
> Sport: NBA
> Date: March 19, 1972

On their way to the 1972 NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers delivered one of the worst pummelings in American sports history to the Golden State Warriors. Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West were held relatively in check by the Warriors. Gail Goodrich scored 30, one of eight Los Angeles players in double digits. The Warriors were actually one of the best teams in the NBA that season, making the 63-point win even more impressive.

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Source: Tim de Frisco / Allsport / Getty Images

14. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat
> Result: 148-80
> Sport: NBA
> Date: Dec. 17, 1991

The Cleveland Cavaliers win against Miami Heat on Dec. 17, 1991, remains the most lopsided victory in NBA history. The Cavaliers pummeled the Heat 148-80. No single Cavalier scored 20 points, but eight of them recorded double digit point totals. Though this game was more than 25 years ago, no NBA matchup has ever surpassed its 68-point differential.

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

13. Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles
> Result: 30-3
> Sport: MLB
> Date: Aug. 22, 2007

On Aug. 22, 2007, the Texas Rangers scored 30 runs, the only team in modern baseball history to do so. The Rangers actually trailed 3-0 going into the fourth inning before their bats got going. By the time the game ended, the team clubbed six home runs and each Rangers starter had at least two hits. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez had seven RBIs apiece. Though the Rangers were likely tired from rounding the bases all day, they actually had to play another game that day, as the 30-3 romp was the first game of a doubleheader. The Rangers beat the Orioles again 9-7 in a game that started about a half hour after the first game ended.

Source: Mike Hewitt / Allsport / Getty Images

12. Manchester United vs. Ipswich Town
> Result: 9-0
> Sport: Premier League Soccer
> Date: March 4, 1995

Soccer matches aren’t always high-scoring affairs, but Manchester United simply would not stop scoring in a 1995 match against Ipswich Town’s. The Red Devils netted nine goals, five of which came from Andy Cole, setting the Premier League record for goals scored by a player in a single game. The record has since been matched, though not bested.

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Source: Courtesy of Detroit Red Wings / Wikimedia Commons

11. Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers
> Result: 15-0
> Sport: NHL
> Date: Jan. 23, 1944

Still considered today as the most lopsided match in NHL history, the Detroit Red Wings defeated the New York Rangers 15-0 on Jan. 23, 1944. Ten Red Wings scored as the last place Rangers were hopelessly outmatched, only mustering nine shots on goal. Even as the game got out of hand, the Red Wings didn’t let up. Syd Howe netted a hat trick in the last eight minutes of the game. ESPN reported that the Red Wings slapped another shot past New York’s goalie just after the buzzer sounded, which would have been the 16th goal.

Source: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

10. Indiana Pacers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
> Result: 124-59
> Sport: NBA
> Date: Feb. 27, 1998

Feb. 27, 1998 was a day to forget for the Portland Trail Blazers. Their matchup against the Indiana Pacers made NBA history: this was the first time in the league’s history that a team scored twice as much as its opponent. The final tally came to 124-59. Mark Jackson scored a game-high 18 points and seven other Pacers also scored at least 10. This remains the second largest margin of victory in NBA history.

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Source: Simon Bruty / Getty Images

9. Steffi Graf vs. Natalia Zvereva
> Result: 6-0, 6-0
> Sport: Tennis
> Date: June 4, 1988

The 1988 Women’s Final of the French Open seemed like it would be an exciting matchup between two up and coming stars of the sport. Steffi Graf, then just 18 years old, took on 17 year-old Natalia Zvereva from Russia. Though both were teenagers, Graf played like a seasoned pro, crushing Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in just 32 minutes. It was only the second ever shutout in a Grand Slam final and the first time since 1911. The final was so one-sided, Graf apologized to the spectators after the match for winning so quickly.

Source: Thundrplaya / Wikimedia Commons

8. Nebraska vs. Chicago State
> Result: 50-3
> Sport: College Baseball
> Date: March 16, 1999

On March 16, 1999, Georgia Tech made NCAA history when it claimed a 50-3 victory over Chicago State. This was the largest margin of victory in a single game, as well as the most runs ever scored by one team in an NCAA baseball game. The defeat actually could have been much worse, but the game was ended on the mercy rule after 6 ½ innings.

Source: BravissimoS / iStock

7. Australia vs. New Zealand
> Result: 58-0
> Sport: World Championship Hockey
> Date: March 14, 1987

New Zealand’s national ice hockey team was created less than a year before the 1987 world championships. The team was absolutely crushed by South Korea 35-2 in their opening match, but things got much worse when they played rival Australia. It turns out the Australian team was made up of many Canadians and Europeans who were much more familiar with the sport than many in the warmer climates of Australia. After the Australian team racked up several early goals, the New Zealand goalie pulled himself from the game, leaving the backup to get scored on dozens more times. By the end of the game, Australia racked up 58 goals and surrendered none, easily breaking the previous world record.

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Source: Kevin Casey / Getty Images

6. Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
> Result: 58-0
> Sport: NFL
> Date: Dec. 9, 2012

The Arizona Cardinals suffered a crushing blow when the Seattle Seahawks clobbered them 58-0 on Dec. 9, 2012. Running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 128 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Russell Wilson barely played in the second half because Seattle was so far ahead. The Seattle Seahawks set a franchise record for points and the Cardinals turned the ball over a whopping eight times.

Source: Elsa / Getty Images

5. New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans
> Result: 59-0
> Sport: NFL
> Date: Oct. 18, 2009

Cold, snowy, and playing on wet ground, the Oct. 18, 2009 game between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans is certainly memorable. The Patriots slayed the Titans 59-0. Tom Brady went down in history during this game for throwing the most touchdown passes in a quarter, with five. The Titans, meanwhile, finished with negative passing yards. The score could have gotten even uglier, but Brady was pulled early in the second half.

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Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

4. Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
> Result: 77-0
> Sport: College Football
> Date: Nov. 8, 2003

The Nov. 8, 2003 game between Oklahoma and Texas A&M was a complete blowout. This was a payback of sorts as Texas A&M thwarted Oklahoma’s chance at a national title in the previous season. Oklahoma prevailed 77-0 over Texas A&M. Jason White tied the school’s record with five touchdown passes — all in the first half. Ten of Oklahoma’s first 11 offensive possessions were touchdowns. Texas A&M had no success offensively. In addition to being shut out, the Aggies had more penalty yards, with 63, than offensive yards at 54.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins
> Result: 73-0
> Sport: NFL
> Date: Dec. 8, 1940

The Chicago Bears triumphed over the Washington Redskins, 73-0, on Dec. 8, 1940 in the NFL Championship Game. The end result was a complete surprise as the Bears actually lost to the Redskins three weeks before, 7-3. Chicago scored in the first minute and didn’t stop until the final gun. Fun fact: practice balls were used to finish the game because the Bears kicked every game ball they had in the stands on extra points.

Source: Michael Reaves / Getty Images

2. Michigan vs. Rutgers
> Result: 78-0
> Sport: College Football
> Date: Oct. 8, 2016

Michigan’s 78-0 blowout over Rutgers in 2016 is the biggest blowout that an FBS team has ever received. The Wolverines rushed for 486 yards and nine touchdowns, while the Scarlet Knights had just 39 yards total. Rutgers couldn’t even manage to get a first down until the fourth quarter and punted 16 times by the time the game was over.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Georgia Tech vs. Cumberland
> Result: 222-0
> Sport: College Football
> Date: Oct. 7, 1916

In 1916, Georgia Tech demolished Cumberland College, 222-0. Cumberland reportedly shut down its football team before the game was played, but Georgia Tech — allegedly upset about Cumberland beating their baseball team 22-0 — demanded Cumberland honor their previously scheduled game, so Cumberland sent a hastily assembled crew and it showed. Georgia Tech scored 32 touchdowns overall. Cumberland, on the other hand, had 15 turnovers — nine fumbles and six interceptions. Georgia Tech’s head coach was John Heisman. If that name sounds familiar, it is because the award for the best college football player in the country is named in his honor.

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